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Action Stations by Nimrod

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Action Stations by Nimrod

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Single extra letters produced by the wordplay in each clue spell, in clue order, seven items from a sequence of eight improper nouns. The missing item is to be represented in the completed grid by highlighting five groups of cells, together with the name of a thematic occasion and a name that connects them (33 cells in total, symmetrically disposed). 25 is in Collins.

1 Hooligans refuse to cover fare for return (6)
5 Charge a budding businessperson? Manuel’s expressed surprise (7)
11 Recurrent violence is spreading thanks to a degree (8)
13 Silly women jamming Spar counter (5)
14 Cut out meat from part of organ (5)
17 Train crew redeployed during peacetime (8)
18 Flier from north country parts to the summer in Brittany (6)
19 Clan leader I name is stunning quality! (6)
20 Who doesn’t like clubs abandoning singer? (5)
22 Drinks welcoming Italians over – they’ve just arrived (8)
23 Working teams loading endless waste (7)
27 Check out demo interrupting brief mass for anti-war writer (8)
29 Connoisseur’s face when presented with wine in a box! (5)
30 Baron hits reversing vehicle; earl wants a stiff drink (6)
32 Miltonian language’s accepted by Master for entry in dictionary (6)
33 Repair to Chinese lantern newly relit ________? (8)
37 Most commonly lacking interest? Taking rather too much! (5)
38 Perversely secure tiny case (5)
39 Indicating who’s doing amateur form of eventing (8)
40 Reflectively get kit off and fête naked body sent from heaven? (7)
41 Thinking new order should be given to one’s soldiers (6)

1 Lassie’s cuddle curses University dons (4)
2 Self-esteem getting a boost in the edges of one’s moulding (4)
3 Spoke wisely or wrote this, concealing answer (7)
4 Martyr from across the pond supports very boring task (7, 2 words)
5 Negative effect on pay rises in top plant (6)
6 When contemptible type engaged in crime (4, 2 words)
7 No longer busy, sad to say, in Scottish branch (5)
8 Unconventional wisdom Sir phrases inappropriately (8)
9 Defeats beer supply to dispense drink to the very young (10)
10 The elderly valued Pied Piper’s boy coming round (8)
12 Finish run, but not notice having more miles on the clock? (5)
15 Begins to cycle annual income (5)
16 In Crouch End, reduced lager finally consumed in four-packs? (10)
20 Woman’s stake hired something from Will’s garden? (8)
21 In Gospeller’s view straitjackets may kill (8)
24 Stinging former practice on Web (5)
25 Sailors served up mutton and also retribution? One escaped (7)
26 Greeting from Indian cove – uplifting experience (7)
28 Timeless melody in the end found wanting, let’s be blunt (6)
29 Ahead of pilgrimage, start to con a local language (5)
31 Trainee war correspondent must appear in court (5)
34 Corps stop gas (4)
35 Flowers not opening for pollinating honey guides (4)
36 Votes for paper split, then given another order (4)

All entries to be received by 1 September 2023.

The first correct entry drawn will receive a £75 CUP book token and a copy of Animal Kingdom: A Natural History in 100 Objects (The History Press Ltd) by Jack Ashby, Assistant Director of Cambridge’s Museum of Zoology. Two runners-up will receive a £50 CUP book token. Solutions and winners will be published in CAM 100 and online on 15 September 2023.