New Criticism: "to explicate" (Wimsatt and Beardsley); "to construe" (Hirsch)

To explicate (OED, 3/8/07):

 {dag}1.    a. trans. To unfold, unroll; to smooth out (wrinkles); to open out (what is wrapped up); to expand (buds, leaves, etc.). Obs.

 {dag}2.    a. To disentangle, unravel; fig. (cf. 6).    b. To disentangle, extricate from, out of difficulties.

3. To develop, bring out what is implicitly contained in (a notion, principle, proposition).

4. To unfold in words; to give a detailed account of. Sometimes with indirect question as obj. Now rare; = EXPLAIN 3a.

 {dag}5. To disclose the cause or origin of (a phenomenon); to account for. Obs.; = EXPLAIN v. 5.

 6. a. To make clear the meaning of (anything); to remove difficulties or obscurities from; to clear up, explain; = EXPLAIN v. 3b.

To construe (OED 3/8/07--I omit two rare Elizabethan senses, 8 and 9):

{dag}1. trans. To form by putting together materials, to CONSTRUCT. Obs.

2. Gram. To combine (words, or parts of speech) grammatically. Now, to combine a verb, adjective, preposition, or other word with the case or relational words with which it is syntactically used.

3. Gram. To analyse or trace the grammatical construction of a sentence; to take its words in such an order as to show the meaning of the sentence; spec. to do this in the study of a foreign and especially a classical language, adding a word for word translation; hence, loosely, to translate orally a passage in an ancient or foreign author.

4. trans. To give the sense or meaning of; to expound, explain, interpret (language).

5. Law. To explain or interpret for legal purposes. (A technical application of 4.)

 6. transf. To interpret, give a meaning to, put a construction on (actions, things, or persons).

 7. To deduce (a meaning, etc.) by interpretation; to judge by inference, infer.