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Puzzle 3 by Alchemi
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Alchemi's third puzzle has a clever gimmick which I find rather flattering, one which the solver may not necessarily spot. I explain more on the solution page. Fun, imaginative clues as you'd expect from this setter, with 12 across my favourite.

alchemi.jpg

 
ACROSS
1
Our host's preparation of Baltic herb eliminating consumption (8)
5 Wine-laden ship offends (6)
9 At one stage, maid got something to hold beer (3,5)
10 Serenity's essence, when in church, to redeem (6)
12 Hollywood film "Victoria Superior"? (5)
13 Naive young woman, not posh, really odd as a rule (2,7)
14 Rectangular pair of spectacles worn around British Library no good! (6)
16 One who fails to tell the truth about motor vehicle (7)
19 The Spanish say that is singular wistful poetry (7)
21 Very good, with less confusing passages (6)
23 Finally sell cool new spots for pub-owners (9)
25 Ties up "No Parking" sites (5)
26 Hold Geordie players to end of season (6)
27 Dancing king sealion that's sold by charlatan (5,3)
28 Just like that, big Scandinavian comes back for reaper's tool (6)
29 Risk long punishment, revealing our host's alter ego (8)

DOWN
1
Middle Easterner the French find easy to cultivate (6)
2 Fragile ass's hee-haw message heard (9)
3 Parts of maestro lessons (5)
4 Beating over the head as tooth grips bone (7)
6 Lashing an outrage bringing torn bits of skin (9)
7 Blacken independents' leader in seat (5)
8 Short break leaves lasting impressions around academia (8)
11 Culture medium with Indian music on a rising trend (4)
15 After tearjerker, turn over for tastier fare (5,4)
17 Instances of making do when one's croci wilt (9)
18 As lice sing badly, there are limits! (8)
20 Search for believer announced (4)
21 Club for classical art on the way up (7)
22 Building stone remains household god (6)
24 Boiling oil in castle's cauldron initially causes pain (5)
25 Make a comparison, and even Blair is above Livingstone (5)





Solution to Puzzle 3 by Alchemi