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Puzzle 4 by Halcyon
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Halcyon needs no introduction as he already has three puzzles here. His fourth has a mini-theme and lives up to the high standard he has set himself. It is difficult to choose favourites from such an excellent set of clues, but 14 across and 5 down were the ones which earned the biggest ticks when solving the puzzle.

halcyon4.jpg

 
ACROSS
1
Bath time quarrel (4)
4 Unusual cave conversion for one with a round figure (10)
9 Line indicating main loading on foot during exercise? (8)
10 Slacker in casual footwear (6)
11 Men in cowboy pants (5)
12 Being late is utterly nerve-wracking (9)
14 Rogue conceals indignation about getting clobbered (8)
15 Tuscan aperitif packs a bite (6)
17 Pressure from some French on boat (6)
18 Grant tucked into sauces when returning in first class (8)
19 Preserve what's needed to build team? (9)
21 Inclined to be taken for granted, by the sound of it (5)
23 Starchy, floury, measly, uneven (6)
24 Abuse? We hear an awful lot (8)
25 Pumps make a comeback? Read Imelda's tips in fashion mag for a different shoe (10)
26 Gang sounded cocky? (4)

DOWN
2
Pretty abysmal, vacuous tosh with ridiculous pun (15)
3 Watch band's gripping, epic performance – led by me! (9)
4 Third-rate length of timber...it's about a foot (4)
5 With laid-back morals, getting into grass is easy (7)
6 A squeak? That's a hidden phone (1,5,4)
7 Cheer novel up with alternative ending (5)
8 Peacekeepers' departure accomplished without fault (15)
13 Liberal laird and I admit kinky S&M is not the same (10)
16 Rod and Gill say “To Paris?” No thanks – outside temperature one above (Celsius) (3-6)
18 Charlie in footwear shock (7)
20 Mark is set up for a quote (5)
22 Doctor could be tied up with partner in Boots (4)




Solution to Puzzle 4 by Halcyon