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Solution to Beginners' Puzzle
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ACROSS
1 DISC is a record. OVER means concerning. ED is a common abbreviation for Editor
6 UR is an ancient city. DU = belonging to/of in French
9 Heading off means first letter missing so ESCAPE becomes SCAPE which is "by" (next to) GOATS (animals)
10 This is a hidden word in MumS PUDding
12 SWEET is the opposite of SOUR so "contrasts" are provided by this style of cooking
15 PAT is a common Irish name; i/c is a common abbreviation for "in charge of" and RIOT is "contained" (inside).
17 IRA are/were terrorists and giving TE (a musical note) to that gives IRATE
18 This uses two meanings of LEECH
19 AB is a common abbreviation for sailor (able seaman). So sailor's is ABS. "Perhaps" is a common sign that an anagram is being used so "intent perhaps" means an anagram of intent.
20 "Upset" is also a common anagram indicator so " A COMMENT SURE" is an anagram of the answer
24 "Told" means spoken so which man's name sounds like to get on one's knees?
25 Boundary is a BORDER; LINE can be a rope; and if in cricket the ball may have hit the boundary rope the umpires have to think hard about whether a four or a six has been scored
26 A dog is a PET so dogs are PETS "returning" means the word is written backwards to give the answer
27 A truly cryptic clue if your best friend is your first mate...
 
DOWN
1 A pretty girl and some food are both a DISH
2 Another hidden word in SEA Location
3 Fat is OVERWEIGHT and Edward is often known as ED. May be the hardest clue in the puzzle.
4 The first lady, biblically speaking, was EVE and if she "tours" goes round Oklahoma (often abbreviated to OK) we get EVOKE
5 ENTRANCES can mean "thresholds" and "delights"
7 Heartless robbers that means ROBBERS without a heart (centre) ie ROBERS. Go off means an anagram (ie go bad, go funny) and ROBERS has to go off with A PET so ROBERS A PET is an anagram of the answer
8 Below = UNDER, or NEATH, or UNDERNEATH!
11 Clergyman is a MINISTER. "Dead" awkward means an anagram of "dead"; and situated in an anagram of dead is minister to give ADMINISTERED
13 After demolition of ie once something has been demolished. Anagram again! Demolish "aspic plant" to get the answer
14 Steam LINES takes on (incorporates) head of Railtrack (R), first letter
16 "Must be arranged" means anagram of ONES PARTS
21 RODE + the round letter O
22 Junk is rubbish so another anagram here
23 MERE means "nothing but" and "a lake"