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Puzzle by Wiglaf
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This is Wiglaf’s first puzzle here but he has very impressive credentials, as he has set Listener, Enigmatic Variations and Inquisitor puzzles. He is a staunch Ximenean and his clues refute the canard that following Ximenean principles somehow stifles creativity. There are some beautifully original misdirections here, along with super-smooth surfaces, and Wiglaf has achieved this with perfectly precise cryptic grammar. 4 across is an absolute stonker! (PDF version)


Capital wine (6)
4 You won’t be able to see Maria after this time (7)
9 Recipe carried by nurse going round posh hypermarket (9)
10 Valet caught taking the French article (5)
11 Middle Easterner lives with one deranged king in retirement (7)
12 Uranium used by Curie when probing chilled element (7)
13 You’ll need both eyes for this series on TV, broadcast over satellite (12)
17 Their gadgets get hacked as a rule (12)
20 Give a reason for once, Sharon? (7)
21 Rod used by Irish MP when catching a small aquatic creature (7)
23 Poet has finished on the phone (5)
24 Harry in command, he’s high in the pecking order (9)
25 Lines of poetry about love, mostly written in Rugby (7)
26 Sweden’s being linked with Scandinavia? Take a walk (6)

Skipping school, fool heads home to lend a hand (4,2)
2 Steppenwolf’s original “Magic Theatre”, inadequate for French playwright (6)
3 An agreement not accepted by English singer (5)
4 More hot chocolate to drink? Initially remove skin (7,7)
5 Religionists, in possession of false icon, given good hiding (9)
6 Muscle condition: a lot of bad cases prescribed drug? (8)
7 A number of English people needing time to find a residence (8)
8 After removing coat, the author in hotel worked out pi (6-4-4)
14 Asian marriage, reportedly on the decline to the south-east (9)
15 Part of some letters from an astronaut? (8)
16 Go and see doctor to get opinion? Not second one (4,2,2)
18 A little clasp on choirgirl’s cape (6)
19 Doctor Who harboured good and evil (6)
22 Dorothy making ordinary service plan (5)

Solution to Puzzle by Wiglaf