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Puzzle by Barmecide
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This is one of the most ambitious debut puzzles I have seen. It provides the solver with a tough challenge, but it must have been even more difficult to create something as clever as this. Hats off to Barmecide!


The letter before each clue does NOT refer to the first letter of the solution, but to a redundant letter in, or indicated by, the wordplay of the clue. This extra letter does not occur in the solution for that clue. For example: A One bishop in grass finds animal leads to SQUIRRE(A)L. The puzzle is a jigsaw: fit the solutions in wherever they will go.

A I repeatedly will take French town for old people (5)
B Swan over for voucher (6)
C Follow the boat? It’s a wreck, possibly (5-3)
D The composer Sullivan a Whig? Mad, Mad! (7,8)
E Ecstatic celebration fails to finish worker (8)
F To rent fifty per cent is deadly (6)
G An empty space (part of roof that can be skirted) (9)
H Things uncertain and unknown holding back philosopher (7)
I Any who intervened distressed Y (5,3,3,4)
J Punch over punch – it’s repeated (5)
K Strong smell and taste of horse (7)
L T to get piece of empire (7)
M Nothing for last sort of cow (5)
N Obscure musician gets bird flu first (6)
O Food for artist and French writer (8)
P Kiss a snake, man! (6)
Q Blast quarry? Done all the time! (4-5)
R Type involved in disturbance is meanest (9)
S Strange eye condition involving a....(6)
T ... second bit of metal for game (5)
U Rulers’ model Indian crane (5)
V Loo opens for disgusting religious outsiders (8)
W Massage back (new advice included) (5)
X Return lied about tax? A minor matter (6)
Y The battle’s over mythical creature on occasion (9)
Z Quietly and indolently grasp point, obviously (7)

Solution to Puzzle by Barmecide