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Puzzle by Foxglove
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Foxglove first published a puzzle here (as abcFoxglove) in 2011. This new puzzle is excellent in all respects: sound clueing, believable surfaces and above all, it offers an entertaining challenge to the solver. I particularly like 25 across and 3 down.

foxglove2.jpg

 
ACROSS
1
Chat at length in pub, returning with snack after early closing (6)
4 Invariably sexual way strippers cover up (6)
9 Nothing is found on youth centre’s operating system (4)
10 Lack of interest about unusual node condition (10)
11 Mixed reviews after I was dropped resulting in a change of direction (6)
12 Picked up ladies and gents here in France (8)
13 Sense infighting starts with folk on the inside (9)
15 Regrettably unsalable part needs to be returned (4)
16 Criticises South moving into the lead in bridge (4)
17 Hurry appearance with a musical instrument (4,5)
21 Embarrassed like you, say? (8)
22 Stick a notice in this place (6)
24 Don’t start affair without initially elaborating grounds for commitment (10)
25 Probable consequence of extremely dire budget (4)
26 Bitumen over light brown furniture material (6)
27 Questionable to embrace unknown followers at the outset? No way! (2,4)

DOWN
1
Mending a Frenchman’s fence that’s not been finished (7)
2 Sex chromosome implanted in South African breed (5)
3 The most absurd place for a table, perhaps (7)
5 Improve cut agreed by you informally for investment (4,2)
6 Leader desecrated a holy atlas, rubbing out Sweden (9)
7 Disagreements in school (one over texting protocols) (7)
8 Very little like N or P? (4,2,7)
14 What SM aficionados enjoy in a room underground (9)
16 Academic referring to the Sun introduces beginners to contemporary history (7)
18 Jack goes on-line to make mischief (7)
19 Artist going up river for something to eat (7)
20 Note article’s low points (6)
23 Power clinic (5)