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Diabolically Arcane

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Huh 52

12 February, 2016

After a mad media-muddle of a summer, it's time to don the zinc, pack the novels, the flippers and head for 2 weeks of Quality Sand Time. But don't gripe. I've lined up some treats across the fortnight, including two stunning maiden puzzles from a regular dabbler. (All will be 'unmasked' next week.)

You can also look for the usual WoWs, and an overdue Birdbrain or two, just to tide you over while I'm body-bashing.

So play nice, and nimble. And see whether you can decipher any of these Times clues from recent months. Bear in mind my own solutions could be the flaw, or perhaps there's an opaque Anglicism buried within. Either way, I'd love your enlightenment - and your alternative clues for these same presumed answers. Have fun:

1. City engineer running into fisherman’s spear = LEICESTER  

2. Rest respond to storyteller in kind? = LIE BACK

3. Island’s banished female star as defined in two parts = MIRANDA [I see The Tempest allusion, and maybe the Miranda Rights, or is there more?]

4. Their decision, that is, to wrap lover’s present = UP TO THE MINUTE [Sunday Times, 977]

5. Worry if chapter is read out = CARE 

6. Two-stage formula for making smart home for bird = SAND MARTIN 

7. Lowering of price, perhaps, making a grey area? = SHADING [Seems a double meaning but the econo-aspect throws me.]

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