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January 27th, 2019

Mephisto 3047 - Tim Moorey

Each of the three Mephisto setters had a certain flavor to their puzzles, and with Tim Moorey there's often a dash of sportsball and popular culture. Usually popular culture I am not up on at all, fortunately this time around the wordplay or definition was enough for me to see around the unfamiliar references.

Interesting grid construction leading to several answers with three unchecked letters, which is unusual in Mephisto.

All definitions can be confirmed in Chambers, I'll only comment on the non-obvious ones. First definitions in clues are underlined.

Away we go...
Across
1 One’s willing to acquire new extra handle (6)
AGNAME - A(one), GAME(willing) containing N
5 Ditches cheap jewel after losing temper (6)
RHINES - the cheap jewel is a RHINESTONE, remove TONE(temper)
9 Provided absorbing translation of Racine synopsis (8)
SCENARIO - SO(provided) containing an anagram of RACINE
11 Amazement with heartless JFK shooting, ultimately clamour and distress for Americans (12)
KATZENJAMMER - anagram of AMAZEMENT and J(f)K, then the last letter in clamouR. A word I know more from an old comic strip.
13 Star soldiers are taken in (7)
ANTARES - soldier ANTS containing ARE
14 Trap in dodgy Danube area removed (5)
UBEND - anagram of DANUBE minus A
16 Girl showing how DLA could be obtained (5)
LINDA - you could get DLA by putting L IN DA. Neat clue, DLA is Disability Living Allowance
17 Deal in three parts, oddly (5)
TREAT - alternating letters in ThReE pArTs. Deal as in "deal with"
19 Letters from Egypt, for instance (4)
ETAS - ET(IVR code for Egypt), AS(for instance)
22 The Prince and the Frog was organised by American (4)
RANA - two definitions (prince and frog) and wordplay, RAN(organised), A(American)
23 A thrusting virtuous man Mike Pence making an impression (5)
STAMP - A inside ST(saint, virtuous) man, M(Mike, International radio code for M), P(pence). Reference to the Vice Presidumb of Trumpydoodleland (sigh, where I live)
25 Alto and a tenor seen in public previously (5)
APERT - A(alto), PER(a), T(tenor)
29 Love bit of luck for tennis champion (5)
NADAL - NADA(love) and the first letter in Luck. In a few hours he will be playing Djokovic in the Australian Open Tennis Men's final.
30 One terribly boring fat man? (7)
LEONARD - anagram of ONE in LARD(fat)
31 Richard’s holding soft and individually fitted footwear (12, two words)
DIGITAL SOCKS - DICK'S (Richard's) containing GIT(soft), ALSO(and). Socks with toes in them. Very difficult to put on, I wore them in a production of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" last year.
32 Enthusiastic about a firm stocking navy coat (8)
INTONACO - INTO(enthusiastic about), A, CO(firm) containing N(navy)
33 Taught registered nurse in Kent resort when retired (6)
LARNED - RN(Registered Nurse) in DEAL(Kent resort) reversed
34 Stomach’s upset alas, after starters of oyster and mussels (6)
OMASAL - anagram of ALAS, after the first letters in Oyster and Mussels

Down
1 One special philosopher showing suspicion (6)
ASKANT - A(one), S(special), KANT(philosopher)
2 One acting Chief Inspector on TV irritates (7)
NETTLES - got this from the definition... John NETTLES plays Tom Barnaby on Midsomer Murders
3 Digger from zone in part of Galilee picked up (5)
ANZAC - Z(zone) in CANA(part of Galilee) reversed
4 Seaweed coming from rising loch froth in Scotland (5)
MAERL - reversal of L(loch) and REAM(froth)
5 Food from the east, possibly just a trifle oriental mister rejected (10)
RIJSTTAFEL - anagram of JUST,A,TRIFLE missing U(Burmese title for master)
6 One is tense engaging acting medic, foot specialist (7)
IAMBIST - I(one), IS, T(tense) containing A(acting), MB(Bachelor of Medicine). Literary foot.
7 Brain cells many deep, needing treatment (8)
EPENDYMA - anagram of MANY,DEEP
8 After Bishop’s replaced priest, army chaplains turned up in secret chamber (6)
SERDAB - B replacing P in PADRES(army chaplains)
10 Forecast given by royal servants you once ignored (4)
OMEN - YEOMEN(royal servants) missing YE(you)
12 Jacob, for example splitting two notes on organ in part of US (10, two words)
NEW ENGLAND - EWE(Jacob, sheep) inside N,N(two notes) then GLAND(organ)
15 Grab place in rock to see a gigantic fish (8)
ARAPAIMA - RAP(grab, fourth definition in Chambers), AIM(place) inside AA(volcanic rock)
18 A right shower said to be put on trial (7)
ARRAIGN - A, R(right) then sounds like RAIN(shower)
20 Some instruments ruin a group aiming for harmony (7)
MARACAS - MAR(ruin), ACAS(Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
21 Some boots and a light shoe (6)
SANDAL - hideen inside bootS AND A Light
24 Kitty over on vacation digs type of soil (6)
PODSOL - POOL(kitty) surrounding D(ig)S
26 Keenness shown by guard leaving hospital (4)
EDGE - HEDGE(guard) missing H(hospital)
27 Intimate Pole embracing another Pole (5)
BOSOM - BOOM(pole, spar) surrounding S(South Pole)
28 Fruit soon beginning to appear (5)
ANONA - ANON(soon), then the first letter in Appear

Sunday Times 4834 by David McLean

8:07. Unusually straightforward from Harry this week. Less unusually a fun puzzle with some witty clues. I think my favourite was 26ac, just because I like to see words like that in these things. I had one or two minor queries which I’ve mentioned below but nothing to frighten any horses.



Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated like (THIS)*, anagram indicators like this.

Across
1 Sweet missive about me is dross ultimately
ETON MESS - reversal of NOTE, ME, S (is), drosS. A mixture of broken-up meringue, strawberries and cream… and not a bad definition of Brexit.
5 Silver Lining band’s having a boozy musical party
RAGING - R(AG)ING. Not a meaning of ‘rage’ I was familiar with, but ODO has ‘enjoy oneself at a party or other lively gathering, typically with drinking and music’ which is a pretty exact fit.
10 Country inn — a great building
ARGENTINA - (INN A GREAT)*.
11 They might be tall drinks served after Tango
TALES - T, ALES.
12 Conservative article by editor given some stick?
CANED - C, AN, ED.
13 Flasher in coat I’d sadly seen by river
INDICATOR - IN, (COAT ID)*, R. An indicator in a car, in this case.
14 Run-of-the mill president Angolan leader upset
PEDESTRIAN - (PRESIDENT, Angolan)*.
17 Partner declared winning position on board
MATE - DD.
19 Heavy Yank scoffing the last of goulash
THUG - T(goulasH)UG.
20 A smell hanging around: perhaps, credit youth?
ADOLESCENT - A(DOLE)SCENT. I was initially puzzled by the definition of DOLE but I think the idea is that it (unemployment benefit) can be paid in the form of a tax credit. I don't know if this is actually the case.
22 One’s in competition with East German exile
OSTRACISE - OST (east German), RAC(I’S)E.
24 Old car bishop must get out of to wind up?
ANGER - bANGER.
26 Infant’s small problem Penny’s ignored
ICKLE - pICKLE.
27 Son tucking into nut pastry and Boost?
HEAD START - HEAD(S), TART. For any non-UK solvers wondering Boost is a brand of cholcolate bar.
28 Unpleasant sort of sailor snatching paintings
TARTAR - T(ART)AR.
29 Noble legion in want of bit of leadership
COUNTESS - COUNT(Leadership)ESS.

Down
1 Freedom fighter maniacs petition to change
EMANCIPATIONIST - (MANIACS PETITION)*.
2 Music producer of Heart?
ORGAN - DD. The second definition is by example, as indicated by the question mark.
3 One provides reception food to follow minute iced starter
MINIDISH - MIN, Iced, DISH.
4 Sort of book with some horrific scenes: rejected!
SCI-FI - contained reversed in ‘horrific scenes’.
6 Military volunteers sent north nail assault
ATTACK - reversal of TA, TACK.
7 Sick with a kid that’s fidgety, perhaps
ILL AT EASE - ILL, A, TEASE.
8 Corporation complaint: register it as not incorrect
GASTROENTERITIS - (REGISTER IT AS NOT)*. I’m not very keen on this definition. ‘Corporation’ means the tummy, and particularly refers to a pot belly, which is not really the same thing as the intestines.
9 Support worker seen on public transport
HANDRAIL - HAND (worker), RAIL.
15 One on horse is possibly Democratic carpetbagger
DRUG-TAKER - D, RUG TAKER. Because taking a rug is the same as bagging a carpet. Neat.
16 Sign of danger: Tory embracing Balls and Labour leader
RED LIGHT - R(ED, L)IGHT.
18 One making hits popular by the Blockheads
ASSASSIN - ASS ASS (a pair of blockheads), IN.
21 Ramshackle town best-loved by half-cut lags
FAVELA - FAVE, LAgs.
23 English singer associated with Love andMuse
ERATO - E, RAT (snitch, singer), O.
25 Hazardous place one might take their rest
GRAVE - two definitions, one very slightly cryptic in the sense that it has a double meaning.