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February 17th, 2019

Unless you’re very experienced you are unlikely to solve a Mephisto without using Chambers. The idea is that you use the precise wordplay to derive an answer that you then verify in the dictionary. 11A is a perfect example.

Help needed to parse 28A and 25D please

In the clues, definitions are underlined. Wordplay explanation is followed by very helpful comments.

ACROSS

4 Fenced with royal support so to speak (9)
PALISADED: sounds like “palace aided”;
10 Driver has week in Glasgow, thoroughly wet there (5)
DROUK: DR-OUK; driver=dr; week in Wick=OUK;
11 Leader retiring can secure backing re early transitional period (7)
AZILIAN: (k)AZI-(NAIL reversed); can=toilet=kazi then remove “k”; secure=NAIL;
12 Reveal lady’s bust (8)
DISBOSOM: DI’S-BOSOM;
13 Shock as before leaving New York is concerning (4, two words)
AS,TO: ASTO(NY); shock as before=ASTONY;
14 Sulphur left out, paint mostly blended as before (5)
YMOLT: (mostly – s)*; s=sulphur; paint=anagrind;
15 Makeshift court house during stoppage accepted (6)
CUTCHA: CUT-CH-A;
17 Character well-informed on refined oil in tin (7)
UPSILON: UP-S(oil)*N; tin=Sn;
20 Take tea before noon and you fancy ceremony with it (7)
CHANOYU: CHA-N-(you)*;
22 Adult view in Pennsylvania shows a clumsy type (7)
PALOOKA: P(A-LOOK)A;
27 Potter role put in play (7)
PLOUTER: (role put)*;
28 Ma in concert edition was very unsettled (6)
YO-YOED; YO-YO-ED; no idea how MA=YO;
29 Kid tucking into last pieces of delicious sponge cake (5)
SCONE: (delicious)S-CON-(spong)E;
31 Growth in wine-making? Look in France and Florida (4)
FLOR: F(LO)R; FR=France; FLOR=Florida;
32 On Metropolitan line, former chief’s one up front (8)
EXARCHAL: EX-ARCH-A-L; chief=ARCH; line=L;
33 Flatter fairway, champion’s flourished (7)
FLANNEL: fairway=CHANNEL then change CH=champion to FL=flourish;
34 Master bitten by dog — what language! (5)
TAMIL: TA(M)IL;
35 Journal agreed Hard Times novel for comic (9)
JOKESMITH: J-OK-(h times)*;

DOWN

1 Morse with two idiots wanting leads (9)
IDDY-UMPTY: (d)IDDY-(n)UMPTY; supposedly dot-dash in Morse code – we learned dit-dah;
2 Creased skirt in reproduction, nothing excluded (6)
CRIMPY: C(RIM)-o-PY; skirt=RIM; reproduction=COPY;
3 Indifferent couple of broadcasts heard (4)
SO-SO; sounds like “sew-sew”;
4 General coming from local, left in charge (6)
PUBLIC: PUB-L-IC;
5 Jam sandwiches soft for a little girl (7)
LASSOCK: L(ASS)OCK; soft=fool=ASS;
6 Southern Ireland introduces rolling maul that’s feigned (7)
SIMULAR: S-I(maul)*R;
7 Relish removing top recently? Long ago (5)
ALATE: (p)ALATE;
8 Record damned poet’s revealed (8)
DISCLOST: DISC-LOST;
9 Former simply vile rule ignored (6)
EATHLY: EA(r)THLY;
16 A row right away over the French watercolour (9)
AQUARELLE: A-QUAR(r)EL-LE;
18 Timber producer okays different screening type (8, two words)
SILKY,OAK: (okays)* surrounds ILK;
19 Illicit whiskey (term for it even in Chambers) (7)
POTEENS: PO(T-EEN)S; T from (i)T; even=EEN; chambers=POS; once tasted never forgotten;
21 Bugle-call from large room on American Long Island (7)
HALLALI: HALL-A-LI;
23 One vote’s nothing for this looker (6)
APOLLO: A-POLL-O; the most beautiful god;
24 Shelter mentioned earlier taking cases (6)
SUCCAH: SUC(CA)H;
25 Join pieces of wood, say, dropping over for ditch outwork (6)
TENAIL: T(re)E-NAIL possibly?; don’t understand this cryptic;
26 Dismal / old blunt head in Lancing (5)
MORNE: two meanings
30 Units on a royal ship (4)
OHMS: O-HMS;