?

Log in

No account? Create an account

March 3rd, 2019

Mephisto 3052 Don Manley

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. 1A is a perfect example.

Some minor queries at 32A, 16D, 31D

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

ACROSS

4 Time for Christmas drink and children presenting poem (9)
DECASTICH: DEC-ASTI-CH; a poem of 10 lines
11 Sweep left something in the grate? (4)
LASH: L-ASH;
12 The Parisian crook abandoning home of tears (8)
LACRIMAL: LA-CRIM(in)AL;
13 Porcelain one discovered by island wreck (5)
IMARI: I-MAR-I; brightly-coloured style of Arita ware
14 Jolly types wearing a German coat in winter (6)
ERMINE: E(RM)INE; RM=Royal Marines=Jollies;
15 Drug vessel’s keeping dry (8)
VARIDASE: V(ARID)ASE; A brand name for a mixture of Streptokinase and Streptodornase used locally to remove blood clots and organic debris from wounds.
19 Step taking country out of Europe finally (5)
GRECE: GRE(e)CE;
21 Insect in booze? Pour out a different drink! (8, two words)
BE,MOTHER: BE(MOTH)ER; slang for pour the tea for more than one person;
22 Grey adult, disinclined to communicate (4)
ASHY: A-SHY;
23 A very old name for a flower (4)
AVON: A-V-O-N; there are several River Avon, including the Wiltshire-Hampshire-Dorset one
24 Soldiers certain to need knight for duelling contests (8)
MENSUREN: MEN-SURE-N; Mensur is the traditional kind of fencing practiced in Germany
26 What gets carried about by ship? (5)
CARGO: C-ARGO;
30 Boxes containing special ribbons (8)
CADDISES: CADDI(S)ES; woollen ribbons;
32 Jack and Jill reached this, turning up terribly late? (6)
PUTEAL: UP reversed – (late)*; a wall round the top of a well – did they reach the well?
33 Arab wandering in a desert — no rest somehow (5)
ADENI: (in a desert – rest)*; someone from Aden;
34 Attempt to pen a novel, ending with utter rubbish (8)
TRASHERY: TR(A-SHE-R)Y; novel=SHE; (utte)R;
35 Vessel’s partially wet, naturally (4)
ETNA: hidden (w)ET-NA(turally);
36 Monk strangely silent in church spoke finally (9)
CELESTINE: CE(silent)*-(spok)E; The Celestine monks of France represent one of the least studied monastic reform movements of the late Middle Ages

DOWN

1 Duck energetic when meeting second bird (9)
OLIVE-BACK: O-LIVE-BACK; a thrush;
2 God of love has narcotic drink prepared inside (8)
KAMADEVA: KA(MADE)VA; Hindu god of human love
3 It tastes gingery when served with a spirit (6)
ASARUM: AS-A-RUM; wild ginger;
5 Magistrate gets upset, being cut off (5)
ELIDE: EDILE reversed; EDILE= a magistrate of ancient Rome; In linguistics, an elision or deletion is the omission of one or more sounds in a word or phrase.
6 Hat sitting on a cloak (4)
CAPA: CAP-A;
7 Wonderful perfume going off (8)
ACESCENT: ACE-SCENT;
8 Buffaloes very fearful, area being for termination of buffalo each time (8)
TIMARAUS: very fearful=timorous then change every “o” to “a”; small wild buffalo
9 Chemical found in one small insect, not good (5)
IMIDE: I-MID(g)E; I entered “amide” at first until 1A sorted that out; two acyl groups bound to nitrogen
10 Action of steersman taking vessel north (4)
CANN: CAN-N; to steer a vessel
16 Economist with leading principle, terribly insane (9)
KEYNESIAN: KEY-(insane)*; related to his theories surely rather than just “economist”
17 African travels into volcanic hill (8)
CONGOESE: CON(GOES)E;
18 Revolutionary fighter with servant under bridge (8)
CHEVALET: CHE-VALET; the piece of wood in a musical instrument that the strings are stretched over
20 Indigenous Indian, hence displaced, longing for shelter (8)
CHEYENNE: (hence)* surrounds YEN; the indigenous people of the Great Plains
25 Sticky young Aussie fellow kept outside group (6)
ROSETY: RO(SET)Y; ROY=Oz slang for fashion conscious young man – was George a Roy?;
27 A lot may change after end of war of course (5)
ROTAL: (wa)R-(a lot)*;
28 Sandy’s drunk, getting scorn, as before (5)
SDAYN: (sandy)*;
29 This writer’s written about old city wall (4)
MURE: M(UR)E;
31 Grass left to grow up on island (4)
DARI: RAD reversed-I; RAD=radical. Does “radical” equate with “left”? “Deri” would be a better answer from wordplay but there’s no such word so far as I can see