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March 17th, 2019

Mephisto 3054 by Paul McKenna

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. 10A is a perfect example.

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



ACROSS
1 Gallon of tea (5)
CONGO: CONG-O; gallon=CONG;
5 Hounds wound up starter (7)
RATTERS: (starter)*;
10 Old quack? Wit I am to proscribe cobalt (11)
SALTIMBANCO: SALT-I’M-BAN-CO; a charlatan;
12 Lace drink guy pushed forward (8, two words)
STAY,TAPE: booze (slang)=TAPE; guy=STAY;
13 Hidden danger behind changing ends (4)
TRAP: behind=PRAT then swap the P and the T;
14 Such as you may get in manuscript headed by Edgar? (5)
POEMS: POE-MS; reference Edgar Alan POE;
16 Virginia left with prayer for stiff escort? (8)
VALKYRIE: VA-L-KYRIE; stiff=dead;
18 Picking up sledge at last I relax here (7, two words)
ICE,HILL: I-C(E)HILL; E from (sledg)E;
20 Jaguar's boast brushing book aside (5)
OUNCE: (b)OUNCE;
22 What Scots farmers avoid is coarse linen (5)
SHARN: ‘S-HARN; cowpats in Cowdenbeath;
23 Howls English held back in ages entering French gents (7)
YAMMERS: ages=years then “hold back” the “e” = YAERS; MM=Monsieurs
24 Place (classy) with sound units for some concertgoers (8)
PLUS-ONES: PL-U-SONES;
27 Icons ducking special procedures (5)
RITES: (sp)RITES;
29 Apostle quietly leaving a Roman hall (4)
AULA: (p)AUL-A;
30 Tramp collecting money in dump finds diamond (8)
RHOMBOID: R(HO(M)BO)ID; a parallelogram in which adjacent sides are of unequal lengths and angles are non-right angled giving a diamond shape.
31 Speak the same lingo as throne and aim to brood no more (11, four words)
SEE,EYE,TO,EYE: SEE-EYE-TO-EYE; throne=SEE;  aim=EYE; a brood of pheasants=EYE
32 Silent about embedded doughboy's kitbag (7)
MUSETTE: MU(SET)TE;
33 Ludicrous false thumbs (5)
LEAFS: (false)*;

DOWN
1 We benefit from trust in being protected by mitre (7)
CESTUIS: CESTU(I)S;
2 Refusing to face facts in resort I risk hotel adding $100 (11)
OSTRICHLIKE: (I risk hotel + c)*;
3 Sculptured character is reassuringly phat (in part) (5)
GLYPH: hidden (reassurin)GLY-PH(at);
4 This pitches high — way too magniloquent about plonk (8)
OTTAVINO: OTT-A-VINO; a piccolo;
5 Rope with noose is up, voice curt term of gratitude (5)
RIATA: AIR reversed – TA;
6 Before noon draw a flask (7)
AMPULLA: AM-PULL-A;
7 Knitted tea cosy? Possibly this Mexican wrap, yes (4)
TACO: (tea cosy – yes)*;
8 Conceal in shell nut near spinning in hull? (8)
ENKERNEL: EN-KE(RN)EL; nut=EN; near=RN then reverse;
9 Wash in southern river (5)
SOUSE: S-OUSE;
11 Rich judge accommodates press for charity event (11, two words)
COMIC,RELIEF: COMIC-RE(LIE)F; Red Nose Day;
15 Dandy lashes purple passages? (8)
BEAUTIES: BEAU-TIES;
17 Mom looks up movement of commies (8)
KOMSOMOL: (mom looks)*;
19 String up over every other bit of gent's boundary marker? (7)
LYNCHET: LYNCH-(g)E(n)T;
21 Especially down about rising matadors (7)
ESPADAS: ESP-(SAD-A reversed);
24 What's on Dark Side of the Moon is in place of old concert (5)
PRISM: concert=PROM then change O to IS; The Dark Side of the Moon is a studio album by the rock band Pink Floyd famous for its picture of a PRISM;
25 Ham is withdrawn after being tipped (5)
EMOTE: (R)EMOTE;
26 Eclectic Persian arts grad Auntie cut short (5)
BABEE: BA-BEE(b);
28 Foil for riposte? It's between sublime and peerless (4)
EPEE: hidden (sublime)E and PEE(rless);