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April 14th, 2019

Mephisto 3058 by 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.

I found this a straightforward puzzle

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

ACROSS

2 Unconventional beard associated with revolutionary transvestite (8)
BERDACHE: (beard)*-CHE; considered offensive by many Native American communities, BERDACHE began to fall out of use in the 1990s; two-spirit is now used instead.
10 Nonsense by 30 frolicking (7)
ROMPISH: ROM-PISH; ROM=Romany=30A
11 Bring back a carrier with food, my bonny (5)
YARTA: A-TRAY reversed; term of endearment in East Yell;
12 Pluck / grass (6)
TWITCH: two meanings; newer solvers should beware solving this type of clue until they have some checkers. “Finger” would be a perfectly acceptable solution so wait until you can separate the grass from the grass;
14 Sheep, for example, having nothing to eat (4)
SOAY: S(O)AY;
15 Settled down but not quietly — wanted to scratch? (6)
ITCHED: (p)ITCHED;
16 Face work with limit circumscribed (6)
METOPE: MET(OP)E; limit=METE;
18 Such pancakes if badly cooked may be flakiest (6)
LATKES: (flakiest – if)*; potato pancakes;
20 Time of denial with one having inadequate room and little breathing space (8)
LENTICEL: LENT-I-CEL(l);
23 Cleansing process incorporating complicated rite could be this? (8)
WATERISH: WASH surrounds (rite)*;
25 Old cow in East Sussex river (6)
ROTHER: two meanings; no need for the same caution as mentioned at 12A – there just aren’t that many rivers in East Sussex
28 Roman house in Iberia maybe writer’s abandoned (6)
INSULA: (pen)INSULA;
30 Stuck in creek is brown gypsy man (6)
GITANO: GI(TAN)O; creek=GIO;
31 Steal from wrecks gone over (4)
SMUG: GUMS reversed;
32 One to trap hunted animal, tail being chopped off with little hesitation (6)
SNARER: SNAR(k)-ER; reference Lewis Carroll “The hunting of the Snark”;
33 Char’s manner of speaking putting any number off (5)
TOGUE: TO(n)GUE;
34 Words of warning from gentlemen gardening (7, two words)
EN GARDE: hidden (gentlm)EN-GARDE(ning);
35 Mark, an old rocker, given officer status (8)
BREVETED: BREVE-TED;

DOWN

1 Gunners shoot going over island, needing skills to capture it (12)
ARTILLERISTS: AR(TILLER-IS)TS; shoot=TILLER;
2 Pop singer around end of concert? One may be seen with DJ (6, two words)
BOW TIE: BOW(T)IE; T from (concer)T; reference David Bowie;
3 First person to get upset, with confession of inability to be sparkling (7)
EMICANT: ME reversed – I CAN’T;
4 Coldness of manner in doctor who may be taking risks? (5)
DICER: D(ICE)R;
5 Fabrics produced in a hundred tiny places (8)
CHAMLETS: C-HAMLETS; goat’s hair fabric;
6 Wood has some squelchy leaves (4)
HYLE: hidden (squelc)HY-LE(aves);
7 Below base of cloud bird gets thoroughly wet in Scotland (5)
DROOK: (clou)D-ROOK;
8 Things one habitually eats, having removed fifty bones (6)
STAPES: STAP(l)ES;
9 So there may be new principle used for statistical data (12, two words)
BAYES THEORM: (so there may be)*; Bayes' theorem is named after Reverend Thomas Bayes 1701-1761; it evaluates the probability of an event given prior knowledge of relevant conditions
13 No longer put straw on the playing area — not very good (6)
THETCH: THE (pi)TCH;
17 Old insect bringing panic around Lincoln (8)
SCARABEE: SCAR(ABE)E;
19 Monstrous things sailor found surfacing in the drink (6)
TERATA: TE(TAR reversed)A;
21 Father has stain inside coat (7)
SIMARRE: SI(MAR)RE;
22 Witty words on tomb out of order (6, two words)
BON MOT; (on tomb)*;
24 Seen getting drunk, one who should stay sober in Welsh Assembly (6)
SENEDD: (seen)*-DD; DD = Designated Driver; The SENEDD, also known as the National Assembly building, houses the debating chamber and three committee rooms for the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff
26 Tree a sudden wind upended (5)
TSUGA: A-GUST reversed; a genus of conifers;
27 Footballer’s endless complaint (5)
WINGE: WINGE(r);
29 Recipe requiring fish to be turned over in oven (4)
LEER; R-EEL reversed; recipe=R; an oven in which glassware is annealed