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May 19th, 2019

Mephisto 3063 - Paul McKenna

Been kind of busy these last few weeks with the end of semester, a move and a play, so I didn't solve this one until just now. Had to laugh that my last entry involved a piece of wordplay I believe I have been called out on twice (Imperator for emperor)

Since this is Paul McKenna, a pun is to be expected across the first row, and there it is, for INTERVIEWS.

Definitions, which are underlined, can be confirmed in Chambers, so this blog will focus on wordplay.

Away we go...

Across
1 Stimulate pub, perhaps, by ever changing (7)
INNERVE -  INN(pub, perhaps), next to an anagram of EVER
6 Pronoun for some informally here in US service (5)
YOUSE - YO(informally "here" in the US), USE(service)
10 He favours flesh wobble, we hear, following excellent cut (9)
MEATEATER - sounds like TEETER(wobble) after MEAN(excellent) missing the last letter
11 Very good Latin for one who wasn’t amused, an old monarch (6)
SOVRAN - SO(very good), VR(the Latin for Queen Victoria), AN
12 Fine deer coming back finding land given to servicemen? (4)
FEOD - F(fine) then DOE(deer, a female deer) reversed
14 El Papa is one right into delegate in Rome finally (9)
ARGENTINE - R(right) inside AGENT(delegate) then IN, and the last letter of romE. Reference to Pope Francis who is from Argentina
16 I know beforehand I’m admired without judgement (4)
ICON - I, then CON(old world for know)
18 She lectures on fieldwork, mostly going west (6)
READER - RE(on) then the fieldwork is REDAN - remove the last letter and reverse it
19 Fast track career from GP beginning with absolute kindness (8, two words)
DRAG RACE - DR(GP), first letter in Absolute, then GRACE(kindness)
21 Religious jurisdiction is cautious about what spell contains (8)
CHAPELRY - CHARY(cautious) surrounding the middle letters in sPELl
23 Italian copper, antimony, and iridium run out (6)
SBIRRO - SB(antimony), IR(iridium), RO(run out in cricket)
24 Para Handy’s incandescent in the hold perhaps (4)
ALOW - double definition, Scots for ablze - in the hold of a ship
26 Employee’s final cutting fluke with my mere profile (9, two words)
BARE BONES - last letter in employeE inside BARB(a fluke is the BARB of an anchor), ONES(my)
29 Grampa Simpson, among others, died laid up (4)
ABED - In the long-running animated TV show, the grandfather is ABE Simpson, then D(died)
30 What tops espresso but a gold liquid which is thick? (6)
CREMOR - a philistine may put CREAM on top to make an espresso con panna. Remove the A, then add OR(gold)
31 Firmly question murderer about quiet American nut (9)
CHINCAPIN - CHIN(firmly question), then CAIN(murderer) surrounding P(quiet)
32 Japanese art’s purpose? Slashing a winning blow (5)
KENDO - END(purpose) inside KO(winning blow)
33 These are chunderous tourists one month off entering inch (7)
EMETINS - the tourists are EMMETS, remove one M and insert IN(inch)

Down
1 Ego upsetting one hard sergeant-major may get you this! (5)
IMSHI - I(ego) then a reversal of I(one), H(hard), SM(sargeant-major)
2 Service digger wanting third (4)
NAVY - NAVVY(hole digger) missing the third letter
3 Somehow get nearer outsider from Rouen? (9)
ETRANGERE - anagram of GET,NEARER
4 Take cap discarded from more posh parent (6)
REARER - R(recipe, take), then DEARER(more posh) missing the first letter
5 Crabbit sort’s preferable twa-handed drinker with no breadth (8)
ETTERCAP - BETTER(preferable), CAP(two-handed cup) missing B(breadth)
6 Yes voter with term for Remain breed (4)
YEAN - YEA(yes voter), then the last letter in remaiN
7 You’re ideally stopping waste (6)
UREIDE - hidden in yoURE IDEally
8 Wallflower I caught in flipping harbour towns (9)
STONECROP - ONE(I), C(caught) inside PORTS(harbour towns) reversed
9 Silver tree borders on lovely (7)
ELDERLY - ELDER(tree) then the outside letters in LovelY
13 Card containing area suited to scoring? (9)
SCRIBABLE - SCRIBBLE(card, comb wool) containing A(area)
15 Rest a steak transforming taste? (9, three words)
TAKE A SEAT - anagram of A,STEAK, then EAT(taste)
17 Airline attraction that is behind in Bannockburn (8)
BAHOOKIE - BA(British Airways), then HOOK(attraction), IE(that is)
19 Ship to where Charon takes you? Forgotten land (7)
DISBARK - Charon's ship could be the DIS BARK
20 Old slave women’s anger during work (6, two words)
WIRE IN - W(women), IRE(anger), IN(during work)
22 Thrust pawn, say, to capture rook (6)
PIERCE - the pawn is a chess PIECE, insert R(rook)
25 Tips off before going into branch of the wartime Navy (5)
WARNS - A(before) inside WRNS(Women's Royal Navy Service)
27 Fashion-eschewing itinerant trading odd bits (4)
BOHO - HOBO(itinerant) with the first two and last two letters swapped
28 Roman emperor shortly back from Dobunni fighters (4)
IMPI - IMP(Imperator, emperor), then the last letter in dobunnI

Sunday Times 4850 by David McLean

8m. A gentle one this week. No unknowns for me, although the answer at 22ac is one of those (many) things I think I only know from crosswords.

Not much more to say on this and I’ve left it late in the week so I’ll just get on with it.

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


Across
1 Dodgy hip concerns king, being this?
NO SPRING CHICKEN - (HIP CONCERNS KING)*.
9 Up-for-lease houses close to clear stream
TORRENT - TO R(cleaR)ENT.
10 Grip fiddled with lens cap
ENCLASP - (LENS CAP)*.
11 Unhappy private duke sent to the front
DOWN - OWN (private) with D (duke) ‘sent the front’. Nice clue.
12 Can pupils cross by end of street, one asks
SUPPLICANT - (CAN PUPILS)*, streeT. Slightly odd this one as the CAN part of the anagrist isn't mixed up.
13 Big change for small headline in Fish Monthly?
SHAKE-UP - S for small, and then an imagined headline in a fish-related newspaper: HAKE UP. An unlikely headline, sadly, since hake is overfished.
15 River policemen powerless to net anglers?
REELERS - R, pEELERS. The original English policemen named after Sir Robert Peel, of course.
17 Turning more pasty, starts to sicken experiencing this
RELAPSE - reversal of PALER, Sicken, Experiencing. Semi-&Lit.
19 Small store ultimately cuts prices for Pampers
COSSETS - COS(S, storE)TS. This clue relies on the convention that you can capitalise a common noun (because you do so at the beginning of a sentence) but you can’t uncapitalise a proper one.
20 A line crossed by nudist in Darwin?
NATURALIST - NATUR(A, L)IST. Definition by example, as signalled by the question mark.
22 Some big bonnie people abroad
IGBO - contained in ‘big bonnie’. A people of Eastern Nigeria and their language.
25 Limits restricting republican artist’s commissions
ERRANDS - E(R, RA)NDS.
26 Men network at party in southeastern city
ORLANDO - OR (other ranks, men), LAN (local area network), DO (party).
27 Shabby drunk
THE WORSE FOR WEAR - DD.

Down
1 Well-known as a composer’s work
NOTED - two definitions, one very slightly cryptic.
2 Crazy party for prison officers?
SCREWBALL - or SCREW BALL.
3 Head of espionage to probe commie grass
REED - RE(Espionage)D or R(Espionage)ED. Take your pick.
4 The kind of contract that many left-wing Americans desire?
NO-TRUMP - a bridge term. It’s not just Americans.
5 Climber and soldiers look cold on ascent
CREEPER - reversal (ascent) of RE, PEER, C.
6 Feeling of irritation in chest is awful
ITCHINESS - (IN CHEST IS)*.
7 Tree-hugger fine about hugging a laurel finally
KOALA - AOK (fine) containing A, laureL.
8 Those from whom relative may receive post?
NEPOTISTS - barely cryptic definition.
13 Uncompromising series on hospital department
STRINGENT - STRING (series), ENT (ear nose and throat).
14 Neat prose could be translated into this
ESPERANTO - (NEAT PROSE)*. &Lit.
16 Coming endless crisis? Not the last for EU
EMERGENCE - EMERGENCy, Eu.
18 Heel finally heals after nurse gets involved
ENLISTS - EN (enrolled nurse), LIST (heel), healS.
19 Bag up aristocrat’s discarded garment
CASTOFF - reversal (up) of SAC, TOFF.
21 Sweet energy drink brought round to take on run (5)
TORTE - reversal (brought round) of E, TOT containing R.
23 Sullen following of leader creates a stink
ODOUR - Of, DOUR.
24 Slight sirens luring transports
SLUR - contained in ‘sirens luring’. In the dailies two straight containment clues aren’t allowed in the same puzzle but this is Sunday and the rules are less rigid.