June 2nd, 2019

Mephisto 3065 - Tim Moorey

Tim Moorey tends to scatter some pop culture and sports references through his puzzles and this one has double cricket and double football (maybe a hat tip to the World Cup of cricket and the Champions League final, the latter of which ended a few minutes before I started writing this). I did not know one of the football references and had to use it to check my answer.

Since I jumped on those references, I flew through this one, so a good Mephisto for those new to the series. Speaking of new to the series, all definitions can be verified in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay here, and only mention the underlined definitions if I think something may need clearing up.

Away we go...

1 Middle-Easterner said to be in a pub, wet (8)
BAHRAINI - sounds like BAR(pub), RAINY(wet)
7 Since no longer used, import not concluded (4)
SENS - SENSE(import, importance) missing the last letter
10 No Parking in rise is a policy reversal (5)
U-TURN -  remove P(parking) from UPTURN(rise)
11 Pen myth about sexy girl (7)
NYMPHET - anagram of PEN,MYTH
13 Row with footballer perhaps left out — he must settle tax bills (9)
RATEPAYER - RATE(row, chide, scold), PLAYER(footballer) missing L(left)
14 Clubs to break old rule for French writer (6)
RACINE - C(clubs) inside RAINE(old spelling of REIGN, rule)
16 Person at square one not half taken aback by protuberances (4)
INIA - clever clue - since 1 across is BAHRAINI, then INIA is hidden in it reversed
17 Network screens so much of a strip (6)
LATHEN - LAN(computer network) containing THE(so much)
18 England opener’s smashing cricket shot (11)
TRESCOTHICK - anagram of CRICKET,SHOT for former English Test opener, Marcus
20 One’s absorbed by soft and hard hats for cricketers (11)
PACEBOWLERS - ACE(one) inside P(soft) and BOWLERS(hard hats)
23 Free party in smallest room gets squid (6)
LOLIGO - LIG(freeloader at catering) inside LOO(smallest room)
25 Not entirely cool person in jug (4)
OLPE - hidden inside coOL PErson
27 Dress nattier with no end of satin? (6)
ATTIRE - anagram of NATTIER missing the last letter of satiN - dress doing a little double duty here, which is why the question mark
29 Erratic alto surprisingly outside on pedestals (9)
ACROTERIA - anagram of ERRATIC,A(alto) surrounding O(on)
30 Lord’s back, fat and stupid (7)
DULLARD - LUD(lord) reversed then LARD(fat)
31 Hard work as before, Harry of Spurs and England’s special up front (5)
SWINK - the footballer who plays for Tottenham and England is Harry WINKS - move the S(special) to the front
32 Hospital supplies coming from Sweden are defective (4)
SERA - S(Sweden) then an anagram of ARE
33 Head admits good attack upset reserves (8)
NEST EGGS - this is only given as two words in Chambers. NESS(head) containing G(good), GET(attack) reversed

1 Rough sound made by donkey on losing tail? (4)
BURR - BURRO(donkey) missing the last letter
2 A time for Pastor in sole US city (7)
ATLANTA - A then T(time) replacing P(pastor) in PLANTA(sole)
3 Injured right away getting round pit lined with stones (9)
HUT-CIRCLE - HURT(injured) missing the R(right) then CIRCLE(round)
4 Fruit and nuts not started (6)
ANANAS - BANANAS(nuts) missing the first letter
5 Bury more acceptable for a heat exchanger (11)
INTERCOOLER - INTER(bury), COOLER(more acceptable)
6 Warriors involved in counter-claim pilloried (4)
IMPI - hidden inside counter-claIM PIlloried
7 Old battle-axe in dispute beginning to trouble husband (6)
SPARTH - SPAR(dispute), then the first letter in Trouble, H(husband)
8 Boy reportedly discarded sharp instrument (5)
NEELE - sounds like NEIL(boy)
9 Dot in Perth has ring about right (8)
STRINKLE - 'S, then TINKLE(ring) surrounding R(right)
12 Chicken and duck from France (not North America) getting official cautions (11, two words)
YELLOW CARDS - YELLOW(chicken, coward) then CANARDS(duck) missing NA(North America)
15 Beetle in brief trip ahead of international sport (9)
WHIRLIGIG - WHIRL(brief trip), then I(international) GIG(sport, fun)
16 Emperor comes first and sues (8)
IMPLEADS - IMP(imperator, eperor) then LEADS(comes first)
19 Century knock grips new Surrey supporter? (7)
CSPRING - C(100, Century), then SPRIG(knock, nail) surrounding N(new)
21 With love for bit of sketching, ladies coloured images (6)
EIDOLA - insert O and remove S(ketching) iin LADIES and then anagram
22 Do filling roll for a string player (6)
LUTIST - UT(do in music) inside LIST(roll)
24 In the past guards united at the right time (5, two words)
ON CUE - ONCE(in the past) surrounding U(united)
26 Mark gives up independence for another guy (4)
STAN - STAIN(mark) missing I(independence)
28 County leaving out second-class chaps in forces (4)
ERKS -  BERKS county missing B(second-class)

Sunday Times 4852 by Dean Mayer

21:23. This was a superb puzzle, I thought. Vintage Dean, with loads of clues that I had to look at three or four times before they succumbed, and with lots of ‘eureka’ moments along the way. And a few of the best kind of clues that don’t even look cryptic when you first look at them.

So many thanks to Dean for twenty minutes of entertainment, and here’s how I reckon it all works…

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

1 Cry with pain
WAIL - W, AIL. It doesn’t look like a cryptic clue, but it is.
4 Iron skirt and tiny pants that she has?
FEMININITY - FE, MINI, (TINY)*. You could call this semi-&Lit, depending on your taste in clothes.
9 Running off isn’t held in high regard
ADMINISTRATION - (ISNT)* contained in ADMIRATION. The way the cryptic elements are hidden in a completely plausible surface reading here is excellent.
10 Very narrow lane, one running between hills
11 Passing light over pipe
ELAPSING - reversal of PALE, SING.
13 This is mostly put on for men
14 My doctor’s intention — a lot of mistakes
CORRIGENDA - COR (my), RIG (doctor), END (intention), A.
16 Trio’s appeal to enter Fight Club
FRATERNITY - FRA(TERN, IT)Y. TERN is a rare (Collins) word for a ‘group of three’. Not one I knew, but given the other elements in the clue it seemed clear what the answer was.
18 Drop and shatter
DASH - DD. I have a bit of a bugbear about double definitions: I dislike them when they are difficult only because one of the meanings is hopelessly obscure, so that you end up just bunging in the answer based on one of the definitions and hoping or the best. This clue is not that. It uses the fact that everyday words have different meanings to bamboozle you, but when you make the right connections you are entirely sure of the answer.
19 Old poetry equally exotic?
21 Apple seed has phosphorous in
PIPPIN - PIP (seed), P (phosphorous), IN.
22 Beachwear showing wobbly parts of bodies
SWIMMING TRUNKS - I’m not sure of the exact equivalence between ‘wobbly’ and SWIMMING: you might feel the former while your head is doing the latter, but is that the same thing? The ideas are close, at least.
24 Make quiet arrangements with sadness
25 Food kept by white couple, you might say
YOLK - sounds like ‘yoke’ (couple). Very nicely disguised definition.

2 White flower, one created by boffins?
ALABASTER - or A LAB ASTER, geddit? A little bit corny but brilliant.
3 Spill jam? Flimsier sandwiches
LAMPLIGHTER - LAM(PLIGHT)ER. This was my last in, and I hesitated for ages before finally putting it in, faute de mieux. If I hadn’t been designated blogger I would have left it at that, but I kept thinking about it dutifully until finally I realised that ‘jam’ was PLIGHT and so ‘flimsier’ wasn’t LIGHTER after all. Doh!
4 Find attractive youth leaving home
FANCY - inFANCY. Cryptically X leaving Y can mean either Y without X or X without Y. I find the former the more natural reading but this isn’t a court of law so either has equal validity.
5 To plug damage, uses liquid rubber
MASSEUR - MAR containing (USES)*.
6 Royal Mint’s unorthodox routine
7 Head teachers?
NUT - DD. Not sure the question mark is necessary.
8 Unsure about husband’s old letter
THORN - T(H)ORN. The old English letter þ, representing the sound ‘th’, which survives anachronistically as a Y for reasons that are lost in the history of pub signage.
12 Go very cheaply
SPEND A PENNY - CD. A euphemistic expression dating from the days when public loos were coin-operated.
14 Prayer wheels crack after Mass
CARMELITE - CAR (wheels), M, ELITE (crack). I confess I googled CARMELITE to see if it was a form of prayer before I realised that the ‘prayer’ is a person.
15 One’s given spades in awful cards
DISMISSAL - DISM(I'S, S)AL. 'Cards' are 'an employee's national insurance and other documents held by the employer' (Collins) and to 'get ones cards' is to be fired.
17 Sound of egg on penetration
INSIGHT - sounds like 'incite' (egg on).
20 I, for one, love dancing around wife
VOWEL - (LOVE)* containing W.
21 Crew push the boat out
23 Mum’s new bloke
MAN - MA, N.