June 23rd, 2019

Jim and Mo

Mephisto 3068 by Tim Moorey

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. 4A is a perfect example.

I found this puzzle a bit harder than average

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


4 Costs to include one million for optically inactive mixtures (9)
RACEMATES: R(ACE-M)ATES; a racemic mixture is optically inactive because of its molecular structure
10 A stake once again in winter resort (8)
AVIEMORE: A-VIE-MORE; a town in the Cairngorms National Park, in the Scottish Highlands.
11 Fresh early on, Ann leaves Indian office (4)
12 Italian behind horse sedative (8)
BARBITAL: BARB-ITAL; BARB=horse; Barbital, marketed under the brand names Veronal for the pure acid and Medinal for the sodium salt, was the first commercially available barbiturate. It was used as a sleeping aid from 1903 until the mid-1950s.
13 Sure about areas of land in Shetland (4)
URES: (sure)*;
14 Back UK vote in front of Scotland’s leader? That’s bad in Perth (5)
ONKUS: UK-NO reversed-S(cotland);
15 Sort of bar to retain in towers (6)
MINARS: M(IN)ARS; battered Mars Bar is the unofficial national dish of Scotland
17 Stinking drunk outdoors after tons knocked back (7)
ODOROUS: (outdoors – t)*
20 Rural wrangling about one member of branch (7)
RAMULAR: (rural)* surrounds A-M;
23 Rope dance barred for an audience (7)
HAYBAND: HAY-sounds like “banned”;
27 Inferior Scottish trap, hell for leather at first (7)
SHILPIT: trap=shill then change final “l” to PIT=Hell;
28 Wrong about famous Doctor being reported — it’s a certainty (6)
SHOO-IN: SIN surrounds HOO which sounds like (Dr) WHO;
29 Sort of rice in shallow pan one’s extracted (5)
31 Cook brought back duck dish from Greece (4)
GIRO: RIG reversed-O; more usually “gyro”;
32 Standard celebrated around a number of stadia in Persia (8)
PARASANG: PAR-A-SANG; a historical Iranian unit of distance
33 Good internet service provider creating stir (4)
GAOL: G-AOL; stir=prison;
34 Linden found touching in story (8)
35 Deliberate damage done in idle talk (9)
PONDERATE: PRATE surrounds (done)*;


1 Timeless footwear in parties could be slippers (9)
BABOOSHES: BASHES surround BOO(t); a kind of slipper without quarters or heel, worn in Turkey
2 Drive a new vehicle endlessly around Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, say (7)
DVANDVA: DV-A-N-D-VA(n); drive=DV (as in street names); Germany=D; two words joined together to form a compound word;
3 Obscure Muslim ruler and king (4)
4 Plant again in February not following accepted ground (6)
REBURY: (February – f – a)*;
5 A weekday in Colombia with new footwear (7)
COTHURN: CO-THUR-N; a knee- or calf-length boot made of leather or cloth which laces closed, but is open across the toes
6 Song from honey is My Way essentially (7)
MELISMA: MEL-IS-M’-(w)A(y); M’=my as in M’ Lord; the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes
7 Hooked a dipstick that’s shortened (5)
8 After supply cut, able to work at high-speed (8)
TERAFLOP: (after)*-LOP; In computing, floating point operations per second is a measure of computer performance
9 Jugs seen in tight sweater (forgive a little tastelessness!) (5)
EWERS: (sweater – a – t)*;
16 Huge quiches coming up — that’s the plan (9)
18 Neat conclusion to Motley Fool, a figure of speech (8)
19 Father as before folds smart church vestment (7)
21 Wickedness hard to work out in a mother (7)
ADHARMA: A-(hard)*-MA;
22 American cotton worker is a rebel (7)
24 Missing tail coat located by poet (6)
PLASTE: PLASTE(r); Spenser for placed;
25 Hostage initially inside so long getting ready for China (5)
CHIAO: C(H)IAO; more usually jiao, a tenth of a yuan;
26 Suitable packaging left for yellow plant (5)
30 Take up bottom canvas sheet (4)
TARP: PRAT reversed;