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July 7th, 2019

Mephisto 3070 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. 13A is a perfect example.

I found this puzzle a bit easier than average and the grid rather like four mini crosswords

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

ACROSS

1 Discover Devonian chap maybe, no artist (3)

SPY: SP(RA)Y; West Country dialect for person = spray;

6 Cloth to lose distinct shape, being worn (6)

MELTON: MELT-ON; cloth from Melton Mobray;

10 Barrel or cask, a superior gift (6)

CADEAU: CADE-A-U; barrel or cask = CADE;

11 Each expert collects prize (6, two words)

APIECE: A(PIE)CE;

13 Fellow in a ceremony makes one glance (9)

ARGENTITE: A-R(GENT)ITE; In mineralogy, ARGENTITE is cubic silver sulfide (Ag2S), known as glance, which can only exist at temperatures above 179 °C. When it cools to ordinary temperatures it turns into its monoclinic polymorph, acanthite.

14 Some crooked nutcase going round, not straight (4)

UNDE: hidden reversed (esact)UN-DE(koorc);

15 Notes skimpy attire on modern miss (6)

MINIMS: MINI-MS;

16 American protection coming to you and me (6)

USWARD: US-WARD;

18 Music’s ultimate composer took the initiative and suddenly turned up (10)

CHANDELLED: (musi)C-HANDEL-LED; sudden, steep climbing turn of an aircraft

19 Extinct mammals absent, in a place below the earth (10)

DINOTHERES: DI(NOT-HERE)S; hell=DIS; any elephantlike mammal of the extinct genus Dinotherium, from the later Tertiary Period of Europe and Asia, having large, outwardly curving tusks

25 Very good old-fashioned nonsense — thanks! (6)

BOSHTA: BOSH-TA;

26 Sick girl rolling over? It’s the pasta (6)

ANELLI: ILL-ENA reversed;

27 Individual may catch cold at any time (4)

ONCE: ON(C)E;

28 Vehicle rushed round in a shower (9)

AEROTRAIN: A-TORE reversed – RAIN; The Aérotrain was an experimental Tracked Air Cushion Vehicle (hover-train) developed in France from 1965 to 1977 under the engineering leadership of Jean Bertin (1917-1975)

29 Singing fisherman / gets very dirty (6)

GRIMES: two meanings; reference Peter Grimes;

30 Like some natives abused in USA, retaining nothing (6)

SIOUAN: (in USA)* contains “o”;

31 Son has a box, having lost special bag (6)

SACHET: S-A-CHE(S)T;

32 Prince denied king’s collection (3)

ANA: (R)-ANA;

DOWN

1 Group of swimmers seeing second foolish flier heading off (6)

SCARUS: S-(I)CARUS; a genus of parrotfish

2 Church member Norm is greeting one before start of requiem (11)

PARISHIONER: PAR-IS-HI-ONE-R(equiem);

3 Happened to be joined to a husband in marriage (6)

BEENAH: BEEN-A-H;

4 Rodents possibly snarl at first sign of dog (8)

LAND-RATS: (snarl at d)*;

5 Dull Greek character, unruly adolescent once (5)

MUTED: MU-TED;

6 The writer squeezed by lass becomes injured (6)

MAIMED: MAI(ME)D;

7 Old body organ’s all in, done for, without energy (6)

LIENAL: (all in)* contains E=energy; without=outside

8 Some fungal structures are excellent, growing up in grass (6)

TELIAL: TEL(AI reversed)L;

9 Information introducing commercial making one old freshly despondent (6)

NEW-SAD: NEWS-AD;

12 Holiday site is in Brittany with endless laughing in the fields (11)

CAMPESTRIAN: CAMP-EST-RIAN(t);

17 Dealing with old age, with groin etc in trouble (8)

GERONTIC: (groin etc)*;

19 Awful snag, hollowed-out wood being used for bits of timber (6)

DWANGS: (snag wd)*; In construction, DWANGS are horizontal bracing pieces used between wall studs or floor joists to give rigidity to the wall or floor frames of a building

20 Intellectual observation — East will make advance (6)

NOETIC: observation=notice then move “e” to the left;

21 Old Irish sage gives a word of welcome, turning up to entertain maiden (6)

OLLAMH: HALLO reversed contains M; OLLAMH was the title of the highest degree in any art or profession

22 Jock’s collecting fine stuff to display on street (6)

HAIRST: HAIR-ST;

23 Swindler ruining soccer (6)

ESCROC: (soccer)*; French for a crook;

24 In Glasgow, must not mother and girl hide name? (6)

MAUNNA: MA-UN(N)A;

25 Startling sounds associated with drug and drink (5)

BOOSE: BOOS-E;