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August 25th, 2019

Mephisto 3077 - Tim Moorey

I found this one a touch more tricky than recent Mephistos, and my last one in was the place name across the top with which I was not familiar.

Usually I find Tim Moorey's wordplay the most easy to follow of the trio of Mephisto setters, but I have a few that do not make crystal clear sense to me.

Definitions can be verified in Chambers, and so I will focus on the wordplay in the clues.

Away we go...

Across
1 What’s beginning no longer used in expression? (3)
ORD - I read this one as an all-in-one where the entire clue is a definition of ORD(archaic word for beginning) and the wordplay is the first letter of What missing from WORD(expression)
3 America behind, once shone in a Mediterranean island (9)
LAMPEDUSA - USA(America) after LAMPED(shone)
9 Agree to tackle a bit for broadcast in a harmonious way (10)
COMPATIBLY - COMPLY(agree) containing an anagram of A,BIT
10 Nick sharing a list about segments of a tapeworm (8)
STROBILA - ROB(nick) inside an anagram of A,LIST
12 City meet Palace (6)
ELYSEE - ELY(City), SEE(meet)
13 After nothing leaks, sort of serious going! (6)
URESIS - anagram of SERIOUS missing O(nothing) - referring to going to the toilet
17 Support from the President? Two seconds for say, Corbyn! (5)
TRUSS - Sigh... the current Presidumb of my adopted homeland the USA is Donald J TRUMP - put two S's (seconds) where Corbyn the MP was
19 Food container for privates (8)
LUNCHBOX - double definition, the second referring to genitalia
20 Broom out of the ordinary on terribly rich soil (8)
BESMIRCH - this was tricky wordplay - BESOM(broom)
21 Showing surprise, say about Scottish rustic ending early (5)
EHING - EG(say) surrounding HIND(rustic) missing the last letter
23 Fellow Republican coming over for a drink (6)
PERNOD - DON(fellow), REP(republican) all reversed. I don't think I have ever tried this, but the name of the drink is forever in my brain from reading Michael Moorcock novels as a child
24 Press hack (6)
MANGLE - double definition
26 Settled fight stopping notable achievement (8)
DEFRAYED - FRAY(fight) inside DEED(notable achievement)
27 Sellers perhaps best to state opinion openly (10, three words)
GO ON RECORD - Peter Sellers was a GOON, then RECORD(best)
28 Remote security exposes something hidden by competitor (9)
OUT-SENTRY -  OUTS(exposes somehing hidden), ENTRY(competitor)
29 Second question is about a holy city (3)
QOM - MO(second), Q(Question) reversed

Down
1 Lichen is situated over in border (8)
ORSEILLE - LIES(is situated) reversed inside ORLE(heraldic border)
2 Some fail to remember soaring weight in say, Syria (4)
ROTL - hidden reversed in faiL TO Remember
3 Unattached ministers touring Norway — they could go off anywhere (12, two words)
LOOSE CANNONS - LOOSE(unattached), CANONS(ministers) surrounding N(Norway)
4 Colour of sheep-farmer long forgotten (5)
AMBER - LAMBER(sheep farmer) missing L(long)
5 Poor Paul has bout of malaria (8)
PALUDOSE - anagram of PAUL then DOSE(bout)
6 Edition entered in log is distracting (12)
DIVERSIONARY - VERSION(edition) inside DIARY(log)
7 New Airbus catching up as mentioned above (8, two words)
UBI SUPRA - anagram of AIRBUS containing UP
8 Heard detectives giving expressions of approval (4)
AYES - sounds like private EYES(detective)
11 Second boring piece cut (6)
BISECT - SEC(second) inside BIT(piece)
14 Pity about female candidate in US (6)
RUSHEE - RUE(pity) surrounding SHE(female) - candidate for joining a fraternity or sorority
15 No hint of doubt, tradition works against violent action (8)
ANTIRIOT - remove D(oubt) from TRADITION and anagram
16 Eve supports unkempt beard for Angus’s partner (8)
ABERDEEN - EEN(eve, evening), under an anagram of BEARD
18 Gin fraud passed quickly over internally (8)
SCHIEDAM - SCAM(fraud) containing HIED(passed quickly)
22 Great recipe for Jews primarily producing Passover dish (5)
MAROR - MAJOR(great) with R(recipe) replacing J(ews)
23 Stick with Ohio Republican party needing a boost (4)
POGO - O(Ohio) and GOP(Republican party) all reversed
25 Jerry-built, nothing put on at the top (4)
LEGO - O(nothing) with LEG(on side in cricket)

Sunday Times 4864 by Dean Mayer

14:35. This was pretty much the perfect Sunday puzzle: not too easy, not too hard, full of concise and witty clues. Just what I wanted with my coffee on a Sunday morning before a full day of tedious admin I had put off for too long.

I’m not too keen on clues like 1ac: you really have to know the not-exactly-commonplace rock to have a chance of solving the clue. But it’s come up a few times before in these puzzles so it didn’t cause me a problem.

Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated like (TIHS)*, anagram indicators are in italics.

Across
1 Rock that’s good to listen to
GNEISS - sounds like ‘nice’. If I were the editor I would ask setters to reconsider clues like this, but thankfully for all concerned I’m not.
5 Longs to enter place where sailor keeps things
SEA CHEST - SE(ACHES)T. My first thought was that this would be ITCHES contained in a word for ‘put’, and when that didn’t work I moved on. I was closer than I realised.
9 Charm one’s way in?
ENTRANCE - DD.
10 Fainting when wife has nothing on
ASWOON - a straight charade: AS, W, O, ON.
11 Mountain climber grabbing holds
BERG - contained in ‘climber grabbing.’
12 Actually popular business
IN PRACTICE - IN (popular), PRACTICE (the business of a professional: doctor, barrister, accountant etc).
13 Tool one wants to break
TENON SAW - (ONE WANTS)*.
15 American first-class train?
DOPE - or DO PE. A word for ‘excellent’ that might typically be used to describe the rhymes that a notably fresh MC spits.
17 Diplomat’s dismissed over something sinful
ENVY - ENVoY.
19 Tailless animal carried in tired arms
WEAPONRY - WEA(PONy)RY.
20 Do in?
HOUSE PARTY - CD.
21 Smooth, hard track
PATH - PAT, H. PAT for ‘smooth’ seems a bit oblique to me, but certainly I can think of cases where patting would achieve a smoothing effect.
22 No point of view about inventor
EDISON - reversal of NO, SIDE, which is also what they say at the end of a rugby match I believe.
23 He cannot possibly work with tiny things
NANOTECH - (HE CANNOT)*.
24 To see the girl in one place
TOGETHER - TO, GET (understand, see), HER.
25 Dig up old philosopher
EXHUME - or EX HUME.

Down
2 New plan to join old video game maker
NINTENDO - N, INTEND, O. Other brands are available.
3 Dress put in steaming water
IRRIGATE - IR(RIG)ATE.
4 Time to hide one’s feelings?
SENTIENCE - SENT(I)ENCE.
5 One makes money out of it?
SLEEPING PARTNER - CD. 'Out of it' as in asleep, obvs.
6 Profitable business needing lower maintenance?
CASH COW - another CD. A ‘cash cow’ is one corner of the old BCG matrix which also features stars, dogs and question marks.
7 One book about hoax email content?
EMOTICON - reversal of I, TOME, CON (hoax).
8 X refuse to accept C being bent
TENDENCY - TEN (X), DEN(C)Y.
14 Anyone can suspect pain
ANNOYANCE - (ANYONE CAN)*.
15 Rickety shed — it is most attractive
DISHIEST - (SHED IT IS)*.
16 Reading through and getting through
PERUSING - PER (through), USING (getting through).
17 Cheap yet fancy part of pirate costume
EYEPATCH - (CHEAP YET)*.
18 Vessel rounding island, one with voyage provisions
VIATICUM - V(I)AT, I, CUM (with). ‘Provisions or a travel allowance for a journey,’ apparently. News to me.
19 Remove small ambiguity in speech
WEED OUT - sounds like ‘wee doubt.’