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October 13th, 2019

Mephisto 3084 - Paul McKenna

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.

A puzzle of no more than average difficulty but the parsing of 1A has defeated me. All offers gratefully received.

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

ACROSS

1 Flight from Spain initially heading 180° — hold this course (6)

ESCAPE: I can’t see the wordplay – sorry.

7 Grant not quite covering pastoral poem scanned by old poet (6)

COATED: C(OAT)ED(e); CEDE=grant; OAT=pastoral poem;

13 Harry in essence gives rent historically based on stock (7)

CORNAGE: COR(NAG)E;

14 Sermon about stone dropping from repair (7)

ORATION: (re-st)ORATION;

15 Pigeon belonging to you and me in Georgia (5)

GOURA: G(OUR)A;

16 Projects crown in distinguished society (7)

SCREENS: S(CR)EEN-S;

18 Henry, somewhat critical bloke clutching cocaine — jerk (5)

HOICK: H-OI(C)K;

19 Become aware of light trail in position of contact (6, two words)

WAKE,TO: WAKE-TO; trail=WAKE;

21 Bear that rallying in court (8, three words)

AT,THE,BAR: (bear that)*;

24 Possibly pedometer is really more prudent (8)

WAYWISER: WAY-WISER;

25 Light traces of silk transform dress (6)

STROBE: S(ilk)-T(ransform)-ROBE;

28 Pollution in second Highland town (5)

STAIN: S-TAIN; TAIN=lovely old town in Ross;

30 Reflecting on stylish and grand European church first (7)

ECHOING: E-CH-O-IN-G;

32 Harness Baroque amorino (5)

PUTTO: PUT-TO;

33 Scots show press Irish woman who must work (7)

SHAWLIE: SHAW-LIE; Mollie Malone;

34 Little air? Loosen attire that winds up attendee (7)

ARIETTE: (attire)*-(attende)E;

35 M— is winding out of Hampshire, possibly giving alternate junction (6)

RHAPHE: (Hampshire - m - is)*;

36 Uniform beside Merchant Navy po (6)

SOLEMN: SOLE-MN;

DOWN

2 Byzantine art’s about embracing senseless state’s warts and all (9)

SARCOMATA: (arts)*-A surrounds COMA; about=A;

3 I put in Scots for Enzedder’s chatty definition (7)

CLARITY: CLAR(I)TY; chatty=lousy in NZ, CLARTY=dirty in Dundee;

4 Old Mexican pair fix a mast which keeps you going (12, two words)

AZTEC, TWO-STEP; AZTEC-TWO-STEP; fix a mast=STEP; Montezuma’s revenge

5 Danseur’s movement worked at constantly wanting depth (4)

PLIE: PLIE(d);

6 Cute son bolting greens to an excessive degree (7)

ECONUTS: (cute son)*;

8 Prior pope tipped for free celebrations (5)

ORGIA: (b)ORGIA;

9 Beast understanding to beat mostly old staff (12, three words)

AN,OAKEN,TOWEL: ANOA-KEN-TO-WEL(t); ANOA=wild ox; old cudgel;

10 Very dense cove concealing a crate (5)

TAUBE: T(A)UBE; a pre-WWI monoplane, the first military aeroplane to be mass-produced in Germany

11 Favourite / old salt (4)

DEAR: two meanings

12 We don’t appear fit Home Secretary admitted in reversal (7)

NO-SHOWS; SWO(HS)ON all reversed;

17 Potty lists with main political policy (9)

STALINISM: (lists main)*;

20 Old files bearing fruit (7)

ORANGES: O-RANGE-S;

22 More than one Charlie, say, boarding eastern trains (7)

TEACHES: T(E)ACHES; Charlie (Chaplin)=moustache=TACHE;

23 Way to read that’s raised support for fine Parisian lass (7)

BRAILLE: F-ILLE becomes BRA-ILLE;

26 Even places in free Attica show networks (5)

RETIA: hidden even letters (f)R(e)E-(a)T(t)I(c)A;

27 Benefit close to British stall (5)

BOOTH: BOOT-(Britis)H; BOOT=benefit;

29 Gaff, say, is standard (4)

SPAR: S-PAR;

31 Alas, no longer such a roar sustains it (4)

HARO: hidden (suc)H-A-RO(ar);