October 20th, 2019

  • glheard

Mephisto 3085 - Don Manley

A puzzle so nice I had to share it twice.

I'm off on a golf weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, and I thought I had brought my printed copy of the puzzle to write it up in a rare moment of sobriety, but it turns out that was not the case and I had to solve it over again.

From memory, it took me about 15 minutes, so I guess that is the equivalent of a Mephisto meutrino?

For Mephisto puzzles, all definitions (underlined) can be checked in Chambers, so in the blog I will focus on wordplay.

Away we go...

1 Idiot copper’s put into cell (5)
ASCUS - ASS(idiot) containing CU(copper)
6 First-class chums around at Oxford? (6)
SLAP-UP - reversal of PALS(chums) then UP(at Oxford)
11 Smart shelter redesigned, lined with a tough material (12, two words)
NEATS LEATHER - NEAT(smart) then an anagram of SHELTER containing A
12 Greek in one story one set of books covered (8)
ITALIOTE - I(one) and TALE(story) containing OT(set of books)
14 Small creatures in major road blocking vehicle (5)
ACARI - The A1(major road) containing CAR(vehicle)
15 Beginner is jovial when knocked over (4)
NOOB - BOON(jovial) reversed. A term possibly making its Sunday Times debut
16 Old money for one who’s helped make 11? (6)
TANNER - double definition, since 11 is leather
17 Artless young chap at home, dope of the upper-classes (6)
INGENU - IN(at home), GEN(dope), U(upper-class)
18 Botanical part's found in grit by lake (8)
STAMINAL - STAMINA(grit), L(lake)
23 Like some languages in journal lacking particular letters? (8)
JAPHETIC - J(journal), APHETIC(missing a vowel at the start of a word)
26 Arrive en masse fishing with banks to be avoided (6, two words)
ROLL IN - TROLLING(fishing) missing the first and last letters
27 Helmet made of gold coated with particular pigment (6)
HEAUME - AU(gold) inside HEME(pigment)
29 A rescuer of animals has tail cut off wild beast (4)
ANOA - A, NOAH(recuer of animals) missing the last letter
31 A never-ending dull task that’s done — no longer with a smile (5)
AGRIN - A, then GRIND(never-ending task) missing the last letter
32 New menu that is about to be offered — food may be presented thus (8)
MEUNIERE -  anagram of MENU then IE(that is), RE(about)
33 Liar currently succeeding with article — something hazy about that (12)
MISINFORMANT - IN FORM(currently succeeding), AN(article) inside MIST(something hazy)
34 Beer firm admitting contaminant finally? Fury is result (6)
ALECTO - ALE(beer) then CO(firm) containing the last letter in contaminanT
35 Special house staff, time-wasting group (5)
MANSE - MAN(staff) then SET(group) without T(time)

1 Woman in temple and saint set up sums for certain widows (6)
ANNATS - ANNA(the prophetess from the book of Luke), then ST(saint) reversed
2 Fish about to be brought into stations (7, two words)
SEA CATS - CA(about) inside SEATS(stations
3 Chalet in July/August period in biblical location (6)
CABANA - AB(July and August in the Jewish calendar) inside CANA(biblical location)
4 Vengeance shown by sailors in a complete reversal (5)
U-TURN - UTU(vengeance) then RN(sailors)
5 Alien can’t learn English? Special training needed (10)
ALTERNANCE - anagram of CANT,LEARN then E(English)
7 Sing of a land divorced from reality? (4)
LA-LA - double definition (the second referring to LA-LA LAND)
8 Excited, sitting by the fire? (7)
ATINGLE - sittinng by the fire you may be AT INGLE
9 Hope abandoned with nothing gained, end of story? Nonsense! (6)
PHOOEY - anagram of HOPE containing O(nothing), then the last letter in storY
10 Presumably bust, in need of alms somehow — somehow secure earlier? (6)
PRE-BUY - anagram of PRESUMABLY minus ALMS
13 Something unimportant making one terribly paranoid — stop getting involved (10)
ADIAPHORON - anagram of PARANOID containing HO
19 Black male with vigour and style in charge (7)
MELANIC - M(male), ELAN(vigour and style), IC(in charge)
20 Man is repeatedly confused with apes (7)
SIMIANS - anagram of MAN, IS,IS
21 Grass in school overlooking river (6)
GRAMMA - GRAMMAR school missing R(river)
22 Loud insect makes splash (6)
FLOUSE - F(loud), LOUSE(insect)
24 Old Muslim not wanting Sikh symbol gets to prohibit … this? (6)
TURBAN - TURK(old Muslim) missing one of the five K's (Sikh symbol)
25 Church getting to mark place of sacrifice? (6)
CENOTE - CE(church), NOTE(mark)
28 Lizard eaten by stag — amazing! (5)
AGAMA - hidden inside stAG AMAzing
30 Six no trumps in a card game (4)
VINT - VI(six) NT(no trumps)

Sunday Times 4872 by Robert Price

7:09. A pretty easy one from Bob this week, but none the worse for that. There are lots of fun and creative clues in here, starting with a neat ‘answer as clue’ number at 1ac (which I didn’t get immediately), and then a witty device at 5ac. Nothing is particularly hard, but I found myself repeatedly thinking ‘oh well done’ as the pennies dropped in fairly quick succession. Saturday’s (12 October) was a complete beast of a puzzle so this was a welcome contrast.

My only unknown was 3dn BOOKLOUSE. I had bunged in WOODLOUSE as the only possible wee beastie that could fit, which made 1ac a bit tricky, but fortunately something in my speed-solving brain registered that WOOD didn’t really work for ‘reserve’ and I reconsidered quite quickly.

So thanks to Bob for a very enjoyable puzzle, and here’s how I think it all works.

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

1 Clue to patients’ accommodation problem
DRAWBACK - DRAW BACK is WARD, so the answer is a clue to ‘patient’s accommodation’. Nice.
5 Extravagant high-five!
SLAP-UP - because a high five is a (hand) slap in the air (up). Also nice.
9 Dry European drink in greenish-blue
10 Office equipment that is right next to PC
11 Watch heads of government in lectures on sex
VIGIL - VI, first letters of government in lectures. ‘Sex’ (six in Latin) for VI is becoming quite commonplace.
12 Disorganised leader to host a quiet venture
14 Cut down on Geordie sides to suppress incompetence
USELESSNESS - USE LESS (cut down on), NE (Geordie), SuppresS.
18 Comic accepts change to Melchester’s first daydreamer
WALTER MITTY - W(ALTER, Melchester)ITTY. How old do you have to be to remember Roy of the Rovers, I wonder?
21 Fan of old farm equipment
23 Big beast in foreign river
HIPPO - HIP (in), PO (foreign river).
24 Line showing pressure of abrasion, endlessly repaired
25 Twisting cap in hands, check clothes
SCREW TOP - S(CREW)TOP. The hands are the CREW, and STOP (check) is ‘clothing’ them. A lovely clue where the surface is completely at odds with the wordplay.
26 Part of plant in which stewed meat is tinned?
STAMEN - (MEAT)* contained in SN (the chemical symbol for tin). Excellent stuff.
27 Painter needing frames someone locked away
INTERNEE - contained in ‘painter needing’.

1 A case of Garland’s last musical making a comeback
DATIVE - garlanD, reversal of EVITA (musical).
2 Exact payment for archdeacon’s time touring
AVENGE - A(VEN)GE. I know from doing these things that VEN (venerable) is a title given to an archdeacon, but I don’t really know what an archdeacon is.
3 Tiny animal reserve close to small river
4 Doctor clears them around hotel in case a nut goes inside
CRASH HELMET - (CLEARS THEM)* containing H (hotel).
6 Creamy mixture tipped on a sponge
LOOFA - reversal of FOOL (creamy mixture), A. I went through a phase of making FOOLs a few years ago. You can make them with cream or custard. The former is a lot easier.
7 Minister mostly collects tax for servicemen
8 Spectacle that moves around is promised land
13 Travelling to Peru in car from San Juan?
15 Power over Lancashire? That makes me smile
SAY CHEESE - SAY (influence, power), CHEESE. Mmm, Kirkham’s Lancashire...
16 Singular couples taking in little darlings
17 Request that God divides wealth
PLETHORA - PLE(THOR)A. Other Avengers are available.
19 Perfect time to interrupt kiss and cuddle
SPOT-ON - SPO(T)ON. SPOON for snog, or something similar, came up the other day and triggered some discussion.
20 Rug to go under end of bureau
TOUPEE - TO, bureaU, PEE.
22 Native American wanting horse with speed