November 10th, 2019

Jim and Mo

Mephisto 3088 - 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.  12A is a perfect example.

A puzzle of no more than average difficulty

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

ACROSS

5 After a cold, girl gets spicy cake (8)
CHILLADA: CHILL-ADA;
11 Attractive person is too much in hurry (6)
HOTTIE: H(OTT)IE; hurry=HIE;
12 Eggs, any number in store mostly used for making sort of cake (6)
POONAC: P(OO-N)AC(k);
13 A German gentleman with inner power in a team is amazing (12)
AWE-INSPIRING: A-W(EIN-S(P)IR)ING;
14 Boy to go wrong stuffing empty plaything with fabric (5)
TERRY: T(ERR)Y; TY from T(o)Y;
15 Japanese lord king gives the boot (5)
KAMIK: KAMI-K;
16 What’s all right about article presenting a riddle? (4)
KOAN: OK reversed – AN;
18 Terrible noises brought by excuse in court (6)
ESSOIN: (noises)*;
20 One digging in spring with skin getting a bit flaked off (6)
SPADER: SPA-DER(m);
21 Old money they shelled out for US property (6)
REALTY: REAL-T(he)Y;
24 Quiet one, very old with love for noisy party? (6)
SHIVOO: SH-I-V-O-O;
27 Language isn’t common mostly, acceptable to the well-bred? (4)
AINU: AIN(t)-U;
29 Besotted characters in the prison (5)
EPRIS: hidden (th)E-PRIS(on);
30 Poison poisoner finally dumped in a rubbish container (5)
ABRIN: A-B(R)IN;
31 Steward tolerated him when drunk (12, two words)
MAITRE D’HOTEL: (tolerated him)*;
32 Wind in plain to the west side of America (6)
FLATUS: FLAT-US;
33 Gene Kelly edges away, rolling over in drink (6)
ALLELE: A(LLE)LE; LLE from (K)ell(Y) reversed;
34 A Romeo comes back to home — female deprived of male first seen here? (8)
FENESTRA: FE(male)-NEST-(A-R reversed);

DOWN

1 Brittle fellow who is mad accommodated by society’s extremists (8)
SHATTERY: S(HATTER)Y; reference Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland;
2 Scottish dish the reverse of fresh features in call for help (6)
SOWENS: SO(NEW reversed)S;
3 Euro-partisan turned out to be like an old reptile (12)
PTEROSAURIAN: (euro partisan)*;
4 Young animal in distress overlooked by good person (5)
STIRK: ST-IRK; yearling;
6 The fellow’s taking leading position for a month (6)
HESVAN: HE’S-VAN;
7 Japan’s not first to get winning scores in judo (6)
IPPONS: (n)IPPONS;
8 Origin of language said to be in part of the head (5)
LORAL: L(anguage)-ORAL;
9 Took note, being excited about minister and duke turning up (12)
ANIMADVERTED: ANIMA(REV-D reversed)TED
10 Modern technology embraced by European Mormon (6)
DANITE: DAN(IT)E;
15 This letter is read out in a coffee-house (4)
KAPH: sounds life “caff”;
17 What’s Celt worn when dancing? Small head ornament (8)
CROWNLET: (celt worn)*;
19 Palm trees burning from the ground up (4)
ITAS: SATI reversed; SATI was the practice of a widow burning herself to death on her husband’s funeral pyre
22 Stab that could make me leap around (6)
EMPALE: (me leap)*;
23 Most ready to have a break after end of journey (6)
YAREST: (Journe)Y-A-REST;
24 Military commander given title of respect — bold, not half! (6)
SIRDAR: SIR-DAR(ing);
25 Hoteliers may have replaced the windows here (6)
ORIELS: (hoteliers – the)*;
26 What’s endlessly painful? Don’t mention it! (5)
BITTE: BITTE(R); standard German response to “dunker”
28 Fast runner in bar fixing things (5)
U-BOLT: two meanings, the first a reference to Usain Bolt;