November 17th, 2019

  • glheard

Mephisto 3089 - Tim Moorey

Greetings all,

I'm fighting the strange connectivity issues with the hotel internet here so this may be a sparse blog.

In the Mephisto all answers can be confirmed in Chambers so I will focus on the wordplay.

The first definition in each clue is underlined.

Away we go...

1 President initially detached perhaps stumped David Frost? (6)
SHERPA -  OK this one gave me a little difficultly. David Frost's (the MP not the late TV presenter) twitter profile calls him Sherpa and EU adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson which sounds quite frightening. The wordplay is an anagram of PERHAPS minus the first letter of President
5 A Charlie being employed endlessly gives you the pip! (6)
ACINUS - A, C(charlie), then IN USE(being employed) missing the last letter
9 What many investors do is part of some movies (12, two words)
LOVE INTEREST - double definition, the first cryptic
11 Artist, one allowed to share highest choral part (9)
CANALETTO - A(one), LET(allowed) inside CANTO(highest part in choral music)
12 Bar work follows lie-down, mid-afternoon out of sight (5)
ESTOP - OP(work) after REST(lie-down) missing the middle letter in afteRnoon
13 Right about child’s skin eruption (6)
LICHEN - LIEN(legal right) surrounding CH(child)
14 Heard Scottish island shows something very remarkable (5)
BEAUT - sounds like BUTE(Scottish island)
18 Works formerly right in Ivory Coast (8)
CONCERTI - ONCE(formerly), R(right) inside CI(Cote D'Ivore)
19 A walk from the east carrying singular mixed bag (8)
ALLSORTS - A then STROLL(walk) reversed containing S(singular)
21 Spike publicity about golf (5)
PRONG - PR(publicity), ON(about), G(golf)
22 Not entirely mentioned before, fellow rings Chinese outfit (6)
SAMFOO - SAME(mentioned before) missing the last letter, then F(fellow) and two O;s(rings)
24 They may be exposed in vulgar session! (5)
ARSES - an all-in-one - hidden in vulgAR SESsion
26 Troubled about where to find the Gherkin? (9, three words)
IN A PICKLE - double definition
27 Verbally abusive about a botched construction of architects (12)
CATACHRESTIC - CA(about) then an anagram of ARCHITECTS
28 Loose beagles not good for trees! (6)
ABELES - anagram of BEAGLES minus G(good)
29 Wily like the Native American in Colorado (6)
ASTUTE - AS(like), T'(the), UTE(American in Colorado)

1 Scotch black line in what’s ready for posting (4)
SLAE - L(line) in SAE(stamped addressed envelope)
2 What may trouble flesh or tail of a bay? (8)
HORSEFLY - another all-in-one, anagram of FLESH, OR, (ba)Y
3 Ray’s training in resort (8)
RECOURSE -RE(ray), COURSE(training)
4 Girl of little worth once in Pakistan (4)
ANNA - double definition
5 Legendary lady one’s seen in state capital (8)
ATALANTA - A(one) inside ATLANTA(capital of the US state of Georgia)
6 Conservative about to admit reckless lie? Could be Johnson (5)
CELIA - C(conservative), A(about) containing an anagram of LIE. Reference to Celia Johnson, actress best known for her role in Brief Encounter
7 Extremely low-level liquid container used in Seine (10)
NETHERMOST - THERMOS(liquid container) inside NET(Seine is a type of net)
8 Exceptionally impressive opener for Sussex hitting hard (8)
STONKING - first letter in Sussex, then TONKING(hitting hard)
10 China supporting firm’s partner (10)
STABLEMATE - MATE(china) after STABLE(firm)
14 Plant accountants following the money (8)
BRASSICA - CA(accountants) after BRASS(money)
15 Chars do go short without a bit of cleaning (8)
TORGOCHS - anagram of GO,SHORT surrounding the first letter of Cleaning
16 Book again stern on remains (8)
REARREST - REAR(stern) on REST(remains)
17 Steer around high pine for open excavation (8, two words)
STONE PIT - STOT(bullock, steer) surrounding an anagram of PINE
20 Nothing stops failing speaker (5)
VOICE - O(nothing) inside VICE(failing)
23 Dish in vessel with duck served up (4)
OKRA - ARK(vessel) and O(zero, duck) reversed
25 Groom is so close to bride (4)
SICE - SIC(so) then the last letter of bridE

Sunday Times 4876 by Dean Mayer

9:58. A pretty gentle one from Dean this week, but of the usual high quality. Nothing terribly difficult or obscure, but a couple of uncommon usages (floss, faction, cat) to keep the interest level up.

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

1 Free love extremely noble?
5 1 answer B and answer D
ABSOLVED - A, B, SOLVE, D. Strange looking clue!
9 Declare love — fine romance’s condition
10 Will the author matter on reflection? Almost
SELF - reversal of FLESh.
11 Grass skirts with jumper
13 Lawyers accepting account at card game
15 Victor and Annie cooking a sort of sausage
VIENNA - V, (ANNIE)*. I hadn’t heard of this type of sausage, but it seemed perfectly feasible.
16 Menu that, oddly, has jam?
TARIFF - ThAt, RIFF. TARIFF can refer to either the import taxes or a list of them. Anyone exporting to the EU is about to become a lot more familiar with both.
18 Party for Her Highness interrupted by news
20 One gun’s shot in smoke, producing white powder
ICING SUGAR - I, CIGAR containing (GUNS)*.
22 Not working, taking some paid leave
IDLE - contained in ‘paid leave’.
23 Scouting revival blocked by fraud
25 Carries one’s own hat
26 Covenant put away in experiment

2 Furthest points, in context, remain
EXTREMA - another straight containment clue, which wouldn’t be allowed in the daily puzzles. This time in ‘context remain.’
3 Bust exposed — zip trouble?
OUT OF ACTION - OUT, O, FACTION. I was a bit surprised by this use of FACTION but one of the definitions in Collins is ‘strife or dissension within a group’.
4 Kind of down following defeat
FLOSS - F, LOSS. Another surprising (to me) usage, but Lexico has ‘the silky down in maize and other plants’.
5 Some joiners saw this as out of character
AGAINST THE GRAIN - two definitions, the first of which is a description of something that might happen but which isn’t a recognised expression. So ironically it’s cryptic because it’s literal!
6 Cut across area that’s fine but not in shelter
7 Garland that is left over
LEI - reversal of IE, L.
8 Band manager records “One in Ten”
EPSTEIN - EPS, TE(I)N. Brian of that ilk, the fifth Beatle.
12 Headlong fall
14 Criminal in UK frees dissident
17 Charge across river? Damn!
19 Battle-axe that man will throw up
HELLCAT - HE’LL CAT. To ‘cat’ is to vomit: a usage I have only ever come across in crosswords.
21 Lunatic tries to take exam again
24 My heart’s sound
COR - sounds like ‘core’.