November 24th, 2019

Jim and Mo

Mephisto 3090 - 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.  16A is a perfect example.

A puzzle of no more than average difficulty but help needed with 28A and a query at 20D

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

ACROSS

1 Risk including what’s central to source (5)
INCUR: INC-(so)UR(ce); INC=including;
5 By the grace of God I’ll be in band becoming wrinkly (7)
RIDGING: RI(DG-I)NG; DG=by the grace of God;
10 Led up ’ere I prepared to wait before jumping (9, two words)
LIE,PERDUE: (led up ere I)*; in C under “Perdue”;
12 Benevolent helper to confess stuffing cheese (7)
BROWNIE: BR(OWN)IE;
13 Elderly nymph-chaser keeping it zipped for the most part (5)
SILEN: SILEN(t);
14 Barrels out of boat’s  / boxes (4)
ARKS: three meanings;
16 Audibly too wise to interrupt already-named follower of Fatima (6)
SAYYID: SA(YY)ID; two wise sounds like YY; Fatima was Mohammed’s daughter;
17 Ailing state? Indubitably (6, two words)
I’LL,SAY: ILL-SAY;
18 Agreeable air is in motor (11, three words)
TO,ONES,TASTE: TOON-ESTA(S)TE; air=tune=TOON; is=’S;
21 Saw mistrust mostly by English needling pawnbroker? (11)
DOUBLE-ENDER; DOUB(t)-LE(E)NDER;
24 In spite of engaging, eg, Joplin tune crash as before (6)
FRAGOR: F(RAG)OR;
25 Conductor wiping away last of cosmetic make-up (6)
LIPPIE: (C)LIPPIE; once upon a time, bus conductors carried a special holder for pre-printed bus tickets. When you paid your fare, they removed the colour ticket that corresponded to the amount paid and used a small machine to clip the fare stage number you were entitled to ride to. Hence, particularly the women, became knows as “clippies”;
28 Mineral remains in cases with sound staff (4)
CALX: CA-LX which sounds like ? – can’t think!
29 In Irish bars you'll get this cloudy pop cold (5)
CRAIC: C-RAI-C; cloudy=C; pop music=RAI; cold=C; gossip
30 Cigs not repackaged — that's shrewd (7)
GNOSTIC: (cigs not)*;
31 I’m a believer in stock being reduced by bag (9)
TRITHEIST: TRIT(e)-HEIST;
32 No longer pity husband according to language (7)
SINHALA: SIN-H-A-LA;
33 They will unravel Latin compound (5)
ETHYL: (they)*-L;

DOWN
1 I’ve opinions — last of pair must be blown and brought low (7)
IMBASED: I’M-B(I)ASED; there are two “I” and the last of them is removed;
2 Like a story? Scottish island put up Irish outlaw (9)
NARRATORY: ARRAN reversed – TORY;
3 Jug / tending to block up (5)
CHOKY: two meanings;
4 Billion lost in gross report by telephone (6, two words)
RING,IN: (B)RING IN;
5 I read Greene madly as Magdalenian? (11, two words)
REINDEER,AGE: (I read Greene)*;
6 One should try to ___ diet delivered around south (6)
DESALT: DE(S)ALT;
7 Ditch / one on film set (4)
GRIP: two meanings;
8 Swimmer circling without sloth (7)
IDLESSE: ID(LESS)E;
9 Ploughman Poet’s neat nobility in need of Queen (5)
GENTY: GENT(R)Y; Ploughman’s Poet=Burns=Scots;
11 Such points interest NASA — for each is, on Earth, oddly alien (11)
PERISELENIA: PER-IS-E-(alien)*;
15 Term for person in new military form of descent (9)
MATRILINY: (military + n)*; n from (perso)n;
19 A killer? Och aye, mostly current during prohibition (7)
OUABAIN: OU-A(Y)-BA(I)N; a poison;
20 Government body edited software to manipulate data (7)
EDEXCEL: ED-EXCEL; so far as I know, Pearson Edexcel is the only privately-owned examination board in the UK, and part of Pearson plc
22 Boat in loch near garden overlooking road (6)
LORCHA: L-ORCHA(RD);
23 Month in old French republic fixing drip in snout (6)
NIVOSE: N(IV)OSE;
24 Following precedent of Romans these cannot be disputed (5)
FACTS: F-ACTS; F=following; in Christian Bible, the Book of Romans follows ACTS;
26 Plot precisely hitting the mark over clubhouse (5)
PATCH: PAT-CH;
27 Characterised by humour bordering on humility (4)
WITH: WIT-H(umility);