January 5th, 2020

Jim and Mo

Mephisto 3096 - 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.  3D is a perfect example.

An interesting puzzle with some elements of difficulty. The top row pun is "bridal suite"

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

A happy and peaceful New Year to everyone at TFTT


1 All but happy whipping free bits of tack (7)
BRIDLES: B(RID)LES(t); whipping=hiding=containment indicator;
6 Weight trouble? Cereal’s your answer (5)
10 Mixed in with m-merciless tyrant and called the shots (9)
IMMINGLED; I-MMING-LED; Ming the Merciless first appeared in the Flash Gordon comic strip in 1934. Ming is depicted as a ruthless tyrant who rules the planet Mongo
11 See Government file that’s coarse (5)
13 Thanks surrounding tips from Alec Leamus, presumably unearthing a mole (5)
TALPA: T(A,L,P)A; A(lec) L(eamus) P(resumably);
15 Mick Dundee’s comparatively daft restraint about recliner (7)
DILLIER: LID reversed-LIER; Mick “Crocodile” Dundee indicates Australian slang;
16 Macrology is feasible ringing 59 in journalism (10)
17 Scots trap blooming Nationalist in fit of sulks (7, two words)
POUT,NET: P(OUT-N)ET; N=Nationalist;
19 One vociferous revolutionary holding nuke, say (4)
OWEN: sounds like “own N” where N is an abbreviation of “nuclear”; can’t say I’m that keen on this cryptic; Robert Owen( May 1771 to November 1858), was a Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropic social reformer, and one founder of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement, best known for efforts to improve working conditions for his factory workers and his promotion of experimental socialistic communities. OR, its a simple hidden reverse (o)NE-VO(ciferous)
20 Turn over mostly pedestrian game (4)
LUDO: O-DUL(l) reversed;
21 Settling mostly new point in epigram (7)
NESTING: NE(w)-STING; the STING is the usually satirical message contained in an epigram;
22 Signs of change help returning reviewers (10)
25 In a fitting manner sly beau slithered (7)
USEABLY: (sly beau)*;
27 Look round ground first (5)
28 Gross American, a grass (5)
29 Working girls from around the Seine plying River Ouse (9)
OUVRIERES; (river ouse)*; the Seine indicates a French word;
30 Something for all ages to enjoy inside biting eucalyptus (5)
TUART: T(U)ART; a reminder of the Blue Mountains around Sydney where the eucalyptus are burning with such horrific results
31Monarch with dislike for flower (7)


1 Bishop, one old senior servant, from the south to give approval (5, two words)
BIG,UP: B-I-PUG reversed; nota phrase I’m familiar with;
2 I am about to fly, maybe (5)
IMAGO: I’M-A-GO; final stage of an insect’s development – nice clue;
3 Singer oppressed by underworld Mafiosi’s at a leap (7, two words)
DISALTO: DIS-ALTO; Mafiosi indicates an Italian word;
4 The old curse for example ahead of active duty (4)
5 Irish toast is not commonly seen in odd spots in Selsey (7)
SLAINTE: SL(AINT)E; SLE from S(e)L(s)E(y);
6 Form of charter, eg, we Latins developed (10)
WETLEASING: (eg we latins)*;
7 End of the British Legion is a devil (5)
8 Craving forgotten purpose apparently for Provençal (9)
APPETENCE: old word for purpose=pretence then change pr= Provençal to APP=apparently;
9 Drink group filling up? Great (7)
TEARING: TEA-RING; filling up = becoming tearful;
12 Take in huntswoman, say, with a stint as flirt (10, two words)
PRINK,ABOUT: P(R)INK-A-BOUT; R=take (from recipe);
14 What’s in bottom drawer? Sort us out with Evian, say (9)
TROUSSEAU: (us out)*-EAU;
17 Place a university named for French approval (7)
18 Isolate English with numerical control over Scottish remainder (7)
19 Fished and messed about without pressure (7)
22 Flipping smashed exam entering college — it’ll help travel (5)
DECCA: AC(C)ED all reversed; a navigation system;
23 Japanese export, I damage half of it (5)
IMARI: I-MAR-I(t); pottery;
24 Fit madam supporting hydros (5)
26 River drowning Australian weed (4)