January 19th, 2020

Jim and Mo

Mephisto 3098 - Tim Moorey and a Triple Ton for Jimbo

My first Mephisto Blog was puzzle 2489 which appeared in May 2008. It was, coincidentally, set by Tim Moorey. Today’s blog is my 300th Mephisto offering (ignoring specials such as the commemorative puzzles for Mike Laws).

I’d like to congratulate the setters on maintaining a very even standard through that period and to thank them for the hours of fun that they provide. Hopefully the efforts of George and myself have helped some new solvers whilst occasionally putting the more experienced out of their misery!

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.  4D is a perfect example.

An interesting puzzle with some elements of difficulty and slightly obscure GK. I have a slight problem a 30A which appears not to contain a definition.

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

ACROSS

1 Card game introduced by senior? Old hat (8)
SOMBRERO: S(OMBRE)R-O;
6 Bad-tempered ladies perhaps pulling face (4)
ARSY: (K)ARSY; karsy=slang for toilet=ladies
10 Twin succeeded in Uganda (4)
ESAU: E(S)AU; twin of Jacob;
12 Villain losing his head on opening stretch (8)
ELONGATE: (F)ELON-GATE;
13 Plenty of roll in a ball (9)
ABUNDANCE: A(BUN)DANCE;
16 A dish from Malaysia / posed as before (4)
SATE: two meanings;
17 Day in South American country for Harold’s partner (6)
CHILDE: CHIL(D)E; Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is a lengthy narrative poem in four parts written by Lord Byron that I’m unlikely to ever read.
18 Number one tube network in old city (6)
URETER: U(RETE)R; “number one” is child-speak for urinate;
19 Mollusc in centre’s something dire (10, two words)
HEART,SHELL: HEARTS-HELL;
21 Your setter has spirit for the Irish gig (10)
TIM-WHISKY: TIM-WHISKY; gig=a carriage;
25 Not one getting about in street tracked vehicle (6)
SNOCAT: S(NO-CA)T;
26 Room for bit of laughter in TV and school magazine? (6)
TERMLY: TV=Telly then change L (a bit of laughter) to RM=room;
27 Nigerian writer in distress on returning (4)
OKRI: IRK-O reversed; Ben Okri OBE FRSL is a Nigerian poet and novelist;
30 One following Marlborough’s first in series of court battles (9)
RAMILLIES: RA(M-I)LLIES; battle in the War of Spanish Succession fought by Marlborough and others in 1706. There appears to be no definition in the clue.
31 Motion appearing right away to get poetic inspiration (8)
AGANIPPE:(appearing – r)*;
32 Violent striking / back-hander (4)
DASH: two meanings;
33 Earthenware flown from the east (4)
DELF: FLED reversed;
34 Mini casing starts to drop off, making marks (8)
INSIGNIA: (ini + asing)*;

DOWN

1 Judge keeping African party in session (6)
SÉANCE: SE(ANC)E;
2 Mum starts to use low-cal batter (4)
MAUL: MA-U(se)-L(ow);
3 Catholic excused from belief to try again (4)
REDO: (C)REDO;
4 Cheer on importing Italian bitumen (9)
ELATERITE: ELATE-R(IT)E;
5 Experts hedging about discontinued UK currency (6)
ONCERS: ON(C)ERS; old £1 notes;
7 With several branches, Standard to ring in the morning (6)
RAMATE: R(AM)ATE;
8 Magnificent white in Majestic style (9)
STATELILY: STATE-LILY;
9 Outmoded present coming from unknown lady (4)
YEVE: Y-EVE;
11 Relative and wife reverse things done in the past (6)
UNCLEW: UNCLE-W;
14 Quiet anger about coloured liquid reduction (9)
SHRINKAGE: SH-R(INK)AGE;
15 Tops in the Open, Tiger previously lacking energy (9)
OUTSTRIPS: OUT-STRIP(e)S;
20 Argentina featuring in bound newspaper (6)
HERALD: HE(RA)LD;
22 Son interrupting lesson is of a piece (6)
MORSAL: MOR(S)AL;
23 Hospital accepted two upright characters crossing Washington state (6)
HAWAII: H-A-(WA)-I-I; accepted=A;
24 Mohammed’s wife votes with Middle Eastern ruler, ignoring second husband (6)
AYESHA: AYE-SHA(h);
27 Nothing wrong with a short book (4)
OBAD: O-BAD;
28 Clay under damp soil that’s large showing up (4)
GLEI: IE-LG reversed;
29 Girl in bed very put out (4)
DIAN: DI(V)AN;