February 9th, 2020

  • glheard

Mephisto 3101 - Tim Moorey

I found the definitions more straightforward than the wordplay in this puzzle, which is the opposite of my usual experience with the Mephisto where I work on the wordplay first and then confirm the definition.

All definitions (which are underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so this write-up will focus on the wordplay.

Away we go...

1 Rattle off, reportedly on location getting place elsewhere (6)
RESITE - sounds like RECITE(rattle off)
7 Old South American concerned with extremes in Colombia (4)
INCA - IN(concerned with) then the outer letters in ColombiA
10 Grace, Elizabeth and Harry meeting Italian (9)
BETHANKIT - BET(Elizabeth), HANK(Harry), IT(Italian)
11 After changing limits, made application for subscription (4)
DUES - swap around the outer letters in SUED(made application for)
13 Swallow nesting afresh, bottom of garden abandoned (6)
INGEST - anagram of NESTING missing the last letter in gardeN
14 Libya’s high-ranking officer gets increase (6)
LARGEN -  LAR(IVR code for Libya), GEN(General, high-ranking officer)
16 Amphibians once again focus on crossings (4)
EFTS - tricky wordplay, but they are right next to each other in Chambers. EFT also means again (obsolete) and the focus (central letter) of CROSSINGS is S
18 Serve behind edges of line (6)
BUTTLE - BUTT(behind), then the outer letters in LinE
20 Rank bad meal starter, final directions ignored (9)
MASTERATE -  anagram of MEAL and STARTER both missing their final letters
21 Disheartened guide tense over getting back (9)
STERNWARD - STEER(guide) missing the central letter, then DRAWN(tense) reversed
24 Medic sharing military awards in form of crosses (6)
DSOMOS - MO(medical officer) inside DSOS (Distinguished Service Orders)
25 Don’t change from road with central area blocked off (4)
STET - STREET(road) missing the central two letters
28 Historically fine man a great success (6)
HERIOT - HE(man), RIOT(great success)
30 Freak least attached to ecstasy tablets (6)
STELAE - anagram of LEAST, then E(ecstasy)
31 Canadian channel is close by the sound of it (4)
SNYE - 'S, then sounds like NIGH
32 Macedonian affected by liturgy (9)
STAGYRITE - STAGY(affected), RITY(liturgy)
33 Northern tourist destination in conservation area (4)
IONA - hidden inside conservatION Area
34 Opened church in the country (6)
LANCED - CE(church) n LAND(country)

1 Rescued judge in long grass (8)
REDEEMED - DEEM(judge) inside REED(long grass)
2 A month in Tel Aviv? End of June quiet mostly (4)
ELUL - last letter in junE, then LULL(quiet) missing the last letter
3 Factory whose past is shocking (9)
SWEATSHOP - anagram of WHOSE PAST - you could also consider the entire clue the defintion
4 Bond has time for new driver Pat (6)
TEAGUE - LEAGUE(bond) with T(time) replacing L(new driver). Pat is an Irishman here
5 Dog starts to sniff heels nastily biting one? Sue! (10)
SHINBARKER - first letters of Sniff Heels Nastily with I(one) inside, then the tennis player-cum-TV presenter Sue BARKER. I think I only know Sue Barker from jokes at her expense on Absolutely Fabulous
6 Result from past Highland cattle (6, two words)
PAN OUT - PA(past) NOUT(cattle)
7 Reveal Scotch and unopened brandy (4)
INGO - remove the first letter from BINGO(brandy)
8 Chasing minister in Corsica about island railway (8)
CISELURE - CURE(French minister) surrounding IS(island), EL(elevated railway)
9 Lawyer in short is clever, escaping term in prison (4)
ATTY - abbreviation for ATTORNEY - NATTY(clever) missing the last letter in prisoN
12 Money for the bar concerning new students (10)
REFRESHERS - RE(concerning), FRESHERS(first-year students). Referring to an attorney's fee
15 Con artist nervous about the army (9)
17 Fixed in fine voice, abnormally high one (8)
FALSETTO - SET(fixed) inside F(fine), ALTO(voice)
19 Needn’t do running as a continuous sequence (8)
END-TO-END - anagram of NEEDN'T,DO
22 Head of tasting approves sweet wines (6)
TOKAYS - first letter in Tasting, then OKAYS(approves)
23 Flag up in new area gastropods with round shells (6)
NERITA - TIRE(flag) reversed inside N(new), A(area)
26 East German or Italian? No answer (4)
OSSI - OSSIA means OR in Italian. Remove A(answer)
27 Lady not entirely shining in retreat (4)
OLGA - AGLOW(shining) reversed missing the last letter
29 Port item subject to inflation (4)
TYRE - double defintion

Sunday Times 4888 by David McLean

20:40. I have left the blog very late this week (I’m typing this on Saturday evening) so I am short of time and don’t remember much about this puzzle. I obviously found it hard but going through the clues now they all seem entirely straightforward. This is often the mark of a very good puzzle and I do remember enjoying this one a lot.

Either I'm missing something (very likely) or there is something funny going on with 12ac. It looks to me like setter and/or editor couldn't decide between two clues and decided to go with both.

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

1 Fruit rot can be a little gross
5 Empty one container into another
9 What could make those kissing turn red?
LIPSTICK - a barely cryptic definition, but it still took me a while to see.
10 Horse leading woman away from her end
HEROIN - HEROINe. ‘Horse’ being a slang term for the drug seen quite regularly in crosswords.
11 Feel bad about sending off one right winger
EGRET - rEGRET. There are two Rs in ‘regret’ but you only have to remove (send off) one of them.
12 Horror of rider failing to start with horse in trial
NIGHTMARE - kNIGHT, MARE. There seem to be two clues combined here: ‘horror of rider failing to start with horse’ and ‘rider failing to start with horse in trial’. I wonder if this is an editing mishap?
14 Very happy nun in cooled pants
18 Turn and board coach with second to go
21 Ailing leader is dosing up, because of this?
DIAGNOSIS - (Ailing, IS DOSING)*. Semi-&Lit. Nice clue.
23 A quiet residential road in Settle
CLOSE - DD. Initially reading ‘Seattle’ didn’t help me here. Settle/CLOSE as in a transaction.
24 Nurses must protect limb that’s turned red
ENGELS - ENS (EN is enrolled nurse) containing a reversal of LEG.
25 Householder with Hoover, perhaps, but no power
26 Powerful people settle back to ring Brown
TITANS - TAN contained in a reversal of SIT.
27 Do nut at working on ultimately useless project
STAND OUT - uselesS, (DO NUT AT)*.

1 Kiss and cuddle? That'll get everyone in bed!
2 Drugs take an edge off of evening meals
3 Fancy outfit rep presented in a new way
4 Back girl describing Conservative as “inferior
6 A man’s shadow?
7 A nameless visionary with a distinctive nose?
8 Tough youth grasping tattooist messed around
TINKERED - T(INKER)ED. The definition of TEDs as variously delinquent or, as here, tough, is not universally appreciated.
13 Awfully huge rodents one found in a tent?
15 Leadership speech full of empty rage
16 A lazy person might be really tired
17 Hand over drugs?
STRAIGHT - if you are ‘over drugs’, you might have given them up, in which case you’d be…
19 Don’t bother with warning shot
FOREGO - FORE (warning), GO (shot).
20 Go and have some food in a moment
22 Material helping to make many longboats
NYLON - contained in ‘many longboats’.