February 23rd, 2020

  • glheard

Mephisto 3103 - Don Manley

Fun puzzle this one, with some juicy wordplay. My favorite part of Mephisto is finding new words from clever wordplay, and this puzzle had a lot of that. 9 down took me back, with the SI-derived unit for magnetic flux. I have students do magnetic analysis on a regular basis, but we use CGI units which are consistent, but more obtuse than the decimal units.

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

Away we go...

Across
1 Large partridge — lots seen around, but tons lost (6)
YNAMBU - reversal of MANY(lots) then BUT missing T(tons)
5 Doctor going by boat in capital (6)
MOSCOW - MO(medical officer, doctor) then SCOW(boat)
10 Goddess of love coming to a premature end suddenly (6)
ASTART - ASTARTE (goddess of love) missing the last letter
11 Old Scottish star meets English writer born in Ireland (6)
STERNE - STERN(star, third definition in Chambers) then E(english)
12 Norse goddess I love — subsequently I worship sun-god (10)
HELIOLATER - HEL(Norse god of the underworld) then I, O(love), LATER(subsequently)
13 Quiet little dwarf making money (4)
PELF - P(quiet), ELF(little dwarf)
14 One giving blast in frolic in theatre’s wings (6)
TROMPE - ROMP(frolic) inside the outer letters o TheatrE
16 Dame with this yellow pigment could be seen as matinee idol (7)
ETIOLIN - anagram of MATINEE IDOL minus DAME
17 Something wet about the backward group, an arty lot (9)
AESTHETES - SEA(something wet) reversed, then THE, and a reversal of SET(group)
20 Strange dream at start of book that gets under the skin? (9)
DERMATOME - anagram of DREAM, then TOME(book)
26 Sentence in advance of poem about to be introduced into concert (7)
PREDOOM - ODE(poem) reversed inside PROM(concert)
27 Fish? Stop every one being caught (6)
BALLAN - BAN(stop) containing ALL(every one)
28 Orb seen at end of short month is asteroid (4)
JUNO - O(orb) after JUN(short for June)
29 Rock produced by group of travellers, explosive stuff (10)
CAMPTONITE - CAMP(group of travelers), then TONITE(explosive stuff)
30 This writer’s going round with whitish stick (6)
EMPALE - ME(this writer's) reversed, then PALE(whitish)
31 Catlike creatures requiring a hundred and one animal specialists (6)
CIVETS - CI(101 in Roman numerals), VETS(animal specialists)
32 Sweet paper thrown into river (6)
DRAGEE - RAG(paper) inside the river DEE
33 Listener gets to hurry round, “shocked” as before? (6)
HEARIE - EAR(listener) inside HIE(to hurry)

Down
1 Money set up for each speaker (6)
YAPPER - PAY(money) reserved, PER(for each)
2 E-tailer working in studio (7)
ATELIER - anagram of E-TAILER
3 Restraint in marriage, reportedly (6)
BRIDLE - sounds liek BRIDAL
4 Chief occupying Scottish island — one with unrealistic expectations (7)
UTOPIST - TOP(chief) inside UIST(scottish island)
6 Vatican has this seal for dedicated worshipper (5)
OTARY - remove V(Vatican) from OTARY(dedicated worshipper)
7 Bristly ends of beards receive comb (6)
SETOSE - last letters of beardS, receivE, then TOSE(comb)
8 Maiden wearing native American skin product? (5)
CREME - M(maiden) inside CREE(native American)
9 Old weavers getting rid of stone units (6)
WEBERS - WEBSTER(weaver) missin ST(stone)
12 Greek character enthralled by goddess as mistress (7)
HETAERA - ETA(Greek letter) inside HERA(goddess)
15 Private school pupil, individual to advance (7)
PREPONE - PREP(private school pupil), ONE(individual)
18 Char, a source of enlightenment full of energy (7)
TORGOCH - TORCH(source of enlightenment) containing GO(energy)
19 Angler suffering torture (7)
TROUTER - anagram of TORTURE
20 Society female and old rocker no longer owing money? (6)
DEBTED - DEB(society female) and TED(old rocker)
21 Monkey in pain needing leg up (6)
MALMAG - MAL(pain - think "mal de mer") then GAM(leg) reversed
22 Servants around one, that is? Maybe, once (6)
MEINIE -MEN(servants) containing I(one), then IE(that is)
23 South African trader to get drunk around noon (6)
SMOUSE - SOUSE(drunk) surrounding M(noon)
24 In the manner of old man making music (5)
ALAPA - ALA(in the manner of), PA(old man)
25 Horse no longer gets place when running (5)
CAPLE - anagram of PLACE

Sunday Times 4890 by Robert Price - ouch!

36:54. An absolute stinker from Bob this week. I had most of it done within about 15 minutes but I was left with two or three unsolved in the NW, NE and SW corners and cracking those remaining clues was like pulling teeth. I can’t remember which they were now but the rather obscure ABULIA and UMBRA were among them, as were the less obscure but cunningly clued IAMBUS and HUBCAP and the ‘how did that take me so long to see’ STUNTMAN and GANDER.

I can’t, hand on heart, say I enjoyed all of it, but a stiff challenge like this is very welcome from time to time and when I eventually finished I was exhausted but full of admiration. But let’s not have one of these every week please setters!

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

Across
1 Pigeonhole providing stylish envelopes
CLASSIFY - CLASS(IF)Y.
5 Fish topped with better nuts are protected by this
HUBCAP - cHUB, CAP. The nuts in question being those attaching the wheels of a car, of course. This was one of my last in: it took me forever to consider the right kind.
9 English cricket side finally win in great style
ELEGANCE - E, LEG, A(wiN)CE.
10 Feel weak university degree reflected loss of willpower
ABULIA - reversal of AIL, U, BA. Another of my last in. I got it eventually from wordplay and checkers, but I had no idea about the definition.
12 One wearing a king’s spun fabric garment
TUNIC - reversal (spun) of C(I)NUT.
13 Shrink the cuff before it’s embroidered
THERAPIST - THE, RAP, (ITS)*.
14 For those over thirty they may record fine results
SPEED CAMERAS - CD. I know this to my cost, having been caught doing 35 in a 30 area recently. Actually it didn’t really cost me anything other than time: I did a speed awareness course.
18 Wine put in as meat’s being cooked
ASTI SPUMANTE - (PUT IN AS MEATS)*. A rather loose definition.
21 Taste before swallowing trendy fruit
TANGERINE - TANG, ER(IN)E.
23 Murder’s gripping new clues
HINTS - HI(N)TS.
24 Foot passengers may use this in the wee hours?
IAMBUS - or a 1am BUS, arf.
25 Marked pieces prepared by a learner
ESPECIAL - (PIECES)*, A, L.
26 Butcher’s sort of bird
GANDER - DD. Massive penny-dropping/self-kicking moment for me when I finally figured this one out.
27 Liqueur from India sporting neatest bottles
ANISETTE - I (India) contained in (NEATEST)*. A liqueur similar to Pastis or Sambuca that I have only ever encountered in crosswords (unlike the other two).

Down
1 A holiday island’s round coin
CREATE - CRE(A)TE.
2 Getting on stage in gigantic clothes
AGEING - contained in ‘stage in gigantic’.
3 Ship containing a leak is protecting artworks
SEASCAPES - S(E(A)SCAPE)S. Tricky wordplay here.
4 Look to score or accept the consequences
FACE THE MUSIC - two definitions, one whimsical.
6 Shade of offence, say, over being ignored
UMBRA - another fiendish clue: an obscure answer (albeit not hard to guess at) with tricky wordplay. Here it’s UMBRAGE with a reversal of EG (say, over) removed.
7 Dog leads to rival yours and mine
COLLIERY - COLLIE, Rival, Yours.
8 Page with complex maths hiding an illusion
PHANTASM - P, (MATHS)* containing AN.
11 Hot drinks and exercise provide punishment
TEACH A LESSON - TEA, CHA, LESSON.
15 Unique runner left in a game
MATCHLESS - MAT (runner), CH(L)ESS.
16 Item that’s removed before old copper
FARTHING - THING preceded by FAR (removed).
17 Actor’s valet, under arrest
STUNTMAN - STUNT, MAN. I think this was my last in. Is a STUNTMAN an actor? I suppose so, but it didn’t occur to me for what seemed like an eternity!
19 Show finishing early forgoing a charge
INDICT - INDICaTe. More tricksy wordplay.
20 Tragic part of a drug dealer’s confession?
ISOLDE - or I SOLD E. Wagner innit.
22 Best buddies regularly skipped study
ETUDE - bEsTbUdDiEs.
Unicorn
  • vinyl1

Times 27595 - Not too fishy....

No time tonight - solved while watching golf on TV.  

If you do a puzzle intermitently, you tend not to notice if it's easy or hard, unless it's very hard, in which case you have to switch off the TV and think.   I suspect this one was easy, as I was able to solve most of the clues as I read each one.  The wordplay is quite simple, and there are no obscure words unless you've never heard of basilisks.

Thanks and a hat tip to Jeremy for the parsing of 28.  

Across
1 A rating, as it turns out, one born late in the year (11)
SAGITTARIAN - Anagram of A RATING AS IT.
7 Altercation in bank? (3)
ROW - Double definition.
9 Lethal serpents a reclusive saint chances heading off (9)
BASILISKS - BASIL + [r]ISKS
10 Fattened fowl a gang leader left unfinished (5)
CAPON - CAPON[e]
11 Small farmer more frequently pursuing credit (7)
CROFTER - CR + OFTER.
12 Endless delay regularly besetting seabird by lake (7)
ETERNAL - [d]E(TERN)[l]A[y] + L
13 Single doctor in US city, one opposing local development (5)
NIMBY - N(I MB)Y
15 Famous lad with energy for exercising (9)
LEGENDARY - Anagram of LAD and ENERGY.
17 Lacking will to reject place in fashionable gallery? (9)
INTESTATE - IN (SET backwards) TATE.
19 Fish touristy restaurants originally included in meal? (5)
TETRA - TE(T[ouristy] R[estaurants])A.
20 Shark that’s spotted female is hot on trail (7)
DOGFISH - DOG + F + IS + H. 
22 Leave university with a revolutionary painting technique (7)
GOUACHE - GO + U + A + CHE.
24 Woman abandoning horse in compound (5)
ESTER - [h]ESTER.
25 Preserve sheep brought back by young chap in West (9)
MARMALADE - RAM backwards + MA(LAD)E, another Mae West clue.
27 Went in front, having source of light (3)
LED - Double definition.
28 Do gymnastics, taken in by pathetic spoilsport (5,6)
PARTY POOPER -PARTY + POO(PE)R.
Down
1 Work for press, taking public transport to north (3)
SUB - BUS upside-down.
2 Relish time supporting America in game (5)
GUSTO - G(US + T)O.
3 Russian writer’s means to get rid of old model (7)
TOLSTOY - T[o]OLS + TOY.
4 Last aria Rameau finally composed for land down under (9)
AUSTRALIA - Anagram of LAST ARIA + [ramea]U.
5 Lives with girl? That’s the problem! (5)
ISSUE - IS + SUE.
6 Particle identified by Greek character, an Athenian demagogue (7)
NUCLEON - NU + CLEON.
7 Contrite theatre worker touring hospital department (9)
REPENTANT - REP(ENT)ANT, a compendium of cryptic cliches.
8 Preacher entertaining northern duke with beer and cheese (11)
WENSLEYDALE - WE(N)SLEY + D + ALE.
11 Blunt old PM collecting key cake ingredient (7,4)
CANDIED PEEL - CANDI(E)D PEEL. 
14 Fantasist reportedly confined and mollified (9)
MITIGATED - MITI, sounds like Walter MITTY, + GATED.
16 Two chaps providing capital cover in Kyle of Localsh? (9)
GLENGARRY - GLEN + GARRY, a traditional Scots cap.
18 Agitate about rider’s first piece of tack (7)
STIRRUP -STIR (R[ider]) UP
19 Travel agency giving shelter to a crested African bird (7)
TOURACO - TOUR (A) CO.
21 Greek poet’s house overlooking sea at Boulogne (5)
HOMER - HO + MER.
23 City overwhelmed by Conservative member’s vice (5)
CLAMP - C(LA)MP, the vice on your workbench which is more often spelt 'vise'. 
26 Blunder made by English kings (3)
ERR - E + R + R.