March 1st, 2020

Jim and Mo

Mephisto 3104 - Tim Moorey. Jimbo's Swansong.

So soon after celebrating my 300th Mephisto blog it saddens me to have to tell you that this will be my last. My health has finally caught up with me and forced me to stand down. I shall miss our fortnightly encounter. Vinyl will be taking over. I wish him well and hope he has as much fun as I have enjoyed.

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.  1A is a perfect example.

An interesting puzzle of average difficulty. We visit France more than once, Japan, Jersey and Zimbabwe in the company of Pierre Curie, Albert Pierrepoint and Roger Sessions. A feature of Tooting Common provides a trip down memory lane. In the clues, definitions are underlined. Wordplay explanation is followed by very helpful comments.

ACROSS
1 Hangman and Beetle, say fine for relaxing times (8)
CARNIFEX: CAR-(fine)*-X; Albert Pierrepoint perhaps;
7 Father’s shunned breaks in outmoded resorts (4)
USES: (pa)USES;
11 Change of direction in a subject for French department (6)
ARIEGE: a subject = A LIEGE then change L to R; Ariège is a department in southwestern France better known as le zéro neuf after its postal code of 09;
12 Check after dangerous jog in the Highlands (5)
HOTCH: HOT-CH; fidget in Fife;
13 Refusal to admit Mean Machine for entertainment (8)
NINTENDO: N(INTEND)O;
15 Force on record showing sign of emphasis (10, two words)
STRESS,MARK: STRESS-MARK;
16 Take supporter’s banter (5)
RALLY: R-ALLY; R=take from recipe;
19 Life peer’s self-protection? (4)
EPEE: hidden (lif)E-PEE(r’s); not much use against a modern terrorist;
20 Hitlerites liberated it? Ridiculous! (8, two words)
ST,HELIER: (hitlerites – it)*; capital of Jersey, occupied by the Germans in WW2
21 French city map despatched again with 50% missing (8)
CHARTRES: CHART-RES(ent); famous world-wide for its cathedral saved for posterity by US Colonel Griffith in WW2
23 Queen’s fashion knowing no bounds (4)
ANNE: (m)ANNE(r);
25 Dell is out of date for Scott’s chum (5)
INGLE: (d)INGLE; reference author Walter Scott;
27 Upper-crust type Gray keeps short record: the art of dining (10)
ARISTOLOGY: ARISTO-LO(g)-GY; Gray=GY=unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation; better known as a gourmet;
30 Pointed adult cryptic clue upset (8)
ACULEATE: A-(clue)*-ATE;
31 Establish ground in movie (5)
ERECT: E(REC)T;
32 New name in Evangelical Union is showing lots of tedium (6)
ENNUIS: E(N-N)U-IS;
33 Writing paper from Delaware belonging to me (4)
DEMY: DE-MY;
34 Meetings with US composer (8)
SESSIONS: two meanings; Roger Sessions 1896-1985

DOWN
1 Direct answer accepted by broadcaster (4)
CANN: C(A)NN;
2 Strain to secure first of the Japanese porcelain (5)
ARITA: ARI(T)A; Hizen ware;
3 The rental’s high leading to complaint (10, two words)
NETTLE, RASH: (the rentals)*; Tooting Common’s trap for the unwary courting couple in my youth;
4 Spot iron weapon emplacement overlooking Argentina (8)
FENESTRA: FE-NEST-RA;
5 Objects from old village fashionable no longer (4)
ENDS: ENDS(hip);
6 Butcher has ox tongue (5)
XHOSA: (has ox)*;
8 Snatching mobile for bit of a lark could be the beginning of this (8)
STEAMING: snatching=stealing then change L from L(ark) to M=mobile;
9 English and French physicist in team (6)
ECURIE: E-CURIE; Pierre CURIE was the Frenchman and less famous than his Polish wife; a team of motor-racing cars
10 Snubbed tramp in traditional Indian dress is a hunter (8)
SHIKAREE: S(HIKE(e))AREE;
14 I call up about theatrical angel getting money from southern Africa (10)
EMALANGENI: I-NAME reversed contains (angel)*;
16 Given out horn-call record, extremely disliked (8)
RECHATED: REC-HATED; from fox hunting;
17 Heavy Metal article is what’s prominent in the news (8, two words)
LEAD,ITEM: LEAD-ITEM;
18 Left university in old Greek city with depression (8, two words)
THE,BLUES: THEB(L-U)ES; boring definition – it also means a form of music, the Guards and Chelsea Football team;
22 Dash found all around Arab capital (6)
HARARE: HAR(AR)E; capital of Zimbabwe;
24 Figures turning up unchanged (5)
STATS: A palindrome;
26 Ancient swindle definitely set up? Only partly (5, two words)
LET,IN: hidden reversed y(LET-IN)fed;
28 Sporting line of chemical engineer (4)
OCHE: O-CHE; chemical engineer=ChE; in the game of darts the line behind which the throwing player must stand
29 Endless bungling brings embarrassment (4)
MESS: MESS(y);