March 22nd, 2020

Mephisto 3107 - Tim Moorey

Greetings all

Tricky puzzle from Tim Moorey this time, but a good one for fans of wordplay, there were a lot of clues where I pieced together the wordplay and then checked in on the definition before entering it into the grid. I find I can usually trust my instincts with Tim Moorey's wordplay.

Since definitions (the first of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers I'm going to focus in on wordplay execpt for non-Chambers entries. I hope everyone is keeping their sanity in these weird times.

Away we go...

Across
1 Scottish mixed grain, potatoes and chopped meat (7)
MASHLAM - MASH(potatoes) and LAMB(meat) missing the last letter
7 Cut climbing plant, not very short (4)
ETCH - the climbing plant is VETCH, remove the V(very)
10 American edentates cross ground near hart (9)
XENARTHRA - X(cross), then an anagram of NEAR,HART
11 That’s number recalled first from Louis Armstrong? (4)
NEIL - IE(that's), and N(number) all reversed, with the first letter of Louis for the astronaut NEIL Armstrong
13 Couple regretted leaving university in rows (6)
TIERED - TIE(couple), then RUED(regretted) missing U(university)
14 Old sculpture to flog in America after centre’s moved to the front (6)
STATUA -  TAT(tap, flog) inside USA(America) with the S at the beginning
16 Lively tune followed by tenor (4)
RANT - RAN(followed a course) then T(tenor)
18 Unfinished brass work in lounge (6)
LOLLOP - LOLLY(money, brass) missing the last letter, then OP(work)
19 Clobber I’d cast? Yes (9)
ECDYSIAST - anagram of I'D,CAST,YES - an all-in-one clue
21 Aware agreement includes half of Bath? (9)
CONSCIENT - CONSENT(agreement) containing half of the CITY of Bath
24 Sweeper and boiler needing repair (6)
LIBERO - anagram of BOILER
25 Relative about to get into Britain (4)
BRER -  RE(about) inside BR(Britain)
27 One leaving country before tackling fighter (6)
EMIGRE -  ERE(before) containing MIG(fighter plane)
29 Plan leaving German out of the corporation (6)
ALVINE -  anagram of LEAVING missing G(german) - corporation meaning stomach here
30 Conference stamp on source of taxes (4)
DIET - DIE(stamp) and the first letter of Taxes
31 Turncoats see danger all over the place (9)
RENEGADES - anagram of SEE,DANGER
32 Writer Pound fooled about (4)
DAHL - L(pound), HAD(fooled) all reversed for the author Roald
33 Rubber packing-ring wrapped round clear watchglass (7)
LUNETTE - LUTE(rubber packing ring for a jar) surrounding NET(clear)
Down
1 Guys with spades are on the loose with intent to commit crime (7, two words)
MENS REA - MEN(guys), S(spades) and an anagram of ARE
2 Make good guess after one (4)
ABET - BET(guess) after A(one) - for those of you newer to Mephisto, A=1 is OK here, while it is not in the daily
3 Soldier runs into husband flourishing Irish dagger (9)
SGIAN-DUBH - GI(soldier) inside an anagram of HUSBAND - one of the many spellings of SKEAN-DHU - note that in Mephisto hyphenated words are not indicated
4 Nothing excluded from restructured US model plants (6)
LEDUMS - remove O(nohing) from US,MODEL and anagram
5 Woven fabrics fit young women (10)
MATELASSES - MATE(to fit), LASSES(young women)
6 Sound stance finishes off Cambridge exams (6)
TRIPOS - TRIG(Scots for SOUND) and POSE(stance) with the last letters removed
7 Old huge type, not entirely pretentious (4)
ETEN - hidden inside prETENtious
8 One wanted charge by weight for French fabric (8)
CRETONNE - remove A(one) from CARE(charge), then TONNE(weight)
9 Right away, poor called to account (5, two words)
HAD UP - remove R(right) from HARD UP(poor) - not explicitly in Chambers, but HAVE UP is
12 Adult and youngster in ruffled lace — that’s the Spanish way (10, two words)
CAMINO REAL - A(adult) and MINOR(youngster) in an anagram of LAVE
15 One remedying great ills? (9)
ALLERGIST - anagram of GREAT,ILLS and another all-in-one
17 Yarrow, for example may be seen in a cold river (8)
ACHILLEA - A, CHILL(cold), EA(river)
20 Short passage put across time and time again in fast codas (7)
STRETTE -  STREET(passage) shortened, surrounding two T's (time)
22 House fruit (6)
ORANGE - double definition
23 PC up on haunt of vice in part of London (6)
CAMDEN - MAC(personal computer) reversed on DEN(haunt of vice)
24 Grey storyteller beginning to drag (5)
LIARD - LIAR(storyteller) then the first letter of Drag
26 Eddy’s refrain heard (4)
WIEL - sounds like WHEEL(refrain)
28 Robbed once by force in return (4)
REFT - F(force) inside RET(return)

Sunday Times 4894 by David McLean

9:40. Greetings from a quarantined household. One of my kids developed a persistent dry cough a little under a week ago (he's fine - the cough disappeared without any other symptoms) so we’ve been confined to quarters since then. Given the developments in the interim we will have to get used to it: complete lockdown in the style of Italy, France and Spain is inevitable now. At least we are all well and reasonably well-stocked with food and, more importantly, wine.

As for the puzzle, no problems as far as I was concerned. Nothing unfamiliar apart from the mine at 3dn but I knew it as a sword so it made a grim sort of sense as a name for a mine. I also think of the MANSION HOUSE as a place chancellors make speeches in posh clothes rather than a court, but with a few checkers it was the obvious answer.

I don't usually name a COD but 10ac deserves special mention. Brilliant.

I hope you and yours are all well in this extraordinary time of crisis. At least we have crosswords to keep us amused, and this most civilised of forums to maintain our connection with one another.

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

Across
1 I’ve no idea if cashmere runs
SEARCH ME - (CASHMERE)*.
5 Stuff is ace with money to burn mostly
FABRIC - FAB (ace), RICh (with money to burn = RICH).
9 Death cover’s pointless in the end
CURTAINS - CURTAIN, pointlesS.
10 Oh, I’d deny penning this type of clue
HIDDEN - contained in ‘oh, I’d deny’. Nicely self-referential!
12 River near tree bordering a field
REALM - R, E(A)LM. As in ‘field of activity’.
13 Very soon squeal meeting old lover boy
INAMORATO - IN A MO, RAT (tell on, squeal), O.
14 Royal creep renting Rolls
PRINCE REGENT - (CREEP RENTING)*.
18 Top lawyer? Sign one’s luck changed?
KINGS COUNSEL - (SIGN ONES LUCK)*. I was just a little bit miffed by this because at the moment there is of course no such thing (they are Queen’s Counsels), which I felt the clue should have acknowledged in some way.
21 We often criticise European films
POLEMISTS - POLE, MISTS.
23 Article about initially exciting male topic
THEME - TH(Excercising, M)E.
24 Man, that sounds serious!
ERNEST - sounds like ‘earnest’.
25 Giant deficit breaks firm associated with America
COLOSSUS - CO(LOSS), US.
26 Beach kiosk stuffed with rubbish primarily (6)
STRAND - ST(Rubbish)AND.
27 Outing-organiser always knocked back beer and drop of red
REVEALER - reversal of EVER, ALE, Red. ‘Outing’ in the sense of revealing that someone is gay.

Down
1 Spot in which dog’s unlikely to get loose?
SECURE - SE(CUR)E.
2 A body of water in a foreign country
ABROAD - A, BROAD. As in Norfolk.
3 Mines may close up around October’s end
CLAYMORES - (MAY CLOSE)* containing octobeR.
4 Court shames Ohio union criminal
MANSION HOUSE - (SHAMES, O, UNION)*.
6 A warplane over China
AMIGO - A, MIG, O.
7 Distress irate dad showed to a great degree
RADIATED - (IRATE DAD)*. As in to radiate happiness, for instance.
8 Associates of Johnson, Gove and Hunt?
CONSORTS - or CON SORTS. There weren’t enough letters for my initial thought.
11 Go for it and push the Queen?
MAKE ONES MOVE - the second part of the clue being a reference to chess, of course. Do you push the pieces or lift them? I suppose you might do either.
15 Choose Wagner’s last lyrical work for conductor
ELECTRODE - ELECT, wagneR, ODE.
16 Those at helm of fish-catching ship
SKIPPERS - S(KIPPER)S.
17 Crack in a vessel
ONE-LINER - or ONE (a), LINER (vessel).
19 Creature comfort wife left outside
WEASEL - W(EASE)L.
20 Race around Kent area presents problem
TEASER - TEA(SE)R.
22 One employed to style The Stones?
MASON - CD.