April 19th, 2020

Mephisto 3111 - Paul McKenna

Greetings all, I hope you are staying safe and sane!

Tricky workout this time around from Paul McKenna (I don't know enough Latin to do the O Tempora crossword but I see it was his last week as well).

Paul McKenna usually treats us to a pun in the top row, and this time around it is FIRST ROUND.

Since definitions (underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, I will focus on the wordplay in this report.

Away we go...

1 It’s prickly and lords and ladies wear them, as the saying goes (5)
FURZE - sounds like FURS(what lords and ladies would wear). Not sure if there is a specific saying in mind here.
5 Drummer conceded being thoroughly wet through? (7)
DROWNED - DR(drummer), OWNED(conceded)
10 Pacific campaigner is possibly right say to embrace America and Australia (10)
SATYAGRAHI - anagram of RIGHT,SAY containing an A(America) and another A(Australia)
11 Gardener who sows grass, I guess, shrugging off new legislator (8)
LAWMAKER - the gardener could be a LAWN MAKER, remove N(new)
13 Force in sweet that’s been set aside resulting in dramatic oath (5)
S'FOOT - F(force) in SOOT(obsolete term for sweet)
14 And amongst foreigners wobbly chins dated gentiles (7)
ETHNICS - ET("and" in French) and an anagram of CHINS
16 Dual screen on a couple of mobiles makes you cross (5)
DSOMO - DS(dual screen), O(on), and the first two letters of MObiles
17 Token date that’s important close to girl (7)
TESSERA - ERA(date that's important) beside TESS(a girl)
19 Monkeys with spirit (5)
MONAS -  double definition, though the spirit is found in Chambers under MONAD
22 Upcycle duddy clothes once dressed (5)
YCLED - hidden in upcYCLE Duddy
23 Macron’s forward Mrs could be the making of manservant (7, two words)
EN AVANT - anagram of MANSERVANT minus MRS
24 Street tree provides hiding-place (5)
STASH - ST(street), ASH(tree)
28 Guy is attached to such red cask (7, two words)
TENT PIN - TENT(red wine), and PIN(pin can mean a quantity of drink, hence a cask)
29 Old smoking gun? Before, whenever (5)
PREIF - PRE(before), IF(whenve
30 Anonymous take in bogus cover (8, two words)
SPAN ROOF - AN(anonymous), R(recipe, take) inside SPOOF(bogus)
31 According to nature with ease, we hear, watered helenium (10)
SNEEZEWEED - SN(secundum naturam, according to nature) then EEZE(sounds like ease), WEED(watered)
32 Better make a noise while chugging, line’s to go behind (7)
SURPASS - SLURP(make a noise while chugging) missing L(line), ASS(behind)
33 A considerable call to quit (5)
AVAST - A, VAST(considerable)
1 Unfortunately it’s a fly, dirty trick (7)
FALSITY - anagram of IT'S,A,FLY
2 Real vulgar among upper-class chose to drop first couple (10)
UNAFFECTED - NAFF(vulgar) inside U(upper-class) and ELECTED(chose) missing the first two letters
3 Horned beast that IDs cars in Durban? Timid sort (7)
ZAMOUSE - ZA(IVR code for South Africa), MOUSE(timid sort)
4 Earl touches ranks around Verdun (5)
ETATS - E(earl), TATS(touches)
5 I’ll ditch colourist accepting a thousand (5)
DYKER - DYER(colourist), surrounding K(a thousand)
6 Provincial Roman, flighty Nazarite, escaping zone (7)
RAETIAN - anagram of NAZARITE missing Z(zone)
7 Troglodytes with guns abandoned by British (5)
WRENS - W(with) then BRENS(guns) missing B(British)
8 Note new Laotian general (8)
NATIONAL - N(note) then an anagram of LAOTIAN
9 ____ sinks offie’s prime offering (5)
DIPSO - DIPS(sinks), and the first letter of Offie
12 Money casino’s wasted, and millions note, in tasteless gaffs (10)
MCMANSIONS - M(money) and an anagram of CASINO'S, containing M(Millions), and N(note)
15 Polynesian perhaps is left with shelter, son expressed (8)
ISLANDER - IS, L(left) then an ANDERSON shelter missing SON
18 These are pretty precise on ground spice (7)
RECIPES - two wordplays - anagram of PRECISE and RE(on) then an anagram of SPICE
20 Do please now reply with revision — go with too much gas (7)
OVERREV - OVER(radio cue for a reply), then REV(revision)
21 Up in Scotland drink renders powerless — what the hell!? (7, two words)
STUFF IT - TIFF(sip, drink in Scots), then PUTS(renders) missing P(power), all reversed
24 The upstream side soaks up sun (5)
STOSS - reversal of SOTS(soaks) then S(sun)
25 This potential source of pneumonia upset petulant people (5)
STREP - PERTS(petulant people) reversed
26 Grand and stately feature of the Thames going upstream worries (5)
GNAWS - G(grand) and then SWAN(stately feature of the Thames) reversed
27 Apparently almost close to stopping breathing in US (5)
APNEA - AP(apparently) and NEAR(close to) missing the last letter

Sunday Times 4898 by Dean Mayer

22:20. I’m writing this on Saturday evening, having just watched Brief Encounter with my wife. I’d like to thank jackkt in particular and others for recommending it, because it is a really wonderful movie.

The puzzle? Well I’m literally starting now, so let’s see how I get on…

I don’t normally do COD but I did like 1dn for the self-referentialnessism.

Also I don’t normally do music in the vinyl style because it isn’t relevant but this evening I have been mostly listening to the Wu-Tang Clan.

All in all I thought this was first-class. Thank you Dean!

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

1 Like this, stand right?
SOBER - SO, BE, R. Let something be = let something stand.
4 Immoral young woman longed to grab uniform
DEBAUCHED - DEB (young woman, of a certain sort), A(U)CHED.
9 Dog turned away — smile about that (7)
GRIFFON - GR(reversal of OFF)IN.
10 Mountainous country with over two rivers — Austria
ANDORRA - AND (with) O, R, R, A.
11 Bits of craft concerning ornaments
AFTERDECKS -AFTER (concerning), DECKS (ornaments). Not sure about after = concerning. Will check in the morning.
12 Drunk wife I turned on
WINO - W, I, reversal of NO.
14 Kinetic art noticed in school
17 New plan is source of striking report?
20 Jazz genre, a style of Indian music.
RAGA - RAG (Joplin), A.
21 Soft old wine I consumed for boost
POTENTIATE - P (soft), O TENT (a crossword word for wine), I. ATE.
23 Drug trial arranged at home
24 One to give up drinking a very strong drink
25 Elba resident, British one, that’s kept in isolation
26 Tough way to cut grass

1 Exceptional clue
SIGNAL - DD. Exceptional clue!
2 All-out effort to eat new pancake
BLINTZ - BLIT(N)Z. I didn’t know this version of blini but it seemed pretty close.
3 Vote on European split in endless rage
REFERENDUM - RE, F(E, REND)UM. A reminder that that our voluntary act of self-harm hasn’t gone away in spite of the virus.
4 Play, sure, and go under par on hole
DANGEROUS CORNER - (SURE AND GO)*, CORNER (difficult situation, hole).
5 Gap etc too old for advertising generally
6 Your duty is to hold tongue
URDU - contained in ‘your duty'.
7 Battle-axe has reduced radius, bottom inverted
HARRIDAN - is this a sexist term? I had an interesting discussion today with my kids about the more modern ‘Karen’ and ‘Gammon’. Let’s keep discussing these things and trying not to be rude to one another.
8 Rats eating dead fish
DRAGONET - DRA(GONE)T. Not a fish I knew.
13 A good financial contact?
MIDAS TOUCH - a rather brilliant CD.
15 Cut of pork in box, hospital soap in the same place
SPARE RIB - SPAR, ER (cf. George Clooney), IB (ibidem).
16 Cow just spotted in marshland
18 Surrender, perhaps as I have, in conflict
19 Watch the end of this item?
22 Box of cold sauce
CLIP -C, LIP. Box as in ears. Sauce as in cheek, lip, front. The English language is wonderful, isn't it? I don't hold with the idea that it's somehow richer than others, but who cares? It's ours, let's enjoy it.
  • vinyl1

Times 27643 - The world turned upside down

Time: 23 minutes
Music: Brahms, Piano Concerto #1, Bohm/Pollini/VPO

This seemed like a pretty easy puzzle when I started, but there were a couple of tough areas that slowed me down a bit.  There's a little more unusual vocabulary, and there are some things the you may or may not know.   If you get stuck, you may not manage to finish at all.   There was only one answer I didn't know, but the cryptic is pretty generous. 

1 Butterfly with legs on top? The ultimate in ‘strange (8,5)
INVERTED COMMA - A COMMA butterfly that is INVERTED.  Where's the definition?   Look at what I underlined!  Great clue.
8 Go round quickly and tack, going to south (4)
SPIN - S + PIN. 
9 Fortuitous to get Oscar for a Western (10)
OCCIDENTAL - (-a,+O)CCIDENTAL, with Oscar from the NATO alphabet.
10 Member on board gives in, then oddly persists (8)
BOWSPRIT - BOWS + P[e]R[s]I[s]T, where 'on board' refers to the ship.
11 Tons in arrears regularly — affording such jewellery? (6)
TIARAS - T + I[n] A[r]R[e]A[r]S.
13 Lack of harmony is very new in music for disco (10)
16 Magistrate’s heartless act that is dishonest (4)
DOGE - DO[d]GE, a bit of slang that has fallen out of use.
17 Reject some love tokens (4)
VETO - Hidden in [lo]VE TO[kens].
18 Changing euro next, as foreign (10)
20 Rank suspicion about cheap stuff (6)
22 An enhancing drug for heavenly body (8)
ASTEROID - A STEROID, a bit of an &lit, although not for long.
24 Machine for turning cast figure on coin (10)
26 Treat prince having swallowed ecstasy (4)
HEAL - H(E)AL.   The literal is not quite synonymous, but it's close enough.
27 Replenish beer that’s drunk? Disgraceful (13)
1 Driven to shaking after naughty child’s thoughtless (11)
2 See eastern star rising — or planet (5)
VENUS - V + E + SUN upside-down, where V = 'vide'.
3 Film old relative during journey on horseback (3,6)
RIO GRANDE -  RI(O GRAN)DE.   The similarity to the song makes the answer a little obvious. 
4 Around x-ray, notice strange energy concentration (7)
EXCITON - Anagram of NOTICE around X, another NATO alphabet bit.  This is the word I didn't know.
5 Police student about reported money owed (5)
CADET - CA + sounds like DEBT.
6 Crew name tug crudely? (9)
7 Chap’s dropping masculine woman (3)
ADA - ADA[m].   I had to think a little, as a number of female names would fit.
12 Stick together stuff in cutting semi-precious stone (11)
AGGLUTINATE - AG(GLUT, IN)ATE, where both 'glut' and 'stuff' must be verbs.  
14 Baseball player’s casual two-piece outfit? (9)
15 Attention to detail of former head about individual performance (9)
EXACTNESS - EX(ACT)NESS, as in 'you'd better clean up your act!'.  
19 Slander a duke during armistice (7)
21 Gooey stuff coming from small tree (5)
SLIME - S + LIME, not the first tree you think of, but the obvious answer.
23 Swimmer wasting time over process of getting better (5)
REHAB - BA[t]HER upside-down.
25 Organ is present from Cockney, we’re told (3)
EAR - Sounds like 'ERE, which is how the Cockney responds to the roll call.