May 24th, 2020

  • vinyl1

Mephisto 3116 - "His pegleg got woodworm, and broke into three....

Well, this time I managed to solve it.   That's the good part, an all-correct grid.   However, I did a fair amount of biffing, and now I have to try to figure out why the correct answers are the correct answers.   It's a nice problem to have.   Since I haven't  gotten to the bottom of every clue, some audience participation may be needed.

I didn't think this Mephisto was that difficult, and there are a lot of easy entry points.   I was able to put in quite a few answers on my first go-rounnd, starting with 'Circassia'.   After that, it got a little harder, but it always does.  

1 Ask repeatedly about recluse on missing old governor (9)
BEGLERBEG - BEG + L[on]ER + BEG.   More often beylerbey - the "bey of beys".   O bey!
11 What’s odd about a lot of Asian drink used in plant (7)
WARATAH -  Anagram of WHAT around ARA[k].   A flowering shrub from Austalia, of course.
12 More formal club, very isolated (5)
DRIER - DRI[v]ER, as in what you tee off with.
13 Measure said to be in letters from abroad (4)
PSIS - P.S.I'S, I would think - but maybe not.  Other solvers think is sounds like SIZE, but in Greek the initial P would have been pronounced, and the I would have been given the traditional Continental pronunciation, not the one from the Great Vowel Shift.
14 Sanction a vehicle in perfect condition for river (8)
OKAVANGO - OK A VAN G/O, I suspect - good order?  Chambers indicates 'go' means 'in perfect condition', but I'd like to see a usage example.  
15 Union etc out to protect male employees (6)
CEMENT - Anagram of ETC around MEN, a definite starter clue.
16 Foreign tongue mostly not acquired (5)
UNGOT - anagram of TONGU[e].  
17 Leader of Remain probing Leave’s superficial showiness (7)
VARNISH - VA(R[emain]NISH, another easy one.
19 Corrected version embarrassed a large number (7)
24 Endless milk is so fantastic for a ravenous appetite (7)
LIMOSIS - Anagram of MIL[k] IS SO, a word we had just a few puzzles ago.
26 A volume’s picked up for parties (7)
ATHOMES - Sounds like A TOME'S.
28 Grass snake’s first and last to waken in the field (5)
SNOUT - S[nake's} + [wake}N + OUT.  
30 Lighters accepted in carriages (6)
PRAAMS - PRA(A)MS, a type of flat-bottomed sailboat.
31 Old pros see Caribbean island overtaken by South America (8)
SUCCUBAS - S + U (C CUBA)S, where I think the C is textspeak. 
32 School retains lecturer, a woopie (4)
GLAM - G(L)AM.  I'm not sure exactly how the literal works, but the cryptic hands it to you.   Two acronyms, a Well-Off Older Person and Graying, Leisured Affluent Married.
33 Wild fashion regularly on show in a state (5)
IDAHO - [w]I[l]D [f]A[s]H[i]O[n].  
34 Too lax at sea to keep line for aquatic creature (7)
AXOLOTL - Anagram of TOO LAX + L, a salamander popular in crossword puzzles.
35 Call number back catching Golf driver (9)
ENGINEMAN - NAME  NI(G)NE backwards.  Perhaps what you need to solve 12 across?
2 A softly-softly falling out, conciliation brings peace (8)
3 Soiled goods primarily frozen (6)
GRIMED - G[oods] + RIMED.
4 Light beer special for German (5)
LASER - LA(-g,+S)ER.  
5 PM perhaps somehow contained spending limits? (7)
ETONIAN - anagram of [c]ONTAINE[d].  PM, certainly!
6 Arab breaking dodgy habit in Indian republic (7)
BHARATI - BH(AR)ATI, where the enclosing letters are an anagram of HABIT.
7 Whitewash up north for cap on chimney pot (6)
GRANNY - Well, you've got me, I just biffed this one.    Double definition, to defeat totally and a revolving top on a chimney.
8 Minister overlooks scheme that’s unpleasant (6)
MINGIN - MIN + GIN, apparently a bit of Scots slang.
9 Aussie car owners shouldn’t drive without it on call (4)
REGO - RE + GO.   Also a section of Queens, watch out for that.  
10 Table argument for strong position in bar (9)
PROTHESIS - PRO -rogue,+THESIS.  PRO + THESIS, where the arsis is the upbeat and the thesis is the downbeat in a bar of music.
15 A crisis evolved in Central America and Black Sea region (9)
CIRCASSIA - C(anagram of A CRISIS)A.
18 A fool’s shown up about carpet marks that are disgraceful (8)
STIGMATA - A GIT'S upside-down around MAT.  
20 F Field and B Silver to get distasteful lodgings (7)
21 US writer coming out? I must come out too (7)
22 Seals step around this (6)
PHOCAS - P(HOC)AS, the stock  Greek word for seal, found in the Odyssey. 
23 Catering staff book for first of classes in evening reception (6)
BOUCHE - (+B,-c)OUCHE.   The food supplied to a nobleman's retinue.
25 Henry cutting a great deal for Nixon almost gets peace in the Middle East (6)
SHALOM -  S(HAL)OM[e].  
27 Cowslip leaf found around lake (5)
PAGLE - PAG(L)E, an easy one if you trust the cryptic.
29 Person seen in new Cornish resort, topless? (4)
NUDE - (-b,+N)UDE, the obvious answer, even if youu've never heard of Bude.

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1439: All Moustache And No Top Hat

Sorry this is a little late - the recent spate of Bank Holidays have discombobulated me quite.

Found this quite enjoyable to write up the parsings for, thank you setter! While I quite enjoyed the image and classical credentials of A CHILL EEL, my COD (another point against 41ac - an EEL cannot really be a COD) was 11dn, both for being a very good word and also the creativity of "visitor with another singular". Good stuff.

How'd the rest of you fare?

1 Shock viewpoint presented by Judge (6)
JANGLE - ANGLE presented by J

5 Pinch place, returning to see some bowling (7)

9 Shocked I get offer, nothing less — this? (4,4)
FREE GIFT - (I GET {o}FFER*), semi-&lit

13 Failing to match boasts, mount horse around stall awkwardly (3,5,3,2,8)

14 Bird with territory ultimately capable of expansion? (8)
STRETCHY - STRETCH [bird, as in prison time] + {territor}Y

15 Boat journey, not quiet with engineers! (7)
TRIREME - TRI{p} + REME (the ever-popular Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers)

16 Recalled work to celebrate taking a stance? (6)
POSING - reversed OP + SING

17 Easy to get to account, else head of bank is distressed (10)

20 Start eating — to ingest excitedly will involve food (3,5,4)
GET STUCK INTO - (TO INGEST*) will "involve" TUCK

23 Very satisfied with return of trees (4)
SMUG - reversed GUMS

24 Get on top of those not wanted by market (8)
OUTSMART - OUTS [those not wanted] by MART

26 French fiend holding in Parisian? That can be disproved (8)

29 Mere outline’s developed for dramatic show (3,2,7)

30 Fully appreciating approach involved in bringing up? (10)

32 Praise I applied to place in remark (10)
COMPLIMENT - I applied to PL, in COMMENT

34 Come across appropriate attachment to jacket (6,6)
BREAST POCKET - BREAST [come across] + POCKET [appropriate, as in "trouser"]

36 Marine creature I brought in on a regular basis, without love (3,5)
SEA SNAIL - I "brought in" SEAS{o}NAL

38 I’d headed back into Biblical land, coming from part of America (8)
CANADIAN - reversed I'D in CANAAN

39 Dam displacing English river insect (4)
MOTH - MOTH{e}{r} [dam, minus E and R]

41 Quiet energy suppressed by a cold fish is a weakness (8,4)
ACHILLES HEEL - SH E "suppressed" by A CHILL EEL

43 Frenchman, say, embracing person seen in flat (4-1-5)
PIED-A-TERRE - PIERRE "embracing" DATE [person seen]

44 Composer, irrational to abandon carnival city (6)
DELIUS - DELI{rio}US [irrational, minus RIO]

46 Worker on strike for payment (7)
HANDOUT - HAND OUT [worker | on strike]

48 Drink after broadcast involving hard confrontation (8)
SHOWDOWN - DOWN [drink, as in swallow] after SOW [broadcast] "involving" H

50 Approximate location of return address? (2,3,4,2,2,8)

51 Famous lover caught entering path leading to area of land (8)
LANCELOT - C "entering" LANE, leading to LOT

52 Happen to be behind comic, mostly — reading about me? (3,4)
DAN DARE - ARE [happen to be] behind DAND{y}, semi-&lit. I must stress that Dan Dare, renowned Pilot of the Future, graced the pages of The Eagle, and not a mere funny paper like the Dandy, which was more Desperate Dan territory.

53 Stone slipping into line making a quiet sound (6)
RUSTLE - ST "slipping into" RULE

2 Craftiness keeping old man estranged (5)
APART - ART "keeping" PA

3 Bird of prey alleged gone, having flown (6,5)

4 Action against evil spirit — head of church has six more dancing around (8)
EXORCISM - C{hurch} has (SIX MORE*) around

5 Crumpled Times wrapping a last piece of crockery (5)
TATTY - T T T [(three) times] "wrapping" A, plus {crocker}Y

6 Gas power leading to shock? (7)
PRATTLE - P leading to RATTLE

7 Student following course getting an E is source of flaming disaster (7,4)
PUDDING LANE - L following PUDDING, getting AN E. Famous location where Terileptils started the Great Fire of London, in 1982 Doctor Who adventure "The Visitation".

8 Marriage, some say, almost immediately raised energy (5)
NOOSE - reversed SOON, plus E. Bit harsh!

9 Excited and honoured to welcome King and soldiers (9)
FERMENTED - FETED to "welcome" R + MEN

10 Picked up confusion about Queen’s outfit (5)
EQUIP - reversed PIE "about" QU

11 Reckoning visitor with another singular friend will embrace one (11)
GUESSTIMATE - GUESST - visitor, with two S-for-singulars + MATE, will "embrace" I

12 Fixed trawler accessory in area of ocean (7)
FASTNET - FAST NET [fixed | trawler accessory]

18 Military leader to turn up, bringing in modern troops (9)
COMMODORE - COME [to turn up], bringing in MOD O.R.

19 Stranger’s last to go after British city-dweller (7)
BRUMMIE - RUMMIE{r}, after B

21 Expression of ownership, like a lord claiming river (5,4)
TITLE DEED - TITLED [like a lord] "claiming" DEE

22 Elevated single drum in church is a memorial (8)
CENOTAPH - reversed ONE + TAP in CH

25 Speculation story about Conservative will be something worth seeing (9)

27 City allowed to import summer desserts with support of Queen (9)
LEICESTER - LET, to "import" ICES, supported by E.R.

28 Drained a couple of Lakes, considering everything (3,2,3)
ALL IN ALL - ALL IN [drained] + A L L

31 Cost of delivering naval officer on coach (7)
POSTAGE - P.O. [petty officer] on STAGE

33 I almost failed to climb street in photo, favouring the downward direction? (11)
PESSIMISTIC - reversed I MISSE{d} + ST, in PIC

34 Rabbit found elf dancing, a jolly figure (6,2,3)

35 Concise committee very good about conclusion (11)

37 Try to enter small room with opening barred and give up (4,5)
LOSE HEART - HEAR [try (a case)] to "enter" {c}LOSET

40 Hacker, perhaps, regrets getting upset about a program (8)
SABOTEUR - reversed RUES "about" A BOT

42 Historic Italian city mostly best around Monday (7)
CREMONA - CREA{m} "around" MON. Isn't it funny that this best could be as in CREAM of the crop, or as in CREAMING/besting someone by giving them a good thrashing?

43 Potential energy I observed in fish and plant (7)

45 Hum a few lines, omitting start of oratorio (5)
SMELL - S{o}ME + L L

47 Twisted, dropping head, being without cover (5)

48 Reason bridge team is participating in match (5)
SENSE - N + S [North and South, bridge partners], "participating" in SEE [match, e.g. in poker]

49 Roll with slope (5)