May 24th, 2020

New RCA
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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.  

Across
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)
REDRAFT - RED + RAFT.  
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?
Down
2 A softly-softly falling out, conciliation brings peace (8)
EASEMENT - [a pp]EASEMENT.
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)
FLEABAG - F + LEA + B + AG.
21 US writer coming out? I must come out too (7)
EMERSON - EMERS[i]ON.
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.
verlaine

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)
TOPSPIN - reversed NIP SPOT

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)
ALL MOUTH AND NO TROUSERS - (MOUNT HORSE AROUND STALL*)

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)
ACCESSIBLE - ACC + (ELSE B{ank} IS*)

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)
DENIABLE - DIABLE "holding" EN

29 Mere outline’s developed for dramatic show (3,2,7)
SON ET LUMIERE - (MERE OUTLINE'S*)

30 Fully appreciating approach involved in bringing up? (10)
EMPATHETIC - PATH "involved" in EMETIC

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)
ON THE BACK OF AN ENVELOPE - double def

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

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

3 Bird of prey alleged gone, having flown (6,5)
GOLDEN EAGLE - (ALLEGED GONE*)

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)
SPECTACLE - SPEC TALE "about" C

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)
BUNDLE OF FUN - BUN [rabbit] + (FOUND ELF*)

35 Concise committee very good about conclusion (11)
COMPENDIOUS - COM. + PIOUS "about" END

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)
PETUNIA - PE + I in TUNA

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

47 Twisted, dropping head, being without cover (5)
NAKED - {s}NAKED

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)
WHEEL - W HEEL