May 31st, 2020

Mephisto 3117 - Paul McKenna. Top row dreamin'

Greetings all, hope you are staying safe and sane. North Carolina moved into Phase 2 this week and though I think it is a little early, I have disappeared to a nearby town to hole up with some friends and ride out the next stage of the apocalypse.

This puzzle came together pretty readily. The grid is 90-degree symmetry with a couple of 3x2 blocks that would make US constructors proud.

Since definitions (underlined) can be verified in Chambers, I will be focused on the wordplay here.

Away we go...

Across
1 Ruler’s still virtually one foot (5)
CALIF - CALM(still) missing the last letter, then I(one) F(foot)
5 More up for it here in Hamburg taking in old service (7)
HORNIER - HIER("here" in German) containing O(old), RN(service)
10 Whim to embrace cheek before Pastor’s light-heartedness (9)
FLIPPANCY - FANCY(whim) containing LIP(cheek) and P(Pastor)
11 It is in pot making tea of sorts (6)
PTISAN - 'TIS in PAN(pot)
12 Increase strength in the morning with shaver (5, two words)
AMPUP - AM(morning) with PUP(youngster, shaver)
13 Dutch is in part an old charmer (8)
SEDUCTOR - DU(Dutch) inside SECTOR(part)
16 I’ll stand for last of these in compiler that’s hard to get wrong (6)
SITTER - I instead of the last letter of theseE in SETTER(compiler)
17 Before noon poet is moving with moderate pace (7)
ANDANTE - A(ante, before), N(noon), DANTE(poet)
19 Annals of Tacitus or Ovid’s poem? Sound bit of instruction (5)
FASTI - FAST(sound), then the first letter of Instrucion
21 Bits of fibre and, informally, juices? (5)
NOILS - 'N(and), OILS(juices)
23 Fitter on trailer modifying attachment (7)
ADAPTER -  APTER(fitter) with AD(trailer)
25 You see this up in Canada — function with Evian, eg (6)
COTEAU - COT(cotangent, function), with EAU(French for water, Evian)
28 Model in to run a lottery in Perth, perhaps (8, two words)
ART UNION - anagram of IN,TO,RUN,A - I remember this term in the 80s as a derisive term for something you were proud of or a suggestion that something was stolen, it was "won in an art union". The origin is apparently from lotteries were paintings were prizes
29 Newton in undoing argument (5)
RUN-IN - N(Newton, unit of force) inside RUIN(undoing)
30 Emperor accepted in Tuileries Palace, the prodigious bounder (6)
IMPALA - IMP(imperator, Emperor), A(accetped) and LA("the" in French)
31 Smart chap eg expert about northern officer checking wallop (9)
ALE-CONNER - smart ALEC and ONER(expert) surrounding N(northern). Why was this not suggested by my guidance counselor?
32 Mittens adjusted appropriately for fine snare (7, two words)
MIST NET - anagram of MITTENS
33 No good and tiny bit of African rhino (5)
NGWEE - NG(no good), WEE(tiny)
Down
1 Dispatching one, skipper will receive special help for handling cables (7)
CAPSTAN - remove I(one) from CAPTAIN(skipper) and insert S(special)
2 PM is more behind exploiting notion it turned out (9)
AFTERNOON - AFTER(more behind), then on top of NOTION minus IT reversed
3 Locksmith does this on getting into restraints (5)
LOIDS -  O(on) inside LIDS(restraints)
4 It’s about fluid with a nose mostly (6)
FLACON - an all-in-one  FL(fluid) with A, then CONE(nose) missing the last letter
5 Clues of that bloke including those bordering on naughtiest (5)
HINTS - HIS(of that bloke) containing the outside letters of NaughtiesT
6 Editor pressed by mates made an objection (7)
OPPOSED - ED(editor) under OPPOS(mates)
7 Reform meant take off ID? (8)
NAMETAPE - anagram of MEANT, then APE(take off)
8 Old bumpkin in hostels no longer supplying loads (6)
INPUTS - PUT(putt, bumpkin) inside INS(old form of INNS)
9 Angry person holds in grouse (5)
RYPER - hidden inside angRY PERson
14 In Cannes I cannot concentrate lifting honour in cut marble (9, two words)
TETE FOLLE - my last one in... reversal of FETE inside TOLLEY(marble) missing the last letter
15 Accursed chap on abridged Chambers, say (8)
MALEDICT - MALE(chap), DICT(dictionary, Chambers)
18 Bullish? Go sticking in gold (7)
TAURINE - TRINE(go) containing AU(gold)
20 Resolution of mostly regional division amongst archaeologists (7, two words)
IRON AGE - anagram of REGIONAL minus the last letter
22 One for L’Académie française in Italian’s online store (6)
ITUNES -  UNE("one" in French) inside IT'S (Italians)
24 Insight shown by a group of Christian fellows (6)
ACUMEN - A, CU(Christian Union), MEN(fellows)
25 Horace’s in the presence of Owen initially in the old lie (5)
CORAM - first letter of Owen in CRAM(old slang for lie)
26 Migrant with spare brass appearing in street (5)
STINT - TIN(brass) inside ST(street) the STINT is a small migratory bird
27 Sound catty without direct upset (5)
MIAOW - W/O(without) AIM(direct) all reversed

Sunday Times 4904 by Dean Mayer

27:36. A blinder of a puzzle from Dean this week. Tough, but very enjoyable. Loads of great clues in here but without doubt 17dn is the pick of the bunch for me. Brilliant!

So thank you very much to Dean for a thoroughly entertaining half-hour and here’s how I think it all works…

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


Across
1 Officer found in previous place
LOCATE - L(OC)ATE.
4 Order my parts to run hot air
TOMMYROT - T(OM, MY)ROT. OM = Order of Merit.
10 Lots of money and evidence in safe
BOMBPROOF - BOMB (lots of money as in it costs a…), PROOF.
11 Bread filled with small fried potatoes
ROSTI - RO(S)TI.
12 One in traffic jam about to go off with different drivers?
CARROT AND STICK - CAR (one in traffic) (ROT, AND), STICK (jam).
14 Moved into a site east of power plant
POINSETTIA - P, (INTO A SITE)*. I don’t remember ever seeing these at Christmas time when I was a kid but they’re ubiquitous now.
16 Siam visitor from Japan — Nagasaki
ANNA - contained in ‘Japan – Nagasaki’. I had no idea about the definition here but the wordplay was very clear. It’s a reference to Anna Leonowens, the subject of a book that was turned into the musical The King and I by Rogers and Hammerstein.
18 See individual volcanic formation
CONE - C (see), ONE (individual). ‘A conical mountain, especially one of volcanic origin’ (Collins).
19 Southern state penitentiary’s regular staff
ALPENSTOCK - AL (Alabama, southern state), PEN, STOCK (regular). PEN as a penitentiary is in Collins but marked as American and in Chambers without qualification. Easy to deduce though.
21 Cultivated country girl can edit edited editorial
LEADING ARTICLE - LEA (a meadow or ‘cultivated country’), (GIRL CAN EDIT)*.
24 Rising and falling, boy wants it back
TIDAL - reversal of LAD, IT.
25 After black, flower is white
ALABASTER - A LA (after), B, ASTER.
26 Not playing well after scoring?
SCRATCHY - CD, a reference to a vinyl record.
27 Just count after number one
MERELY - ME (number one), RELY (count on).

Down
1 Sky over wolf
LOBO - LOB (sky), O.
2 Flight deck has attendant on run
COMPANION LADDER - COMPANION (attendant), LADDER (run). I think I’ve come across this term for a ladder between decks on a ship before but I had to construct it from the wordplay and even then I didn’t recognise it until I looked it up. The definition is an exceptionally cunning one.
3 To lead gunners, some Nazis will offer big guns
TOP BRASS - TO, PB (lead), RA (Royal Artillery, gunners), SS (some Nazis).
5 Unpleasant part of campaign
OFFENSIVE - DD.
6 Doctor got out of bed in a bad mood
MOROSE - MO, ROSE.
7 Game whose winner never takes the lead
RUSSIAN ROULETTE - CD.
8 Expert groups, in gratitude, sign US document at last
THINK TANKS - TH(INK, documenT)ANKS. According to Collins, this meaning of the work INK is indeed American, which was news to me. A more apt definition in the UK these days would be ‘opaquely funded lobbying group for undisclosed private and corporate interests inexplicably allowed to present itself as an impartial commentator on BBC news programmes’ but this one also works.
9 Pull up when one’s dropped anchor
HOST - HOiST. Oh that sort of anchor!
13 Suspect ale might produce risks
SPECULATES - (SUSPECT ALE)*.
15 Pin and clip secured by the knotted wire
TELEGRAPH - (THE)* containing LEG (pin), RAP (clip).
17 How to pronounce the “h” of “aaargh”?
ASPIRATE - ‘aaargh’ being what pirates say, of course. It doesn’t do to pay too much attention to the structure of this clue but who cares? It’s brilliant! What does a pirate call the transmission rate of a viral infection?
20 Accommodation choice that's kept badly
BILLET - B(ILL)ET.
22 Managed to catch old horse
ROAN - R(O)AN.
23 Snoop around English quarry
PREY - PR(E)Y.