June 21st, 2020

New RCA
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Mephisto 3120 - Soothing the savage breast

I found this Mephisto a little challenging.   I got off to a good enough start, but found the last few a little tough to pin down.  Part of my problem is that the letters supplied in 27 are a perfect anagram of two different phrases, only one of which is correct.   Normally, if you get a sensible answer and the anagram letters check perfectly, you're home free, so this was very difficult to detect.

If this week's pun is Cornish pasty, then some re-arrangement of the sounds is required.   Any other suggestions?

1 Evasive about the Senior Service being old-fashioned (5)
CORNY - CO(R.N.)Y, one that should go right in.
5 Chap ties up pot-pourri (8)
PASTICHE - Anagram of CHAP TIES, another one that is not too difficult.
11 Century — Root’s opening without difficulty here (6)
CREASE - C + R[oot] + EASE, a bit of a cricket &lit, using a living person, as is allowed on Sundays only..
12 Expect a passage cut when rumpy-pumpy is added (5)
AWAIT - A + WA[y] + IT.
14 Cologne is where a welder and tavern party (13, two words)
LAVENDER WATER - Anagram of WELDER and TAVERN; not a good surface, in my opinion.
15 Obsessive about English course (8)
ONETRACK - ON + E + TRACK.
18 Flipping citation about Isaiah is florid (7)
ASIATIC - CiTA + ISA backwards, a surviving specialized meaning of the historically correct form.
19 I cut “OAPs” rhyme, “breeze” in sound treatment perhaps (13)
MUSICOTHERAPY - Anagram of I CUT "OAPS" RHYME, one I just biffed and then saw was an anagram.
21 Most calm surveyor’s right to become name (7)
EVENEST - EVE(-r,+N)EST, with a very clearly indicated letter substitution.   Referring to Sir George Everest, and not the mountain - although you can get the answer that way too.
25 Charlie had a lot in motion going from a terminal (8)
CATHODAL - Anagram of C + HAD A LOT.
27 It’s likely he hears accent differently (13, three words)
THE CHANCES ARE - Anagram of HE HEARS ACCENT, which unfortunately is also an anagram of THERE'S A CHANCE.
28 A defunct alliance in Station Zero (5)
SEATO -  SEAT + O, remembered from the US stamp issued in 1960.
29 Try polls in this smart suit (6)
HEARTS - HEAR + T[hi]S
30 Bearing success Yankee becomes coloured deep-red (8)
PORTWINY -  PORT + WIN + Y, where a rather archaic meaning of port is required.
31 What pinpointed deep problems in Argentina’s dictator? (5)
ASDIC - Hidden in [Argentin]A'S DIC[tator].
Down
2 Rob avoiding strengthening worshipper (5)
ORANT - [rob]ORANT, which I just biffed.
3 What gets you back on poetry — good sense? (11, two words)
REVERSE GEAR -  RE VERSE + G + EAR.
4 In Pandemonium then gain nowt from the Ploughman Poet (8)
NAETHING - Anagram of THEN GAIN, presumably the word that the author of Piers Ploughman would use.
5 Hamper, in places, set in salon’s craft giving pleasure? (6)
PEDALO - I just biffed the obvious answer, thinking I would figure out the cryptic later - but I still don't see it.   It must be rather tricky.  Evidently, PED + [s]ALO[n], although "set in salon" is a very vague indication of which letters to use.
6 Porter, perhaps, on college fellow who's smart (4)
ALEC - ALE + C, for a smart alec.
7 Tops in special chests (5)
SARKS - S + ARKS, tops for the braw laddies up north.
8 Foreign waste in ports (7)
TAWNIES - Anagram of WASTE IN, which I didn't see until I came to do the blog.
9 Spiteful women beat Duke ’arshly — sine qua non for BS? (11, two words)
CAT STANDARD - CATS TAN D 'ARD.   CAT evidently means College of Advanced Technology, ten of which existed between 1956 and 1966, The charges, access, and terms for Building Society financing.
10 Hospital overlooking deadly device hastened no more (4)
HIED - H + I.E.D, improvised explosive device.
11 Sets about hostel blokes in excesses in old play (9)
CLOYMENTS - CLO(Y MEN)TS, i.e. the YMCA.   The literal refers to a single usage in Twelfth Night.
13 Stay with cleric rejecting a change for enablers of movement? (9)
TRICYCLES - Anagram of STAY + CLERIC - A.
16 Spread round colonel’s covert command in trees (8)
MARGOSAS - MARG + O + S.A.S, where the spread is more commonly spelt marge.
17 Entertainment murders method (7)
ICESHOW - ICES HOW.
20 Witty remark by child, why in speaking like a jerk (6)
HITCHY - HIT + CH + sounds like WHY.
22 Is capital based on current sections of columns? (5)
SCAPI - 'S CAP + I.
23 Mademoiselle’s match is holier-than-thou about crafty conduct (5)
PARTI - P(ART)I.
24 Against accepting male alternative for Little Ted? (4)
THEO - T(HE)O, with the usual specialized use of TO.
26 Use coercion losing the top two — I beg your pardon? (4)
ANON - [le]AN ON, another archaic usage.