June 28th, 2020

Mephisto 3121 - Don Manley

If you do the Mephisto and the Listener, you gor a double dose of Don Manley last weekend - I found the Listener enjoyable as well (and if you are looking to try out the series, it is on the easier side of Listeners, particularly if you have been solving Don Manley clues here and in the daily/quick cryptics.

This was a pretty steady solve, and another fun grid, with 90-degree symmetry and longer entries around the outside.

In Mephisto puzzles, definitions (the first of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will be focusing on the wordplay.

Away we go...

Across
1 Horrible person, intellectual of a certain hue? (9)
PIGMENTAL - PIG(horrible person), MENTAL(intellectual)
11 A Parisian, I had to be member of a church (6)
UNIATE - UN(a in French), I, ATE(had)
12 Indian animal that’s awful crossing a lake (5)
BALOO - BOO(that's awful!) surrounding A, L(lake). I'm going to guess most of us know this word via Kipling
13 Phone America for something to help broken bones (6)
CALLUS - CALL(phone), US(America)
14 Class with Scripture etc making one behave better (6)
REFORM - a class with Scripture etc could be a RE FORM
16 Plant with bacterial disease — leaf’s beginning to wither (8)
WISTERIA - LISTERIA(bacterial disease) with the first letter of Leaf replaced by the first letter of Wither
17 A short time entertaining one good chum abroad (5)
AMIGO - A, MO(short time) containing I(one), G(good)
19 Cent in terrible state, coin no longer usable (6)
SCEATT - C(cent) inside an anagram of STATE
20 Fabric is brought round to be displayed outside room (6)
SHALLI - IS reversed surrounding HALL(room)
21 Around home let’s spread cheap decoration (6)
TINSEL - IN(home) inside an anagram of LET'S
25 Prostitutes having game start to linger repeatedly in back street (6)
TRULLS - RU(game), and the first letter of Linger twice in ST(street) reversed
28 Sends back a wee amount (5)
STIME - EMITS(sends) reversed
30 True stories coming from couples once more (8)
RE-ALLIES -  REAL(true), LIES(stories)
31 Good-for-nothing to be stupid as before, having adopted new name (6)
DONNAT - DOAT(to be stupid) surrounding N(new) and N(name)
32 Distinct political group full of love repeatedly sweet-talking (6)
WOOING - WING(distinct political group) containing O(love) twice
33 Playful lord in court in charge (5)
LUDIC - LUD(lord in court), IC(in charge)
34 Initial earnings with a debit to be arranged (6)
EBITDA - A with an anagram of DEBIT
35 Transvestites in red dancing in parties (9)
BERDASHES -  anagram of RED inside BASHES(parties)
Down
2 Maiden rushed up to meet the first person in embrace (5)
INARM - M(maiden), RAN(rushed) reversed after I(first person)
3 Highland assistant that is buried under wooded glen (6)
GILLIE - IE(that is) under GILL(wooded glen)
4 African islander, once a prisoner in crushed condition (8)
MALAGASH - A LAG(prisoner) in MASH(crushed condition)
5 Indonesian den, one with nothing inside (6)
NESIOT - NEST(den) contaning I(one) and O(nothing)
6 Sailors coming to American city where saint was born (6)
TARSUS - TARS(Sailors) and US(American) for the birthplace of Saint Paul
7 Helps when chance has to be seized (5)
ABETS - AS(when) containing BET(chance)
8 Like colourful festival, free for all (6)
FLORAL - anagram of FOR,ALL
9 Mountain sheep loves to look down on valley and lake (6)
OORIAL - O and O (loves) over RIA(valley) and L(lake)
10 Philanderer more prudent going round Arab land (9)
WOMANISER - WISER(more prudent) surrounding OMAN(Arab land)
15 Corrupt celebrity in ill setting (9)
BASTARDLY - STAR(celebrity) inside BADLY(ill)
18 Strawberry about to be munched — the fellow’s to eat it (8)
HAUTBOIS - anagram of ABOUT inside HIS(the fellow's)
22 Ignore little old cutie getting sozzled (6, two words)
ICE OUT - anagram of O(little old) and CUTIE
23 Non-flying bird needs help — one taken outside to go up (6)
NHANDU - HAND(help) inside UN(one) reversed
24 What one is looking for in new role is to kill time (6)
LOITER - one is looking for IT inside an anagram of ROLE
25 Muscular youngster (old-fashioned type) has cut in (6)
THEWED - TED(youngster) with HEW(cut) inside
26 Early woman, evil ultimately — I left husband, it is gathered (6)
LILITH - last letter of eviL, then I, L(left), H(husband) containing IT. Clever clue, as LILITH was the first wife of Adam
27 Good material that adds a certain gloss (5)
GLACE - G(good), LACE(material)
29 African with long hair hugging duke (5)
MANDE - MANE(long hair) surrounding D(duke)
muppet

Sunday Times 4908 by Robert Price - back to school

DNF. I found this very tricky, and had spent a little over 20 minutes on it when I came to 18ac. I have somehow never come across the Roman name for Ireland (if anything I would have associated it with Scotland, but it turns out the football team was founded by Edinburgh’s Irish community), and I couldn’t make any sense of (or indeed identify) the wordplay. So a fail for me this week as a result of a pretty embarrassing gap in my general knowledge.

The quality of the puzzle was, fortunately, far superior to the quality of the solver. Lots of cunning clues in this one, and some interesting vocab. 16dn combines both features in a particularly brilliant &Lit.

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

Across
1 Young lover’s house leased by top university
CAPULET - CAP (top), U, LET. Juliet’s house, sworn enemies of Romeo’s Montagues.
5 Joints provided in some prosthetic limbs feel stiff at first
SPLIFFS - first letters of ‘some prosthetic limbs feel stiff’ containing IF (provided).
9 Song, mostly fiction
LIE - LIEd.
10 Parties entertaining northern banker throws
DISCONCERTS - DISCO(N, CERT)S.
11 Men’s linen about to be arranged in drawers
UNMENTIONABLES - (MENS LINEN ABOUT)*.
13 Rent small room someone vacated for free
LET LOOSE - LET, LOO, SomeonE.
15 Pound of meat, paltry end cut
HAMMER - HAM, MERe.
17 One may hold coffee and walk nonchalantly, on a mobile
SACHET - sounds like ‘sashay’. This seems to be a reference to instant so ‘coffee’ should really be in inverted commas.
18 Ireland’s rupture brought about in Belfast originally
HIBERNIA - H(In, Belfast)ERNIA. My downfall.
20 Understanding 60 per cent of these irritate, act decisively
GRASP THE NETTLE - GRASP (understanding), THEse, NETTLE.
23 Governance by one on hand to give guidance
RULE OF THUMB - or, um, RULE (governance) OF (by) THUMB (one on hand).
24 Top firm? Not really
LID - soLID.
25 Bagpipe songs to be played amid silence
MUSETTE - SET (songs to be played) inside MUTE (silence, as a verb). 'A type of bagpipe with a bellows popular in France during the 17th and 18th centuries.' New to me but the wordplay was clear enough.
26 Look around and be curious, dear fellow
OLD BEAN - reversal of LO, (AND BE)*.

Down
1 Dreary company? Don’t scowl so much!
COLOURLESS - CO, LOUR LESS.
2 Heavy tools misspelt in a crumpled list
PNEUMATIC DRILLS - (IN A CRUMPLED LIST)*.
3 Like a full ship that’s left port
LADEN - L, ADEN.
4 Most palatable wine is covered by tax
TASTIEST - T(ASTI)EST.
5 Spies turning up in old clubs
SPOONS - reversal of SNOOPS. SPOON is an old word for a golf club. See also mashie, niblick, mashie-niblick, jigger.
6 Large copper in uniform heading for bogus judge’s study at night
LUCUBRATE - L, U(CU), Bogus, RATE. A word I didn’t know but the assembly instructions were clear.
7 Tone of Tory supporting one’s plea to be recalled
FORGET-ME-NOT BLUE - not a colour I knew, but again the instructions were clear once I had a few checkers.
8 Band’s big hit millions ignored
SASH - SmASH.
12 A jolly old fellow’s battle against evil
ARMAGEDDON - A, RM (‘jolly’ is a term for a Royal Marine), AGED, DON.
14 Disposed to shove or go too far
OVERSHOOT - (TO SHOVE OR)*.
16 Possible order for trio to hold melody back
RITENUTO - (TRIO)* containing TUNE reversed. This is a musical instruction to ‘hold back momentarily’ so the clue is a very clever &Lit.
19 Figure seen in posh country houses
STATUE - STAT(U)E.
21 Set off with no rescue boat and sink
EMBED - EMBarkED.
22 Spruce border, cut back
TRIM - triple definition.