August 2nd, 2020

New RCA
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Mephisto 3126 - Not so harcane....

I was able to do most of this without using Chambers, but in the end I came up against a few words I didn't know.   I was able to derive most of these from the cryptics, but some of them were so unlikely I just had to look them up.   My big break-through was managing to remember the London borough I needed for the little beast, which opened up the northwest and enabled me to finish the bulk of the puzzle.   My final one, however, was the Roman coins, which I thought were spelt aeses, which is why I couldn't find them in the dictionary.   But in the end, I was all done in liittle more than 70 minutes. 

Across
1 Game which involves flinging small ferrets (4)
HOBS - HOB + S[mall].    The game involves tossing pebbles at a coin on the end of a stick - it was probably an amusement of the other sort of hobs.
4 Scoundrel wallowing in self certainty (8)
SECURITY - SE(CUR)ITY.   Yes, I looked up seity, just to check.
10 Dancer may get into this academy, mostly late (7)
UNITARD - UNI + TARD[y].
12 Little beast from centre of London borough turned over grass (11, two words)
BARKING DEER -  BARKING + REED backwards. 
13 Comb over for male in these (4)
TOSE - T(-he,+O)SE.   More usually spelt toze. 
14 First day in shopping centre gives you temper (8, two words)
TONE DOWN - T(ONE + D)OWN. 
15 Difficulty that finishes off dense oaf in Washington (4)
RUBE - RUB + [dens]E - presumably in the state of Washington, since their are no rustics in D.C.
17 Starters for those arriving peckish at Seville? (5)
TAPAS - First letters of T[hose] A[rriving] P[eckish] A[t] S[eville], a rather simple &lit.
21 Soldiers get stuck into this protein quickly — flipping bad note (8)
VITELLIN - VITE + ILL backwards + N.   It's the protein in egg yolks, and the soldiers are strips of toast.
22 At Rome yes, better one speeding soul’s delivery, supposedly (8)
SINEATER - SI + NEATER. I tried shrifter for a while, but couldn't make it work - because it was wrong!
23 Strangeness, and another with it being taken out of the earth (5)
SODDY - S + ODD[it]Y.   S is the abbreviation for strangeness when talking about quarks, evidently. 
25 In the thick of domestic, Bond’s boss must step back (4)
AMID - MAID with the M moved towards the back of the word. 
26 Dodges down under succeeded with cotton fiber (8)
SLINTERS - S + LINTERS, one obscure word clued by another.   I just let the checkers fill it in, as the E is pretty obvious.
29 Let know familiar tenor must be left (4)
TOLD - OLD + T, but the T must be on the left - I think!
30 Pleasant baron’s naive bumbling (11)
NONABRASIVE - Anagram of BARON'S NAIVE.
31 Rugby game’s postponement finally accepted causing outcries, as before (7)
STEVENS - S([postphonemen]T)EVENS.   Outcries in the Faerie Queene, that is. 
32 Brown studies always with one in residence (8)
REVERIES -  R(EVER, I)ES. 
33 Hemingway, for example, casting central characters at first (4)
ERST - ER[ne]ST.  A well-designed clue, since at first is often a positional indicator.  
Down
1 Savage switch for Diana, say (8)
HUNTRESS - HUN + TRESS.   My FOI.   Switch is about the 14th meaning for tress.
2 Blocking response in the matter of stringent sewer’s product (11, two words)
BIAS BINDING - BI + AS + BINDING.   This meaning of bi is from Chinese medicine - you could look it up.
3 Laurel, for example, in drag wandered around Ireland (8)
STREELED - S(TREE)LED, that is, a bit of Irish slang.   I wasted a lot of time with Stan Laurel. 
4 Hindu worshipper’s object cut with thanks (5)
SAKTA - SAK[e] + TA. 
5 Eire into shipping in mineral (8)
ERIONITE - Anagram of EIRE INTO.   I've never seen shipping used as an anagram indicator - I suppose you have to export the letters.
6 Withholding power clear out press (4)
URGE - [p]URGE.
7 No longer flush dead fish (4)
RUDD - RUD + D, more Spenser.
8 Moral quality with Sturgeon’s own group of bright stars (7, two words)
THE WAIN - THEW + AIN.   Nicola Sturgeon, that is - nice that they felt obliged to capitalize her.   This asterism is known as the Big Dipper over here in the US.
9 Tell stories about being amongst your number (4)
YARN - Y(A)R + N. 
11 Love poem being reinterpreted in a mass transit provision (11, two words)
PEOPLE MOVER - P(anagram of LOVE POEM)ER.  Another A = PER clue, which always catches me out. 
16 Attention held by ceremonial salt (8)
STEARATE - ST(EAR)ATE.   Since the stear- root means fatty, I was a little surprise by this salt.  Perhaps our resident chemist can explain how a salt can be fatty?  I expect salts to be simple inorganic molecules. 
18 A case of going in quick, biblically grasping muscle (8)
ALLATIVE - AL(LAT)IVE.   Not one of the standard eight Indo-European cases, either, although it was a later development in Latvian and Lithuanian. 
19 At St Andrews most trim fellows reversed destiny in year off (8)
SNODDEST - DONS upside-down + DESTINY with IN Y removed.   This superlative is not given in Chambers, but is probably attested somewhere.
20 Very joyful call over solitary double bass (7)
VIOLONE - V + IO + LONE.   The double bass of the viola da gamba family, that is. 
24 Looking up enough said possibly dramatically for early coppers (5)
ASSES - SESSA upside-down; the singular is AS, a Roman coin. 
26 Growl once as fabulous creature that's hunted gets detailed (4)
SNAR - SNAR[k], who appears in The Hunting of the Snark in Through the Looking Glass. 
27 Seize European scruff (4)
NAPE - NAP + E, as in kidNAP. 
28 Tower’s seat is to be announced north of River (4)
T-BAR - T.B.A. + R.   As usual, hyphens are disregarded in Mephisto.