August 2nd, 2020

  • vinyl1

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. 

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)
12 Little beast from centre of London borough turned over grass (11, two words)
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)
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)
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)
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.  
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)
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.