November 1st, 2020

  • glheard

Mephisto 3139 - Don Manley

Fun puzzle with a 90-degree symmetry grid and generous checking letters around. As usual, Don Manley has given precise wordplay for the more unusual words in the grid.

Just in case I make any flubs - I'm posting this in advance and I will be out playing golf most of Sunday, so check in the comments, I won't be able to make changes until the mid afternoon UK time.

In Mephisto, definitions can be confirmed in Chambers - I've underlined the most direct definition, and will focus on the wordplay in this write-up.

Away we go!

Across
1 Endless refusal to imbibe wonderful drink coming from group of swimmers (9)
NOTONECTA - a refusal to drink a wonderful drink would be NO TO NECTAR, remove the last letter
10 Tackle a drink (6)
BURTON - double definition
12 Container for rich man’s liquid? Regally designed, not English (6)
ARGYLL - anagram of REGALLY minus E(English)
13 Short strut attached to a vessel (4)
PROA - remove the last letter from PROP(strut), then A
15 Weight conveyed by spectacular talker (5)
ARTAL -  hidden inside spectaculAR TALker
17 Vase is counterfeit, not special (7)
POTICHE - POSTICHE(counterfiet) missing S(special)
18 Fold left stuck in boggy soil? (5)
PLEAT - L(left) inside PEAT(boggy soil)
19 Rather ordinary course of behaviour hard to drop (4, two words)
A BIT - HABIT(ordinary course of behaviour) missing H(hard)
20 Segregating no longer fair, involving deception (10)
HIRSELLING - a HIRING fair, containing SELL(deception as a noun)
22 Opportunity to accommodate famous singer left out in performance no longer (10)
CHEVISANCE - CHANCE(opportunity) containing ELVIS(famous singer) minus L(left)
24 Bits of money, very small, buried in meadow (4)
LEVA - V(very) inside LEA(meadow)
26 One choosing a flying machine? Not half! (5)
OPTER - HELICOPTER (flying machine) missing the first half
28 What’s had for little cash — a drink in two hotels (7)
HAP'ORTH - A PORT(drink) inside H and H (two hotels)
31 Pulls folk across the Pond (5)
YANKS - double definition
32 Cleaner gets hint of appreciation with gift brought round (4)
SOAP - first letter of Appreciation inside SOP(gift)
33 Let’s go forward with voting system, confronting one opposed! (6)
AVANTI - AV(Alternative vote) then ANTI(one opposed)
34 Word of thanks given to volunteers joining academy? It’s sweet (6)
BATATA - TA(word of thanks) and TA(volunteers) with BA(British Academy)
35 Duke to conclude ceremonies showing crystalline structures (9)
DENDRITES - D(duke), next to END(conclude), RITES(ceremonies)
Down
2 Source of poison from the boxer we knew and loved? (6)
OURALI - the lover boxer would be OUR ALI
3 Bit of irony from drunkard moving right up (5)
TROPE - TOPER(drunkard) with the R moved up
4 Scottish crag has number at elevated height (4)
NOUP - NO(number), UP(at elevated height)
5 Members of political group react badly — combat ensues (10)
CARTELISTS - anagram of REACT, then LISTS(combat)
6 Characteristic of renegade abandoning the rank and file (5)
TRAIT - TRAITOR(renegade) minus OR(the rank and file)
7 Violet Elizabeth’s to feel the want of not having story? (4)
MYTH - Didn't know the background for the wordplay - Violet Elizabeth is a lisping character in the William Brown series, so she would pronounce MISS(feel the want of) as MTYH.
8 Palms of eastern isle scattered round limited area (6)
ELAEIS - E(eastern), then an anagram of ISLE surrounding A(area)
9 Share old mammal when friend comes round (9)
ALLOTTERY - OTTER(mammal) inside ALLY(friend)
11 A sham act about to be taken off, creating fuss (7)
TAMASHA - anagram of A SHAM ACT minus C(about)
14 Union with mutual duties abandoned — this as zeal in lovers crumbles? (10)
ZOLLVEREIN - anagram of ZEAL IN LOVERS minus AS
16 What involves destruction of a hull — yep! — a Shetland festival (9)
UP-HELLY-AA - anagram of A HULL YEP A
19 Peasant injured foot but not in UK (7)
ANAPEST - anagram of PEASANT
21 Two auxiliaries to act correctly (6)
BEHAVE - BE and HAVE(auxilliaries)
23 Medicated paste and drug in box (6)
CERATE - E(drug) in CRATE(box)
25 Old seaside seller running short (5)
COSTE - COSTER(costermonger, seller) missing the last letter
27 Bellow — where does Irishman’s come from? (5)
TROAT - sounds like an Irish pronunciation of THROAT
29 Fruit has to be peeled? I don’t understand! (4)
ANAN - BANANA(fruit) missing the exterior letters
30 Age of husband, one involved in row (4)
HOAR - H(husband), OAR(one involved in row)

Sunday Times 4926 by Robert Price

8:47. I completely forgot that it was my turn to blog until the last minute, so I am writing this hurriedly late on Saturday evening and I’m going to have to keep comments to a minimum and just get on with it. I found it pretty easy, but it was fun as always from Bob.



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

Across
1 For example, Lima to Landlord
CAPITAL LETTER - CAPITAL (eg Lima), LETTER (landlord). &Lit. The definition is the whole thing, and refers to the fact that L (Lima) is the CAPITAL LETTER in Landlord, which for the purposes of the clue has to be artificially capitalised. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to read the surface: Landlord is a brand of beer (Timothy Taylor’s) but that doesn’t really work.
9 Service to erase computing bug
LURGY - LitURGY. I prefer the spelling in the original Goon Show script: LURGI.
10 Boxers may get sick of this underworld character
DISTEMPER - DIS (underworld), TEMPER (character).
11 Need Scotch, say, to mature
SHORTAGE - SHORT (Scotch, say) AGE.
12 Sound accommodation for animals
STABLE - DD.
14 Pals protect one beginning to defy bullies
INTIMIDATES - INTIM(I, Defy)ATES.
16 Passion found in diaries now and again
IRE - alternate letters in ‘diaries’
18 Shelter inside from freezing rain
LEE - sLEEt.
19 Job on set playing an explorer
LIVINGSTONE - LIVING (job), (ON SET)*.
20 Faint on vacation, giddy after drink
GROGGY - GROG, GiddY.
21 Burning wood abandoned by English tree hugger
EMBRACER - EMBeR, ACER.
24 Nice cheers, not so cruel
MERCILESS - MERCI (cheers in Nice, geddit?), LESS.
25 Scale from cayman’s front leg?
CLIMB - Cayman, LIMB.
26 Embarrassment results from misdirecting soldiers
EGG ON ONES FACE - the soldiers being the kind you dip in your morning egg, of course.

Down
1 Divine lilac trees from which rook’s taken off
CELESTIAL - (LILAC TrEES)*.
2 Average salmon aimed at vulgar types we hear
PAR FOR THE COURSE - sounds like ‘parr for the coarse’, a parr being a young salmon found in crosswords. Groan (but in a good way).
3 In poetry, star-crossed lovers’ meeting
TRYST - contained in ‘poetry, star-crossed’.
4 Wife who barely got up to protest
LADY GODIVA - CD. Godiva was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and her naked ride was in protest at sanctions he had imposed on local universal credit recipients, or something.
5 Drugs said to make you relax
EASE - sounds like ‘Es’.
6 Cryptic setter is concealing answer papers
TREATISES - (SETTER IS)* containing A.
7 Pub life, a chronic drunken state for some
REPUBLIC OF CHINA - (PUB LIFE A CHRONIC)*. ‘For some’ points delicately at the fact that Taiwan is not universally recognised as a state.
8 Drive ultimately ending in river
URGE - UR(endinG)E.
13 Craftsman’s pit working to bring in graduates
STONEMASON - STONE(MAS), ON.
15 Evening Mass comes over as vilifying
MALIGNING - M, ALIGNING.
17 River crustacean larvae, extremely vile
EXECRABLE - EXE, CRAB, LarvaE.
20 Clogs seen as superior heading north
GUMS - reversal of SMUG.
22 People’s careers
RACES - DD.
23 Meagre tip
LEAN - another DD.
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 27811 - Welcome to the working week!

Time: 15 minutes
Music: Elvis Costello, Spike

Looks like easy Monday is back.   I flew through this one, biffing some of the longer answers which had obvious literals.   Getting these really opens up the grid, and makes the remaining entries fairly simple.   There was just a little bit of a pause at the end, before I saw the jackal/ancient crossing and completed the grid.  We do have one plant, but experienced solvers will have seen it many times before.   Now I have to figure out all the parsings I didn't bother with as I solved.

My musical selection is the result of starting with My AIm is True on Friday, and deciding to continue on.   It's certainly an interesting canon, which has a large number of  English/American usage and vocabulary examples. 

Across
1 “Every dog has his day” — including this wild one? (6)
JACKAL - A cryptic allusion to the film, "Day of the Jackal".
4 A couple of points established in successor’s examination of feet (8)
SCANSION - SC(A, N, S)ION.
10 Smoker’s requisite produced by daily on tube (4,7)
PIPE CLEANER - PIPE + CLEANER, in entirely different senses.
11 Most important vessel coming from the East (3)
TOP - POT backwards, a Quickie clue.
12 Girl and boy wrapping last of durable fabric (7)
NANKEEN - NAN + KE([durabl]E)N.
14 Female ultimately worried about male issue (7)
EMANATE - [femal]E A(MAN)TE.
15 Party requisite causing agitation in Manhattan? (8,6)
COCKTAIL SHAKER - A Manhattan cocktail that is.   However, a Manhattan is usually stirred, not shaken.
17 Misses out, presumably, in these privileged occupations? (4,3,3,4)
JOBS FOR THE BOYS - MISSES are not eligible for this employment.
21 Way retired copper enters in manner of vampire (7)
DRACULA - RD backwads + A(CU)LA.
22 One resisting old person’s first question (7)
OPPOSER - O + P[erson} + POSER.
23 Cetacean that kills seabird, by the sound of it (3)
ORC -Sounds like AUK, presumably, in some dialects - not mine!
24 Late 16th-century blaze in the area being developed (11)
ELIZABETHAN - Anagram of BLAZE IN THE A.
26 NCO needing a lot of books after material (8)
SERGEANT - SERGE + A NT.
27 Working American president touring capital of Louisiana (6)
USABLE - US AB(L[ousiana])E.
Down
1 Short girl crossing European river by a rosaceous shrub (8)
JAPONICA - JA(PO)NIC[e] + A
2 Better covering for the head (3)
CAP - Double definition
3 Ensign concerned with touring island group (7)
ANCIENT - AN(C.I.)ENT.   Both anent, and ancient meaning ensign, may not come to mind very quickly.
5 Chatty fellow countryman digesting a lot of poetry (14)
CONVERSATIONAL - CO-N(VERS[e])ATIONAL.
6 Final release of vehicle trapped in blustery rain (7)
NIRVANA - NIR(VAN)A, where the enclosing letters are an anagram of RAIN.
7 Type of injection sadly not universal — not quite (11)
INTRAVENOUS -Anagram of NOT UNIVERSA[l].
8 Small child — one with a bite! (6)
NIPPER - Double definition, one jocular - or so we would hope.
9 Soldiers in Spanish port with share in renewal of energy (14)
REINVIGORATION - RE IN VIGO + RATION.
13 Magician in Tyneside clubs, one telling fanciful lies (11)
NECROMANCER - N.E. + C + ROMANCER.
16 Alienate bishop leaving most agreeable mountain chain (8)
ESTRANGE - [b]EST RANGE.
18 Embrace monarch largely unknown in some quarters (7)
SQUEEZE - S(QUEE[n] Z)E.
19 Sovereign English politician meets on ship (7)
EMPRESS - E MP + RE + SS.
20 Disgusting old woman thus turning up outside university (6)
ODIOUS - O + DI + S(U)O upside-down.
25 Centre identified by married man dropping by (3)
HUB - HUB[by]