December 13th, 2020

  • glheard

Mephisto 3145 - Don Manley

I don't have any scribbles or question marks on my grid, so this must have been on the easier side of Mephistos. I did have to look up a few in Chambers after figuring out the entries from wordplay.  I know I can trust Don Manley's wordplay to get the unfamiliar terms.

In Mephisto puzzles, definitions (the most direct of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will be focusing on the wordplay in this write-up.

Away we go...

Across
2 Concerned with entertainment event not being on TV or radio (6)
OFF-AIR - OF(concerned with) FAIR(entertainment event)
7 Bed put outside front of residence that gets discarded? (5)
DROSS - DOSS(bed) containing the first letter of Residence
12 Muscly figures playing soccer — that man gets tackled (8)
ECORCHES - anagram of SOCCER containing HE(that man). Those anatomical drawings where you can see what is under the skin
13 Be cautious of seaweed (4)
WARE - double definition
14 Representative’s flogging a line at front of garage (8)
AGENTIAL - anagram of A,LINE,AT and the first letter of Garage
15 Where you may see yacht “Yesteryear’s Princess” (6)
MARINA - the second definition refers to Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
17 Old place spread out in home counties (5)
STEDE - TED(spread out) in SE(home counties)
18 Wayward lad taken in by prince and manager in India (7)
AMILDAR - anagram of LAD in AMIR(prince)
19 Sort of breathing pattern that’s racy with heart aflutter (9)
TRACHEARY - anagram of RACY and HEART
23 Female singer in church, one with long hair (9)
CHANTRESS - CH(church), AN(one) and TRESS(long hair)
26 Eastern girl had put back display in shop window (7)
ETALAGE - E(Eastern), GAL(girl), ATE(had) all reversed
29 Vessel’s collector of water, one leaking (5)
URNAL - URINAL(collector of water) missing I(one)
30 Mysterious king facing defeat after year (6)
ARCANE - R(rex, King), CANE(defeat) after A(annus, year)
31 Usefully delay sport, raking in old money (8, two words)
GAIN TIME - GAME(sport) containing INTI(old money)
32 Sea-monster with other creatures in a set? (4)
CETE - double definition based on a CETE also being a group of badgers
33 Not covered when sun comes out and not toughened up? (8)
UNINURED - UNINSURED(not covered) missing S(sun)
34 Jock’s abusive language is rebuffed in Sassenach’s answer (5)
SNASH - hidden reversed in sassenacH'S ANSwer
35 The female’s in prison endlessly — confinement in India (6)
GHERAO - HER(the female's) in GAOL(prison) missing the last letter
Down
1 Not many folk encountered old animal droppings (6)
FEWMET - FEW(not many), MET(encountered)
3 Seriously giving support to Brazilian currency (7, two words)
FOR REAL - FOR(given support to), REAL(Brazilian currency)
4 Worry about one bad sign in Glasgow? (5)
FREIT - FRET(worry) containing I(one)
5 Old plant a child found with insect in it (6)
ACANTH - A CH(child) containing ANT(insect)
6 What could make me learn to be a life-saver? (7)
REELMAN - anagram of ME,LEARN
8 Mole’s friend crossing lake is making a noise (6)
RATTLY - MATTY(Mole's friend in The Wind in the Willows) containing L(lake)
9 Bewitched old boy that is dead ultimately (5)
OBIED - OB(old boy), IE(that is) then the last letter of deaD
10 Swordsman ignoring signal, idiot on the spot (9)
SPADASSIN - SPAD(Signal Passed At Danger), ASS(idiot), IN(on the spot)
11 Only academy in wine-blending process (6)
SOLERA - SOLE(only), RA(academy)
16 Vehicle crashing into area outside front of restaurant (9)
AEROTRAIN - anagram of INTO,AREA containing the first letter of Restaurant
20 Doing well with the clubs in golf between river and heather (7)
EAGLING - G(golf) between EA(river) and LING(heather). I've had one of these, nearly 20 years ago
21 Heart gets broken when embracing aged mistress (7)
HETAERA - anagram of HEART containing AE(aged)
22 The fellow’s stifling expression of disgust in the Scottish valleys (6)
HEUGHS - HE'S(the fellow's) containing UGH(expression of disgust)
23 Family chatter, empty sounds (6)
CLANGS - CLAN(family) then GAS(chatter) missing the middle letter
24 Old song, short number covered by trio (6)
THRENE - N(number) inside THREE(trio)
25 Like a horse, one may surmise, in old stable (6)
STEEDY - a horse may be STEED-Y
27 Soul of this writer’s evident in literary collection (5)
ANIMA - I'M(this writer's) inside ANA(literary collection)
28 Exist as bad man under commander (5)
OCCUR - CUR(bad man) after OC(commander)

Sunday Times 4932 by Robert Price

27:28. Phew! That was tough, but also absolutely superb. So many clues that appeared completely baffling until the eventual PDM (penny-dropping moment), but none of the difficulty is a result of obscure vocabulary. Loads of great clues but the &Lit at 2dn was probably my favourite, and I enjoyed 1ac if only because it was my last in and I kicked myself hard when I finally realised what was going on.

So thanks very much to Bob for half an hour of exquisite torture, and here’s how I think it all works…

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

Across
1 What a courier brings over?
DELIVERIES - DD, the second relating to cricket of course. So obvious once you see it, I’ve no idea why it took me so long.
7 Chicken parts now imported
WIMP - contained in (parts) ‘now imported'
9 Church overheads, expensive, lower after cutting back
STEEPLES - STEEP, LESs.
10 A lack of tax limiting a public official
NOTARY - NO, T(A)RY
11 Vehicle transporting fruit needing one more collected
CALMER - CA(LiME)R.
13 Succeeded in part thanks to mental capacity
GOT AHEAD - GO (part), TA, HEAD.
14 Controls around southern air bases
CORNERSTONES - CORNERS (controls, as in a market) containing S, TONE.
17 Learn to crawl? Quite an achievement!
MASTERSTROKE - MASTER STROKE. The definition by example (‘crawl’ for STROKE) is indicated by the question mark.
20 Fashion image on a vanity case?
EGOMANIA - (IMAGE ON)*. Nice definition.
21 They dry too well, so ends have split
TOWELS - TOo, WELl, So. The ends of each word having ‘split’ (i.e. left).
22 Perfect sounding local delicacy
INTACT - sounds like ‘inn’, TACT (delicacy).
23 Accepting a role finally, that one may do in the afternoon
TEA PARTY - thaT, onE(A PART), maY. Nicely disguised definition.
25 Beast returning hence
OGRE - reversal of ERGO (hence).
26 Ticker, possibly not one’s own
SECOND HAND - if something is SECOND HAND it is not ‘one’s own’ if only in the sense that one is not the only person to have owned it. Arguably a little loose but you get the idea.
Down
2 On stage, waiter ultimately confounded
ESTRAGON - (ON STAGE waiterR)*. An absolutely superb &Lit, referring of course to Waiting for Godot. The two 'waiters' are indeed ultimately confounded because (spoiler alert) Godot never turns up.
3 Murder US-style, namely cold-hearted (3)
ICE - C (cold) in (the heart of) IE (that is, namely).
4 An irrational king executed a mathematician
EULER - E, rULER. E is ‘a transcendental number, fundamental to mathematics, that is the limit of (1 + 1/n)n as n increases to infinity: used as the base of natural logarithms.’ But you knew that, of course.
5 Complex things outside one’s understanding
INSIGHT - (THINGS)* containing I.
6 Boys transfixed by a girl’s piano pieces
SONATINAS - SON(A TINA)S.
7 What could make you chew its evil concoction
WITCHES BREW - one of those reverse jobs where the answer is wordplay indicating part of the clue: ‘chew its’ is an anagram (brew) of WITCHES. Not to be confused with the Miles Davis record.
8 Lots of farmworkers lacking aids when lifting
MYRIAD - reversal of DAIRYMaids. A devilishly cunning clue that took me ages to figure out.
12 Little old lady to pursue basic pay
MINIMUM WAGE - MINI, MUM, WAGE (pursue, as in a war).
15 Rebukes about sporting nose rings
RESONATES - RATES (rebukes) containing (NOSE)*.
16 Bob or crew cut?
SKELETON - the SKELETON bob being a variety of sled, and a SKELETON crew being one limited in size, or cut.
18 Giving support that boxers need
ELASTIC - the boxers here being neither fighters nor dogs, but underwear.
19 For one with award, raised a drink
EGGNOG - EG, reversal of GONG. Revolting stuff.
21 Pair including a novelist
TWAIN - TW(A)IN. There aren’t many gimmes in this puzzle, make the most of them!
24 Wood is turned this way occasionally
ASH - alternate letters of ‘this way’, reversed.