January 10th, 2021

  • glheard

Mephisto 3149 - Tim Moorey

Well we have often told you that you need Chambers to complete Mephisto (or at least to verify definitions), but in this case it is true four times over. There have been a few puzzles like this with a word or a phrase repeated in the Mephisto series.

I saw that gimmick pretty quickly and put all four occurrences in without checking the clues too hard, so this was one of my fastest completions of a Mephisto puzzle.

Since definitions (the most direct of which is underlined) can be found in Chambers, Chambers, Chambers or Chambers, I will focus on the wordplay here.

Away we go....

Across
1 Divine player of bridge, for example (8)
SOUTHSAY - SOUTH(player of bridge), SAY(for example). Found under SOOTHSAY
7 Horse, that is to say Silver (4)
SCAG - SC(scilicet, that is to say), AG(silver). Horse meaning heroin here.
11 Leaning forward as before, look stern pulling faces (6)
ASTOOP - CAST(look for as in cast a net), and POOP(stern of a ship) missing the first letters
12 Missing father, college student in Surrey town (5)
ESHER - remove FR(father) from FRESHER(first-year college student)
13 Doctor in search for treatment? Room for diet perhaps (8)
CHAMBERS - MB(doctor) in an anagram of SEARCH
15 Commonly made from a table (10)
OFTENTIMES - OF(made from) a TEN TIMES table
16 Poet’s still evasive, about to retreat first (5)
ACCOY - COY(evasive) with CA(about) reversed at the start
19 Fish caught for Sabbath in Manhattan area (4)
COHO - C(caught) instead of S(Sabbath) in SOHO(South of Houston, NYC area)
20 Director not quite 20 gets Will’s “enough said” (8)
SCORSESE - remove the last letter of SCORE(20) then SESE(enough said, found under SESSA in Chambers) for the US film director
21 China firm on American left repeatedly (8)
COALPORT - CO(firm), A(American), then L and PORT both being left
23 Independent is carrying leader on Rupert Murdoch (4)
IRIS - I(independent) and IS containing the first letter of Rupert for the writer
25 Delivery firm not half late, on reflection tip out (5)
UPSET - UPS(United Parcel Service - a delivery firm that is not in Chambers), then half of laTE reversed
27 A Baltic rum drunk in retirement (10)
UMBRATICAL - anagram of A,BALTIC,RUM
30 Mrs Beach composed suite for recorders? (8)
CHAMBERS - anagram of MRS BEACH
31 Run alongside Russian river in the country (5)
RURAL - R(run), URAL(Russian river)
32 Film story covering literary hero short of money (6)
TALKIE - TALE(story) containing KIM(eponymous hero of the Kipling novel) missing M(money)
33 Brand (only two letters of solution required!) (4)
ESSO - sounds like S and O(the first two letters of SOlution). One of the brand names of ExxonMobil
34 Pierced skin of tiny Dee eel caught (8)
EYELETED - anagram of the outer letters of TinY, DEE and EEL. The anagram indicator here is caught, meaning tangled.
Down
1 Absolutely no magic initially in bed (4)
SACK - SMACK(absoutely) missing the first letter of Magic
2 Unfinished cabin below old plant (5)
OSHAC - SHACK(cabin) missing the last letter under O(old)
3 Trifles of T Moorey all wrong? Drop a line! (10)
TOMFOOLERY - anagram of OF,T,MOOREY,ALL minus A, L(line)
4 Went about work supporting special constable? (8, two words)
SPEED COP - PEED(went to the toilet) C(about), OP(work) under S(special)
5 Look north for Aberdonian club (4)
AIRN - AIR(look), N(north)
6 Insubstantial indeed, borders on triviality (5)
YESTY - YES(indeed) and the outer letters of TrivialitY
8 Child training bares bottom on them (8)
CHAMBERS - CH(child) and an anagram of BARES with the last letter of theM. The whole being a definition for chamberpot
9 Prince seen with aged knight, mostly calm (6)
AENEAS - AE(aged), N(knight), and EASY(calm) missing the last letter, for the Trojan hero
10 Most rank Diana the star in romance years ago (8)
GROSSEST - the star is Motown legend Diana ROSS inside GEST(romance)
14 Describing what can be wasted, engineer stabilised pressure for a short time (10)
DISSIPABLE - anagram of STABILISED with P(pressure) replacting T(time)
16 Australian cricket club away from home about to prepare for a battle? (8)
ACCOUTRE - A(australian) CC(cricket club), OUT(away from home), RE(about)
17 Note it’s missing out “BAME” — case for revisions? (8)
CHAMBERS - Here we go.. the note is a CHIT, remove IT.  Then an anagram of BAME and the outer letters of RevisionS.  The whole is a cryptic defintion referring that BAME(an acronym for Black And Minority Ethnic) does not appear in Chambers but may end up in the next edition. It was added to Mirriam Webster this year, I believe
18 Salt type one consumed? (8)
FORMIATE - FORM(type), I(one), ATE(consumed). Found under FORMATE
22 Very large rodent loses tail containing hard, grey element (6)
OSMOUS - OS(very large) MOUSE(rodent) missing the last letter
24 Liberal in club is a twin (5)
MACLE - L(liberal) inside MACE(a club)
26 Spot around outskirts of Rimini is a top spot (5)
EYRIE - EYE(spot) surrounding the outer letter of RiminI
28 Some kind of square dance (4)
THEY -  A T square, then HEY(dance)
29 Scottish expert reflected miles away (4)
USED - MUSED(reflected) missing M(miles)

Sunday Times 4936 by David McLean

13:55. A medium-difficulty puzzle from Harry this week. There were quite a few cryptic definitions, which won’t be to everyone’s taste. I quite liked these though, particularly the clever 14ac and 3dn.

Clue of the week surely has to go to 17ac, which looks particularly prescient after the shocking events in Washington.

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

Across
1 Marine air private takes on heading to tense favela
SHANTYTOWN - SHANTY(Tense), OWN.
6 Opposition member’s article Congress backed
ANTI - AN (article), reversal of IT. IT (and congress) in the Monty Python ‘nudge wink know what I mean’ sense.
9 Fish for ray over far end of pier
BREAM - B(pieR)EAM.
10 A large old queen eating with old king
ALEXANDER - A, L, EX(AND), ER.
12 Ghost in closet startled IT workers
TECHNOLOGISTS - (GHOST IN CLOSET)*.
14 Two points linked by bridge?
PARTNERS - CD. The PARTNERS in bridge are East/West and North/South, hence ‘points’.
15 People inside university meeting Liberal official
CONSUL - CONS (people inside), U, L.
17 Out-of-time president of America might create this
RUMPUS - tRUMP, US (of America). Eerily prescient.
19 Company opening filled by a new contract
COVENANT - CO(A, N), VENT.
21 Pompous Tory leader plans of merit confused
SELF-IMPORTANT - (Tory, PLANS OF MERIT)*.
24 Republican jealous with first lady being constantly in Vogue
EVERGREEN - R, GREEN follows EVE.
25 Stupid writer put one into end of sentence
IDIOT - I, D(I)OT.
26 One might be spotted heading away from accident
RASH - cRASH. (And not tRASH as I initially put for some reason).
27 I believe backsliding saleswoman and boyfriend must be split up!
PERSONALLY - reversal of REP, SON, ALLY. Interesting wordplay, in that you have to split 'boy' from 'friend' to create the equivalence with SON and ALLY, but a bit of a weird definition. People do use PERSONALLY to mean 'in my opinion' ('personally, olives are disgusting'), but I can't find any dictionary support for it and I would say it's non-standard. Or perhaps I'm missing something.

Down
1 Sandwiches for people on a bench
SUBS - DD.
2 A punter or a pimp?
ABETTER - A, BETTER. The answer here could also reasonably be ABETTOR, and I hesitated over which to put in, but BETTOR for a gambler looked wrong to me. It’s in the usual dictionaries though, labelled as an American spelling in Collins and Lexico but not in Chambers. Let’s see which version generates the pink square!
3 How one might describe enemy sapper?
TIME-CONSUMING - CD, based on time being known as the enemy.
4 Things many might run in coaches
TRAINERS - DD.
5 Raised mark in oral exam makes you twirl about
WHEEL - sounds like (in oral exam) ‘weal’.
7 People eager to drop habits?
NUDISTS - CD, and not all that cryptic.
8 Not sure what to go for: Rocky or True Lies?
IRRESOLUTE - (OR TRUE LIES)*. Nice surface: Sly or Arnie?
11 A great looming shifting mass
AGGLOMERATION - (A GREAT LOOMING)*.
13 Saw drunk with porters and shorts?
SPORTSWEAR - (SAW PORTERS)*. Definition by example indicated by the question mark.
16 Dope artist and lad brought up for high singers
SOPRANOS - SOP RA, reversal of SON. SOP for a ‘foolish or weak person’ (Collins) was new to me.
18 Cuts of fish
MULLETS - DD.
20 A home for soldiers
ANTHILL - another fairly straightforward CD.
22 Bit quiet, you say?
PIECE - sounds like ‘peace’.
23 Don’t go and mention cuddling teddy at the front
STAY - S(Teddy)AY.
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 27871 - Damme, where's that clue?

Time: 31 minutes
Music: Beethoven, Piano Sonatas, Wilhelm Backhaus.

This was a bit more difficult for a Monday, although I managed to race through most of it in about 15 minutes before getting stuck.   I was also slowed down when I discovered that my printout was missing the last word and enumeration of 29 across, and had to start up a computer to get the missing bits.   There is a little obscure vocabulary here, as well as a few convoluted cryptics, but the bulk of it is straightfoward enough.   It's probably about average overall.

Now for some important blog business.   Simon Hanson, a long-time Jumbo blogger, has been forced to resign due ot ill health.   I have gotten a temporary substitute for the next one, but we need a permanent blogger.    I am therefore seeking someone who wants to join our crew of volunteers at Times for the Times, and is willing to blog a Jumbo cryptic about once every five weeks.  You can either just indicate your interest in your comment, or sent me a LiveJournal private message.

Across
1 What is true about English I love, America being flippant? (9)
FACETIOUS - FAC(E)T + I + O + US.
6 Place for Jacob's ladder, not hotel plant (5)
BETEL -  BET[h]EL, if you have the crossers your weak Biblical knowledge should not matter much.
9 Survive in the open before bad turns (7)
OUTLIVE - OUT + EVIL backwards.
10 A broadcaster in Ireland, female, almost a goddess (7)
ARTEMIS - A + R.T.E. + MIS[s], an obvious biff.
11 Set against warrant officer, everyone appears insignificant? (5)
SMALL - S.M. + ALL, that is Sergeant Major, and not W.O. as you might suppose.
13 Covering church fellows provided with time for memorial slab (9)
HATCHMENT - HAT + CH + MEN + T, a word not everyone will know.
14 Seek changes in accommodation for minister and be reasonable (4,5)
MAKE SENSE - MA(anagram of SEEK)NSE.
16 Holy circle in church a lot (4)
HALO -  Hidden, in [churc]H A LO[t].
18 Continue to be someone foolish (4)
GOON - GO ON, a chestnut.
19 Lousy rent — raise various amounts paid in advance (9)
RETAINERS - Anagram of RENT + RAISE.
22 One making a song and dance, these days, always going on (9)
BALLADEER - BALL + AD + EER.
24 Swimmer finished poetically, clinching races (5)
OTTER - O(TT)ER.
25 Protester did wrong breaking into vehicle behind back of school (7)
LUDDITE - [schoo]L + U(anagram of DID)TE.   There aren't too many three-letter vehicles starting with a vowel.
26 Flats maybe by trail in Cornish town (7)
PADSTOW -  PADS + TOW.
28 Spaniard to make departure twice? (5)
DIEGO - DIE + GO.
29 Something edgy about sport bringing bit of bad language (9)
SWEARWORD - S(WEAR)WORD, easy enough if you have the whole  clue!
Down
1 Wet rubbish? Female in the morning collects a great deal (7)
FLOTSAM - F (LOTS) AM.
2 Nursery item’s function (3)
COT -  Double definition, a child's bed and a cotangent.   I initially put COS, thinking of the wrong kind of nursery.
3 Competitor making mistake, not quite among the top people (8)
TRIALIST - TRI[p] + A-LIST, I think.   This was a very hesitant biff, since I couldn't figure  out what "among" was doing.
4 Honour a husband, showing a sort of charm (5)
OBEAH - OBE + A H.
5 Most hare-brained guy meeting restrictions on entering street (9)
SCATTIEST - S(CAT + TIES)T.
6 Bishop getting uncomfortable becomes spiteful (6)
BITCHY - B + ITCHY.
7 Agency worker taking time signified outspoken attitude (11)
TEMPERAMENT - TEMP + ERA + sounds like MEANT.
8 The foreign boozer, little house in the country (7)
LESOTHO -  LE SOT + HO.
12 Recognise legend, wacko in peculiar guise (11)
ACKNOWLEDGE -  Anagram of LEGEND WACKO, although some solvers may play around with LEGEND + GUISE.
15 Feeble or calm and collected? (9)
NERVELESS - Double definition.
17 Hell, with a group of religious folk creating chaos (8)
DISORDER - DIS + ORDER.
18 Gulped, giving brief account of what happened when tooth came out? (7)
GOBBLED - GOB BLED, not what the turkey said, but what the hungry folks did at the feast.
20 Fixed a strip of wood or metal around front of window (7)
SCREWED -  SCRE(W)ED.   A strip of wood or metal is about the 5th definitin of "screed".
21 Boy in love is in clover (6)
LADINO -  LAD IN O.   One I didn't know, but the cryptic hands it to you.
23 Regret when school subject is squeezed — money found (5)
RUPEE - RU(PE)E, when I couldn't get ruble to work.
27 Number in company excessively audible (3)
TWO - Sound like TOO, a clue escaped from a Quickie.