February 7th, 2021

  • glheard

Mephisto 3153 - Paul McKenna

Greetings barred-grid fans!  I thought this was a step up in difficulty from the last two weeks... probably going back to the last Paul McKenna puzzle. I worked pretty steadily around the grid, and I think I have all of the wordplays figured out.

In Mephisto puzzles definitions (the most direct of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will be focusing on the wordplay here.   All other problems will be considered superficial.

Away we go....

1 How first course may seem, from look around seat of learning (5)
SOUPY - SPY(look) surrounding OU(Oxford University, seat of learning)
5 Pip is hard inside, it’s rich in omega-3 fats (7)
FISH-OIL - FOIL(pip, defeat) containing IS, H(hard)
11 Freedom of access round small dwelling is cut (9)
ENTRECOTE - ENTREE(freedom of access) surrounding COT(cottage, small dwelling)
12 Couples from computer dating forming a favourable finish? (4)
CODA - first two letters in COmputer and DAting
13 Traffic control on blasted detour (8, two words)
RED ROUTE - RE(on), then an anagram of DETOUR
15 Breeder at Hunterston is secure, mostly re-engineered (7)
CUISSER - anagram of IS, SECURE missing the last letter
16 Homeric gods enjoy this endless audacity turning renegade (6)
NECTAR - NECK(audacity) missing the last letter, then RAT(renegade) reversed
17 With dazzling brilliance Lineker’s heading in what’s given to him? (5)
GLARY - the first letter of Lineker inside GARY Lineker
19 I’ll be engaged in performing treats (7)
ARTISTE -  an all-in-one -  I inside an anagram of TREATS
24 The loan is wasted getting alcohol (7)
ETHANOL - anagram of THE,LOAN
25 It is over the rate of being still (5)
OOMPH - O(over) and being still would be traveling at 0 MPH
26 Cover model going round Angola (6)
CANOPY - COPY(model) surrounding AN(Angola)
28 Calm American caught in site of scuttling? (7)
PLACATE - A(American), C(caught) inside PLATE(feet, site of scuttling)
Check the comments - it seems I'm missing something here and the river PLATE was the site of the first naval battle of World War 2 and involved some scuttling of ships. I was looking for justification of PLATE in Chambers and saw "feet" as one of the definitons, so tried to connect it with scuttling.
30 Stock wine primarily for fun on sports day? (8, two words)
SACK RACE - RACE(ethnicity, stock) after SACK(wine)
31 Lacking zing Tasso’s writer is easy for poets (4)
ETHE - remove GO(zing) from the author of Tasso - von GOETHE
32 Le Hideout is potentially where le légionnaire gets fixed up (9)
33 Nurse is back and slooshes, one succeeded removing bloomers (7)
NERINES - EN(nurse) reversed, then RINSES(slooshes) missing one S(succeeded)
34 Cell in Middle Eastern city wanting restraint (5)
ASCUS - the city of DAMASCUS missing DAM(restaint)
1 Soporific plug screening scam (7)
SECONAL - SEAL(plug) surrounding CON(scam)
2 Dictator in Maori settlement with millions, as said once (8, two words)
UT DICTUM - DICT(dictator) inside UTU(Maori settlement of payment), M(millions)
3 By way of dissing townie nag turned up old handy chap? (7)
PRACTIC - CIT(term of contempt for a city-dweller), and CARP(nag) all reversed
4 To some extent employer backed leaves for refreshment (5)
YERBA - hidden in emploYER BAcked
6 Salt that’s cast aside, old and no longer last in it (7)
IODURET -  O(old) and DURE(last) inside IT
7 Bristle as hush covers capital and port (6)
STRIGA -  ST(hush) over RIGA(capital of Latvia)
8 Charge we’ll settle? As we might say, it’s ____ (4)
9 Barge in Nile port getting refurbished by Spain (9)
INTERLOPE - anagram of NILE,PORT containing E(Spain)
10 Line taken by migrant — not very cunning (5)
LEERY - L(line) next to VEERY(migratory bird) missing V(very)
14 Engineer to replace filtered matter (9)
18 Flipping fuss about jerk such as Doubting Thomas (8)
AGNOSTIC - reversal of SONG(fuss) and A(about) then TIC(jerk)
20 I have will to rank without love (7)
TESTATE - TO and ESTATE(rank) missing O(love)
21 Old bodies of vassals are near into pills and potions (7)
MANREDS -  A(are) and NR(near) inside MEDS(pills and potions)
22 Cryptic clue’s about what fills hype for protecting plate (7)
CLYPEUS - anagram of CLUE'S surrounding the middle letters of hYPe
23 I rowed with those who passed tea about (6)
CHARON - CHAR(tea), ON(about)
25 Other people’s smart protein (5)
OPSIN - OP'S (other people's), IN(smart)
27 This adult, first in Kipling, starts from extolling lawful action (5)
AKELA - another all-in-one - A(adult) then the first letters in Kipling Extolling Lawful Action
29 It’s of the highest quality and most often seen in arboretum? (4)
ACER - double definition, the second for the tree
See comments - I thnk I had this in my notes and since I was at the last clue I just bunged in double definition, despite ACER not having those two definitons in Chambers - it is ACE, and then R as the letter repeated in aRboRetum

Sunday Times 4940 - in the soup

14:16, but with a silly error. A fun puzzle though with some lovely clues. A few unfamiliar things – the lizard, one of the meanings in 7dn, 24dn – but all clearly indicated. Four cryptic definitions, which is quite unusual, but these are all good ‘uns.

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

1 Find out about ball after throw that shouldn’t happen
HEAVEN FORBID - HEAVE (throw), (FIND)* containing ORB.
10 Cargo near wrong side?
11 Little interest concerning stage part
APRON - APR (little, i.e. an abbreviation of, Annual Percentage Rate), ON (concerning).
12 Girl left behind
13 This handle rarely opens or closes
MIDDLE NAME - CD. The ‘rarely’ struck me as a bit odd. Perhaps the idea is that some people go by their middle names.
15 Drunkard swims badly in a coma
DIPSOMANIAC - DIPS (swims – a noun), (IN A COMA)*.
17 What's central to rowdiness?
DIN - contained in ‘rowdiness’. &Lit.
18 It’s my intention to harm
ILL - I’LL (it’s my intention to).
19 Vehicle for crashing on track
21 Naval officer eats shrimp at sea
23 Outlaw given good report
25 A glossy back on a lizard
AGAMA - A, reversal of MAG, A. This lizard has come up before in Mephistos and a couple of Jumbos but I had forgotten it so I had to trust the wordplay.
26 Plain sandwiches almost lasting until tomorrow
27 These may pick up rubbish
2 Run into oneself thus
3 Very mean, that’s clear
4 Rising gas beginning to drop a lot
NO END - reversal of NEON, Drop.
5 Rainbow over faded trail
OPALESCENT - O, PALE, SCENT (trail). I was going to say ‘rainbow’ is an adjective here, but the usual dictionaries (Collins, Lexico) have it as a noun (a modifier). But in the Collins US edition it is listed as an adjective, which is strange: the word isn’t used differently in American English. In any event both words denote something with lots of different colours.
6 Get ready to travel here
BUREAU DE CHANGE - another CD. I haven’t used one of these for a very long time. I use Revolut for most of my foreign currency needs these days.
7 Keep prisoners in it
DUNGEON - DD. Collins: ‘a variant of donjon’, which in turn is ‘the heavily fortified central tower or keep of a medieval castle’.
8 Whitish top worn by friend?
PALLID - PAL LID. ‘Worn by’ suggests some kind of insertion but here it’s effectively just saying that the word LID is, well, there.
9 Poor insects, all buzzing as bees do
14 Total cheat, total friend
CONSUMMATE - CON, SUM, MATE. I managed to write CONSOMMATE here, in spite of understanding the wordplay at the time of solving. I think that’s how I’d have spelled the word, perhaps confusing it with soup.
16 Complete tool
18 Load of software isn’t, surprisingly, the lot
INSTALL - (ISNT)*, ALL. I read definition and answer as nouns here.
20 Fine doctor for nursing hospital
RIGHTO - RIG(H), TO. For = to as in ‘the train for/to Edinburgh’.
22 Lifted a priest’s vestment
24 Expert on royalty
ONER - ON, ER. An outstanding or remarkable person or thing, according to the dictionaries. ‘Expert’ seems a bit loose, but close enough for government work I suppose. Not a meaning I knew anyway so it didn’t cause me a problem.
  • vinyl1

Times 27895 - Around here, we do study there...so to speak.

Time: 19 minutes
Music: Khachaturian, Violin Concerto, Oistrakh/Khachaturian/MRSO

Another easy Monday, I would say, and so far the results in the SNITCH are confirming this.   I did biff a quite a few answers, but had to think about a some of them.   There is a little knowledge required, but most regular solvers should be up to the task.   If you can spell Addis Ababa, and know your clergymen and authors, there's not much to stop you from posting a very good time. 

1 Prince given a drink and a cut of meat over by hotel (9)
MAHARAJAH - A JAR + A HAM backwards + H[otel]
6 Mine accommodates East Anglia’s first religious painting (5)
PIETA - PI(E)T + A[nglia]
9 Temporary way old people initially getting break (7)
STOPGAP - ST + O[ld] P[eople} + GAP.
10 Dependent on a set of books about Long Island (7)
RELIANT - RE (L.I.) A N.T, with the standard abbreviations for long and island, since the actual Long Island is not usually so abbreviated. 
11 Amphibian Buddhist monk caught in power-driven polisher (10)
SALAMANDER - SA(LAMA)NDER, a clue I've seen before.
12 See member with a seductive woman (4)
VAMP - V + A + MP.
14 Army doctor has wobbly about decorative design (5)
MOTIF - M.O. + FiT backwards.
15 Parliamentarian leader following prescribed course (9)
ROUNDHEAD - ROUND + HEAD, in entirely different senses.
16 Southern fellow restraining endlessly caustic church worker (9)
SACRISTAN - S (ACRI[d]) STAN, our random chap of the day.
18 Asian banker’s attempt to quit business (5)
INDUS - INDUS[try], a chestnut.
20 Loathe contributing to church at Easter (4)
HATE - Hidden in [churc}H AT E[aster]
21 Offensive old goat misbehaving in part of Ulster (10)
25 Priest about to enter quiet curve in road (7)
26 A vain, strutting person, Thomas Love! (7)
PEACOCK - Thomas Love Peacock, to be exact - it helps if you went to grad school in English lit.
27 Liqueur not at all unknown to the French (5)
NOYAU - NO Y AU, which I didn't exactly know, but the cryptic hands it to you.
28 Headgear secured by male volunteers finally on island (9)
1 One who laid down the law: Grandma, possibly? (5)
MOSES - Gradma MOSES, the folk-art painter, who still fetches surprisingly good prices at auction.
2 Obstruction holding up pirate — not much of a catch (7)
HOOKLET - [captain] HOOK + LET.
3 resultsUrchin’s bungled action limited by resistance once more (10)
4 Varnish judge used on a vessel (5)
5 Sort of duck, fast mover, one of five crossing lake (9)
6 Requirement of patient initially under the weather? (4)
PILL - P[atient] + ILL. 
7 Call up Greek character over issue (7)
EMANATE - NAME + ETA, each one upside-down.
8 A despot in foreign, diametrically opposite territories (9)
13 A doctor and a couple of bachelors swallowing up one’s capital (5,5)
14 Twisted young woman beginning to harass a writer (9)
MISSHAPEN - MISS + H[arass] + A PEN.
15 Swimmer in river crazy about Dutch port (9)
ROTTERDAM - R (OTTER) + MAD upside down.
17 Charlie replaces top of accumulator in Tom’s place (7)
19 Doctor abroad securing work for hippie (7)
22 Briefly express view about end of tractor plant (5)
ORPIN -  O([tracto]R)PIN[e]. 
23 Canadian territory the solver studies, so to speak? (5)
YUKON - Sound like YOU CON. 
24 Bill of fare that’s united soldiers at the front (4)
MENU - MEN + U, one escaped from the Quickie.