July 4th, 2021

Unicorn
  • vinyl1

Mephisto 3174 - Let's keep those birds rare!

This was not too tricky, and I finished all but a few in about an hour.   I was about to go to bed and mop up in the morning, but I was texting with Jeremy about another puzzle and decided to ask his opinion.   He saw gammock almost at once, and together we worked out the tricky marchtreason.   I'm sure I would have seen them eventually, even if I had to take a long walk through Chambers, but thanks and a hat tip to my fellow blogger.

Paul's pun is worse than usual, and refers to an animal that is native to my area, but is considered an invasive species in the UK.    Rest assured I got absolutely no assistance from this, even though I was looking for it.
Across
1 Good streak ergo good will (5)
GRACE -  G + RACE, with perhaps a side glance at the famous cricketer.
5 Jangle in the old way as Queen related (7)
QUARREL - QUA + R + REL, where you might suppose the QU had something to do with the queen part of the cryptic.
11 D’Estaing’s on the best of terms with mistress hugging plummy wife (7, two words)
AU MIEUX -  A(U)MIE + UX, another cryptic where it would be easy to go wrong.
12 Income received yearly is split by Earl (5)
RENTE - RENT + E, a word from Chaucer.
13 Ferret locks an underground place of intake (8, two words)
ROOT HAIR - ROOT + HAIR, in entirely different senses - the chief defense here is the indirect literal.
14 Early descent — defile it with debate (12)
MARCHTREASON - MARCH'T + REASON.   Another tricky literal - descent as the wolf descends on the sheep, to describe unlawful border reiving.  If you suppose defile = mar, you'll get into all sorts of difficulties.
15 Acidic solution round part of gut I must draw off (5)
OLEUM - O + [i]LEUM.
17 Bright flier turned it into dance (7)
COTINGA - CO(IT backwards)NGA.
20 Spots one thousand bones (5)
MILIA - M + ILIA.
22 Bowler sets her sights on this equipment to go right away (5)
KITTY - KIT + T[r]Y.   In this case, the kitty is a small ball that constitutes the target in lawn bowling.
23 Antelope flourished within enchanted place (7)
ELFLAND - EL(FL)AND.
27 For example, dosh mostly backing early form of press (5)
LIGGE - E.G + GIL[t], or maybe GIL[d].
29 English as coded by sparks ain’t cool surprisingly for Asdic? (12, two words)
ECHOLOCATION - ECHO + anagram of AIN'T COOL.  Sparks is the wireless operator on a ship.
30 Two charges on shield without any power is a thing seldom seen (8, two words)
RARA AVIS - RA + RA + [p]AVIS.   Ra probably refers to radium.
31 Run piercing spoof to split from pack (5)
SKIRT - SKI(R)T.
32 Wanting aspiration he caught his male braggadocio (7)
EGOTISM -  'E GOT 'IS M.
33 Support craft apt to list with opening of sail (7)
TENDERS -  TENDER + S[ail].
34 Match versus Spain gaining reduced support (5)
VESTA - V + E + STA[y]
Down
1 School kid’s fun amongst locals (7)
GAMMOCK - GAM + MOCK.
2 Bucolic god with prefix meaning primitive set up (5)
RURAL - LAR + UR upside-down.
3 A dreadful experience over too much drink (8)
AMARETTO -  A + MARE + OTT backwards.
4 Go round second-rate store passing over hard PC’s part? (12, two words)
CIRCUIT BOARD - CIRCUIT + B [h]OARD.
5 Share quarterly round after ripping off its leader (5)
QUOTA -  QU + [r]OTA.
6 Half of fake old Omani bread’s to do with the Dutch (7)
UXORIAL - [fa]UX + O + RIAL.   This may give you a clue 11, a clue you may very well need.
7 Drawing, say, direct from what’s plastered over walls? (5)
ARTEX - ART + EX, a trade name, but in Chambers.
8 Save theatre I bail out (12)
REHABILITATE - Anagram of THEATRE I BAIL.
9 And in France fiddle heading off the cause of whiteness? (7)
ETIOLIN - ET + [v]IOLIN - it helps if you have heard of etiolation.
10 Before dropping in bone up on site of Herculean triumph (5)
LERNA - LEARN with the A moving to the bottom, I believe.
16 Plant label iPad’s assistant turned up (8, two words)
FLAG IRIS - FLAG + SIRI upside-down.
18 Fodder like oca, in some other way (7)
OILCAKE - Anagram of LIKE OCA.
19 Recover from urge to verify to some extent (7, two words)
GET OVER - hidden in [ur]GE TO VER[ify].
21 Barking mad one with a mild swelling (7)
ADENOMA - anagram of MAD ONE + A.
24 Forest greenery covering second kilometre, or so, in the taiga (5)
VERST - VER(S)T.
25 Helping head getting to grips with learner (5)
PLATE -  P(L)ATE.
26 Put up chauffeur for Indian importing good smokes? (5)
E-CIGS -  S(G)ICE backwards.
28 Great getting round SOE ground — progress now discontinued (5)
GOEST - G(anagram of OSE)T.