September 19th, 2021

  • glheard

Mephisto 3185 - Tim Moorey

Greetings barred-grid fans

I thought this one was a notch up in difficulty from the usual Tim Moorey puzzles, and I had a bunch of scribble around my grid, though only a few question marks. There's some tricky wordplay, particularly in letter substitutions.

In Mephisto puzzles, definitions (the most direct of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay here.

Away we go...

Across
1 Official in struggle for small plant (7)
TREFOIL - REF(official) inside TOIL(struggle)
7 Ace bowler perhaps brought back for South African flier (4)
TAHA - A(ace) and HAT(bowler, perhaps) all reversed
10 Railway special involving diversion for some (9)
FUNICULAR - PARTICULAR(special) with FUN(diversion) replacing PART(some). A term emblazoned in my mind after multple viewings of The Grand Budapest Hotel
11 One month to get a measure of Sky (4)
OCTA - OCT(October, one month), A
13 Rowing movement ending in hullabaloo and absolute fury (6)
OARAGE - last letter in hullabaloO, A(absolute), RAGE(fury)
14 Eagle seen in ground briefly on a swamp (7)
LERNEAN - ERNE(eagle) inside LAND(ground) missing the last letter
16 Scottish lover long forgotten by Indian head (4)
MAIK - remove L(long) from MALIK(head of a village in India)
18 Girl, 50 gets entry for a year (5)
ANNAL - ANNA(girl) and L(50)
19 Will’s share is a large draw (9)
ALLOTTERY - A, L(large), LOTTERY
21 Boiler has to be put out? Extinguisher needed (9)
ABOLISHER - anagram of BOILER,HAS
24 Hour with a German poet (5)
HEINE - H(hour) and EINE(a, in German)
25 Bird in shed is a blackbird (4)
MERL - MERLIN(bird) minus IN
27 What would be misplaced as Germany, east coast? Worms (7)
CESTODA - anagram of D(Germany), E, COAST
29 Handle ordered from Athens (6)
SNEATH - anagram of ATHENS
30 Magistrate has space for writing device (4)
J-PEN - JP(Justice of the Peace, magistrate), then EN(space)
31 Cheers much reduced parking in the end (9)
TOODLE-PIP - OODLES(much) missing the last letter and P(parking) inside TIP(the end)
32 Beginning short of energy once (4)
ONST - ONSET(beginning) minus E(energy)
33 Inferior leader of orchestra getting duet’s lower part (7)
SECONDO - SECOND(inferior) and the first letter of Orchestra
Down
1 Loony mate ignoring tips at work — he’s associated with many a vice (7)
TOOLMAN - anagram of LOONy and MATe
2 Run one, or two if start’s recalled (4)
RACE - odd clue, as I think there are two wordplays - R(run), ACE(one) and BRACE(two) missing the first letter
3 Weaver from Portuguese resort cheated, nothing less (9)
ESTRILDID - the resort is ESTORIL, remove the O(nothing), then DID(cheated)
4 Thoroughly upset stuff in contest? (6)
OUTEAT - OUT(thoroughly), EAT(upset)
5 Heraldic beasts painted in cellulose, not for all to see (10)
LIONCELLES - anagram of IN,CELLULOSE minus U(for all to see)
6 Having no direction, senior nurses caught sadly short (6)
SCALAR - SR(senior) containing C(caught) and ALAS(sadly) missing the last letter. No direction mathematically
7 Expression heard for body of soldiers years ago (4)
TURM - sounds like TERM(expression)
8 Have teg finally, thanks to a shepherd’s club (8)
HAG-TAPER - HA(have), the last letter of teG, TA(thanks), next to PER(a)
9 One old coin associated with a quarter (5)
AREAL -  A(one), REAL(old coin)
12 Minor motoring brushes can lead to combustible cases (10)
CARTOUCHES - minor motoring touches would be CAR TOUCHES
15 Party member overseeing golf tournament made public (9, three words)
IN THE OPEN - IN(party member) over THE OPEN(golf tournament)
17 Wilde’s bachelor, large libertine with no end of invention (8)
ALGERNON - anagram of LARGE, then NO and the last letter of inventioN - Algy from The Importance of Being Earnest
20 Lorna Doone novel one’s left in US city (7)
ORLANDO - anagram of LORNA,DOONE minus ONE
22 German vehicle project (6)
BEETLE - double definition
23 Like ancient Greek music, sparkling stuff fills one part of concert (6)
IASTIC - ASTI(sparkling stuff) inside I(one) and the first letter of Concert
24 Must stop eating nuts when short of money (5, two words)
HAS TO - HO(direction to stop) containing MAST(nuts) missing M(money)
26 With weak acting, Director’s beginning to try black lead (4)
WADT - W(weak), A(acting), D(director) and the first letter of Try
28 Duncan’s end: heartlessly cut up (4)
DEID - DICED(cut) missing the middle letter, reversed.

Sunday Times 4972 by David McLean

13:07. I have left it very late to blog this, so I'd better just get on with it. I thought this was a lovely puzzle. Not hard, but I struggled for perhaps five minutes over 25ac before realising it was an &Lit.

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




Across
1 He daren’t put out a party girl
ADHERENT - (HE DARENT)*. A political party, of course. Good use of unconscious sexual stereotypes in the service of misdirection!
5 Cut close to nose’s hard to endure
SEVERE - SEVER, nosE.
9 Resort opening following strikes
RAMSGATE - RAMS, GATE.
10 Touch of worry with second son
CARESS - CARE, S, S.
12 Are papers with Rolling Stone?
WATER SAPPHIRE - (ARE PAPERS WITH)*.
14 Bloody excellent in an unusual way
RARE - DD.
15 Trend suave criminal exploits
ADVENTURES - (TREND SUAVE)*.
17 The divestment game?
STRIP POKER - CD.
19 I’m told one might long for a port
ACRE - sounds like ‘acher’.
22 Deepest affections for A&R?
HEART OF HEARTS - because the middle letters (hearts) of ‘hearts’ are…
24 Twin reviews news chief praised
LAUDED - reversal of DUAL, ED.
25 Singer in company, soprano ultimately?
CASTRATO - CAST(RAT), sopranO. Brilliant.
26 Rather attractive
PRETTY - DD.
27 Choppers seen out in middle of night?
DENTURES - CD, and a rather obvious one.
Down
1 One indicating informer is a plant
ARROWGRASS - ARROW (one indicating), GRASS. We had a rat singing just a couple of clues ago, now we have a GRASS doing the same thing.
2 Troll drawing in young lady’s a beast
HAMSTER - HA(MS)TER. ‘Troll’ here being the variety that is unpleasant on social media rather than the kind that hides under bridges waiting to be fooled by billy-goats. I’m not sure about MS: I thought the whole idea of the term was to avoid disclosing information about age and/or marital status.
3 Way in which Fury raised concern
REGARD - R(EGAR)D*.
4 Basic facts? Fresh buns don’t last!
NUTS-AND-BOLTS - (BUNS DON’T LAST)*.
6 Thin spies probing European pal
EMACIATE - E, MA(CIA)TE.
7 Say I use blindfolds?
EYEWEAR - homophone of ‘I’, WEAR.
8 Don't start contract for lack of labour
EASE - lEASE.
11 Perhaps some Brownie in child’s play (1,5,2,4)
A PIECE OF CAKE - this is almost a double definition, but the first part is ambiguous so I’m calling it wordplay.
13 Slurs like folk drinking drop of IPA
ASPERSIONS - AS, PERS(Ipa)ONS. I love an IPA. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in Cornwall recently and Proper Job is one of my favourite beers.
16 Dad upset mum? That’s obvious!
APPARENT - reversal of PA, PARENT. Statement of fact much of the time…
18 Move as rivers overwhelm English hotel
REHOUSE - R (E, H), OUSE. The rivers here are one abbreviation and one actual river, which appears very frequently in crosswords for obvious reasons.
20 My voice enthrals southern pirate
CORSAIR - COR (my), S, AIR. Give voice to = give public expression to = give air to. A bit oblique but kosher I think.
21 Get lost in rhythm with no boundaries
BEAT IT - BEAT (rhythm), wITh.
23 Make-up friends brought around
SLAP - reversal of PALS.