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Mephisto 3079 - Don Manley

My main hold-up here I suspect is a typo in Chambers. Since I wasn't familiar with the language I looked up the answer to 7 down. In my copy of Chambers it is given as ESKUARA (which fits the wordplay). EUSKARIAN is there for Basque, and after an online search I can't find any support for ESKUARA. So that settled my problems with also being sure that 15 across was SIMMON, and we were away again.

With Mephisto, definitions can be verified in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay elements. The definitions are underlined.

Away we go...

4 In windows see pets eating seed (9)
CASEMENTS - CATS(pets)... ahem... eating SEMEN (seed)
11 Phone order sent the wrong way leading to anger (6)
MOBILE - OM(Order of Merit) reversed then BILE(anger)
13 Memory coming back to old member of tribe (4)
MORO - ROM(Read Only Memory) reversedm then O(old)
14 Perverted hope to live as a goddess (6)
PHOEBE -  anagram of HOPE then BE(live)
15 Simple fellow having mark inscribed in tree (6)
SIMMON - Simple SIMON containing M(mark) - short for PERSIMMON
16 Dawn's taking a very long time to pen article (4)
EOAN - EON(a very long time) containing A(article)
18 Stop loveless marriage somehow — I want a realistic approach (11)
PRAGMATISER - anagram of STOP missing O(love) and MARRIAGE
19 Colourful stuff gives Spooner’s American friend trouble (7)
CUDBEAR - spoonerism of BUD(American friend) CARE(trouble)
21 Hesitation by artist to make pilgrimage (4)
UMRA - UM(hesitation), RA(artist)
22 Drug cut into small pieces (4)
HASH - double definition
25 Isn’t ale newly brewed outstanding? (7)
SALIENT - anagram of ISN'T,ALE
27 Remonstrate as old lover having claim (11)
EXPOSTULATE - EX(old lover), POSTULATE(claim)
30 Uncivilised person irritated husband (4)
GOTH - GOT(irritated), H(husband)
32 Girl appearing at end of drama inadequate, “not authentic” (6)
PLAGAL - GAL(girl) after PLA(y) (drama) refering to the musical cadence
33 A terrible maiden being held in respect (6)
ADMIRE - A, DIRE(terrible) containing M(maiden)
34 Vile ground, a swamp (4)
VLEI - anagram of VILE
35 Wine? This writer gets to deteriorate when consuming litres (6)
MERLOT - ME(this writer), with ROT(deteriorate) containing L(litres). I get the feeling Don Manley and I have the same opinion of this wine blend which is ridiculously popular over here
36 What one expects to observe is head of monastery showing faith (9)
PARSEEISM - PAR(what one is shooting for on a golf course), SEE(observe), IS, M(onastery)

1 One accusing troublemaker, a revolutionary disrupting monarch (9)
IMPEACHER - IMP(troublemaker), then A, CHE(revolutionary) inside ER(monarch)
2 Instruction to stop — it’s extremely hot inside (4)
TOHO - TOO(extremely) containing H(hot)
3 Sailor has ’idden stock — smuggled thus? (6)
ABOARD - AB(sailor) and HOARD(hidden stock) missing the aspirant
5 A glib, insane, unorthodox member of a sect (11)
6 What’s said to secure good fortune (4)
SEEL - sounds like SEAL(secure)
7 Basque language unusual in UK areas (7)
EUSKARA - anagram of UK,AREAS
8 English maiden getting married, a nineteenth-century story (4)
EMMA - E(English), M(maiden), M(Married), A
9 Insistence on observance of law upsetting 15 (6)
NOMISM - anagram of SIMMON, the answer to 15 across
10 The wanderer — he carried out legal procedure once (6)
TROVER - 'T, ROVER(wanderer)
12 Very good poems nevertheless included useless “flowery” bits (11)
PISTILLODES - PI(very good) ODES(poems) containing STILL(nevertheless)
17 The crafty drunk inclined to quarrel (9)
20 Measure of brightness seen in aged plant (7)
ASTILBE - STILB(a derived unit of brightness) inside AE(aged)
23 A team completely upset in a sort of depression (6)
AXILLA - A, XI(eleven, team) then ALL(completely) reversed
24 Old ball with harps playing around entrance initially (6)
SPHAER - anagram of HARPS surrounding E(ntrance)
26 French star to work with energy first and last (6)
ETOILE - TOIL(work) with E(energy) at the start and end
28 One knowing about law denying outsiders US protection (4)
EGIS - remove the outside letters from LEGIST(one knowing aout law)
29 King has foreign friend, a lord (4)
KAMI - K(king), AMI(foreign friend)
31 Trust cut price will go up (4)
TROW - WORT(h) (price) reversed


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2019 05:38 am (UTC)
I parse that as the HE of 'The' being deleted, leaving T + ROVER; this was a procedure not a person, so the underline should start at 'legal'.
Sep. 8th, 2019 05:49 am (UTC)
This is the first one I've completed in quite a while. For some reason I felt sure that the Basque word had an EU in it, which left no choice given the checkers; EUSKARA is also in ODE. I was a bit worried about SEEL, which I couldn't find in Chambers but which seemed like the only possibility.
Sep. 8th, 2019 07:12 pm (UTC)
SEEL is in Chambers 11th edition, as the second definition (happiness, good fortune, etc), coming after the first meaning, a rather unpleasant verb: to sew up the eyelids of eg a hawk.
Sep. 8th, 2019 09:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Seel
It's also in the latest (13th) edition of Chambers. I'm wondering whether there's confusion with the one offered for free at https://chambers.co.uk/ which is the shorter Chambers 21st Century Dict. rather than The Chambers Dictionary.
Sep. 9th, 2019 12:02 am (UTC)
Re: Seel
That would explain things. I don't have a Chambers; I only go, occasionally and usually in vain, to the link.
Sep. 8th, 2019 06:06 am (UTC)
Not too many problems....
....apart from the number of variations in acceptable spelling for "sphere". I entered "sphear" and that made life difficult for a while, especially since I couldn't see PLAGAL, and when I did I was unsure about "not authentic".

Only other one I eventually biffed was ASTILBE.
Sep. 8th, 2019 06:33 am (UTC)
I had a racing start to this with 20 answers going in with the first pass through the clues, but then I slowed down. Like Phil, I too had SPHEAR at first for 24D. which had me stuck with 32A and 34A. But 34A had to be an anagram so I eventually went looking for that other spelling. I also had problems working out why ASTILBE was the answer to 20D until I reverse engineered to look for STILB as the unit of brightness. I note that it appears to be obsolescent... "It was in common use in Europe up to World War I. In North America self-explanatory terms such as candle per square inch and candle per square meter were more common. The unit has since largely been replaced by the SI unit: candela per square meter. The current national standard for SI in the United States discourages the use of the stilb.".

Edited at 2019-09-08 06:36 am (UTC)
Sep. 8th, 2019 07:42 am (UTC)
Same issue with EUSKARA with my Chambers, which meant stumbling over the simple SIMMON for a long time until I resorted to other sources. I find I missed out the wrong letter in the US spelling of EGIS, and couldn't work out what word ?AGIS? meant a law man: MAGIST(rate) perhaps? One pink square.
Sep. 8th, 2019 08:34 am (UTC)
I agree with Kevin about 10A

Like everyone else had to untangle the Basque clue but knew SIMMON had to be correct. I've been caught by the variations of "sphere" before so waited for checkers before deciding on correct version
Sep. 8th, 2019 09:07 am (UTC)
I have got out of the Mephisto habit of late, and this was a very gentle puzzle to ease myself back in.
The Chambers entry for 'Basque' gives 'Euscara, Eskuara', which already looks odd, and the entry for 'Euskarian' says that its origin is 'the Basque Euskara the Basque language'. So it seems pretty clear that 'Eskuara' was just a mistake. Still, I was glad I already had the S from SIMMON.
I parsed 10a like Kevin too.

Edited at 2019-09-08 09:08 am (UTC)
Sep. 8th, 2019 09:42 am (UTC)
Comments about their "Basque" entry passed on to Chambers. I'm pretty sure that I just knew it when test-solving, and either didn't think it needed a look-up when editing, or saw it in the "Euskarian" def.
Sep. 8th, 2019 12:33 pm (UTC)
There are some advantages to solving Mephisto without a dictionary....
....but it took me a while to remember how to spell 'Euskara'.

All my across answers were correct, but I had four wrong in the downs. Each one was a single unchecked letter. Two I should have got, and two were due to ignorance of the necessary knowledge.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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