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Mephisto 3080 - Tim Moorey

Unless you’re very experienced you are unlikely to solve a Mephisto without using Chambers. The idea is that you use the precise wordplay to derive an answer that you then verify in the dictionary. 24A is a perfect example.

Very interesting grid for a puzzle of average difficulty

In the clues, definitions are underlined. Wordplay explanation is followed by very helpful comments.


1 Sussex town greets amateur (8)

HAILSHAM: HAILS-HAM; small town in the Wealden district of East Sussex

6 Request for silence from one following leader of Trappists (4)

TACE: T(rapist)-ACE;

9 Column about part of the book accepted (4)

ANTA: A-NT-A; NT=New Testament;

10 Maori staff nurse joins hospital, cheers all round (6)

TAIAHA: T(AIA-H)A; AIA=ayah=nurse;

12 Guard going around my city (8)


13 Hot press steel? Yes, but not seriously (12, two words)

TOASTING,IRON: steel=sword; facetious term for a sword;

14 One’s leaving French city borders (5)


17 What you need here is the removal of doubt (8)

SOLUTION: two definitions

18 Inter due to be playing together again (8)

REUNITED: (inter due)*;

22 Mining Engineer set upon relating to life with some moisture (5)


23 Ecologist pal terribly concerned with crop damage (12)

PESTOLOGICAL: (ecologist pal)*;

24 As before, admit one term in examination that’s stiff (8)

INCORPSE: I-(examination)N-CORPSE;

25 Wrinkly’s game by the way (6)


26 Sounds like Welsh person clamours (4)

HUES: sounds like “Hughes”

27 Which ruler’s male, always? (4)


28 Mostly inside info in sack is for outsiders (8)



1 Bending on touch, papa with young child interrupts odd aphorism (12)

HAPTOTROPISM: (aphorism)* surrounds P-TOT;

2 Withdraw wine from the south that’s totally finished (8, three words)

IT’S,ALL,UP: PULL-ASTI reversed;

3 Misses Berks after introduction to Lancs (6)


4 One on test in robust court (8)


5 Bank’s spread perhaps (5)

MARGE: two definitions

6 The Duke’s beginning to drop off, I believe (6)

THEIST: THE-(f)IST; duke=fist;

7 Very bad about time in prison cell, alongside huge guy unclothed (10)


8 Paper girl embraces college in this? (12, two words)

EVENING,CLASS: EVENING-C-LASS; EVENING=evening newspaper; C=college;

11 Heroin’s seen wrongly to show natural wisdom (10, two words)

HORSE,SENSE: HORSE’S-(seen)*; HORSE=heroin;

15 Smart fellow wanting power, announces plants for alcohol additives (8)


16 Prospective flyer exposes cost at Orly (8, two words)

AIR,SCOUT: AIRS-COUT; French for cost=COUT;

19 Well-known Scot still in with runs for team at first (6)

NOTOUR: still in=NOT OUT then change final T to R;

20 See yours truly with poet take away business card (6)

MEISHI: ME-(r)ISHI: take=R; reference poet Rishi Patialvi 1917-99;

21 Do without cast, mostly old (5)



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2019 09:36 pm (UTC)
Wot no comments?
I return from a day trip to York to visit here and seek elucidation on the clues I failed to understand and am surprised to find no other comments here. Thanks for the blog Jimbo. At least I appreciate it! All completed correctly, but I was still a little puzzled by some. I failed to realise A = about and A = accepted at 9A, for instance and missed AIA = ayah in 10A and Fist for duke at 6d. But I still don't get SIC = set upon at 22A. How does that work?
Sep. 15th, 2019 11:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Wot no comments?
One might sic one's dog on someone. Evidently the
spelling is US; ODE has only sick2, where New Oxford Am. Dict. gives sick as a variant of sic2.
Sep. 16th, 2019 05:24 am (UTC)
Re: Wot no comments?
Thanks. I somehow missed Sic3 same as sick2 in my copy of Chambers.
Sep. 16th, 2019 06:36 pm (UTC)
I’ve started doing Mephisto on my phone, which is a very good way of doing it. I’ve always approached these puzzles as a challenge that requires a quiet hour or so and plenty of concentration, but it turns out you can poke away at them in odd moments over the course of a week with equal success.
I got quite stuck at the end of this one and the last two - MEISHI and OUSTITIS - took a few looks.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )