vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,
vinyl1
vinyl1
times_xwd_times

Mephist 3132 - The crystal ball is dark

I thought parts of this were pretty chewy, with some rather fancy cryptics.   One or two still elude me, but I'm sure my fellow Mephisto solvers will have the explanation.   It is very helpful it you know enough Scots and Anglo-Saxon to biff some of these answers, but I'd still like to know how the cryptics work.   This puzzle is not too heavy on archaisms and Scots, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Across
1 Extrovert lassoing English steer (4)
LEAD - L(E)AD, a lad in a particular sense.
4 With horror shrunk from wild boar herd (8)
ABHORRED - Anagram of BOAR HERD.
11 A jolly Sir Edmund? Husband in want of cuffs and stuff (9)
ARMILLARY -  A R.M. + [h]ILLARY.
12 I’ll be found elsewhere in Archipelago? (5)
CHIAN - CHAIN with the I moved.   A archipelago is a chain of islands.
13 Postie’s last is out of bounds, returning delivery down under (5)
BOSIE - [posti]E IS O.B., all backwards, the Aussie term for a googly.
15 Is gutter level? (8)
STRICKLE - 'S TRICKLE, where gutter is a verb, as is strickle.
16 Rough following in rough roosts (7, two words)
OF SORTS - Anagram of F + ROOSTS.
19 Audible flak for verse (5)
STICH - Sounds like stick, as may happen in stichomythia, when Greek characters sometimes give each other stick.
21 Most dear thing you and I left inside sadly maybe heartlessly (7)
EWELAMB -  WE + L inside of an anagram of MA[y]BE.
23 Cut round each mollusc (7, two words)
SEA HARE - S(EA)HARE, where cut is a noun, as in your cut of the spoils.
24 Pray port comes out of large sofa (5)
DAVEN - DAVEN[port].
26 Excited CEO opening underground facility of an earlier age (7)
MIOCENE - MI(anagram of CEO)NE.    I wanted to biff EOCENE, but it didn't fit.
28 Speculative wangling since having one onboard, tense and grey (8)
AGIOTAGE - AG(I)O + T + AGE, where grey is a verb.
29 Looking back, acceptable and entirely plain (5)
LLANO - ON + ALL backwards, a starter clue.
30 Toying with ludo and a mother’s support (5)
DOULA - Anagram of LUDO + A.
31 Potty Picts with tons showing capacity that’s thrice Whitehall’s (9, two words)
SCOTS PINT - Anagram of PICTS plus TONS, with a not entirely irrelevant surface.
32 Smart Scots glide with grace and guides (8)
SWANKEYS - SWAN + KEYS, as in the liittle books that explain the more difficult parts of a work.
33 Up north “augur” — same spelling primarily (4)
SPAE - The obvious answer, but I don't see the cryptic.   You could take the M out of same and put in a P, but why?
Down
1 In Pakistan a vast number grew up round second game (8)
LACROSSE - LAC + ROS(S)E, where it helps if you know the Indian lakh.
2 Wonky before loss (5)
AMISS - A + MISS.
3 Alexander’s followers lifting help dupe Greek character with aspiration (8)
DIADOCHI - AID upside-down + DO + CHI, Alexander the Great's successors.
5 Belgium to lie about system for large-scale transfers (7)
BLITTER - B + LITTER, for which I considered many other possibilities, such as loiter and an anagram of "to lie".
6 Offices rejecting the prime things which are fine and tiny (5)
HAIRS - [c]HAIRS, as in chairpersons, I believe
7 Went about order wrapping snack (7)
ORBITED - OR(BITE)D.
8 Take current weather — unreliable (5)
RISKY - R + I + SKY, typical Mephisto single-letter indicators.
9 Elaborate lie next about Maître’s sentence rarely heard now (9)
EXILEMENT - Anagram of LIE NEXT around ME.
10 Scots bear uncommon fish with nothing removed (4)
DREE - D[o]REE, being the less common spelling of dory.   From Anglo-Saxon dreogan, endure.
14 Pleasant feelings in the matter of Government base (9)
AFTERGLOW - AFTER G + LOW.
17 To need to be in the thick of strike is the stuff of covert forces? (8, two words)
BLACK OPS - B(LACK)OP'S.   I wanted to put BLACK OUT, but a bout is not really a strike.
18 Refuse to drop off around noon, for example (8)
ABNEGATE -  AB(N, E.G.)ATE.
20 Hard digger going without marks a little helmet? (7)
HATTOCK - H = [m]ATTOCK.
22 Worrying number of days for famous wager? Under one week (7)
WEIGHTY - W + EIGHTY, a Jules Verne allusion.
25 This huntress dressed with fur might find you unafraid (5)
DIANA - An anagram of DIANA and FUR could result in UNAFRAID.
26 Game amateur pulled up bush (5)
MAHOE - E.O. + HAM upside-down.     
27 Stock European bon mot? (5)
EQUIP - E + QUIP, a starter clue.
28 Io! Diverse group rolled up wanting date (4)
ALAS - SALA[d], upside-down.
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