vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,
vinyl1
vinyl1
times_xwd_times

Mephisto 3168 - Neil Young plays a Gibson, but Eric Clapton....

I found this one very tricky.   It was easy enough to get started, and to find Paul's usual outrageous pun, but actually chasing down the last few was pretty tough.   Once found, they were not that easy to explain, either, although after some serious pondering, I believe I have figured them all out.   I sometimes find some of the willful obscurity, and the excessive leaning on strange meanings of common words given in Chambers, a little too much.

I hope other solvers found this puzzle a little more enjoyable, and finished a lot more quickly than I did!

Across
1 Archer’s first and last quarrel? (5)
ARROW - A[rche]R + ROW, a bit of an &lit, since presumably all his arrows are arrows.
5 Simulate boxing phone company’s pick, of a sort (7)
MATTOCK - M(ATT)OCK, a company in the news this week with the Discovery deal.
11 French elder stopping elaborate business of Merovingians? (9)
FAINEANCY - F(AINE)ANCY.   The literal is worth looking up.
12 Clever message concealing its opening (4)
ABLE - [c]ABLE.
13 I, an artist for the most part, developed decorative work (8)
INTARSIA - Anagram of I AN ARTIS[t].
14 My notes from Cambodia might be somehow miserly (5)
RIELS -  Compound anagram: MY + RIELS gives MISERLY.
16 Networking new sonata and twinkling chorus (12)
ANASTOMOSING - Anagram of SONATA + MO + SING.   Twinkling might be an anagram indi cator, only it isn't.
18 Lodge’s name is in French (4)
NEST - N + EST.
19 One description of doubting Thomas’s clan, icy possibly (7)
CYNICAL -  Anagram of CLAN, ICY, as easy a clue as you'll find in Mephisto.
22 Indian grove tree, we hear, is shot at full stretch (7, two words)
TOE POKE - Sounds like TOPE + OAK, where a tope is a grove of trees in India.
23 Gong in front of a chancel (4)
BEMA - B.E.M. (British Empire Medal)+ A.
24 Recruits and I loaded truck (12)
CURTAINSIDER - Anagram of RECRUITS AND I.
28 Store’s now stopped plugging place (5)
HOARD - HOARD[ing]....I think.   Comment invited.
29 Fruit — it’s accepted in each blooming acre (8)
ACHAENIA - A(anagram of IN EACH)A, where the first a is accepted and the second one is acre.
30 In the Royal Scots fearsome sergeant, say, on uniform (4)
UNCO - U + N.C.O, pretty easy for a Mephisto, with a well-know Scots word for a change.
31 Moving epic with intro of a vital need (9)
PROTEINIC -  Anagram of EPIC and INTRO.
32 Rot developing in dangerous tree’s tissue (7)
SNOTRAG - SN(anagram of ROT)AG, where a snag can be a hidden, imbedded tree in the river.
33 Grasses on Detective Sergeant following end of case (5)
REEDS - RE + [cas]E + D.S.
Down
1 A trading place stocking an unfading symbol of immortality (7)
AMARANT -  A MAR(AN)T.   Don't be tempted to biff adamant!
2 Ruddy stress finding love in upcoming process (9)
RUBINEOUS -  RUB IN + SU(O)E upside down.
3 I deliver relative on quiet tour finally (8)
RELEASER - REL + EASE + [tou]R.
4 Strumpet, as it were, and a cot in disarray (12)
WAISTCOATEER - Anagram of AS IT WERE + A COT.
5 Ridicule about hostel affected person (7)
MINNOCK - M(INN)OCK, which crosses with another use of mock in the across clue.
6 Sometimes predatory crawler with anonymous column (4)
ANTA -  ANT + A.
7 Let grief go? Drop of sorrow round tender publicity (12, three words)
TEAR ONES HAIR - TEAR + O + NESH + AIR.
8 We cannot stay fully associated when axe gets lifted (5)
TARTS -  STRAT upside-down.   Not in Chambers, but well-known.
9 Constable displays this at any time to some people (4)
ONST - Hidden in [c]ONST[able].
10 Thousand valuable timber trees concealing wild ass (5)
KYANG - K + YANG, who won in 2009....oops, sorry, a valuable timber tree.
15 Crude name surprisingly is not punished (9)
UNAMERCED - Anagram of CRUDE NAME, another easy one.
17 Blown away by name in outstanding musical display (8, two words)
ICE DANCE - ICED + A(N)CE.
20 Craving unknown writing with no pressure (7)
YENNING -  Y + [p]ENNING.
21 At Le Manoir the frier finally puts on bits of bacon (7)
LARDONS - LA + [frie]R + DONS.
24 Fellows from Hungary in what NATO exemplifies? (5)
CHAPS - C(H)AP, that is, capital letters.
25 Sneak into Rechabite’s restaurant (5)
TRATT - T(RAT)T.   Fortunately, we just had Rechabite in a regular Times puzzle.
26 Fiddle at Kentucky Derby not entirely willingly, hard to get in (4)
SHOO - S(H)OO[n].   Not the first meaning of soon that you might think of.
27 Lumps belonging to the rearmost bits of crania (4)
INIA - IN [cran]IA, another clever &lit.   The singular is inion - if it's not Latin, then it must be Greek!
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