vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,
vinyl1
vinyl1
times_xwd_times

Mephisto 3176 - The turning of the screw!

This puzzle was a strange mixture of perfectly straightforward, quite simple clues with a few that were almost impossible.   I nearly managed to finish, but got stuck in the end, and had to phone a friend.   Fortunately, I was able to reach the great Verlaine, and he was able to give me the word I needed to finish - off the top of his head, of course. 

When I started the blog, there were about five or six that I couldn't explain, but now I have managed to cover everything.   Some of the explanations seem a bit fat-fetched, so perhaps someone can suggest some simpler explanations. 

Across
1 Joiners being outwardly dismal as before (8)
ENTRISTS - EN(TRIST)S, where ens is a term escaped from philosophy.
6 Scottish law’s reputation once best in House (4)
LOSH - LOS + H.  Losh is a Scottish interjection that is probably equivalent to law, definition 5, another surprised interjection.   LOS is an archac word for praise, from Latin laus, and best is apparently used to indicate the first letter of house.
10 White cop beat up Native American (8)
OTCHIPWE - Anagram of WHITE COP, the tribe often called the Chippewa, which is much easier to pronounce.
11 As relating to slip road repair? (10)
TARSEALING - Anagram of AS RELATING.
12 Criminal gang sustaining racket over in island (8)
TRINIDAD - TRI(DIN backwards)AD.
14 Wine bottle sommelier keeps in rotation (5)
MOSEL -Backwards hidden in [bott]LE SOM]elier].
16 White manouevred cue balls (8)
BUCELLAS -  Anagram of CUE BALLS.
17 Happy place not ready for therapy (4)
SHEN - [go]SHEN.  How go equals ready is an interesting question, which is not resolved by consulting Chambers.
18 Book with school basics: sounds like it’s not too hot (4)
BRRR - B + the three Rs.
19 Appealing top ballet dancer ends with trio for Strictly (8)
PETITORY - PETIT + [tri]O + [fo]R + [Strictl]Y.
24 Eddy’s golf drive (5)
GURGE - G + URGE.
25 Bully not quite headless chicken (8)
COWARDLY - COW + [h]ARDLY.
26 Scheme belongs to a lady? They’ll flatten it (10)
PLANISHERS - PLAN IS HERS.
27 I’m sharing a chum's ill-feeling (8)
ACRIMONY -  A CR(I'M)ONY.
28 Turkey has range of knowledge about concealing term in slammer (4)
NERK - K(R)eN backwards, where R is the term(ination) in SLAMMER.
29 County with fish and some beef for Scottish folk (8)
ANGLESEY - ANGLE + SEY - another Scots dialect word.
Down
1 Bury hospital department needing oxygen to be given by doctor (6)
ENTOMB - ENT + O + MB.
2 Flush returns with WC tool (9)
TURNSCREW - Anagram of RETURNS and WC.
3 American male involved in run for joining lodge ultimately? (6)
RUSHEE - R(US HE)[lodg]E, a clever &lit.
4 Taken aback with Sun cutting put on front page (8)
STARTLED -  S + TART + LED, and not STAR + something. 
5 Bright scanty skirts fashionable (5)
SHINY - SH(IN)Y, as in somewhat shy of a full serving.
6 Network in a cell essential for disciplining (5)
LININ - Hidden in [discip]LININ[g]. 
7 Oozing sex appeal, waitress with large bust could be one (11)
SWEATER GIRL - Anagram of WAITRESS + LARGE minus S.A. - of course!
8 Female masks bright red coarse fabric (6)
HERDEN - H(anagram of RED)EN.   I have to admit, bright is the most far-out anagram indicator yet. 
9 Heavy pitching on board strained dead exhausted staff (11, two words)
LABOUR FORCE - LABOUR + FORCE[d].     Yes, one definition of labour is the heavy pitching or rolling of a ship.  
13 They’d put off the orders put out (9)
DEHORTERS -  Anagram of THE ORDERS.
15 Struggling Liberal drifts in (8)
BATTLING - BATT(L)ING - in cricket you're in, in baseball you're up.
18 Baron, upper-class John penning history primarily (6)
BUCHAN -  B + U + C(H[istory]AN, another &lit, apparently.   It is not clear who is meant, since John Buchan was not primarily a historian.
20 Union losing resistance in county seat (6)
TUSHIE - TU + SHI[r]E. 
21 Formal votes prove right away to be insubstantial (6)
YEASTY -  YEAS + T[r]Y.
22 African country’s grand head of village (5)
MALIK - MALI + K.
23 American after all, term for something sheep stuck on? (5)
GRAMA - [somethin]G + RAM + A[american].   An &lit - US sheep-pasture grass. 
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