Mephisto 2411 – Tim Moorey

Solving time: call it 80 minutes

Got myself in a real mess with this with a careless entry of ATTAP at 2D, followed by consequent agony trying to find ST?KO at 11 and UP?? at 13. (When you’re dealing with weird words, it’s even more important to check the wordplay and make sure you’re putting in the right thing. That’s for me to remember too!). Also got hung up on 13D, possibly by half-remembering some word like NOUMENON, and didn’t see JEU DE MOTS, even though it’s an obvious translation. So it should have taken about 40 minutes, like Azed on the same day.

1 BARBE – a relig. teacher. If you take abbé and “bar BE” you get AB = a bishop. Advanced cryptic setters love “instruction” words like this.
5 GIGLOTS (also giglets) a nice word for “dizzy girls”
14 THAT,C,HER – that = “to such an extent”
15 USED, from (m)USED I think.
16 SA=it,M=marks,A – a “bonus” &lit as the whole clue works as the def too.
17 POUNCE,BOX – looked up BOUNCE BOX almost immediately but didn’t see this until it was obvous from 1D.
20 BEMEANING – see comments. I first wrote: DE,MEANING – bit I don’t understand Old Bill = DE.
24 LOTA – atol(l) reversed.
29 ORIBI – anag. of Nairobi less N=name,I=one. For some reason, antelopes and their ilk are very handy for crossword setters.
31 ASS=bum,ART.,S
32 YE(A)T,S
1 BUS,TUPS – far too much time spent thinking about ??ARIES
2 A,T,A(P)S
5 GETHSEMANE – Hse. in anag. of ‘teen mag’
7 ORPHA(RIO(t))N – orphan = ward
9 SOPRA – hidden
12 SANBENITOS – anag. – yellow garments with red crosses worn by the victims at autos da fé
13 JE(U,DEMO)TS – Fr. for wordplay.
18 OSMOSES – didn’t realise there was a verb to osmose, but why not? Grandma Moses was a painter – a sort of American Lowry.
19 A(G,AMID)S – as = sand-bank (kame or esker – you’ll see those too) is standard adv. cryptic fare. Its letter A should have one of those Scandinavian rings on top.
23 SHIV,A – mourning for Jews, a god for Hindus. Appropriately in this little melting pot, chiv/shiv for knife is Romany.
25 TIBET – Tibert is the cat in Reynard the Fox, identified in Shak. with Tibalt (says the big red book).

Weekend round-up
Times 23,450 15:45
Indie 6269 (Merlin) 14 mins to get all but two, which were found later with a bit of book help.
Guardian 23,927 (Paul) 17:35 to solve all but one, this resolved with book help.
Times Jumbo 669: 18:55

2 comments on “Mephisto 2411 – Tim Moorey”

    1. Thanks – the old in “Old Bill” is part of the defintion. Another case of: if you don’t understand it, you may not have the right answer …

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