Mephisto 2423/Tim Moorey – Solved like an amateur!!

Posted on Categories Mephisto
Last weekend, my efforts at solving were really poor. I didn’t complete the Times, took ages over the Indie, and let’s not even go there with Inquisitor, which I have to blog later this week. Every now and then, this happens to me. Easy clues appear difficult and difficult ones, … Anyway, true to form, after half an hour of staring at the Mephisto Tim Moorey offered us, I had FOUR clues in place. I gave up and came back to it on Wednesday.

Everything became clear, the clouds lifted and I completed the puzzle fairly quickly in the end, although I did go off on a couple of wild goose chases.


1 ECCO – “here is” I Italian, according to Chambers, and Ecco is a Danish brand of shoes. I would put in a Google link to their website, but I don’t give endorsements, unless the company want to offer me some incentive…

4 MISUSAGE – (<= e.g. AS U SIM). Liked “card” for SIM

11 TOU(r)PET – variation of toupee

14 SUDA(n)TORIES – sweat-inducing drugs

16 AR(MO)R – MO is an archaic version of “more”, hence “once more”. Good clue had me hunting for some link to ARDOR (with DO for “ditto”)

18 NG-ULT-RUM – the monetary unit of Bhutan

21 DIP-LEG-I-A – partial paralysis

23 BEKAH – B(<=hake) – last clue I got. A bekah was a half-shekel in ancient Israel, so therefore the definition is “stale bread” – I was hunting for types of bread, not money.

26 STREPITOSO – (protest is)* + O (last letter of “too”). Strepitoso is “noisy” in music.

28 CEDILLAS – D-ILL in (aces)*

29 O(MEN)ED – first clue I got, nearly at the end of the across clues (told you I had a slow start!!)

30 E(IS)EL – old name for vinegar


1 EGG(S-AND-BAC(k)ON – According to Chambers, “bacon-and-eggs” is a trefoil, but if you search the net, you will find it also referred to as “eggs-and-bacon”. The surface of this clue reads extremely well, but the “in” is superfluous, and is only there to help the surface. I don’t know if it is fair, as it misleads the solver, especially as “eggs-and-bacon” doesn’t appear in Chambers 2003.

2 COBURG – CO(<=grub) – a type of sponge cake

3 COLD DUCK – half champagne, half burgundy cocktail, but I don’t see the wordplay

5 INRO – hidden backward in “mORNIng”

7 SU(PERFECT)A – SUA being an anagram of USA. Great & lit. clue with a good surface.

9 ETHEREAL OILS – (l’oreal is these)* – I originally put in ETHEREAL SALT without really thinking why, and this made the SE corner of the grid more difficult than it would have been if I’d taken more time working out why SALT couldn’t be found from the wordplay.

15 GRISELDA – a meek woman, apparently from a medieval tale

17 M(UGH)OUSE – I just can’t believe how long it took me to solve this really very easy clue!!

24 ELEMI – (Miele)* – one of the four clues I solved at the first run-through

25 MISES – I replacing O from Grandma MOSES. Mises are gambling stakes.

11 comments on “Mephisto 2423/Tim Moorey – Solved like an amateur!!”

  1. Definition is “drink with a lot of bubbly in it” and CO is C=cold and O=zero=duck

    — paul

        1. 10ac – GOOD-O

          Australian slang for ‘thoroughly’, and 0,0 = pair, i.e. two ducks in cricket, D = ‘d = had, all inside GO = game (Japanese board game).

          1. Thanks. I had some of the elements but hadn’t sussed pair. And I thought it ended in I! So now I’ve got Motty, but I don’t see why mike = M, unless it’s just a standard name abbreviation?

            I’ve just started doing Mephisto, used to think it was too hard, now I’m enjoying constructing obscure words and tracking them down.


            1. Mike = M: it’s from the “phonetic” alphabet that starts “Alpha, Bravo, Charlie”. A bit fiendish, as if it makes no sense to you, you have to look up Mike in the dictionary, not M. (You do have your copy of Chambers, don’t you? – Puzzles like Mephisto are doubly hard without it.)
              1. Ooh, that is fiendish, but I like it. I do have Chambers and it’s invaluable, and generally more pleasing to use than OED. But I’ve got the 1983 edition, still saving pennies to upgrade to 2003. I’ve been using the internet more and more to research the more obscure words – oops, is that allowed?!
                1. I’d upgrade to 2006 rather than 2003 – £17.50 on Amazon UK. Only a minor revision (500 new words rather then about 6,000), but you may as well have the latest. Using the internet instead: why not? The first point is to have fun by doing the puzzles. Being “virtuous” by using minimal reference sources is optional.

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