Mephisto 2433 – Chris Feetenby

Solving time: 27 mins without Chambers, but one mistake (20A)

At least on the Times club site, this puzzle was spoiled by the truncation of four clues. Here they are in full, as the site still has the incorrect version (correct versions courtesy of a prompt response from Chris F to an e-mailed request). Why this wasn’t fixed sooner on the club site is beyond me.

29A: Car tore off round historic city (6)
22D: Fall over in drunken mutuality (6)
24D: Language of wickedness that is put before one (6)
26D: Set up a metal device for raising water (5)

As often without books, I missed a correct solution by guessing the wrong unchecked first letter of a short answer.

12 MO,DULO=loud* – “modulo” = with respect to a specified modulus = multiplier
13 A(T.O.),MIC
14 PLIM(soll)
17 STOOL=loot’s<=,BALL – stoolball is a ‘ball and stick’ game.
18 A,GGRADE=ragged*
20 GRUE = creep, c.f. “gruesome”. Can’t see the wordplay yet – any offers?
23 ILE (=French for “isle”),USES – confusible possibility here – an ileus is an intestinal obstruction, but your ileum is your lower intestine.
25 ESUR=ruse<=,IENCE=niece* – for those of the right age, the meaning of “esurience” is best remembered from “esurient” = “all hungry, like” in Monty Python’s cheese shop sketch.
29 TOURER – Ur in tore*
30 R.I.’D,DEN
2 ECO LOG,IS,T – Umberto Eco, author of The Name of the Rose.
3 N,(h)IDING – an old word for a traitor, with several variant spellings – nithing, and all four choices from nid(d)er(l)ing
4 SALU=Saul*,TAR,IN,E,S.S. – from which I learn that salutary means “healthy” rather than “significant”
5 IRO(n),K.O. – I was led astray by E(BONY) which sort of fits ‘mostly hard’ or ‘hard to finish off’
6 INTEL=(let in)*,LECTION=lesson as in “here endeth the lesson” – i.e. a church reading – easy enough for anyone who’s come across a lectionary (a list of the readings set for each service in a church year). “lectern” might help too.
7 STOB = bots<=
8 TAM(M)AR – a scrub wallaby – I was tempted by ti(m)ber
9 RECALESCENT = (Clarence set)*
10 I,M,PLACENTAL=(plant Alec)*
15 KOEL=(Leo,K(ing))<= – an Asian and Australasian cuckoo
16 BLUE=spend wastefully,GREEN=long
24 SIN,d.h.,I – d.h. = das heisst = that is (German). In theory you should watch out for zB = zum Beispiel = e.g., and usw = und so weiter = etc., but both look fairly unlikely
26 NORIA = (A,IRON)<= – a chain of buckets on a wheel, for raising water. Similar to the “Persian wheel”, which you can see in use in India.
27 TRIG = girt<=

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