Mephisto 2479 – Mike Laws

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This was one of the hardest Mpehisto’s I’ve tackled in a while. The bottom half didn’t take long at all, but after a first sitting the top half was almost empty (4d was the only entry above the waistline). A fresh start a few days later gave me 1a and then we’re away.

That said, there is one guess in here, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

10 A,B(V)OLT – 10-8 volts. Thank you college physics.
14 FOR,ZA,TO – a variant on the more common SFORZADO seen in music
17 MIRROR – TERROR with the TE changed for MI
18 NANOGRAM – a guess coming from seeing ABVOLT earlier, can’t see the wordplay here
21 MERCOURI – COUR(t) in MERI. Checked this one in Bradfords before going in, the wordplay seemed solid. I was not familiar with Melina Mercouri, though she sounds like quite the statesperson.
23 TOPEK,A – a TOPEK is an Inuit tent
25 ANNAM – (MANNA)<= – the French colony that is now Vietnam
29 IONA – IOWA with the W changed for N
31 AN,TINE,UTRINO – the last part being (INTOUR)*. Our Physics triple for the acrosses
1 DARLTINGTONIA – DARLING then O in (AIN’T)<= – this one took a while trying to figure out which Grace was the top part.
2 OB,OE – the other definition of OBOE as an organ stop
3 PONTOON – ON,T in POON. Chambers doesn’t give the origin, but in Australia, Blackjack was called Pontoon. My adoptive Americans will be pleased to learn of the existence of the poon tree
4 ELDING – ENDING with L swapped for N. Scots for fuel for the fire
5 GAYOMART – not where you go to buy homosexuals, but the Zoroastrian first man
6 AZERI – ZER(o) in A1
7 G(ETA)ROUND – nice clue
8 ELUTOR – (RO(=run out)TULE)<=
16 KREASOTE – (TAKE,ROSE)* – another spelling of CREOSOTE
19 MONITOR – NIT in MOOR, and the Victorian being the Antipodean type, where NIT is slang for “lookout”
24 KIRIN??? – Is it the smiling beastie from Japanese lore and beer cans? With KIR_N and wordplay suggesting some form of drink without a D, that’s my best guess. Note: and it was wrong, see comments for unravelling KIRAN
25 JO,IN – the number was missing from the online grid, but I found it.

7 comments on “Mephisto 2479 – Mike Laws”

  1. This is NA-NOGRA-M where a MAN is a chess piece. I can’t help with KIRIN which I too don’t understand. Jimbo.
    1. Wordplay seems plausible, but the poem appears to be recently self-published on a blog, I don’t think that could be it.
      1. KIRAN is a male Hindi name meaning “sun rays” – hence the “Man beaming”.

  2. Pontoon: the origin of this name is a garbling of “vingt-et-un”. This should be in Chambers if you look at the card-game kind of pontoon rather than the, er, bridge kind.
    1. I did check it in Chambers, and it does say “See vingt-et-un”, but I didn’t make that connection that they sound similar. I was taught French in high school by a Scotsman, so that might make sense.

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