Mephisto 2482 – Mike Laws

Posted on Categories Mephisto
Solving time: 26 mins, no books – 2 mistakes

I’ve added a penalty minute to my previously quoted time for changing my mind about the answer to 1A. Definition quotes below are Copyright Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd: The Chambers Dictionary 2003; The Chambers Thesaurus 2004. One wordplay for some kind passer-by to explain at 24D.
Apologies for the epic white space below – I hope to remove it when I’ve remembered what blogger’s cock-up causes it. The report is down there somewhere.

1 WAGE,N,BOOM – a S Afr tree whose wood is used to make wagon wheels (no wonder they taste so grim, ho ho). I originally put WAGES-BOOM, with the putative def. “growth”, wondering “where does the S come from?”
11 G(N/A)R. Рa barred-grid cliché answer, this one.
12 FURCRAEA – Ur in (a farce)* – one of my mistakes as I had FURCAREA, which made me wonder about the R in ‘ARSIDIA’ at 8D…
13 PIRELLI – (I’ll, E = “at last enclose”, R.I.P. = farewell wish), all rev.
14 ES(c)=key,SEX=relations – only spotted the Esc key part while writing this – when of course I’ve got one under my nose …
16 O(BEA,HIS)M – more fiendish wordplay identified while writing this – by heck this blogging is good for you – “dim woman” means “diminutive woman” = Bea for Beatrice. Intonation = “Om” = “a sacred syllable intoned as part of Hindu devotion and contemplation, symbolizing the Vedic scriptures, the three worlds (earth, atmosphere and air), and the Absolute” – just about anything, then …
17 H(A)IT,H=Hotel (radio alphabet). Scots for “by my faith”, by my faith.
20 IT-GIRL – (rig(h)t) rev. in IL, using two IVR abbrevs in the one clue.
23 TELL,US a tell is “in Arab lands, a hill or ancient mound formed from the accumulated debris from earlier mud or wattle habitations.” Tellus is the Roman earth goddess and the Earth.
25 HOB,ART “hob” = “top of the range” is very good stuff. I can’t quite see “bauty perhaps” in the def of ART, but I’m not going to worry as I saw it easily enough when solving.
27 FRAIL – 2 defs – I was perhaps lucky not to guess another ?RAIL word here.
29 BUCK,A,ROO as in roo-bar – Aussie road equivalent of the US railroad cowcatcher
31 ELIAS – E for A in alias. An alternative to Elijah or Elisha, I guess – I don’t have the books to check right now.
32 A(POST)IL – a marginal note/td>
33 AV(E.R.’S)ION – avion = aeroplane is in C as well as your O-level French vocab book.
34 SEED – 2 defs, one a dialect version of ‘saw’
35 WINEBERRY – a plant, as is the tutu. ‘Wineberry’ can mean tutu or makomako, another repetitive NZ plant
2 ANI,MATED – remembered that the ani is a bird from previous barred-grid experience
4 EREC=cere rev.,TILE
5 BULBUL = “sweet singer”s or another kind of bird. I wonder whether the online clue is a word short. “Rising, twice cut off sweet singer” doesn’t say what’s ‘cut off’ to make ‘lub’, and LUBE looks like the only possibility.
8 B,A(SID)IA – as you may have guessed from 12A, I didn’t realise that this was {black, (chap embraced by nursemaid) } rather than {(black, chap) embraced by nursemaid }
10 WAX MYRTLE – the ‘candleberry tree’ in the US. (L,try) rev. in w=with,exam*.
15 WHITE (chess player),BEAM
18 EN BROSSE – ‘(of hair) cut short and standing up stiffly’ – Ross ( James Clark Ross of ice shelf fame) in been*
19 VERIFIER – (1,fir) rev. in VEER
21 G,LACIER – lace being made of loops
24 SPRAIN – apart from quiet = P, the wordplay bassles me here.
25 HOOP,O,E – a brightly-coloured bird which very rarely makes it to our shores. I saw one last summer on the Dnieper or in the Danube delta.
26 LASSI – Ass. = Associate in LI = Long Island
28 AFTER – wordplay baffled me while solving, but rafter (vb.) is to plough in a particular way.
30 ULVA – hidden word – an edible seaweed – must be a new trendy kind, as it’s not in my old 1988 Chambers but has been added since.

4 comments on “Mephisto 2482 – Mike Laws”

  1. Baffled me too, although I had STRAIN instead of SPRAIN, thinking of quiet = ST.
  2. With “rising” as one of the definitions of BULL given in Chambers, I had this as:
    “Rising twice cut off..” = BUL(l)BUL(l)


  3. At least we all had trouble with the same clues. At 25A I justified ART on the grounds that there are several meanings of “Art”of which one is the creation of beauty. At 24D along with P and ST I even considered E=SPAIN with R in it but couldn’t see R=quiet. In the end I went for SPRAIN because I thought “rick” was a little closer to sprain than strain (not very convincing now I’m writing it out, I must say) and P=quiet is perhaps commoner than alternatives. I hope somebody explains it for us. Jimbo.

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