Mephisto 2484 – Paul McKenna

Posted on Categories Mephisto

Solving time: 24m

My first Paul McKenna Mephisto to blog, and it proved to be an enjoyable puzzle.  Quite a high proportion of obscure words, but there was little convoluted wordplay, so that helped.  Many thanks to Paul for introducing me to “Weary Willie” and “mops and brooms”!



TRANSUMPT (ANS in TRUMP +sheeT) – TOP = TRUMP was blended nicely into the surface.


BARMAN (BAR + MAN) – this clue took me a good 5 minutes to work out at the end even with ?ARMAN leaving just a handful of possibilities! I could see MAN = SERVANT, but was looking for a word to mean BROOMS minus A.  No, EXCEPT gave the BAR, and I was very surprised and amused to find one of the many synonyms for tipsy – MOPS AND BROOMS = half-drunk!  Great stuff!


PULSE (UP rev. + LSE) – the L in LSE is London, hence “capital teaching establishment”.


GRALLAE (A + Lobster in LARGE*) – some wading birds.


SCUBA (C in SUB + A) – the Nautilus was Captain Nemo’s submarine in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.


MISSILRY (I + L + R in MISSY) – good definition in order to incorporate R = Romeo in the suface.


EN ROUTE (R + OUT in ENE) – East North East being mostly an easterly direction.


ENLEVE – I think the intention here is to parse the clue as ENLEVE (would be) ELEVEN (=team) if you send N (=note) to the back.


NIGERIENS (GINNERIES*) – NigeriEns distinguishing the inhabitants of Niger from those of Nigeria who are NigeriAns.






TRAM (TRAMp) – another nice new phrase to me – Weary Willie = a tramp.


MAN-ABOUT-TOWN (MAN + ABOUT TO + WiN) – a little weak to use MAN = fellow as part of the wordplay.


ENTRANCE (2 defs.) – one of the classic double meanings, but the wording of the clue meant I was still mislead for a while.


BEARNAISE (BEAR + NAISsant + E) – thought of the right sauce quickly, but took a while to spot NAISSANT.


INCAVI (INC. + A VI) – for once the numeral being Roman is indicated.


SOUARI (OU in SARI) – OU is one of those little words with a surprising meaning – South African for “a man”.


WREN (appeaR in WEN) – one of the nicknames for London.


AWLS (W in ALS) – tungsten is also wolfram hence the W.



4 comments on “Mephisto 2484 – Paul McKenna”

  1. I found this much harder than a usual Mephisto, although I got there in the end after 45 minutes, finishing with BARMAN after having the same trouble as you with ‘mops and brooms’. Writing in ‘Lyonnaise’ at 15dn held me up no end, as did a confident ‘resent’ at 11ac (REPRESENT – REP[lica]). Also ignorance with GAMASHES, TRAM (both meanings), P+ARISH (convinced that ‘Louisiana’ must give LA), ‘sapper’ = SPR, HIERETICA, TRAHISON and TRANSUMPT.

    I wasn’t convinced by ‘X blocking Y’ to mean ‘X around Y’ at 3dn – is this ok?

    This is one of my favourite puzzles of the week, and I’m sure that won’t change with the departure of Chris Feetenby, to whom many thanks. Looking forward to the next by this setter.

  2. My time was 42:40, with C used after 30 mins for last 8 clues – 7, 18, 16 (corrected from GRALLEA), 15, 5, 1A, 4, 8 in that order. Once I get a bit more used to Paul’s style I’d hope to do the whole thing or
    all but a couple without books, and a bit quicker – which fairly closely matches the difficulty I’d expect from Chris Feetenby.
  3. Took a while to start, but once the clues started falling, this came together pretty well. Had to look up a few things, Weary Willie for one. Thanks to Peter I was on the lookout for LSE.
  4. A fond farewell to Chris Feetenby and welcome Paul McKenna. A very enjoyable puzzle with BARMAN also my last. I thought I knew every conceivable alternative to Brahms and Listz but mops and brooms was new to me. Jimbo.

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