Mephisto 2489 Tim Moorey

Posted on Categories Mephisto
I found this an entertaining puzzle with a good mix of easy, medium and difficult clues. An excellent puzzle for any new Mephisto solvers. I thought the top easier than the bottom. 1A, 7A, 10A, 11A, and 13A went straight in, which helped enormously.

I like clues where one derives an unlikely looking word from the wordplay and then finds it in Chambers. 20A and 12D both fit that bill. I have marked with (C) clues where I used Chambers (13 out of 36 or 36%). Where references are well hidden I have directed new solvers to the correct section of the dictionary.

This is my first Mephisto blog. Please let me know how it can be improved. I’m particularly interested in helping new solvers. Jimbo.

7 AIDA – AID-A; our fiesty operatic slave girl
10 LORAN – LOR-A-N; lorn=old word for lost; acronym from LOng RAnge Navigation system
11 OARSMEN – h(orseman)*; “strokes” is definition
13 CUL-DE-SACS – C=Cuba + (class due)*
14 MASALA – ALAS-A-M reversed
16 TSAR – T-S-AR; S=is as in it’s; TAR=old word for set on; eg Keith Hellawell was UK drugs tsar (C)
17 LIGURE – L-I-G-URE; I=in; an unknown precious stone possibly jacinth or amber (C)
18 SIGNPAINTER – SIGN-P(A)INTER; mark=SIGN; reference Harold Pinter
20 MACERANDUBA – MACE-RAN-DUB-A; staff=MACE; DUB=name; the Brazilian milk-tree (C)
23 ETALON – NO-LATE reversed; instrument for measuring wavelength (C)
25 BURD – DRUB reversed; old word for a lady (C)
27 ABATIS – ABAT(e)-(h)IS; abate=legal term for stop; a rampart of felled trees (C)
29 OPODELDOC – OPODEL-DOC; exemplary=model then replace “m=money” by “op=work” + DOC; Paracelsus’ word for local medication; good clue (C)
30 REVERSO – R-EVER-SO; R=rule (legal); a verso, a left-hand page of an open book (within “reverse” in Chambers)
31 SIEGE – SI-EG-E; team=side; then replace “d” by “eg”
32 NEER – (o)NE-ER; one-er=expert; NE’ER=never
33 DISHORSE – DISH-OR-S(tyl)E; “light” is the definition; OR=before; “marches” are boundaries; excellent clue
1 ALUM – A-LUM(ber);
2 POTASSA – P(OT)ASS-A; potash
3 PROSAICAL – (or Pascal I)*; Mill=anagrind; nice construction
4 INULIN – NIL-UNI all reversed; a carbohydrate from the roots of plants (see “inula” in Chambers)
5 SOLAR,PANELS – SO-LAR-PANEL-S; signal=SOS; LAR=Libya; PANEL=chosen group
6 DREW – reference Drew Barrymore producer of and actress in Charlie’s Angels
7 ASSIGN – (savings without “v”)*
9 ANSWERED – (wanderers without “r”)*; “ground” is anagrind
12 ADELANTADOS – A-DEL-ANT(ADO)S; A=are (metric measure); DEL=Delaware; Spanish grandees (C)
15 NUTBUTTER – NUT-BUT-TER; BUT=butt=poll=blunt end (C)
16 TIMEWORN – T-I-MEW-ORN(ado); MEW=a retreat
19 EARINGS – EA-RINGS; EA=Environment Agency; EARINGS are ropes for fastening sails (within “ear” in Chambers)
21 ELUDER – E-LUD-ER; EER=ever; LUD=Lord as in “Me Lud”
22 DEBOSH – DE-BOSH; “balls” as in rubbish; jag=debosh=debauch; Ed Balls is, some say, an aptly named government minister
24 TOPEE – TO-PEE(r)
26 HERD – HE-R-D; head=”one in front” then replace “a” with “r”; to harbour is to herd
28 SWEE – SWEE(p); Scots word for a child’s swing (C)

3 comments on “Mephisto 2489 Tim Moorey”

  1. Gently urged on by this excellent blog, I started trying out Mephistos four weeks ago with little expectation; but I am delighted to say that I have completed the last two. As a Times solver for the last thirty years – though never having been that fast- I had always assumed that barred grid crosswords were a step too far, but the discipline of concentrating on wordplay, rather than vocabulary has shown rewards in the daily cryptics this week, and should I ever start timing myself I am sure my times have improved. I enjoyed this one immensely, and found the above explanations very useful for the ones that i was not sure about the wordplay. I knew ABATIS as I once resolved to learn a new word every day and got that far in the dictionary. That was twenty years ago, and this is the first time it has ever cropped up – well worth the wait.

    An excellent blog – thank you for the (much needed) help.


  2. I was undone by the SE corner. Nice job on the explanations, jimbo, I found this one much harder than the Mephistos of the last two months.
  3. Thanks for this Jim. Being a novice (this was only my third attempt) it’s very useful to be able to get a bit of an indication of what’s required to solve a Mephisto from an old master (no offence 🙂 ). I was really pleased with 2488 because I managed to get all but four without any help, although in the end I was still missing one. This one, though, was an abject failure and I could only get SWEE and SIEGE below MACERANDUBA. I dare say I’ll be needing a lot more help in the near future. Thanks again

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