Mephisto 2491 – Mike Laws

Posted on Categories Mephisto
I found this one mostly straightforward, but Mike Laws has a habit of slipping in a word that completely eludes me (including last time I blogged one of his puzzles), and he’s gone and done it again. Can’t wait to hear opinions for 29 in the comments, because I’m about to invent a word to fit the slot… here we go.

1 HARMONOGRAPH: Word fits the definition but to me the wordplay is iffy. Is the “instrument mainly” HARM(onica) or HARMONO(??), if it’s HARM, we have ON, but where does the O come from before GRAPH? If O GRAPH is special paper, I can’t find it in Chambers. Edit: HAR(p),MONOGRAPH makes far more sense – thanks Jimbo!
10 PRUD’HOMME: M(ike) in (HOPE,DRUM)* – a member of a French arbitration board, and not the PBS TV Chef well-known on this side of the pond.
11 CAN,ETTI(=T in (TIE)*): Elias Canetti, who I hadn’t heard of, but name was easy enough to get from wordplay.
13 KLAN: Hidden in parK LANe
16 NON-EGO: I liked this clue
19 CAB,LEG,RAM: Leg being “on” in cricket. The cricket is not on, it’s raining in Antigua
20 YO,HIM,BINE: aphrodisiac, used to treat ED, and easy for a chemist!
23 CUL,DEE(p)
24 (s)COLLOP: I didn’t know the word, but for a while thought the wordplay couldn’t be this simple.
28 ABDUL: U in (BALD)*
29 ETORTIE???: With the checking letters I have ?TO?TIE. Chambers gives me nothing for that combination of letters, neither does morewords. Kind of cake sounds like TORT, so I have ?TORTIE. Scottish spring ?IE… Bradford’s suggets EYE, but not EIE. ETORTIE is my best guess – anyone got a better one? Edit: Jimbo’s got a much better one – STOTTIE, with some fiendish wordplay, see his comment
30 CUNEIFORM: (UNCONFIRMED – D)* – I can never remember how to spell this word
31 H,AIRS,BREAD,TH: that’s a very nice construction you have there, Mr Laws.
1 HACK,NEY(=YEN reversed),COACH: Another nice construction.
3 RO,NAN: got this from the wordplay, I did not know that Ronan O’Rahilly was one of the pioneers of pirate radio, which led to one of my favorite episodes of “The Goodies”
5 NUT,J,(r)OBBER: another cute construction, bird to be determined from wordplay
6 G,HEBRE(w)
8 A,MA,TORY: We’re in construction heaven here!
9 HELIUM SPEECH: HELIUMS(=Hes), then sounds like PEACH. Odd peice of clueing.
14 SOL,ICI(=big company, formerly Imperical Chemical Industries, now part of AzkaNobel),TOR(ROT reversed): got from the definition, retrofitted the wordplay
18 CHLADNI: N in (A,CHILD)* – I knew this one, they’re the standing waves you get from sand on a metal board being acted on by a violin bow or an oscillator. I did some of these for a high-school science day where you take marshmallows and pack them together tightly then put them in a microwave oven, you can determine from the pattern the wavelength of the microwaves.
21 MEJLES: J in (SMILE)* – isn’t it nice when there’s only one unchecked letter? I now know it’s the Turkmenistan parliament.
25 LATED: T in (DEAL)<=. Will being Shakespeare here

6 comments on “Mephisto 2491 – Mike Laws”

  1. Hi George. I think 1A is HAR(p)-MONOGRAPH (a MONOGRAPH is a treatise = a special paper) whilst 29A is STOT-TIE (STOT=scots to bounce, TIE=to oblige, and a STOTTIE is a cake from the north of England).

    I thought this an excellent puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed. Jimbo.

  2. Well-spotted on both counts, didn’t think of MONOGRAPH in the first one, and I see STOTTIE is in Chambers, but not on Chambers Word wizards, probably making it a new word in the 2003 edition. I’ll amend above.
  3. This was my first finished (and hopefully correct) Mephisto. I still had to resort to letter-matching searches for one or two and lots went along the lines of “it looks like it could be xxxxxx” and researching to see if it was. The only one I couldn’t fully work out was 26d which I hope is PUER. I found a definition of PUER TEA which is a fermented drink, hence “refine”? – the E is English but I can’t find anything that says PUR is “old Jack”. Any help?
      1. Congrats – I hope that means you did better than me on this one! PUER is to cure in tanning, so I wrote it in without getting the wordplay. A peek at Bradford’s – PUR is the name for the Jack in the card game Post and Pair (definition from Chambers, and says it’s obsolete). Old Jack = PUR with E inside.

        Purists may disagree with me, but that’s one I felt OK about writing in initially without understanding (or initially, blogging) the wordplay.

      2. Congratulations on your first completition – the first of many I’m sure. You’ll suddenly find that you’re hooked – have you started doing AZED as well from The Observer? If not I’m sure you will in time as you gain confidence. You should also find that the approach to bar crosswords helps you with the daily cryptic. For example the devices in the Monday puzzle 23,929 such as a(meric)a and n(o)n do not usually catch the solvers of bar crosswords because we are used to them. Jimbo

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