Mephisto 2499 – Paul McKenna

Posted on Categories Mephisto
Paul McKenna’s puzzles are falling into a pattern – plenty of starter words to get things going, and just when you think you’re going to race through the grid, there are some really obscure tough ones to slip you up, often clustered together. In my case they were in the New England corner. There is one I’m not 100% on in here…

1 T,HANK,FULLY: HANK means to catch or entangle in this case
10 PEYOTE: (OY)<= in PETE(r), OY is a gaelic word for grandchild
11 EUROPA: Let’s sort this out, the old bull-lover is EUROPA from Greek mythology. Is the wordplay EURO (either the small kangaroo or a version of the Subaru Forester), P,A (first letter of Pursue Any)?
12 ESPRIT: SPRITE with the E moved to the front
13 PALS: (SLAP)<=, a slap is when a salmon ladder is open and fishing is not permitted, didn’t know that before
17 PRESETS: T in PRESES (a Scots chairman)
19 EPICURE: U in (RECIPE)*, nice surface
26 SERRIED: A new word from the wordplay – RR,I in SEED
28 THRUM: double definition
29 OLEANDER: LEAN(unproductive) in ODER
31 NEAP: NE is in chambers as an obsolete word for “old”, which was “new” to me.
32 HASLET: why do I always get the Mephistos with the disgusting-sounding recipes? After crappit-head and saloop, I now learn that it is edible pig entrails shaped into a loaf and cooked. Bon appetit.
33 INS(=old Inn),URE(=suffix for function)
1 OPENS,EA,SON: The evildoer in me likes this image
3 TYPO: cute clue, it is a liTeral mistake
7 FUGU,E: I’m more familiar with the musical definition, but it does mean amnesia as well
8 LOADED: Take your pick, triple definition!
9 L-PLATE: PL(Poet Laureate) in LATE. L-DOPA and L-DRIVER put in an appearance last week, so I think we’re done with LP words for now
18 SIGHTSEE: Nice construction – EIGHTS with the E at the bottom in SE
20 REEDIER: Hmmm, R for S in SEEDIER? Wouldn’t this be “more rushed” or “more rushlike”?
21 DETRACT: CART<= in DET, a Whitechapel cart is a two wheeled spring cart, apparently
22 SELENE: L for R in SERENE. A few substitutions this week
23 BREAST: BR then S in (TEA)*
25 SUR(=”on” en Francais),ELY
27 INTRO: T in INRO, where would the Mephisto be without our little box

4 comments on “Mephisto 2499 – Paul McKenna”

  1. George, I think 11A is EURO = large kangaroo and forester also = large kangaroo (both in Chambers) + as you say P(ursue) and A(ny). I agree with your comment at 20D, surely “more” not “most”.

    I liked this puzzle although much easier than 2498. I hope it has encouraged the new solvers. 2500 is also very straightforward and good fun. Jimbo.

    1. A first for me as a new solver, having solved it entirely without resorting to Onelook for a A??S???T??E sort of word lookup. I used to be given haslet when I was younger. If I’d have known then what I know now I would have binned it immediately.
      1. We used to have it on our butties once a week didn’t we? I didn’t know it was entrails either – you told me it was hoof scrapings and eye jelly, which sounded OK.
      2. Congratulations Ken. I sense you’re gradually getting better at this. Make sure you have a go at 2500, which is good fun. Jimbo.

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