Mephisto 2506 – Mike Laws

Mephisto 2506 – Mike Laws

Solving time 29:15, no books

Mike Laws is maybe the hardest Mephisto setter, but sometimes writes quite easy puzzles, and this seemed to be one. I’ve only written about a few clues below, but ask in comments if you have questions about others. With BETATRON and NEUTRETTO, I wondered whether there was a nod to the experiments at CERN this week.

10 EN(NEA(t))D – fancy word for a group of nine, the number in a baseball team (on the pitch at once, anyway).
12 NOR = and not,N,A – Latinized version of Norn = one of the three Norse fates.
13 NEUTRETTO = (outer tent)* – a name suggested for a neutral meson, a type of neutrino = an uncharged particle with zero mass at rest.
16 TA(RT)Y – tay = tea – dialect esp Irish
18 ANI – hidden word – a tropical bird from the Americas, aka ‘black cuckoo’
19 HE(A)RTS,TRING – a nerve/tendon imagined to brace and sustain the heart
21 IMP – 2 defs, the rare one being ‘to graft (obs)’
23 BOG=John,US = unserviceable = useless
29 TITTUP = (putt it) rev. = to prance
1 GENET = ‘Maybe Jean’,H(e)LIACAL – a genthliacon = a birthday ode
2 ONEGA = ON,AGE rev. – Lake in Russia probably best known in the west for Kizhi Island
3 B(ETAT)RON – a particle accelerator. état = State or Rank, Eleanor Bron is a very talented comedian who’s probably best known for appearances in the Secret Policeman’s Ball and the like. Here she is in Yes Minister.
11 DEVA,STATION – Deva being a god or good spirit in Hindu or Buddhism.
14 TRAMP,(c)OLIN – a colin is a Virginian quail, and you can forget the E in trampoline if you like.
20 A.M.,RITA = the Beatles’ “Lovely Rita meter maid”, and AMRITA is the nectar of the Hindu Gods
24 UNDUG = (Du. in gnu) all rev. – ‘natural state’ referring to soil, I guess.

5 comments on “Mephisto 2506 – Mike Laws”

  1. You haven’t commented on the only one I have a question mark against, so I will ask.

    20a amontillado

    I parsed this as AM (in the morning) ON (getting drunk) TILL (before) ADO (trouble) but this leaves ‘work starting’ unaccounted for, which I don’t think can be right.

    Geoff Moss

    1. I must admit the drink, checking letters and part of the wordplay were enough and it seemed straightforward so I didn’t worry about all the detail. Very sloppy!

      After ON, I think ‘before’ is a link word, and then TILL is work (tilling soil seems to count as working it). Trouble = ADO is definite too, so I think ‘starting’ is another link word, indicating that what you’ve got so far precedes ADO. (Or you could treat (work starting trouble) = TILLADO as what AMON goes in front of.)

      1. Thanks Pete. I did consider this option but I thought that work = till too loose a definition and that there were then too many link words.


        1. Please ignore my previous comment. Having rechecked Chambers, which I should have done before, ’till’ is defined as ‘to work (land) …..’.

          Please accept my apologies for wasting your time.


  2. I liked this one too, but didn’t need many aids, just to check a few answers. I wonder if 17,11 was another combination directed at those wacky atomic physicists? TITTUP appears to be word of the season, funny how a word new to me a month or so ago suddenly appears in a number of crosswords.

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