Mephisto 2511 – Paul McKenna

This was a nifty little puzzle. I didn’t get a lot out in the first sitting, but came back to it later and managed to make a big dent in it the second time around. Two words beginning with OO in the same puzzle (checked as well!) is an achievement.

1 A.S,SURE: Gentle starter
6 LYCOSA: Y(=unknown),COS(=function) in L.A. A wolf spider, and if you’ve ever been there, you know that Los Angeles is definitely La-La Land
11 T.A.,BOOED: A double O, but in the middle of a word
12 SCHNAUZER: (SHUN,CRAZE)* and a nice anagrindicator of “police” meaning to put in order
14 ELIDE: C removed from EL CID and then E for Spain
16 SBIRRO: This is where a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry comes in handy… Sb(Antimony),Ir(Iridium) and then OR(e) reversed. An Italian police officer, not to be confused with an inedible pizza place in airports
17 STO(l)LEN: this stumped me in an old crossword
18 BAG(=interest),PIPE: Terrific clue – third meaning of doodle in Chambers is to drone on a bagpipe
22 CAMBREL: MB in CARE,L – another spelling of GAMBREL, a butcher’s hook
24 ERO(t)ICA: Beethoven’s third symphony
25 ZORINO: RIN(Scots form of run, or drive) in ZOO(park), from the French Zorille – skunk
28 (c)ANTON: Got kind of lucky here, not sure if I remembered Anton Rogers from anything, the name just sounded like an actor – looking up quoined corners led to canton
30 DIA(=AID<=),CRITIC: similarly didn’t know about Aristarchus, but got this from the definition
31 TANKINI: KIN in (AINT)* – a combination of a tank top with a bikini bottom, for those of us not up to date on trashy beachwear
32 PUR(e),I: Another spelling of POORI, hot fried bread, yum
33 HE,TER(=RET<=),O
34 COSSET: Another very tricky clue – S for R in CORSET
2 STEPBAIRN: Pb(Lead),AI(not sure how) in STERN, wean meaning a child
4 RECTRIX: sounds like WRECKED,RI,X
6 LANOSE: A,N in LOSE(=miss) – should have gotten this the first time through, was looking for a girl’s name to put the A,N in
8 (b)OOZILY: I guess this could also be (w)OOZILY
9 A,DR,ENAL(LANE<=): nice use of the two words for road
15 DEBENTURE: DEB(utante), then T for D in ENDURE
18 BREADTH: D in BREATH(=suspicion)
19 PAIOCKE: AI(=three-toed sloth) in POCKE(d). Chambers suggests it’s a misspelling of peacock in Hamlet. Thanks for the generous wordplay and checking letters
21 DOTANT: twichild is second childhood, and dotant is a stage name for the same. Not 100% on the wordplay.
23 AZOTIC: the old term for compounds formed from nitrogen. A, Z(fizZ), CITO<= – cito meaning quick
26 ICTUS: I wasn’t too fond of this, it’s the medical stroke in use here (scary thing), I then T in CUS(s)
27 0,0,BIT: a hairy caterpillar that can be used as an insult to a person

8 comments on “Mephisto 2511 – Paul McKenna”

  1. 21D: D(=died),TANTO(=so much) with the O(=nothing) raised.

    I’ve used Twichild a couple of times as a username on the web – first time I did, Chambers (10th ed) was next to me – and twichild was the first word on the front cover. One day I’ll explain where foggyweb comes from!
    I know Anton Rogers from his role as Number Two in one of my favourite episodes of The Prisoner.

    1. Thanks for that – the definition was enough to get the answer (only that top D was unchecked), but I was trying to raise a whole phrase to explain the wordplay.
  2. At 2D George its A=acting + I=in

    I was irritated by the puzzle not being available on the web until Tuesday. Sunday is my best solving time for Mephisto and AZED.

    I agree with George, a good standard puzzle that one had to work solidly at but which rewarded such effort.

    1. It was available Sunday morning, just not indexed. I acquired it by way of a Google search of the Times website. Perhaps worth noting in case it happens again. I have often found that a Google search of a particular newspaper’s website brings up pages that are not found by its own search facility.


  3. I have utes which is an Australian abbreviation for a utility truck or van.

    But where does new Mexico come into this?

    1. Ute is (a member of) a North American Indian people of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.


  4. Thank you

    And Dotant is I believe D (died) TANT (French for so much/how much) with O (nothing) coming up.

    Least that’s what I reckon!

    PS Ought I to have a pseudonym to post here?

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