Mephisto 2614 by Mike Laws

Posted on Categories Mephisto
There is very little to say about this puzzle. It is the easiest Mephisto for weeks and I suspect one of the easiest ever published. Many of the clues would be regarded as simple in the daily cryptic. I wonder if it was meant to coincide with AZED 2,000 but appeared a week late? (AZED actually gets a passing mention). About 35 minutes to complete, less time than the prize Saturday puzzle that appeared the previous day.

1 CHAIR – CHAI(n)-R; the office of say a bishop; I detest the modern politically correct use of “chair”;
5 THISTLE – THIS-(let)*; a kilt tickler;
11 OPAL – O-PAL; PAL=phase alternation line, European TV system;
12 RHAPSODIC – (hoard pics)*;
14 LEEK – KEEL reversed;
16 LISSES – (pe)-LISSES; PE=Peru; the fleur-de-lis (see “lis” in C);
18 JUDOGI – in “Judges” replace “ges” by I GO reversed; judo gear;
19 TELEOLOGIC – (logo I elect)*;
21 SCREW,PRESS – SCREW-PRESS; take advantage of=SCREW (slang); a press for punching holes;
24 THANET – THA-NE(t)-T; which=THAT; fishing gear=net; Thanet hasn’t been a true island for years. It’s now an administrative district of SE Kent on the Thames estuary which includes the old Isle of Thanet;
25 ARCANE – AR(CA)NE; about=CA;
27 FLAX – F-LAX;
29 BROOKLIME – BROOK-LIME; suffer=BROOK; hang about in the West Indies (WI) = LIME; a plant of the Veronica family;
30 OINT – hidden (zer)O INT(erest); see “ointment” in C;
31 ENVIRONS – (n + version)*;
32 OAK,TREE – O(A)K-TREE; agree=OK; to corner=to TREE; reference King Charles 11 escaping the Battle of Worcester 1651;
33 CANST – CAN-ST; preserve = CAN; silence=ST; “art able” is the definition, indicating an obsolescent word;
1 CHALLIS – C(H)ALL-I’S; Henry=H (physics);
2 HAZE – H-AZE(d); reference Jonathan Crowther, AZED of the Observer, who celebrated 2,000 puzzles the previous week;
3 ANCESTRAL – AN-CE(ARTS reversed)L; skills=ARTS; one=AN; celebrated=CEL; source of death duties;
4 REHEEL – LEE(HE)R all reversed;
5 TRANSEPTAL – (start plane)*;
6 INSOUL – IN-SOUL; see “ensoul” in C;
7 SOON – (and) SO ON; willingly=SOON;
8 LAINGIAN – NAI-(gain)*-L reversed; fix=NAIL; the theories of psychiatrist R D Laing that mental illness is a response to family or other social pressure;
9 ELCHI – hidden (exp)EL CHI(nese); a Turkish Ambassador;
13 PEJORATIVE – (“JP overeating” without “ng”=no good)*; “training” is anagram indicator;
15 DOGSALMON – DOGS-ALMON(d); worries=DOGS; had=’d;
17 ISCHURIA – IS-CH-URIA(l); is=IS; children=CH; sheep=urial; urine retention;
23 EREMIC – hidden (wh)ERE MIC(e); “of a desert” is definition;
24 TABOO – T(AB)OO; (Jewish) month=AB;
26 NOTT – NO-TT; TT=reference Isle of Man motorcycle racing; see not-2 in C – close cut;
28 AWNS – cut = sawn then move s=son to give AWNS;

4 comments on “Mephisto 2614 by Mike Laws”

  1. Managed to finish this (easy) one. Thanks to Jim for the blog, but I have two queries regarding abbreviations. What’s the role/provenance of the ‘r’ in 1ac, and how does ‘st’ mean silence?
  2. I remember starting this when I was very tired and finishing it in one sitting, but not much else. Got everything from definition or wordplay without having to consult dictionaries and then just checked a few hunches like BROOKLIME (BROOK seems to catch me over and over).

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