Mephisto 2636 by Paul McKenna

Posted on Categories Mephisto
A fun puzzle that manages to get Buzz Aldrin, Marilyn Munroe and Calvin Klein tittupping together, so to speak, with a Pearly and a bottle of port. It’s not often one gets to write sentences like that. I really enjoyed this one of about average difficulty I would guess.

1 PPARC – PP(AR)C; picture postcard=PPC; Arabic=AR; Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council that funded research. Merged into the Science & Technology Facilities Council in 2007;
5 SAPHEAD – SA-PH(EA)D; south=S; Australian=A; doctor=PHD; running water=EA;
11 COUSINAGE – CO-USIN(g)-AGE; small company=CO;
12 TITTUPPED – TIT-TUP-P(a)ED; nag=TIT; ram=TUP; little=paed then “one walking” gives PED; no, not failed miserably but danced gaily – wonderful imagery that would have appealed to Frankie Howard;
13 ALEW – ALE-W; archaic festival=ALE; week=W;
14 ULVA – hidden (woderf)UL VA(rieties); the sea lettuce (also an island close to Mull);
15 MOONSHEES – MOON-SHEES(ha); gaze vacantly=MOON; tobacco=sheesha without “ha”=sign of scepticism; interpreter;
16 ORPIN – OR-PIN; thing of little value=PIN; the stonecrop flower;
17 RETREAT – RET-RE(A)T; soak=RET; before=A;
21 CATASTA – card game=canasta then substitute “t”=time for “n”=bit of Napoleon; originally a stage used by the Romans to display and sell slaves;
23 PILEA – PILE-A; down (carpet)=PILE; answer=A; the top of a bird’s head;
24 KNICKERED – “as plump” becomes “is plump” by switching “a” for “i” so tired=knackered then swap “a” for “i”; bloomered=wearing grandma’s knickers (can’t imagine what my grandma would have made of CK knickers for example);
28 IOTA – hidden (cypr)IOT A(rgonaut); not clear what the containment indicator is;
29 ACAI – A-C-AI; slice of carp=C; edible fish=AI; Brazilian palm and its fruit;
30 VAPORETTO – VAPOR-(OTT-E all reversed); US boast=VAPOR; Ventian waterbus used to visit nearby islands;
31 IMMUTABLE – (I mumble at)*; bucks is anagrind;
32 TASLETS – (t=the in the north + slates)*;
33 YARRS – Y(A-R)RS; are=A; right=R; yours=YRS; dialect (in places) for the corn spurrey;
1 PUT,A,SOCK,IN,IT – P-(situation + CK=Calvin Klein commonly)*;
2 PHILTRA – PHILTR(e)-A; adult=A; the vertical hollow beteeen the nose and the upper lip;
3 ATTEMPT – A-T,TEMP-T; stammering secretary=T,TEMP; time=T;
4 COUPON – COUP-O-N; jock’s upset=COUP; over=O; new=N;
5 SUPPORT – SUP-PORT; Grahams=brand of port (along with Cockburn’s, Croft’s, Taylor’s and Sandeman’s); more CK underwear;
6 ASPEN – AS-PEN; the trembling poplar and thus by extension timid;
7 PIERST – PIER-ST; Spensarian wharf=PIER; Spencerian for pierced;
8 EAGLE – EA-GLE(e); each=EA; glitter=glee; refernce Colonel Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon, and US military uniform;
9 AGAVE – AGA-VE; AGA=make of stove; have=’VE; a plant whose nectar is used as a sweetner;
19 ELECTOR – (CELE(b) reversed)-(ROT reversed);
20 AERATOR – (area)*-TOR;
22 SKLATE – SK(L)ATE; large=L; bluish-grey slate coloured in Sutherland;
23 PEARLY – PEAR-L(ook)-Y(ummy); reference London’s Pearly Kings and Queens;
25 NORMA – two meanings 1=Marilyn Munroe’s real name was Norma Jean Mortenson/Baker. As a youngster she was allegedly dubbed Norma Jean the human bean; 2=small group of stars;
26 ITEMS – IT-E-MS; sex appeal=IT (from the original It Girl, Clara Bow in the 1927 film It) ;
27 EXPAT – TA(P)X-E(xile) reversed; peseta=P;

5 comments on “Mephisto 2636 by Paul McKenna”

  1. My thought on this was that “fat” (= plump) became “fit” (= desirable, in the vocabulary of my daughters’ generation).
  2. Don’t attempt the Mephisto regularly, perhaps half a dozen times a year when the weather’s too bad to be outdoors. Inspired by this blog, however, I thought I’d have a do and was pleased to finish in an hour and a half. Thanks for the explanation of TITTUPPED and EXPAT.

    24 Got this by having fat going to fit, so knackered to KNICKERED.

    28 Is the containment indicator the apostrophe s (has)?

    Had another go today and managed roughly the same time. Mustn’t make it a habit, though; ought not to neglect the garden.

  3. As a 27, I don’t have a garden so can attempt these perhaps a little more often than John, even if with less skill. Enjoyed the easy SW, but then needed to resort, judiciously, to aids to complete the grid. It was a pity that the easy (for those with experience) PPARC sat like a watchful dragon across the entry.

    I got the PED in TITTUPPED from ‘ped’ as the abbreviation (‘little’ form) of ‘one walking’. ‘Paed’ I know as a prefix, but not as a word (or abbreviation) in its own right.

    Thanks to Jim for the blog – and keep indicating the degree of difficulty!

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