Mephisto 2657 – Paul McKenna (and a message for John Halpern)

Posted on Categories Mephisto
Funny thing about this one was that I solved it on the plane on my way to the UK, and then got an email asking if I’d found the hidden message. Well since I left really early on Sunday, I had two Mephistos with me, 2656 and this one. So on getting the email I immediately grabbed 2656 and scanned everywhere for a hidden message. Then wrote an email back saying I couldn’t find anything.

Took me another day to realize that it was 2657 I was meant to be looking at and there it is – a message for John Halpern (Paul etc) on his wedding day – TALINE BECAME HALPERN TODAY running across two columns. Neat trick, and a nice grid to accommodate that message in all unchecked letters. I remember finding this on the easier side of the mephisto (mind you it’s easy to focus on a plane).

Away we go!

1 CARTOPHILE: CART(float), then IL (center of MILK) in (HOPE)* – a collector of cigarette cartons
11 CLOU: dominant idea – take the T off of CLOUT
12 CORELLA: CORE(shift, second meaning in Chambers), then ALL reversed. Saw a lot of these growing up so it came to me straight away
13 SITREP: PERT,IS reversed
14 MORIAS: I in MORAS(delays), an instant write-in for anyone who has read Tolkein
15 CYANOGENESIS: Y in CAN(John – though I rarely hear that term used in the US), then (SEEING,SO)*
21 MOROSER: MO(month), ROSE, then R(from Rejoice)
24 SLUR,B: got this from the wordplay, mash-up word of slum and suburb
29 UPCAST: U then (PACTS)*
30 F,RICH,T: I fell into the obvious trap and had FRIGHT in there for a bit
31 SEIZE UP: SIZE UP with E(xcellent) inside
32 ACER: got this from the definition, but it’s A CER(RIS)
2 ALIYA: anagram of MALAYSIA without MA and S
3 ROTAL: (ALTO)* under R
4 TURN IT UP: PUTIN, RUT all reversed
7 IRONER: I liked this wordplay a lot – IRONY with the Y turned to ER
8 ELISA: (LIES)*,A(about) and two definitions either side of the wordplay
9 CLAIMER: I,M in (LACE)* then R
10 P,ASS,ER,BY: my favorite clue in here, and a great wedding surface
16 TEA HOUSE: TEASE about HOU(r)
17 EME,RIT,US: RIT coming from music (ritenuto)
18 COLON,1,A,L: Paul McKenna is back in form with those crafty A indicators. A tittle is a punctuation mark, so COLON works
20 TRAMPED: T’ RAM on PED(foot). So last week I went to the National Coal Mining Museum in Yorkshire, and the guide spoke like this! I understood about a third of it.
23 SESSES: taxes that are palindromatic – we also saw them a few weeks ago
24 STEROL: ST(stumped), then ER(r)OL (Flynn)
25 LICIT: another really nice clue – LIE and CITE both without the E at the end
26 DEC,CA: a navigation system one can obtain from wordplay
27 ASHET: add the PL back in and you get PLASHET(a puddle)

One comment on “Mephisto 2657 – Paul McKenna (and a message for John Halpern)”

  1. Much the same experience. A puzzle on the easy side and completely missed the hidden message.

Comments are closed.