Mephisto 2667 – Don Manley

I started this one on a small flight from Newark to Asheville, without Chambers but with a pretty dog-eared copy of Bradfords. I wasn’t quite awake during that flight and made a very slow start, only getting the top right hand corner. I had a busy week and honestly only picked it up again this morning when I realised it was blog day. I’d prefer not to be solving under pressure, and it took me a while to get down to the last few, particularly the bottom right.

It’s funny how long that took, because I should have just looked through my notes from a few weeks ago, when POLECAT and FITCH appeared in the Listener crossword. I remember reading 30 across and thinking “I learned a new word for polecat, now what was it”, but didn’t go so far as to check that Listener solution, which could have opened up the bottom right far earlier. Oh well… there’s still one I don’t quite get (20 down), maybe that’ll come while I write this up.

Away we go!

1 MAN,DIOC</strike>(esan)</strike>: I was in Brazil earlier this year and this meal was often served as a side dish
6 EMMER: EVER with V(5) becoming MM(2000)
10 ANOUROUS: without a tail – A,NOUS with (h)OUR in the middle
11 A,UNE
12 DAEMON: NO, MEAD all reversed
14 INVOLUCRE: an envelope – LUCRE for ICE in INVOICE
16 ALERION: One of two pieces of heraldry in the puzzle – AILERON with the I shifted
17 PRAISE,A,CH: a jumble of small pieces
24 SPANNER: strange substitution – ANNE for A(one) in SPAR
27 HOTE(l): In Chambers under HIGHT
28 CHELICERA: RICE with the R moved to the end in CHELA(disciple)
30 FITCHE: pointed – FITCHET is the polecat fur
31 IWIS: IWI is the tribe
32 FEDAYEEN: DAY in FEE, then (m)EN
33 ABSEY: S in A,BEY
34 SING,LET(service – well a service that needs to be replayed)
1 MADCAP: ADC(advice of duration and charge) in MAP
4 IRON(weapon),IS,T
5 CUPOLA: UP(at university) in a COLA tree
6 ESILE: hidden
7 MASU: US,A.M. all reversed I can’t find it right now but I think it has popped up recently
8 MUCSI: SUM reversed then the C.I. (Channel Islands)
9 REGENT: ER reversed then GENT
13 AROINT THEE: (IN,THEATRE)* with O inside
19 LIONCEL: I,ONCE in L,L(lines)
20 ISCHIA: I think this is IS(island) and then CHIA(seeds from the chia bush) but I can’t find CHIA in Chambers?
22 RECCES: CC(200) with REES(female ruffs) outside
23 GERENT: look above – there’s REGENT, so switch around the first three characters
25 AE,G.I.’S
26 NIFFY: IFFY(risky) after N(end of womeN)
29 LYSE: break down a protein by washing in detergent or base. Science!

7 comments on “Mephisto 2667 – Don Manley”

  1. It’s a double definition – a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples and the plural of ischium, a posterior bone of the pelvic girdle.

  2. I thought this was Don Manley’s toughest so far.

    MASU seems to be a regular visitor – the last I found is 29ac in 2660 (21 August)

  3. Agreed, Don’s best so far but still within one standard deviation of the difficulty mean.
    1. I’m not sure about the maths thing, but if you mean that everything’s relative and it wasn’t that hard in absolute terms I agree – after all I finished it. I am less optimistic about this week’s offering….
      1. It’s statistics! Assuming the difficulty of these puzzles forms a normal distribution about a mean value (ie there are as many easier than the mean as there are harder than the mean) then the vast majority (say 75% or miore) will lie within one standard deviation from that mean. A typical normal distribution (height say) will have 80% within one SD, 15% within 2SD and 5% at 3SD or greater deviation.

        You should finish this week’s puzzle OK

  4. I’ve just tried a new approach to these for the first time: solving with my copy of Bradford’s while travelling. Bradford’s feels a bit cheaty but on the basis that 1) I’m travelling a lot at the moment, 2) Chambers is a bit heavy for the bag and 3) I’ve got to learn how to do these things somehow, I think I’m going to do more of this.
    Anyway, even with Bradford’s and lots of googling this took me a good three hours. However I finished it, and that’s the point.
    I also finished yesterday’s with Chambers alone, so I’m feeling a little content with myself just now. Nothing to do with the booze on offer in the lounge while waiting for the delayed flight…
    Thanks to George for putting me on to Bradford’s in the first place and for explaining those I didn’t understand.

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