Mephisto 2930 – Paul McKenna-Donn Reynolds and the Nicaraguan Resistance

Posted on Categories Mephisto
A mixture of the easy and the rather more opaque. I seemed to spend more time than usual checking entries in Chambers to support meanings in clues (eg 11A). Also, I’d never heard of the basketball player but luckily Google had.

I think there is a typo in the clue to 25A where “informal capacity” should be “informational capacity”

1 HISSED – (shed is)*;
5 ORACLE – O-RAC(L)E; of=O’; Labour=L;
10 OTTAVA,RIMA – OTT-A-V-(maria)*; Italian verse;
11 MAILE – MAILE(d); two meanings; hold in hankie=mail-6 in C; old halfpenny=mail-4 or MAILE in C
13 ARAR – A-RAR(e); most=the majority of which gives RAR(e); NA tree;
15 GEHENNA – (Malebol)GE-HENNA; Hell;
16 GO,TO,EARTH – G(O-TOE)ARTH; old =O; bit of hose=TOE; cloistered courtyard=GARTH;
17 ENEWS – (r)ENEWS; hint of respect=”r”; plunges in;
18 HYDATID – (h day)*-TID; first “hot”=anagrind; three times a day=TID; blister is definition;
21 CALYPSO – two meanings; 1=nymph from the Odyssey who held Odysseus hostage 2=topical ballad;
22 OBITS – O-BITS; on=O’; curbs=BITS (horse tack); “no more”(=dead) announcements=obituaries;
25 BANDWIDTH – BAND-WI(D)TH; gathering=BAND; date=D; understanding=WITH; definition should be “informational capacity”;
27 NECKTIE – (neice)* surrounds KT; Ascot is presumably a reference to the mode of dress at the race course;
29 TOAD – TO-AD; reference Wind in the Willows;
30 FONDA – FOND-A; about=A; Iberian inn;
31 THEREAFTER – THE-R(E)AFTER; eccentricity=E; next is definition;
33 RUFOUS – RU(FOU)S; Scot’s drunk=FOU; Russia=RUS; ruddy is definition;
1 HOMAGE – HOM(AG)E; silver=AG;
2 STIR – two meanings 1=go about; 2=cooler=prison=STIR;
4 DARGAHS – DARG-(has)*; Scot’s day’s work=DARG; structure covering a Muslin burial site;
5 ORDER – (b)ORDER; American helping in restaurant=ORDER;
6 RIGHTDOWN – RIG-HT-DOWN; boring plant=RIG; Kentish roadstead=DOWN; plainly is definition;
7 CARNY – three meanings; 1=sideshow; 2=sounds like Bob CARNEY basketball player; 3=old word for flattery (see fair words under “words” in C);
8 LEANWITTED – (wind attlee)*;
12 ANONACEOUS – (no sauce on a)*; course=anagrind;
14 BESPATTER – B-(street)* surrounds PA=past; have it large=unrestrained (see large in C); dirty is definition;
19 YODELER – (lyre)* surrounds ODE;
21 CONTRA – two meanings 1=US backed fighter 2=against and CON (= one inside)-(crafty conduct=ART reversed);
23 SHEARS – SH-EARS; mum=quiet=SH; lugs=EARS;
24 SCATS – S-CATS; SCAT-5 = old word for tribute;
26 NITRE – (inert)*;
28 INTO – (sh)INTO;

6 comments on “Mephisto 2930 – Paul McKenna-Donn Reynolds and the Nicaraguan Resistance”

    1. PS “Bob” in 7D must be a possible bloke working on a sideshow. A sideshow is a component of a carnival rather than a synonym for “carnival”, and “carny” is also “a person who works in a carnival”.

      I would be both surprised and disappointed if a Mephisto setter expected you to know about a basketball player whose professional career seems to have lasted less than two years in the mid-1950s.

      1. Sideshow Bob is also a character in The Simpsons, of course, but as far as I can remember he doesn’t work in a carnival or anything of the sort (being Krusty the Clown’s sidekick isn’t really close enough), so for the purposes of the wordplay here I agree that he must just be a possible bloke working on a sideshow.
        I was a bit puzzled by ‘once’ in this clue, since CARNY is marked as dialect but not archaic.
        1. Sorry – should have suggested a change replacing “once” with “somewhere” or similar.
  1. Pretty straightforward, with bonus points for Sideshow Bob (Simpsons references in US cryptic crosswords are pretty regular, not so much in the Times) and the top row pun.

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