Mephisto 2950 – by Don Manley

Posted on Categories Mephisto
A stroll in the park this week

1 SFERICS – S(F)ERIC-S; fine=F; society=S; atmospherics;
6 KAPUT – KA-PUT; spirit=KA;
10 HELIANTHUS – (health sun I)*;
13 FICHU – hidden (scienti)FIC-HU(sband); old cape;
14 SIGNEUR – SIGN-EUR(ope); old nobleman;
15 FLEA – F-LEA(f);
17 CUE,BID – CUE-BI(n)D; rod=CUE; artificial bid in the card game bridge;
18 PINNIPED – P(INN)IPE-D; aquatic family that includes seals;
21 WATER,RAM – MAW reversed surrounds TERRA;
23 NIACIN – CAIN reversed – IN; acid;
25 SECT – SEC(re)T;
27 NERONIC – (in a concert – cat)*; reverse engineered – can’t say I fully understand the wordplay;
29 CHORE – CHORE(a);
30 LUETIC – (clue it)*; see C for full explanation of definition;
31 CALAMANDER – (carnal dame)*;
32 EDILE – ELIDE reversed;
33 DIONAEA – (no idea)* surrounds A; plant;
1 SCAFF – S(cot)-CAFF; food in Fife;
2 FACILITIES – (cities fail)*;
4 ILLUPI – (I-PULL-I) all reversed;
5 SALICETA – ATLAS reversed surrounds ICE; plantations;
6 KNAG – K-NAG; a knot;
8 PHOEBE – sounds like “fee bee”;
9 TSARDOM – (smart)* surrounds DO;
12 QUINACRINE – QUIN-(in care)*;
16 UPANISAD – U-PA(A-SIN reversed)D;
18 PINNACE – PIN(CAN reversed)E;
19 ARSHEEN – RA reversed-SHEEN; measurement less than a yard;
20 CAROLI – CAROL-I; reference King Carol 1st of Romania; a coin;
22 ESCUDO – (decorous – or)*;
24 CORAL – ROC reversed-A-L;
26 TECTA – TE(CT)A; court=CT;
28 NOME – (g)NOME; as in Gnomes of Zurich; government department;

7 comments on “Mephisto 2950 – by Don Manley”

  1. Close, but no cigar; 33 escaped me, as did 30 until I thought of TECTA. I looked up a couple: 1ac for one, since I was positive it began SF and
    equally positive I had no clue as to what followed. I still don’t understand the parsing. I’m new to this game, but is it common to have non-standard spellings of little-known words? I’ve always seen UpansHads, say; and ARSHEEN isn’t in SOED as an alternative to ‘arshin’.
    1. Arsheen, arshine and arshin are listed together in Chambers, and I love the definition: about 28″ in Russia, about 30″ (76cm, but legally a metre) in Turkey… so that’s cleared that up 🙂 – And in Collins Arsheen is an entry in its own right, with Arshin as an alternative.
      The answer to your question is yes, most things are allowed and alternative spellings are positively preferred. I believe the Mephisto is still rather unusual in specifying exactly which dictionary is used as a reference, ie currently Chambers, 13th edition. Unlike say, the Club Monthly which can pick from Chambers, Collins or the COD.
        1. Welcome Kevin

          You can’t do these puzzles without Chambers (usually referred to as just C). I suggest the phone app – much easier than lugging a huge book around

          The idea is to derive the answer from the wordplay and then look it up in C to verify

          And yes, nearly anything goes!

  2. Sir,
    Many thanks for the blog.

    Thank you for clarifying 27 ac. I’d not seen the subtraction of cat and now it’s just obvious! Does jiggle somehow suggest the subtraction as well as being the anagrind?
    With 33 ac, I thought that “potting” just helped to confuse? It sounds as though it means us to include the following letter a but that’s not necessary since “One” is the extra a needed. Poetic licence?
    With 20 ac, I believe it could have been one of several historical King Charles.

    I agree that this was much easier than the usual Mephisto – even for me, two or three clues were of daily standard.
    The Providence comes from the fact that I didn’t do this M until yesterday while watching the first two rugby matches. 3 d was clearly an omen!

  3. Completed most of this without resorting to the dictionary, so it was on the gentler side of Mephisto. A grid with rather generous checking I thought.

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