Mephisto 2955 – Paul McKenna

Posted on Categories Mephisto
Apologies for the late post – I’m in a new play, Prairie Fire, by Ryan Madden (a local playwright) and it has been taking up a significant chunk of time, especially Saturday afternoons when I would usually write up the Mephisto blog.

I did this while proctoring an exam on Tuesday and I found it very difficult – though once I got a start in the right hand side of the grid, the answers knitted together pretty readily. There is also a pun in the top row, this time for SYMPATHISE

Away we go…

1 SIMPER: PER(a) next to (on), SIM(smart card)
11 AME DAMNEE: anagram of MAN,MADE then EE (Early English)
12 UPDO: hidden in coUP D’Oeil
13 FAN BASE: FAN(kindle), BASE(support)
14 TRIAL: T(tenor) and L with AIR reversed inside – rather specific term for a singing actor
17 TONSOR: SO(just) inside an anagram of SORT
18 NEROLI: Sophia LOREN reversed, I
19 CYBERNAUT: CUT(wound) surrounding an anagram of NEARBY
21 DISORIENT: ISO(isolated relplay – place for reviewing film), RI(religious instruction) inside DENT(negative effect)
25 OTITIS: O, TIT(nag), IS
27 ZONARY: ZO(hybrid), NARY – I wasn’t aware NARY was primarily a US usage
29 TAPIR: TAP(bug, like “tap ones phone”), I, R
30 MINICAB: reverse of BAC(k), IN, I’M
31 BENI: Needed to google this one to understand it – BENI is sesame (source of Oil), and the wordplay is B(barrels), ENI(an energy company based in Italy)
32 ACUMINOUS: NOUS(intellect), after CU inside AMI
33 NYSSAS: N.Y. then SASS reversed
34 X RATED: X(kiss) then ATE inside R.D.
1 SMUTTY: S&M, then (c)UTTY
2 IMPROBITY: IMP(rogue), ROB(mug), IT, (blood)Y
4 EMPLOY: ‘EM, P(ride) on LOY(Irish spade)
5 REFURBISH: RE(on), FUR(crust in kettles), BISH(bloomer)
7 HANKER: H then sounds like ANCHOR
8 IMBAR: remove the first letter from MIMBAR
9 GNAT: TANG reversed
10 SEE FIT: SIT outside FEE(terms) reversed
15 SNEEZE BOX: SNEEZE(explosive issue), BOX(punch)
20 ANAPEST: ANA(anecdotes), PEST(trial) – though I doubt the current president has ever used the term
21 DODMAN: DOD(haircut), MAN
26 TRIMS: I by TR then M&S
28 ONUS: or ON US

4 comments on “Mephisto 2955 – Paul McKenna”

  1. I didn’t spot the top row pun! This makes me feel a lot better about Mephistos, really, as I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now and my general opinion is “obscure vocabulary is *kind of* cool, but all this dictionary trawling and not very many jokes… isn’t actually all that fun, comparatively…”
    1. We sit in the coffee room of our operating theatre tackling the Times Crosswords, and others, seeking the best out of a crossword -lateral thinking, word awareness, humour and code-breaking.

      when the juniors are challenged with some, such as;

      Balls trapped in underwear, they split hairs (7)

      He comes second in this 8,5

      Where the bereaved is also the bereavor 5,5

      everyone wishes more and more and more – so less of the other stuff which is smug Oxbridge stuff which will cause cryptic crosswords to go the same way as golf clubs.

  2. Why do you always use the unfriendly, as opposed to the friendly format for your blog?
    1. Dear anonymous…

      What has been called “the friendly” format is not what I prefer for three reasons…

      1) It is tantamount to plagiarism to copy and paste verbatim the entirety of the setter’s work. Particularly with the Times which keeps its content behind paywalls
      2) I solve the puzzle from a printout, so even if I was interested in repeating the entire clue, it would mean retyping the clue, or downloading the puzzle again
      3) It is less effort to do it the way I currently do it. I think it took me about 35 minutes to write the post, it would take longer if I was copying, pasting, highlighting and underlining.

      Feel free to complain higher, but if I’m forced to go to the complete reprinting of clues, it will be time to hang it up here.

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