Mephisto 2960 – Tim Moorey – no great sheeks

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Three clues only partially parsed at 12A, 11D and 23D and a homophone at 26A that has two common rather different pronunciations. An old film star and two long gone Prime Ministers feature. About average difficulty.


1 Salt and piece of food left on top of oven before tea prepared (11)
ORTHOBORATE; ORT-HOB-OR-(tea)*; before=OR;

11 Scots relished it with wine (5)

12 Spirit that’s immature, so to speak (4)
WILI; the maiden spirit in Giselle; can’t see the cryptic

13 Row about movie expressed in three lines (7)

14 One chum going round put on second stone! (5)
LAPIS; I-PAL reversed-S; second=S;

16 Mineral and iron bar left inside (7)

17 Singer holds current map for South American plateau (9)

18 You bet two pounds, for example after one (6, two words)

20 First person supplanted by European in monotony of Latin hymn (6, two words)
TE,DEUM; monotony=tedium and replace “I” by “E”;

22 Send wettest shortened messages (6)
TWEETS; (wettest-t)*;

24 Hard to get Cliff to join church (6)

26 Agitation reported, half of Doha beginning to march in Qatar perhaps (9)
SHEIKHDOM; sounds to some like “shake”-DO(ha)-M(arch); tough if you say “sheek” as in the old song “The Sheik of Araby”;

28 To be liable to a tax initially given by region (7)

30 Corps support Montgomery perhaps (5)
CLIFT; C-LIFT; corps=C; reference US film star 1920-1966 best known in From Here to Eternity;

31 Manage to get a letter from Athens in front of first lady (7)

32 Calm kid pulling face (4)

33 Millions are right about name of police district (5)
MANOR; M-A-(N-O)R; are=A; name=N; of=O;

34 Special treatments implicated tax official in East Kilbride (11)
STENTMASTER; S-(treatments)*; special=S


2 Fast Papa has gone bust (4)
RAID; RA(p)ID; papa=P in phonetic alphabet;

3   Negotiate about splitting a pony (5)
TREAT; T(RE)AT; pony (Indian)=TAT;

4   Glorify Maggie’s composure after losing power (7)
HEROISE; HER-(p)OISE; a reference one presumes to Margaret Thatcher;

5  Robust nets end in downfall for nectar-eating insect (6, two words)
BEE,FLY; BEEF(L)Y; L from (downfall)L;

6   Consume more than every other character in yogurt repast? (6)
OUTEAT; hidden (y)O(g)U(r)T-(r)E(p)A(s)T;

7   Jumpers kiss sexily in large car (9)

8   Trick on wharf is smarter (7)

9   Ogle ideal boobs (5)
ELIAD; (ideal)*;

10 Forget side out to restrict runs on leg (11)
DISREMEMBER; (side)* contains R=runs – MEMBER;

11 Prudish characteristic left one drifting without a date (11)
STRAITLACED; S(TRAIT-L-ACE)D; can’t see how “drifting without a date” works;

15 Advanced course not one to be taken up from this outdated description (9)

19 One set term for Michael Foot could be this (7)
LEFTIST; (I+set+L+ft)*; L from (Michae)L; ft=foot;

21 Bloomers? Pilot owned up (7)

23 Cutting dry old schoolmaster, semi-retired (6)
SECANT; SEC-ANT; no idea who the old schoolmaster might be;

24 Friends perhaps enter shortly after rest (6)

25 One hugely burdened eventually taking time off (5)

27 Once went under medic on hospital department (5)
DRENT; DR-ENT; old word for drowned;

29 Frenzied shout from eBay! (4)

15 comments on “Mephisto 2960 – Tim Moorey – no great sheeks”

  1. It just occurred to me–and I don’t think much of this–that “weally” is an immature way of saying “really”. But why “really”?
    1. That could be it, where really corresponds to “so” (in the sense of very) in the clue.
      1. Of course, ‘immature’ is, ah, infelicitous: just as there are adults who lisp, there are adults who have trouble with [r]. ([r] is the last sound to be mastered by English-speaking children.) ‘Saturday Night Live’ went on for ages poking fun at Barbara Walters (‘Babwa Wawa’).
  2. Enjoyable one that didn’t need much in the way of Chambers. No idea about WILI, but the ANT in 23D is half of PEDANT, for which Chambers has: “A schoolmaster (Shakespeare)”. Re 11D, Kevin has the parsing that I had, with drift meaning (Chambers) “to pierce or tunnel”, in the sense of a drift mine.
    1. That makes eminent sense; but why ‘retired’? I was assuming both 3 letters missing and a reversal.
      1. I think it’s retired in the sense of removed rather than returned – Collins has one definition of retire as “to recede or disappear”, its example being “The sun retired behind the clouds”.
        1. Oh, of course; silly bunt. I myself saw that taking ‘retired’ as ‘reversed’ meant that either there was a schoolmaster named XXXTNA, or, well, nothing, since TNAXXX was out of the question; so of course I should have abandoned the ‘reversed’ reading.

          Edited at 2017-05-28 10:45 am (UTC)

  3. Wili should be pronounced in the German manner (W sounds like V). If you seemingly talk about a willy (or willie) in a cod German accent then your vocabulary might well be considered that of a child.
  4. As I pronounce this ‘veal-y’ (under the influence of the Vilja song from the Merry Widow) I take the clue to refer to immature beef.
    I agree with mohn2 on 11dn.

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