Mephisto 3019 – Don Manley

Posted on Categories Mephisto
I was rather taken with the grid for this puzzle, with the networks of four letters words.

For those of you checking in for the first time, or relatively new to the Mephisto, welcome to the Sunday corner – Mephisto is a barred-grid puzzle, and the setters have some control over the shape of the grid. Having no blocked squares means that there are some unusual words in the grid, but there is rarely any ambiguity in the definition (the first definition is underlined in the clues).

Since there are so many unfamiliar words, both in the grid and as wordplay elements, you should not do the Mephisto without a dictionary handy. The official reference is Chambers, if you don’t have one, let your friends know you like crosswords and want one and you will end up with many as Christmas presents (I have three of the current edition).  If you don’t have Chambers, you might want to try the online Collins Dictionary, which is good for many obscure words.

Away we go…

1 Flipping trick by African party ensconced in wealth is illegal act (11)
MALFEASANCE – FLAM(trick) reversed, then ANC(African National Congress) inside EASE(wealth)
11 Jars left in a pub with old measure inscribed at the front (9)
ALBARELLI – L inside A, BAR(pub), then ELL(old measure), I(nscribed)
12 See Welsh girl being delightful (7)
ELYSIAN – ELY(see), SIAN(Welsh girl)
13 Market-places in which quick drink is knocked back (5)
TRONS – SNORT(quick drink) reversed – this appeared in a daily puzzle recently
14 Drama involving a rescuer (4)
NOAH – NOH(drama, also appearing this week in the daily as NO), containing A
17 Once cut off on isle after drifting (6)
ESLOIN – anagram of ON,ISLE
18 Excellent additional allowance for returning regiment once (6)
TERTIA – A1(excellent), and TRET(additional allowance) all reversed
20 With number falling short, it’s no longer easy (4)
ETHE – shorten ETHER(number, anaesthetic)
22 What’s used by Scottish oboist or pianist (4)
LILL – double definition for a reed and the pianist John Lill
23 Four of the apprentices in company no longer (4)
HEAP – hidden in tHE APprentices
25 Place for preacher once in dance, having abandoned Mass (4)
AMBO – MAMBO(dance) with M(mass) removed
27 Worker brings Queen to entrance (6)
ERGATE – ER(queen) by GATE(entrance) for a worker ant
28 Safe? It’s otherwise skirting very large pits (6)
FOSSAE – anagram of SAFE surrounding OS(very large)
32 See this girl in Russian river? (4)
OLGA – clever clue – if you added V(vide, see) to OLGA you would get the river VOLGA
33 What could be small member’s helmet? (5)
ARMET – a small member could be an ARM-ET
34 Scottish fruit is slower, lacking sun before the end of August (7)
GROSERT – GROSSER(stupider, slower) missing S(sun) then (Augus)T
35 Past form of worship lead by priest taking summer abroad (9)
PRETERITE – RITE (worship) after PR(priest), ETE(summer in French)
36 Female plotters could be anti-gent, sir! (11)

2 The whole oyster changed due to biochemical process (9)
ALLOSTERY – ALL(the whole), then an anagram of OYSTER
3 Firm associated with top family given new leader (5)
LOYAL – ROYAL(associated with top family) with a different starting letter
4 Obtain recreational drug that’s legal (6)
ELICIT – E(recreational drug), LICIT(legal)
5 Embarrassed, he had to go down! (4, two words)
A BAS – ABASHED(embarrassed) with HE’D(he had) removed
6 French explorer heading off behaving in more affected manner (6)
ARTIER – the explorer is Jacques CARTIER, remove his first letter
7 Hooligan holds Rex to be a geek (4)
NERD – NED(hooligan) containing R(rex)
8 Devil uses transport organisation to convey stolen goods (7)
CLOOTIE – The transport organisation is CIE(Coras Iompair Eireann) containing LOOT(stolen goods)
9 Ascetic lad wandering round end of village in bare feet (11)
DISCALCEATE – anagram of ASCETIC,LAD surrounding (villag)E
10 Pat — he is bursting with energy? It’s the medical treatment (11, two words)
15 Check forepart of ship (4)
STEM – double definition, the other being the front of a ship
16 Folk from small communities maybe in very bad match (9)
VILLAGREE – V(very), ILL(bad), AGREE(match, correspond)
19 Story-tellers droop before the last word (7)
SAGAMEN – SAG(droop) then AMEN
21 A bit of Scotland English established in Derby? (4)
HAET – E in HAT(Derby)
24 Beginner losing heart a bit once (6)
STATER – STARTER (beginner) missing the middle letter – a bit of money
26 A country businessman initially raised capital (6)
BOGOTA – A, TOGO(country), B(usinessman) all reversed for the capital of Colombia
29 Form of precipitation making sesame plants shoot up (5)
SLEET – TEELS(sesame plants, found in Chambers under TIL as an alternative spelling) reversed
30 European accommodation provided by landlord, we hear (4)
LETT – sounds like LET (rented accommodation)
31 Sound of levers reduced by 50% (4)
TRIG – TRIGGERS(levers) with the second half removed – sound as in tight here.

4 comments on “Mephisto 3019 – Don Manley”

  1. Armed with over 50 years experience of solving these puzzles and with my trusty Chambers at my side I managed to solve this pleasant offering as well without once feeling smug.
  2. Well, I felt pretty smug, and I didn’t even finish. No way I was going to get NHO CLOOTIE, which required NHO CIE; or LILL, having heard of neither. Nor would I have come up with GROSSER for ‘slower’. I was a bit irritated by the typo at 35ac (‘lead’ for ‘led’), as I wasn’t sure it was a typo. I got the hidden HEAP all right, but I don’t get the definition. George, you’ve got a typo at 18ac: it’s TRET reversed.

    Edited at 2018-07-15 08:00 am (UTC)

  3. Relative cruise through this, with bits and pieces of help from Electronic Chambers (2003) which has somehow survived transferring through four or more versions of windows. Complete unknowns: ALABARELLI, GROSERT, ALLOSTERY and INTRIGANTES, for which LJ’s native spellchecker suggests BARBARELLA, GROUSER, ALABASTER and BRIGANTINES. Just as well there’s no auto-correct on the grid!

Comments are closed.