Mephisto 3024 – by Paul McKenna. Criticize Overall.

Posted on Categories Mephisto
Unless you’re very experienced you are unlikely to solve a Mephisto without using Chambers. The idea is that you use the precise wordplay to derive an answer that you then verify in the dictionary. 4D is a perfect example.

This was a very pleasant middle-of-the-road puzzle. In the clues definitions are underlined. Wordplay explanation is followed by very helpful comments. I’m a bit pushed this week as we are about to take a short break, so I’ve not had time to fully resolve 31A – apologies.


1 Beast who shouts about being dry (7)
CRITTER: CRI(TT)ER; cowboy slang for a cow;
6 Dope, we hear, groans dejectedly (5)
SIGHS: sounds like “size” (dope=a thick liquid or semi-liquid like size);
10 Part of transmission is unsafe? Son to set firm (10)
CRANKSHAFT: CRANK-S-HAFT; set firm=HAFT; main shaft of the engine;
11 Pop turning a blind eye to fine column (4)
ANTA: (F)ANTA; pop=Fanta=awful fizzy drink;
12 A teacher backing cool cupidity (7)
AVARICE: A-(RAV reversed)-ICE; teacher=RAV;
14 Is one in an indefinitely large number a mug? (5)
STEIN: ‘S-TE(I)N; TEN=indefinitely large number according to Chambers; memories of Munich!
16 Old noble’s role seen in a new light (4)
EORL: (role)*; old word for earl – worth remembering;
17 Bit of ornamentation with its native dress (7)
OKIMONO; O(rnamentation)-KIMONO; ah, so;
19 Clear about one wiped out pressing hint? (9, two words)
CARE,LABEL: (clear)*-ABEL; Cane’s victim=ABEL; laundry instructions;
22 Weaken with a sailor’s progress round it (9, two words)
23 Explain once new e-reader (7)
ARREED: (e-reader)*;
25 Fish about for purpose (4)
IDEA: IDE-A; about=A;
29 Some people’s weeds are virtually amongst yours (5)
YARRS: Y(AR-e)RS; dialect for the corn spurrey, me dear;
30 Large edible fish beside butter reservoir (7)
GHILGAI: GHI-L-GAI; butter=GHI; (nanny)GAI=fish;
31 Active Scots swan off, coming back poorly (4)
SEIK: (bir)KIES reversed, I think; I know active Scots=birkies but not sure how “rib”=”swan”; SEIK is Scots for sick, poorly;
32 Allies together bury furore from the east (10)
33 Sniffer is streaked with veins, but not very (5)
E-NOSE: (v)ENOSE; electronic spaniel;
34 Editing suddenly fired up (7)
IGNITED: (editing)*; suddenly=unexpectedly=anagram indicator;


1 Quarry gets in civil engineer (5)
2 Find burrow’s littlest? (10, three words)
3 Surprisingly it cures jaundice (7)
ICTERUS: (it cures)*;
4 I tidy up aged ribbons (7)
TAENIAE: (I-NEAT reversed)-AE;
5  ____ and a Romeo, possibly (9)
ENAMORADO: (and a Romeo)*;
6 Hand up (ie, renounce) advice for accountants initially (4)
SSAP: PASS reversed; Statement of Standard Accounting Practice;
7 Holy state raised welcome with pun (5)
IHRAM: HI reversed – RAM; pun=RAM; holy state enjoyed by Muslim pilgrims to Mecca;
8 Way of walking through German island (4)
9 Small bits of cauli picked up following leaves — they’re waxy (7)
STEROLS: S-(f)LORETS all reversed; f=following; solid, waxy, alcohols such as cholesterol;
13 Call round under no circumstances with independent realism (10, two words)
CINE,VERITE: CI(NEVER-I)TE; I still remember seeing Children of Hiroshima in my teens;
15 Running through wasted weeks near clink (9)
18 Antipodean itinerant succeeded with amusing but quiet European (7)
SWAGGIE: S-WAGGI(sh)-E; a swagman;
20 Extrovert with close to unseemly affinity for diminutive mistress? (7)
LADYKIN: LAD-Y-KIN; Y from (unseemly)Y; term of endearment used as a cosmetics trademark;
21 Drive eccentricity in leading support for sitter (7)
BEDREST: BE(DR-E)ST; eccentricity=E;
24 Perhaps old evils? Meet up about a line (5)
EALES: SEE reversed surrounds A-L; Waggle-dagger misprint in Hamlet;
26 Requested air staff fly (5)
27 Sunk one’s teeth into round tropical fruit (4)
28 Man-eater consequently turned up (4)
OGRE: ERGO reversed;

3 comments on “Mephisto 3024 – by Paul McKenna. Criticize Overall.”

  1. Hi Jim
    I think 31ac is simpler, it is (SWAN)KIES rev. A swankie being “an active, strapping young fellow” oop North..
    I assume CRITTER SIGHS is the usual pun!

Comments are closed.