Mephisto 3045 – Paul McKenna

I found this puzzle to be on the easier side of the Mephisto spectrum. There’s not that many obscure words, and a few science references that fell right into my wheelhouse. The grid is generous too with the four twelvel-letter answers in a hash pattern leaving few unchecked letters in the other entries.

The pun in the top row this time was a little disappointing, as it has essentially been used in a Smashing Pumpkins album title. Did you know the lead singer from the Smashing Pumpkins (who I have seen three times, not my favorite act but I ended up getting free tickets to two of the shows) now runs a professional wrestling company?

All definitions can be confirmed in Chambers, and the first definition in each clue is underlined.

Away we go…

1 Killing amongst some Londoners? (5)
MELON – hidden in soME LONdoners. Killing in the sense of a great profit
5 Geordie Jack, commonly, reckoned by Dog Star at last (7)
COLLIER – COLLIE(dog), then (sta)R
10 Kinship behind daughter’s flirting (9)
DALLIANCE – ALLIANCE(kinship) after D(daughter)
12 Quebec caught by helluva do covering for hotel visitors there (7)
MARQUEE – QUE(Quebec) inside MARE(helluva do – wild hairstyle)
13 Refit at sea is never on the table in some quarters (5)
TREIF – anagram of REFIT
14 Is round German on brown jugs? (5)
BRIGS – IS containing G(German) after BR(brown) – JUGS meaning prisons here
16 Wanting a treat I selected rare cheese (12, two words)
RED LEICESTER – remove A from I,SELECTED,RARE and make an anagram
17 PC controller’s title which doesn’t distinguish functions (5)
MS-DOS – MS(a title which does not distinguished single from married), DOS (functions). A computer operating system
19 Your therapy heading away from right units (6)
YRNEHS – YR(your) then SHEN(Specific Human Emotion Nexus therapy) reversed. Unit of inverse inductance since the HENRY is the unit of inductance. Resistance does the same thing, with OHM being unit of resistance, and MHO being the unit of conductance
21 Amongst les légionnaires the fit ran together for 5km or so (6)
LEAGUE – LE(the for the French Legion), AGUE(fit)
23 Antique used before flood (5)
ABORE – A(before), BORE(flood)
24 Rowdy inn in Treasure Island ultimately abandoned (12)
UNRESTRAINED – this is an odd clue. The wordplay appears to be an anagram of INN,TREASURE, then (islan)D but the letters of INN are not together. Definition could be the first word or the last word of the clue.
27 Accumulated debris in South Africa reveals stone slab (5)
STELA – TEL(a hill of debris) inside SA(South Africa)
28 Press release released prior to cheer (5)
ELATE – remove PR(press release) from PRELATE(prior)
29 Zero in on Nestor, one in cap (7, two words)
TAKE AIM – KEA(Nestor) I(one) in TAM(cap)
30 Het up son in claims for mere trivialities (9)
NON-ISSUES –  anagram of SON,IN then SUES(claims)
31 Non-smoker as part of characteristic passage (7)
TRANSIT – N/S(non-smoker) inside TRAIT(characteristic)
32 Old Crown tenant again downing gallons (5)
THEGN – THEN(again) containing G(gallons)

1 Married brother getting into feed of drumsticks or similar (7)
MEMBRAL – M(married), BR(brother) inside MEAL(feed)
2 Macron’s muddle, say, are les hommes on it? (9)
EGAREMENT – EG(say), ARE, MEN(hommes) ‘T
3 Gloomily threatening fish is, on reflection, removed (5)
LURID – the fish is SILURID, remove a reversal of IS
4 Dreadful unease on US steamship causes ____? (12)
NAUSEOUSNESS – anagram of UNEASE,ON,US then SS(steamship). I am trying to underline the underline.
5 Coloured jeans into which tackle is pushed (6)
CLEVIS – C(coloured), LEVIS(jeans)
6 Brood over opinion covering demand for disposal unit? (12, two words)
LITTER BASKET – LITTER(brood) then BET(opinion) containing ASK(demand for)
7 We sing for old guys (5)
LARKS – double definition, GUY meaning a trick or prank here
8 Old grave contains record which is comparatively clumsy (7)
INEPTER – INTER(grave) containing EP(record)
9 Bring up cold cargo ship whilst offloading first of three (5)
REFER – the cold cargo ship is a REEFER, remove the first of the three E’s
11 You’ll get a bill for this cycle, unfortunately (5)
LECCY – anagram of CYCLE. Pretty common term for electricity in Australia in the 80s and 90s
15 What cobblers do wrt tipping? (9)
REHEELING – RE(wrt, with respect to), HEELING(tipping)
18 Dare chap to have a prince whirling around in Catalan dance (7)
SARDANA – DAN Dare inside A,RAS(prince) reversed
20 Star checking broad is a blister (7)
SUDAMEN – SUN(star) containing DAME(broad)
22 Earl flogs ranks to the French (5)
ETATS – E(earl), TATS(flog, 5th definition in Chambers)
23 Early sailor deprived of success as a foreign fighter (6)
ARNAUT – ARGONAUT(sailor) missing GO(success)
24 University fee: stinging (5)
URENT – U(university), RENT(fee)
25 Takeaway’s delivered, ergo each can ____ (5, two words)
EAT IN – EA(each), TIN(can)
26 English buff holds tablet up making a fist of the Bard (5)
NEAFE – E(English), FAN(buff) containing E(tablet) all reversed

7 comments on “Mephisto 3045 – Paul McKenna”

  1. Agree with your comments George except I’ve no idea who or what Smashing Pumpkins are

    YRNEHS a write in for me too but unable to fully parse 24A where the wordplay doesn’t seem to quite work

  2. Contrariwise, I didn’t find this easy at all, taking nearly twice as long as this week’s. I had to use other sources to find YRNEHS as it’s not in my edition of Chambers. Isn’t that meant to be the reference dictionary that all answers should appear in? I failed to parse ABORE, LURID or REFER so thanks for those, George. As for 24a I took Rowdy as the anagrind and the “in” as padding. I agree it seems a bit unsatisfactory.

    Edited at 2019-01-13 11:11 am (UTC)

    1. Chambers is described as the “primary reference” in the print version of Mephisto. Like most other cryptics we certainly allow proper nouns, and we also allow occasional other words not in Chambers. I would guess that the latter happens no more than once every two months.

      24A: If you insert “inn” somewhere in “treasure” and then anagram (before appending the D), it works – and this seems to me what the clue is asking you to do, as “rowdy” surely can’t relate to “treasure” alone. I don’t think anagramming after insertion is done very often, but I can’t recall seeing it ruled out as unfair by some crossword authority.

  3. Now this is odd – I have two copies of the 13th edition of Chambers, one has YRNEH in it, one does not!
    1. The first printing of the 13th edition omitted all the words which the 12th had highlighted as being of interest, so it had to be redone.
      1. Forgot this when looking it up, though I have the printed PDF of the missing words tucked into my copy of the version without these words. One reason for preferring the iPad version …

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