Mephisto 3050 Dah, Dit Dit, Dah Dah, Moorey

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. 11A is a perfect example.

Help needed to parse 28A and 25D please

In the clues, definitions are underlined. Wordplay explanation is followed by very helpful comments.


4 Fenced with royal support so to speak (9)
PALISADED: sounds like “palace aided”;
10 Driver has week in Glasgow, thoroughly wet there (5)
DROUK: DR-OUK; driver=dr; week in Wick=OUK;
11 Leader retiring can secure backing re early transitional period (7)
AZILIAN: (k)AZI-(NAIL reversed); can=toilet=kazi then remove “k”; secure=NAIL;
12 Reveal lady’s bust (8)
13 Shock as before leaving New York is concerning (4, two words)
AS,TO: ASTO(NY); shock as before=ASTONY;
14 Sulphur left out, paint mostly blended as before (5)
YMOLT: (mostly – s)*; s=sulphur; paint=anagrind;
15 Makeshift court house during stoppage accepted (6)
17 Character well-informed on refined oil in tin (7)
UPSILON: UP-S(oil)*N; tin=Sn;
20 Take tea before noon and you fancy ceremony with it (7)
CHANOYU: CHA-N-(you)*;
22 Adult view in Pennsylvania shows a clumsy type (7)
27 Potter role put in play (7)
PLOUTER: (role put)*;
28 Ma in concert edition was very unsettled (6)
YO-YOED; YO-YO-ED; no idea how MA=YO;
29 Kid tucking into last pieces of delicious sponge cake (5)
SCONE: (delicious)S-CON-(spong)E;
31 Growth in wine-making? Look in France and Florida (4)
FLOR: F(LO)R; FR=France; FLOR=Florida;
32 On Metropolitan line, former chief’s one up front (8)
EXARCHAL: EX-ARCH-A-L; chief=ARCH; line=L;
33 Flatter fairway, champion’s flourished (7)
FLANNEL: fairway=CHANNEL then change CH=champion to FL=flourish;
34 Master bitten by dog — what language! (5)
35 Journal agreed Hard Times novel for comic (9)
JOKESMITH: J-OK-(h times)*;


1 Morse with two idiots wanting leads (9)
IDDY-UMPTY: (d)IDDY-(n)UMPTY; supposedly dot-dash in Morse code – we learned dit-dah;
2 Creased skirt in reproduction, nothing excluded (6)
CRIMPY: C(RIM)-o-PY; skirt=RIM; reproduction=COPY;
3 Indifferent couple of broadcasts heard (4)
SO-SO; sounds like “sew-sew”;
4 General coming from local, left in charge (6)
5 Jam sandwiches soft for a little girl (7)
LASSOCK: L(ASS)OCK; soft=fool=ASS;
6 Southern Ireland introduces rolling maul that’s feigned (7)
SIMULAR: S-I(maul)*R;
7 Relish removing top recently? Long ago (5)
8 Record damned poet’s revealed (8)
9 Former simply vile rule ignored (6)
16 A row right away over the French watercolour (9)
18 Timber producer okays different screening type (8, two words)
SILKY,OAK: (okays)* surrounds ILK;
19 Illicit whiskey (term for it even in Chambers) (7)
POTEENS: PO(T-EEN)S; T from (i)T; even=EEN; chambers=POS; once tasted never forgotten;
21 Bugle-call from large room on American Long Island (7)
23 One vote’s nothing for this looker (6)
APOLLO: A-POLL-O; the most beautiful god;
24 Shelter mentioned earlier taking cases (6)
25 Join pieces of wood, say, dropping over for ditch outwork (6)
TENAIL: T(re)E-NAIL possibly?; don’t understand this cryptic;
26 Dismal / old blunt head in Lancing (5)
MORNE: two meanings
30 Units on a royal ship (4)

12 comments on “Mephisto 3050 Dah, Dit Dit, Dah Dah, Moorey”

  1. Toenail, dropping the O. Toenailing is a way of joining two pieces of wood by nailing them obliquely. (I had no idea, and didn’t solve this one at the time. Just came to me now, much too late.)
    1. Well spotted – I didn’t know “toenail” in that sense either. Frustrating isn’t it when you see these things long after the event
  2. ….CUTCHA losses, but I eventually nailed this on Thursday evening. Had no problem with YOYOED, but didn’t parse TENAIL correctly (I was trying to play with “tenon” in some way, but shrugged and accepted it).

    Thanks to Jimbo for parsing AZILIAN (I didn’t spot “kazi”), FLANNEL, SUCCAH, and EATHLY (I never considered “simply vile = earthly”).

    I found this a great deal harder than last week. Four sessions, and probably approaching two hours.

  3. No time recorded for this, so it must have been a long time over several sessions and I had to resort to aids other than Chambers a couple of times to complete this. I find Tim’s wordplay can be rather opaque. No problem with YOYOED – Yo-yo Ma’s recording of the Bach Cello Suites is a favourite. But I didn’t understand FLANNEL, LASSOCK, POTEENS and SUCCAH. Thanks for unravelling those, Jimbo, but T still don’t get SUCCAH.
      1. Thanks both. I looked up what the answer was; it was the wordplay I didn’t get. I thought from your annotation, Jimbo, you meant SUCH (taking) “cases”, i.e. outside, CA (mentioned earlier)… which made no sense! I mentioned I often find Tim’s wordplay a bit opaque, but that would have been positively the darkest shade of obsidian.
        1. Sorry, John; a rather pointless comment on my part. If you or your grandmother ever want to know how to suck an egg, do let me know.
  4. No worries. You weren’t know I’d completely got the wrong end of the stick with the parsing!
  5. Somehow managed YMOLS, possibly because I was running close to an hour and got careless.
    SUCCAH presented no problems: I operated a lot in Stamford Hill with the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, and the festival of booths was one of the big ones.
    I did think this one had a higher proportion of obscurities (translation: stuff didn’t know and may never see again) than most, adding to the time.

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