Mephisto 3052 Don Manley

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. 1A is a perfect example.

Some minor queries at 32A, 16D, 31D

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


4 Time for Christmas drink and children presenting poem (9)
DECASTICH: DEC-ASTI-CH; a poem of 10 lines
11 Sweep left something in the grate? (4)
12 The Parisian crook abandoning home of tears (8)
13 Porcelain one discovered by island wreck (5)
IMARI: I-MAR-I; brightly-coloured style of Arita ware
14 Jolly types wearing a German coat in winter (6)
ERMINE: E(RM)INE; RM=Royal Marines=Jollies;
15 Drug vessel’s keeping dry (8)
VARIDASE: V(ARID)ASE; A brand name for a mixture of Streptokinase and Streptodornase used locally to remove blood clots and organic debris from wounds.
19 Step taking country out of Europe finally (5)
21 Insect in booze? Pour out a different drink! (8, two words)
BE,MOTHER: BE(MOTH)ER; slang for pour the tea for more than one person;
22 Grey adult, disinclined to communicate (4)
23 A very old name for a flower (4)
AVON: A-V-O-N; there are several River Avon, including the Wiltshire-Hampshire-Dorset one
24 Soldiers certain to need knight for duelling contests (8)
MENSUREN: MEN-SURE-N; Mensur is the traditional kind of fencing practiced in Germany
26 What gets carried about by ship? (5)
30 Boxes containing special ribbons (8)
CADDISES: CADDI(S)ES; woollen ribbons;
32 Jack and Jill reached this, turning up terribly late? (6)
PUTEAL: UP reversed – (late)*; a wall round the top of a well – did they reach the well?
33 Arab wandering in a desert — no rest somehow (5)
ADENI: (in a desert – rest)*; someone from Aden;
34 Attempt to pen a novel, ending with utter rubbish (8)
TRASHERY: TR(A-SHE-R)Y; novel=SHE; (utte)R;
35 Vessel’s partially wet, naturally (4)
ETNA: hidden (w)ET-NA(turally);
36 Monk strangely silent in church spoke finally (9)
CELESTINE: CE(silent)*-(spok)E; The Celestine monks of France represent one of the least studied monastic reform movements of the late Middle Ages


1 Duck energetic when meeting second bird (9)
2 God of love has narcotic drink prepared inside (8)
KAMADEVA: KA(MADE)VA; Hindu god of human love
3 It tastes gingery when served with a spirit (6)
ASARUM: AS-A-RUM; wild ginger;
5 Magistrate gets upset, being cut off (5)
ELIDE: EDILE reversed; EDILE= a magistrate of ancient Rome; In linguistics, an elision or deletion is the omission of one or more sounds in a word or phrase.
6 Hat sitting on a cloak (4)
7 Wonderful perfume going off (8)
8 Buffaloes very fearful, area being for termination of buffalo each time (8)
TIMARAUS: very fearful=timorous then change every “o” to “a”; small wild buffalo
9 Chemical found in one small insect, not good (5)
IMIDE: I-MID(g)E; I entered “amide” at first until 1A sorted that out; two acyl groups bound to nitrogen
10 Action of steersman taking vessel north (4)
CANN: CAN-N; to steer a vessel
16 Economist with leading principle, terribly insane (9)
KEYNESIAN: KEY-(insane)*; related to his theories surely rather than just “economist”
17 African travels into volcanic hill (8)
18 Revolutionary fighter with servant under bridge (8)
CHEVALET: CHE-VALET; the piece of wood in a musical instrument that the strings are stretched over
20 Indigenous Indian, hence displaced, longing for shelter (8)
CHEYENNE: (hence)* surrounds YEN; the indigenous people of the Great Plains
25 Sticky young Aussie fellow kept outside group (6)
ROSETY: RO(SET)Y; ROY=Oz slang for fashion conscious young man – was George a Roy?;
27 A lot may change after end of war of course (5)
ROTAL: (wa)R-(a lot)*;
28 Sandy’s drunk, getting scorn, as before (5)
SDAYN: (sandy)*;
29 This writer’s written about old city wall (4)
31 Grass left to grow up on island (4)
DARI: RAD reversed-I; RAD=radical. Does “radical” equate with “left”? “Deri” would be a better answer from wordplay but there’s no such word so far as I can see

5 comments on “Mephisto 3052 Don Manley”

  1. All done without aids other than Chambers, but failed to parse 30A thinking the boxes were CASES, so thanks for explaining that, Jimbo. I guess Jack and Jill could have fallen on the way back down the hill with the well at the top. As for 16D, I think it is also used to describe economists who follow his theories.
  2. noun: rad; plural noun: rads
    a political radical.
    Origin early 19th century: abbreviation.

    US methink.

  3. ….I simply assumed that any economist who followed JMK’s principles would be Keynesian.

    I was another who considered “deri”.

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