Mephisto 3151 – Don Manley

Greetings barred-grid fans.

I did this one in a single setting, and didnt have to look that many up, though it was more wordplay I was checking into than answers, there are fewer obscure words than usual in this grid. I must compliment Don Manley, there’s some wonderful clever clues here.

I made a comment on last week’s Mephisto at the tail of the discussion that might make a good starting point this week. Mephisto setters often use the long list of Latin and German abbreviations that are given in Chambers as wordplay elements. I was musing that there might be so many of them in Chambers because they were in common use in printing.

In Mephisto puzzles, definitions (the most direct of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on the wordplay here.  Away we go…

1 One very quietly performing gets ten points (5)
IPPON – I(one), PP(pianissimo, very quietly), ON(performing)
5 Grey-haired Greek has died on Tinos maybe (7)
GRISLED – GR(Greek) then D(died) next to the ISLE of Tinos
10 Flashily dressed idler, a drunk (6)
LAIRED – anagram of IDLER,A.  Found in Chambers as LAIRED UP under LAIR
11 Last bit of black mineral used for statue (4)
KORE – last letter of blacK, the ORE(mineral)
12 Fortune not half needed to get gold dish (4)
LUAU – half of LUck(fortune) and AU(gold).
13 Second in cabinet in state abroad? (8)
TANAISTE – anagram of the second letter of cAbinet, IN,STATE. A very neat all-in-one
14 Plant in vehicle? Very bad — needing water (11)
INCARVILLEA – IN, CAR(vehicle), V(very), ILL(bad) and EA(water)
16 Provide excuse for a sexual impulse — finish being banned (5)
ALIBI – A LIBIDO(sexual impulse) minis DO(finish)
18 Short play about a label used for information packet (8)
DATAGRAM – DRAMA(play) missing the last letter surrounding A, TAG(label)
22 Dog running around in certain British sports field (8)
CERBERUS – reversal of SURE(certain), B(British), REC(sports field)
25 Coverings in shed — put first one at back (5)
PENTS – SPENT(shed) with the first letter at the end
28 Burning boat seen at start of operatic cycle (11)
SCOWTHERING – SCOW(boat) in front of THE RING cycle
29 Donate millions, university being broke? It’s added up (8)
AMOUNTED – anagram of DONATE, M(millions) and U(university)
30 Strike a setback for activity involving clubs (4)
FLOG – reverse GOLF(an activity that uses clubs which when I do it is really a flog)
31 Race back to river in bit of wood — hard (4)
NURR – RUN(race) reversed next to R(river)
32 What you completely see with no clouds having a silver lining? Nonsense! (6)
BLAGUE – if there is no clouds all you would see is BLUE, containing AG(silver)
33 Girl grabbed by dope — easily seen through as before? (7)
GLASSEN – LASS(girl) inside GEN(dope)
34 You had to get doctor in — feared no longer (5)
YDRED – YE’S(you had) contaiing DR(doctor)
1 Bard’s wink, inserting extra line into epic poem (6)
ILLIAD – double the L(line) in ILIAD(epic poem)
2 Charge servant to capture dog when breaking free of lead (8)
POUNDAGE – PAGE(servant) containing HOUND(dog) missing the first letter
3 Physical training involving reprimand or approval (6)
PLACET – PT(physical training) containing LACE(lace into, reprimand)
4 Chemical engineers needing some information first (5)
NITRE – RE(engineers) with NIT(unit of information, also NEPIT) first
5 Impression created by deadly place outside old city (7)
GRAVURE – GRAVE(deadly place) surrounding UR(old city)
6 Renounce Irish booze with little hesitation after upset (5)
RENIG – GIN(booze) and ER(little hesitation) all reversed
7 Tragic girl brought up to keep still shows a range of aptitudes (8, two words)
SKILL SET – TESS (of the d’urbervilles) reversed containing KILL(muffle, still)
8 Whale in group to go wild (6, two words)
LOSE IT – SEI whale in LOT(group)
9 Fourth character, one chattering a lot in film (6)
DEEPIE – DEE(letter D, fourth character), PIE(magpie, one chattering a lot)
15 Nomadic people on journeys — they make music (8)
SANTOURS – SAN(nomadic Africans) on TOURS(journeys)
17 Straitlaced person used a hankie, we hear? (8)
BLUENOSE – sounds like BLEW NOSE(used hankie)
19 What’s endlessly mysterious about the chap from a bygone age (7)
ARCHEAN – ARCANE(mysterious) missing the last letter, surrounding HE(the chap)
20 Second bomb came out of nowhere? (6)
SPRANG – S(second), PRANG(bomb)
21 Let’s have more Italian stories to entertain a hundred soldiers! (6)
ANCORA – ANA(stories) containing C(a hundred), OR(soldiers)
23 One criticising short film — waste of time (6)
RAILER – the short film is a TRAILER, remove T(time)
24 Very wet piece of turf in which bomb has turned up (6)
SOGGED – SOD(piece of turf) containing EGG(bomb) reversed
26 In Ayr aim to make permanent home, having abandoned south (5)
ETTLE – SETTLE(make permanent home) missing S(south)
27 Married man losing heart inclined to get stuck in? (5)
WEDGY – WED(married), then GUY(man) missing the middle letter

7 comments on “Mephisto 3151 – Don Manley”

  1. ….I needed a second sitting, but still cleared this one without any real difficulty in just over half an hour in total. I only used Chambers to check a couple afterwards.
  2. I found this very easy for a Mephisto: 23 minutes exactly on the timer. I did panic a bit at the end with _A_TOURS and absolutely no basis for choosing either of the missing letters, but fortunately more or less the first thing I considered was that _ANTOURS was a feasible-looking word so it didn’t take too much Chambers-crawling to find the answer.
    Whatever the reason, the sheer number of abbreviations in Chambers is extraordinary. One of the habits I found I had to get into when learning to solve Mephisto was considering that more or less any word in the clue could be abbreviated to its first letter.

    Edited at 2021-01-24 11:20 am (UTC)

  3. Straightforward solve. ‘Bluenose’ in Scotland is how Rangers fans like to refer to themselves, to make them seem nice and cuddly, whereas the rest of us have other epithets that better reflect the bigotry and drunken thuggery they brought to Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Barcelona ……
  4. About an hour for me, although I only had 8 left after 35 minutes. I thought “deadly place” for grave was a bit cheeky. All parsed with a few checks in the dictionary to confirm e.g. EA for water… and then remembered I’d seen it in a Mephisto before. Good fun and very satisfying to complete. As for abbreviations… it took me a while of trying these to realise any found in Chambers are fair game. Thanks Don and George.
  5. My first Mephisto! Well, almost. Couldn’t get SANTOURS or the DEEPIE / TANAISTE crossing. Failed to see the anagram indication at all in TANAISTE, and was thinking of D but not DEE. And I haven’t heard of SAN or SANTOURS so I had to resort to a wildcard search in Chambers, which I suppose is “cheating”?

    Anyway, I’m happy to be in the club!

  6. Not too hard although well over an hour (and a typo so technically dnf). There were fewer of those “that can’t possibly be a word” answers that you are then amazed to find sitting there in Chambers.
  7. Thank you, glheard – very helpful

    (On 34A – I think you meant: YE’D (you had) rather than YE’S?

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