Mephisto 3161 – Tim Moorey

Posted on Categories Mephisto

Greetings barred-grid fans.

I’m writing from my deck looking down at a bumper crop of poorly-masked tourists, it being school holidays and Easter weekend. I will hopefully feel less bitter about my fellow Americans soon, since I am getting my second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Sunday morning and in two weeks even begin rehearsing on a stage again (a small cast outdoor performance of Comedy of Errors).

I thought Tim Moorey brouht the gentler fare this week, with fewer pop culture references than usual, I only had one question mark on the grid for a word I have a habit of mis-spelling and a few margin notes in the clues.  In Mephisto puzzles, definitons (the most direct of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on the wordplay here.

Away we go…

1 Money when employed by American is “dough” (4)
MASA – M(money), AS, A(American).  If you get a chance, enjoy a huarache sometime, it is fried masa topped with pinto bean paste, meat and salad vegetables.
4 Fail to get on top say, wrongly (8)
MISSPEAK – MISS(fail) next two PEAK(top)
10 Incomplete, impressive work at places for rocks (10)
EPIDOSITES – EPIC(impressive) missing the last letter, then DO(work at) and SITES(places)
12 Bob excited about what’s left of conifer, needle-pointed (7)
ACERATE – AERATE(excited by filling with air), surrounding the left letter of Conifer
13 A certain difficult US dramatist (6)
O’NEILL – ONE(a certain), ILL(difficult) for the playwright Eugene of The Iceman Cometh
14 As before, look at a Dutch car limiting energy (5)
ADVEW – A, D(dutch), VW(Volkswagen, car) containing E(energy)
15 State capital is to replace head of tutoring for injury compensation (5)
BOISE – IS replacing the first letter of Tutoring in BOTE(injury compensation). Capital of Idaho
16 Quiz going around: what’s grey up north? (5)
LIART – TRIAL(quiz) reversed
18 Sweet fish absorbs tar intermittently (6, two words)
A SALTI – AI(sweet fish) containing SALT(sailor, tar)
23 Person of faith, one to probe my dalliance on vacation? (6)
THEIST – I(one) inside THE(my, our)  SPORT(dalliance) missing the interior letters
24 Tricky matter, dropping Bale for kick-off (5)
PROEM – PROBLEM(tricky matter) missing BL(bale)
25 Employee gets uniform second hand (5)
MANUS – MAN(employee), U(uniform), S(second)
28 Months stuck inside shelter? Hard cheese! (5)
COMTE – M(months) inside COTE(shelter)
29 Spot lady’s string instrument (6)
ZITHER – ZIT(spot), HER(lady’s) – an instrument strangely popular around these parts where it is called an autoharp
30 One’s picked up a rather unreal loss of voice (7)
APHONIA – sounds like A PHONIER(rather unreal)
31 Twelve followers around Israel seen in marginal notes (10)
APOSTILLES – APOSTLES(twelve followers) around IL(Israel)
32 At Leeds ground parking initially gets support (8)
PEDESTAL – anagram of AT LEEDS after P(parking)
33 Partly demystified freshwater terrapin (4)
EMYS – hidden inside dEMYStified
1 Piece of fruit some cooked with beef (8)
MESOCARP – anagram of SOME with CARP(beed)
2 Characters central to opposition hinder talk between lawyers (7)
SIDEBAR – middle letters in oppoSItion, then DEBAR(hinder). Sidebar: I have just watched someone attempt to parallel park outside of my place five times… and they got it on the fifth!
3 See you about detective in celebration (5)
ADDIO – A(about), then DI(detective) inside DO(celebration)
4 Root maiden before two overs left getting ahead of India (5)
MOOLI – M(maiden) and two O’s (overs), L(left) in front of I(India)
5 Painter who, with temperature dropping, becomes rather ill (7)
SICKERT – If you remove T(temperature) you get SICKER(rather ill) for Walter, the painter who may have been Jack the Ripper
6 Being broke, latest introduction of HMRC could be newish sort of tax (7)
STEALTH – anagram of LATEST and the first letter of Hmrc
7 Poet’s certainly on a special food regime having lost tons (6)
PERDIE – PER(a) and DIET(special food regime) missing T(tons)
8 A horse overcoming danger starred (10)
ASTERISKED – A, STEED(horse) surrounding RISK(danger)
9 We’ve heard large ruminant is approved (4)
KNEW – sounds like GNU(large ruminant)
11 A Knight replacing chap in final event brings change of order (10)
ANASTROPHE – A, N(knight) replacing CAT(chap) in CATASTROPHE(final event)
17 Guardian in Scotland shows disapproval about Customs wasting money (8)
TUTORESS – TUTS(shows disapproval) surrounding MORES(customs) without M(money)
19 Numbers supporting old team in sacred place (7)
TEMENOS – NOS(numbers) after TEME(old term for team)
20 Foot specialist wrecked ambitions? Not on (7)
IAMBIST – anagram of AMBITIONS minus ON
21 Good looker and silly Mel remove top piece (7)
DISHELM – DISH(good looker) and an anagram of MEL
22 Yours truly drunk no end of lager in mug (6)
METOPE – ME(yours truly) and TOPER(drunk) missing the last letter of lageR
26 One’s hot in wool, nothing removed? Nothing (5)
NIHIL –  I(one), H(hot) in NOIL(wool) missing O(nothing)
27 It’s profitable however loathsome, giving away sources (5)
UTILE – BUT(however) and VILE(loathsome) both missing the first letters
28 Fight once affected military life (4)
CAMP – triple definition

10 comments on “Mephisto 3161 – Tim Moorey”

  1. ….I found this so difficult. After three sessions totalling 45 minutes I still had a quarter of the puzzle left, including 1A — thanks George, I wouldn’t have got it so I’m grateful for the parsing of MASA. At that point I abandoned ship.
  2. Thanks Kevin. Live Journal is playing up at my end and I’ve had three or four attempts at posting my comments this morning. I’ll try to sort it all out !
  3. I found this pretty tough, although there were several occasions where relatively simple clues caused me huge problems so maybe I was just being a bit dim.
    Thanks for explaining the wordplay for THEIST: I had no idea. I don’t remember seeing THE=my/our before, and ‘dalliance on vacation’ to indicate ST is ridiculous! But with all those checking letters it literally couldn’t be anything else.
    1. I also had trouble with this but looking at quotations in the OED explained. They are interchangeable in expressions such as “the wife” and “the boss”.
      1. Yes that makes sense. Of course for our purposes the fact that it’s in Chambers is sufficient!
  4. Thanks for explaining the ST in THEIST – though I agree it is a bit of a stretch.

    Still have no idea what ‘Bob’ is doing in 12a.

      1. I took it as AERATED (excited) being bobbed (Chambers: to dock, to bobtail) and then put around C.

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