Mephisto 3184 – Excuse me, Mr Blair…..

As I’ve said before, I always like a Don Manley puzzle.   The clues are fair, and if you follow the rules you will be rewarded.   In the case of this puzzle, I was able to do most of it without cracking my Chambers, and I had  enough letters to press through to nearly the finish.   It was only a complete brain freeze over the rather obvious lame/lamé, that bought me to a halt.   But the next day, I looked at _A _ E and immediately saw what the answer must be, which enabled me to parse and look up beteeme.   I will have to check a few words as I blog, but there should be nothing very difficult for the experienced Mephisto solver here.

1 Street split in old-fashioned struggle (6)
STRIFT – ST + RIFT.   Might have been strive, but wasn’t.
5 Devilish type, individual set up by authority? (6)
10 Curse action hatched up by intimate friend no longer (11)
11 Possibly slam old F1 driver losing power? (4)
ROST – [p]ROST – Alain Prost.
13 Oil wheels that have got dry inside (4)
OTTO –  O(TT)O, an answer well-know to most Mephisto solvers, a variant of attar. 
14 Insects troubled a mother going about work (9)
HOMOPTERA – Anagram of A MOTHER around OP.
15 The one for me could be a ragman! (7)
ANAGRAM –  Anagram of A RAGMAN. 
17 Tiresome person presented with gold dish (6)
PILLAU – PILL + AU.   The tiresome person is a pill because she’s hard to swallow.
19 Move nimbly around on wooden support (6)
PINLEG – NIP backwards + LEG. 
20 Roman official wants a food item with no hint of burning (6)
23 Component of building — a terrific entrance (6)
27 Thinner mister, bore for entertainment (7)
MEAGRER – M(EAGRE)R.   Every cryptic solver knows an eagre is a tidal bore. 
28 University for one clever and innocent (9)
INGENUOUS – INGEN(-i,+U)OUS, a simple letter- substitution.
30 Sign of appreciation for bananas? (4)
HAND –  Double definition, which I found strangely elusve.
31 Thin plate is weak (4)
LAME –  Double definition, without the acute accent to help.
32 I recited Bible. not the first or last sadly to be destroyer of freedom (11)
33 A son of Jacob in charge of Jewish tradition (6)
34 Stop that conflict knocking out America (6)
THWART – TH(-a,+WAR)T, substituting a whole word for a letter.
1 Onset of rime, as in April alas, bad for plant (12)
SARSAPARILLA – Anagram of R[ime] + AS IN APRIL ALAS, where alas is NOT an anagram indicator – bad is.
2 Bad guy with nasty scar, US gangster (6)
RASCAL – Anagram of SCAR following the only US gangster, AL.
3 Hat for dame going out, not maiden (6)
FEDORA – Anagram of FOR DA[m]E.
4 Vehicle trade on the upturn (4)
TRAM – MART upside-down in a down clue.
6 Nibbles for Scots politicians — two eggs consumed (5)
7 Locating green activity (7)
PUTTING – Double definition, in entirely different senses.
8 Bony couple of ducks eating grubs finally (6)
OSTEAL – O ([grub}S) + TEAL.   Two very different sorts of ducks.
9 Stop put to bad feeling — intended to eliminate a threat to safety (12)
10 More old-fashioned India in trouble (7)
12 Call to politician to make progress in tricky conditions? (4)
16 Allow ancient worker maybe to hold gathering up (7)
BETEEME – BE(MEET upside-down)E.   Ancient goes with allow, not worker.
18 In song archdeacon becomes animated (7)
21 Shrine with a bulge, notice, being erected (6)
DAGABA –  A BAG + AD, all upside down.
22 Not all love musical birds (4)
EMUS – Hidden in [lov]E MUS[ical].
24 Led by eccentric aunt, children dance (6)
NAUTCH – Anagram of AUNT + CH.   An Indian dance performed by professional dancing girls.
25 What would be crazy entering zone with English coming out? (6)
ARMADA – AR[e](MAD)A, a neat &lit.
26 Animal god of Hinduism losing tail, gaining one (5)
INDRI – INDR(-a,+I).   I didn’t know the animal, it’s a monkey.
29 Neglect of old university in America (4)

5 comments on “Mephisto 3184 – Excuse me, Mr Blair…..”

  1. I seem not to have parsed AEDILE, which I put in from A _ E. I always find Mephisto’s use of variant spellings for (uncommon) words annoying; this time there were four examples. HAGGADIC I knew, but I had to check AGADIC, ADANIC, & (unlikely) ABENIC, none of which, of course, were in ODE; actually, I started with ARAMIC, thinking ‘Jacob’ might be a sheep. We’ve had INDRI in a daily cryptic once or twice. I like YOMP; I wish I could use it.
    1. AGADIC held me up at the end too. No other real problems, and put to bed inside half an hour.
  2. No problems with this one, completed in just over 25 minutes.
    I thought of STRIVE at first it isn’t old-fashioned so I didn’t put it in.
    SARSAPARILLA is familiar to me from having watched The Big Lebowski at least a dozen times, and DAGABA seemed familiar from Star Wars.

    Edited at 2021-09-12 08:26 am (UTC)

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