Mephisto 3186 – Spring ahead, fall back

I found this one rather tough, but I eventually finished.   This was the first time I had used one of Paul’s puns to get an answer, and that proved very helpful in opening up the right-hand side.   Unfortunately, there are one or two I can’t parse, but maybe some of our erudite commenters can elucidate these.    I am getting a little better with obscure vocabulary, but didn’t help my cause any by proudly biffing dern for 9 down, despite not being able to parse it.   I suspect I’ll be a little relieved to turn to a Don Manley this week, even though it’s not my blog.

Right to hold spoon, say, close to chin (4)
LIEN – LIE + [chi}N.   Not sure what’s going on here – does this refer to a spoon lay?
4 Kids’ cave with ordinary opening (8)
FOREWORD – FORE + W + ORD.   Again I’m not quite sure what is going on in  the first element.
10 Oddly winsome fille I labelled falsely European (10, two words)
11 Subject to moan we revised individual’s job description (8)
ONE-WOMAN – Anagram of TO MOAN WE,
13 Fighting aircraft accommodating upper-class male (6)
KUMITE – K(U,M)ITE, to give a martial art I never heard of.
14 Who finds fault with being held by coroner? (6)
CENSOR – C(ENS)OR, which forced me to rethink dern.
16 Punt is stuffed by learner’s sloshes (5)
18 Cordial Middle Easterner and Crown Office cancelling article (7)
PERSICO – PERIS[an] + C.O.  Fortunately not defined as Carmine!
20 Old light burning in fort (5)
FLITT – F(LIT)T, where the literal means an old word for light in the sense of fleeting or inconsequential.
21 Scots coup it to be highly wicked (5)
TROCK – ‘T ROCK.   Coup is a Scots word meaning trade or exchange, and so it trock. 
23 Say, a suffix lacking power (7)
25 Old hat’s spoiled. Damn and blast! (5)
OATHS – Anagram of O HAT’S – and a DBE.
28 Terrible Tudor’s town (6)
STROUD – Anagram of TUDOR’S.
29 Tree within part of Tibetan temple circling pole (6)
MOPANI – The answer is easy enough, but I don’t see the cryptic – is N the pole?
30 Take up, please, a kilt (8)
FILLIBEG – FILL I BEG, one I biffed.
31 Want a sarcastic term of esteem that’s out of use, alas! (10)
32 Where Fahrer drives about freely? Nah, recklessly (8)
AUTOBAHN – Anagram of ABOUT followed by an anagram of NAH.
33 I’m avoiding physician before pre-match performance (4)
HAKA –  An obvious biff, but I can’t see the cryptic.
1 Opening couplet from Lovelace certainly ready for respect (8, three words)
LOOK UP TO –  LO[velace] + OK + UP TO.
2 I struggle with sums? Uni and me aren’t suitably disposed (10)
INNUMERATE – Anagram of UNI and ME AREN’T. 
3 Women diving into Seine, racily modern stuff (6)
NEWIES – Anagram of SEINE around W, where racily refers to the slangishness of the answer.
4 Fine once due on a trading transport group (5)
FLOTA –  FLOR + A.   You can add that one to scot and lot.
5 Old Mexican’s some cool mechanic (5)
OLMEC –  Hidden in [co]OL MEC[anic], my FOI.
6 I respond as head of Jewish seminary accepting answer (7)
REACTOR – RE(A)CTOR, simpler than you would expect.
7 Nimble for some is short of colour, Carol goes without second (6)
WANNEL – WAN + N[o]EL.   I had wandle for a while, but saw it wouldn’t do – there is no carol meaning of dale or dole
8 Unpleasant film goes cravenly over slaughter (8, two words)
OIL SLICK –  OILS + LICK, with a slang meaning of oil as a verb.
9 Old salt’s not entirely old secret (4)
DEAR – DEAR[n]. 
12 Grit and audacity in a style of some axemen? (10)
BOTTLENECK – BOTTLE + NECK.   Axemen like Duane Allmann, that is.
15 Sustain deal involving piffle that’s central to Boris (8)
PROTRACT – P(ROT,[bo]R[is])ACT.    A rather elaborate cryptic for an obvious answer.
17 Brand adopting King Edward’s support structure (8)
19 Canadian cooked a fungus (7)
22 Company about to pawn digger? (6)
24 Even elements in firm ridicule being mischievous (6)
IMPISH – [f]I[r]M + PISH.
26 Staff money used in subverting ideal glamour (5)
OMLAH – O(M)LAH.   I believe this is HALO upside down – anyone see anything else?
27 Lag must accept length on one’s bird (5)
28 With last two off support, eg, Juliet’s stage direction alone (4)
SOLA – SOLA[ce].

20 comments on “Mephisto 3186 – Spring ahead, fall back”

  1. I thought that “kids’ cave” was schoolboys’ “cave!” [keivi], like golfers’ “fore!”.
  2. Have got some explanations, but not all:

    SPOON = to lie like a spoon, in the BRB.

    FORE: golfer’s warning (CAVE is defined as schoolboy slang.)

    BELLE LAIDE is more usually JOLIE LAIDE.

    Thanks for TROCK.

    MOPANI: no idea.

    RECTOR is defined as a head of a Jesuit seminary, which makes rather more sense than Jewish. An oversight by setter and editor?

    WANNEL: Carol is NOEL.

    Agree with HALO, defined as ‘ideal glamour’ in Chambers.

      1. Apologies for the “Jewish” mistake. It did seem a surprising definition, and I can only guess that “Je…” somehow convinced me.
  3. I found this about average in difficulty terms.
    To spoon is ‘to lie close in bed together, front to back, like spoons’. The definition is ‘right hold’.

    Edited at 2021-09-26 09:20 am (UTC)

      1. Yes I guess so: I had to correct a typo… and now I see there’s another one (should be ‘right to hold’)!
        MOPANI is a reversal of PO (pole) contained in MANI: ‘a stone prayer wall in a Tibetan Buddhist temple’.

        Edited at 2021-09-26 09:27 am (UTC)

    1. That’s how I read ‘spoon’, but with misgivings, as I’d never come across K’s definition, which I assume is from Chambers, which I never come across. For me, to spoon is (an ancient word meaning) to make out, hug and kiss and all that, short of actual sex.
      1. Yes, Chambers, although I knew this meaning anyway.
        It’s really worth having Chambers for these things. I would particularly recommend the app, which you have to pay for (I can’t remember how much) but it means you can carry the Big Red Book around with you wherever you go.
        1. Since I don’t have a smartphone, I wouldn’t be able to carry the app around with me. Nor do I feel like spending money on Chambers simply to do these.
          1. As well as being convenient the app is a lot cheaper than the book (I checked, it’s £8.99), but the lack of a smartphone is certainly an impediment.
      2. I’ve known this definition forever.

        It’s also in Lexico (online, on my desktop)…
        2.1(of two people) lie close together sideways and front to back with bent knees, so as to fit together like spoons.

        And what about Merriam-Webster? Yes. First definition (of the verb) there!
        : to nestle close together while lying down with one person facing the back of another

        It’s also in Cambridge. Its absence from Collins looks like a grave omission.

          1. Well, it sure doesn’t refer to spooning in the relevant sense here. Rumor was, back when John Sebastian had his band, that it referred to cooking up heroin.
  4. HAKIM is in Chambers as a Muslim physician, so HAKA is HAKIM minus I’M + A(before)

    MANI is a wall in a Tibetan temple, PO for Pole reversed inside.

    I liked this one, but it was certainly tricky.

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