Mephisto 3189 – Paul McKenna

Greetings barred-grid fans.

In creating a grid with a unit commonly used in chemistry, an alchemical term, a form of car racing ridiculously popular in the part of the USA in which I live, and some Aussie slang, I get the feeling Paul McKenna is catering to this audince. Not to mention the pun for NUPTIALS across the top row.

In Mephisto puzzles definitions (the first of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay here.

Away we go…

1 Strangled in a string? Stopped short of Housman’s central point (6)
NUBBED – SNUBBED(stopped) minus the central letter of houSman. Fun definition and clue.
6 Judge French game rejecting second-rate units (6)
JOULES –  J(judge) then BOULES(French game) minus B(second-rate). The JOULE is the SI unit of energy.
10 Jiggling near piano, left in close harmony with Parisians (9, two words)
EN RAPPORT – anagram of NEAR, then P(piano), PORT(left)
11 Poet’s previously paltry burn (5)
SCALD – triple definition
12 Japanese guard loan in spinning appropriate technology (5)
TSUBA – SUB(loan) in AT(appropriate technology) reversed
13 Lite drink such as this is possibly suitable cold (8, two words)
16 Champion of Charlemagne being smart about companion (7)
PALADIN – PAIN(smart) surrounding LAD(companion)
17 Continue admitting playing about for poetic term of reproach (7)
RUNNION – RUN ON(continue) containing IN(playing) reversed
19 First of zodiac in glossaries wanting brilliance (5)
ARIES – GLOSSARIES minus GLOSS(brilliance)
20 Be consistent after date and pull hand back (5, two words)
ADD UP – AD (after date) and then PUD(hand) reversed
21 Thus pitched over vessel’s tank (7)
CISTERN – SIC(thus) reversed then TERN(a schooner, vessel)
23 Take place beside unusually large hunter (7)
BEAGLER – BE(take place) next to an anagram of LARGE
27 John Evelyn and Pepys? One’s stepping up for farmers (8)
DAIRYMEN – John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys are DIARY MEN… move the I(one)
28 Admire head of lovely creature, Indian maybe (5)
RATEL – RATE(admire) and the first letter of Lovely
29 Gas as before about variable earnings for rep matching plan (5)
AZOTE –  A(about), Z(variable) then OTE(on-target earnings)
30 In the old way vindicate fresh garden air (9)
31 Waited with guys (6)
STAYED – double definition, the guys being ropes
32 Swirls in red diesel (6)
EDDIES – hidden inside rED DIESel
1 Name covering a pretty much white-knuckle form of racing (6)
NASCAR – N(name) and A, SCARY(white-knuckle) missing the last letter
2 Work on dud clue for calm (9)
3 Objection surrounding each fine for Mick Dundee, say (5)
BEAUT – BUT(objection) surrounding EA(each)
4 Village no longer targets seller’s documents for buyers (7)
ENDSHIP –  ENDS(targets), HIP(home information pack)
5 Humble Democrat hoisted flag (5)
DROOP – POOR(humble), D(democrat) all reversed
6 Preserve fish mostly in muslin (7)
JAMDANI – JAM(preserve), DANIO(fish) missing the last letter
7 Doctor puts on liberal studies for nouveaux riches (8)
UPSTARTS – anagram of PUTS, then ARTS(liberal studies)
8 In Scotland quiet loch near inlet with entry obscured (5)
LOUND – L(loch) next to SOUND(inlet) missing the first letter
9 Spots subs escaping outer reaches of Nimrod (6)
STAINS – STAND-INS(subs) missing the outer letters of NimroD
14 Seaside feature set up improved not British entertainer (9)
PIERRETTE – PIER(seaside feature) and then BETTER(improved) minus B(British) reversed
15 Tin being two instances of starting hooliganism in bar-parlour (8)
SNUGGERY – SN(tin) replacing the first two letters of THUGGERY(hooliganism).  I just finished reading a compilation of Kingsley Amis’ journalism on drinking, and he lauded the snug-rooms of pubs
18 A daughter of Tethys, only child to bear poetic identity (7)
OCEANID –  OC(only child), EAN(to bear), ID(identity)
19 Acting straight even if on the beach (7)
ASTRAND – A(acting), STR(straight), AND(even if)
20 Former approaches could be restyled as B-roads (6)
ABORDS – anagram of B-ROADS
22 Such as implies a lack of security for group’s pieces? (6)
NONETS – a lack of security could be NO NETS
24 Fan tracery includes empty spaces (5)
ANTRA – hidden inside fAN TRAcery
25 Spin surrounding good band of high pressure? (5)
RIDGE – RIDE(take a car for a spin), surrounding G(good)
26 Ordinary chap rising around noon with one graphic image (5)
EMOJI – JOE(ordinary chap) reversed surrounding M(mirideim, noon), then I(one)

6 comments on “Mephisto 3189 – Paul McKenna”

    1. Yes I agree. I can’t see any support for STRAND = straight but STR is in Chambers as an abbreviation for ‘straight’, and ‘even if’ is one of the definitions of AND.
      1. That was my brain fart – didn’t know a straight from a strait from a strand from a sound.
  1. Relatively quick for this one, mostly known words, JAMDANI the exception.
    I must try to remember the pun across the top tradition, though to be fair, NUBBED JOULES is pushing some limits!

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