Mephisto 3191 – Tim Moorey

Greetings and happy Hallowe’en barred-grid fans. I know it is silly, but I rather like the US obsession with this time of year featuring costumed kids collecting treats and adults getting drunk while playing dress-up. I’m joining in, having cribbed together all the pieces to reproduce Bela Lugosi’s staircase entrance in Dracula – white bow tie, tuxedo shirt, lined cape, medallion, and powder makeup.

I made a bit of a meal of this one originally, being convinced that 16 was LASSA  without checking to see if it was even a word. Eventually saw the error of my ways.

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

Away we go…

1 Once VAT is settled there’s little money (7)
CENTAVO – anagram of ONCE,VAT
6 Article about large Mediterranean units (5)
ARTAL – ART(article), A(about), L(large)
10 Wine safe appeared short of depth (10)
PETER-SEE-ME – PETER(safe) then SEEMED(appeared) minus D(depth)
11 I learn about acting script of old (7, two words)
LINEAR A – anagram of I,LEARN then A(acting)
13 Long or short note switching halves (4)
ITCH – the short note is a CHIT, switch the pairs of letters
14 Lessor to fund housing to some extent (6, two words)
SORT OF – hidden inside lesSOR TO Fund
15 Anticipated bother arose between fellow and wife (7)
FORESAW – anagram of AROSE between F(fellow) and W(wife)
16 Heading for loss, fool accepted ancient vase (5)
DIOTA – remove the first letter of IDIOT(fool), A(accepted)
20 Quantity of fish and booze for house in loch (7)
CRANNOG – CRAN(quantity of fish) and NOG(booze)
22 Reject damn plover (7)
KILLDEE – KILL(reject), DEE(damn)
24 River, one flanking the centre of Dinan? (5)
RANCE – R(river) and ACE(one) surrounding the middle letter of diNan. A nice all-in-one, the river does originate near Dinan
25 Cobbled roads produce extremes of horsey clip-clops (7)
CAUSEYS – CAUSE(produce) and the last letters of horseY clip-clopS
28 Immigrants so far retaining right to take property (6)
ALIENS – AS(so far) containing LIEN(right to take property)
30 Indian bread with no end of ghee in small part of it (4)
PICE – remove the last letter of gheE from PIECE(a part of it)
31 Corrupt Frenchman’s quick to conceal potentially serious attack (7)
VITIATE – VITE(quick in French) containing TIA(transient ischaemic attack)
32 Politician to organise a rebellion? (10)
33 Lent long ignored is relaxed (5)
EASED – LEASED(lent) minus L(long)
34 Stupid dropping in without support (7)
BRALESS – BRAINLESS(stupid) minus IN
1 Muslim leader in American state briefly (5)
CALIF – double definition – CALIF being the postal abbreviation for California before the two-letter system was introduced in 1963
2 In which mostly Tory dailies bluster (10)
3 Shirt present right away causing a laugh (6)
TEE-HEE – TEE shirt and HERE(present) missing R(right)
4 Trees with bark cut off in one section (5)
ATAPS – TAPA(mulberry bark) missing the last letter inside A(one), S(section)
5 French poetry associated with outstanding fashion designer (7)
VERSACE – VERS(poetry in French) and ACE(outstanding). for the designer Giovanni (or several of his family)
6 American Express tackling government department’s bad spirit (7)
ASMODAY – A(American), SAY(express) containing MOD(Ministry of Defence)
7 Position behind in lavatory at school (4)
REAR – double definition
8 Silver coins fixed up? Lots (7)
TESTONS – SET(fixed) reversed, then TONS(lots)
9 Open country has fine mature greenery (7)
LEAFAGE – LEA(open country), F(fine), AGE(mature)
12 Mole organised short contest involving Irish Catholic (10)
NOTORYCTES – anagram of CONTESt containing TORY(Irish Catholic)
17 By the sound of it you stretch out in the country (7)
UKRAINE – sounds like YOU CRANE(stretch out)
18 They affect climate change on lines being developed (7, two words)
EL NINOS – anagram of ON,LINES
19 A study of papers relating to glands (7)
ADENOID – A, DEN(study) O(of), ID(papers)
21 Note one England soccer defender is more available (7)
READIER – RE(musical note), I(one) and then the soccer player Eric DIER.  Never heard of him, thankfully the definition left no alternative
23 Observation from palisade worked, air defence excepted (6)
ESPIAL – anagram of PALISADE minus AD(air defence)
26 Extremist sect caught out leading to criminal charge quietly dropped (5)
ULTRA – CULT(sect) missin C(caught) then RAP(criminal charge) missing P(quiet)
27 Tries to get religious Indians on the radio (5)
SEEKS – homophone of SIKHS(religious Indians)
29 Peddler cutting margins is arguably wicked (4)
EALE – remove the outer letters of dEALEr (peddler). An entry worth reading in Chambers.

2 comments on “Mephisto 3191 – Tim Moorey”

  1. If it’s any consolation I made even more of a mess of this than you George, with both LASSA and a wrong entry at 7dn. I can’t now remember what it was (STAY, perhaps?) but it messed me up good and proper in the NE for ages.

    Edited at 2021-10-31 09:40 am (UTC)

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