Mephisto 3192 – The town of my ancestors

I did solve this in one sitting, but it was a pretty long one, since I went well past midnight on a Saturday night here in the US.   A key breakthrough occurred when i rethought my dismissal of a word starting with mr-, since I am somewhat familiar with Indian instruments.    My vague memory was confirmed by Chambers, which opened up the whole NE corner.

One thing i couldn’t figure out is Paul’s pun – it must be something really outrageous.  I hope it’s not November!

1 Colour of batter left out borders on vile (5)
MAUVE – MAU[L} + V[il]E.
5 Port of Hull and fish here? (6)
HUMBER – Hull (the English Hull) is on the Humber, so this may just be a cryptic definition.  An obvious biff.  Actually, H[ull] + Umber, an &lit – thanks to Adrian Cobb.  
9 Role madam affected for this (9)
10 Vessel also lays bombs without opening protective items (11)
BRIGANDINES – BRIG AND [m]INES.  Apparently, the brigands dressed appropriately.
11 Local chap coming to a conclusion (4)
CODA – COD + A, one of them many words COD that come up in puzzles.
12 Run out of ruddy clippings? (6)
14 Lawsuit about that no longer used enzyme (6)
CYTASE – C(YT)ASE.   Yt is an 18th-century ligature, not an actual word.   The 18th-century reader saw yt in a handwrittne document and mentally translated it into that.
15 Old vessel confined on Crete being refitted (11)
16 Sister, one obtaining a title of great respect (3)
SRI – SR + I.
19 With a change of tack female pardons (3)
EHS – SHE backwards.
22 Stick with jewellery or argue for an unmet promise? (11, two words)
JAM TOMORROW – JAM + TOM + OR ROW.  I’ll admit, I cannot trace how TOM = jewellery, but that is the evident parsing.   It CRS, jewellery = tomfoolery, thus tom.  Thanks to David Crooks for that one.
23 Zone west of region incorporating British fortified camp (6)
25 In old verse allow French beast to sit before them (6)
BETEEM – BETE + ‘EM, another bit of Spenser.
26 Good to take responsibility for academic’s dress (4)
27 Stubborn old sleuth ain’t done being wayward (11)
OPINIONATED – O + P.I. + anagram on AIN’T DONE.
28 Deal ace and turn in being up in the air (9)
29 Bottom’s packing sex appeal in unusual silk dress (6)
TUSSAH – TUS(S.A)H.   Unusual because usually spelt tusser.
30 Snarky arrogance about note (5)
1 Master and old boy caught before meal with small frilled hats (7, two words)
MOBCAPS – M + OB C + AP + S.   AP is ante prandium, of course.
2 Nonsense about tree? Contrarily, it’s an architectural piece (7)
3 Winnowing basket filled by, eg, one who snubs game, say (5)
VEGAN – V(E.G.)AN.   He snubs the game you hunt, not the game you play.
4 With impetuosity most give up cast (7)
5 In a muddling maze matron, well, obliterated a flying insect (13)
HONEYCOMB-MOTH – HONEYCOMB + MOTH[er], which would probably be better as two words.
6 Back in the day talk about free drum (7)
MRIDANG – M(RID)ANG, back in the day indicating an archaic word.  Used in Carnatic music, whereas up in Hindustan they use the tabla.
7 Support for the upwardly mobile? Expatriate brief mostly (9)
BANISTERS – BANiS[h] TERS[e], where mostly is applied to both words!
8 Take, for instance, that girl a slice of Danish? (6)
RASHER – R + AS + HER, where Danish is obviously not a pastry,   There was a Danish Bacon brand, but it is not documented in Chambers.
13 Even bits of film getting into strangely satanic cartoon ads? (9)
ANIMATICS –  [f]I[l]M in an anagram of SATANIC.
17 Strong racing seen in races by Spenser (7)
STRENES – STR + anagram of SEEN, a Spenserian spelling of strains
18 Two girls close to this? They were tickled by Chas? (7)
JOANNAS – JO + ANNA + [thi]S, giving a slang word for piano keys.
20 Fodder in local tatie store? Take away anything useless (7)
HOGWEED – HOG + WEED, where local indicates a dialect word.
21 Small fall scratching dead skin (7)
22 Share among contractors projection about freight vessel (6, two words)
JOB OUT -J(OBO)UT.  OBO is an acronym of Oil Bulk Ore, and can also mean or best offer!
24 Back from Italy being mobbed by American outfit well-nigh (5)
AGAIN – A + GA(I)N[g].

9 comments on “Mephisto 3192 – The town of my ancestors”

    1. I think it’s Mo-vember, the month when we are all (most women excepted) meant to be growing a moustache for charity or something.
  1. Many thanks to both setter and blogger.

    I took “Port of Hull” to indicate the letter P (to the left of the word) plus umber (the grayling fish).

    Re 18 d – I don’t get the Chas reference. I believe that it is the ivories that are tickled rather than the joanna (= piano in CRS).

    Adrian Cobb

    1. Exactly how I parsed it, which makes it a very clever clue, given that Hull was once a huge fishing port.

      Agree about the Chas and Dave clue. In Stepney, one tickles the ivories, which one finds of course on the joanna.

      Thanks for explaining AGAIN, which I didn’t see. Also, I had to check to order of the final vowels in PENTECONTER, since I had never come across the word.

      I once got into an argument in a pub quiz, where the question was ‘Which river does Hull stand on?’ I assumed it was a trick question, so gave what is actually the correct answer – the River Hull, given that the full name of the city is Kingston upon Hull – only (and predictably) for it to be marked wrong.

      Edited at 2021-11-07 09:45 am (UTC)

  2. Not too hard this. TOM for jewellery is in Chambers in the entry for ‘tomfool’. The search function in the app is helpful for this sort of thing.
    You’ve inadvertently typed the wrong word for 28ac, v. It’s an anagram of TURN IN and ACE, not DEAL.

    Edited at 2021-11-07 12:20 pm (UTC)

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