Mephisto 3194 – Always check the record date!

This was not too bad, but I did have to ply my copy of Chambers a bit.   Fortunately, there were some easy ways to get started, as I opened operations at the bottom of the grid and worked my way up.   Poitcaries and geometrise were particularly helpful.  I did end up getting stuck for a day, but when I came back I instantly saw the should-have-been-obvious braws and ween, and my solve was complete.    Well, ween is pretty difficult to get without the starting letter, but once you have that, it should come to mind at once.

While I finished, I have to admit some of the cryptics are rather opaque.   I am sure my fellow barred-grid enthusiasts will have something to add about these, if they happen to have the extra bit of knowledge I am lacking.

1 Fine clothes not manufactured in the Bahamas (5)
BRAWS – B(RAW)S.   BS is to two-character country code for the Bahamas.    Braw is a common Scots word for fine or splendid, so I really should have seen this sooner.
5 These creatures are deadly so look to guard dog (7)
SOLPUGA – SO + L(PUG)A – a spider, to be exact.
11 Party line given on cutting good wholesome fare (10, two words)
RAVEL BREAD –  RAVE + L + B(RE)AD.   Yes, good is given as one of the meanings of bad in Chambers – when they say dance to the beat of bad boogaloo, they don’t mean the musicians are incompetent!
13 Most of top football team right to show muscle (7)
14 Rattle up north to secure new run backing for US lyricist (6)
LERNER – RE(N,R)EL backwards.
15 Spell centimetre: this is in middle — twice! (4)
TIME – hidden in [cen]TIME{tre].   I may have missed something here.
16 Gut reduced with PE equipment (5)
GETUP – Anagram of GUT and PE – a word that normally means one’s costume or attire in the US.
17 Cycles holding back in queue ultimately saves lives? (7)
RESIDES – R([queu]E,[save]S)IDES.
18 Illicit drug in part changed for another drug (7)
ARICEPT –  AR(ICE)PT, where the enclosing letters are an anagram of PART and ICE is a slang term for crystal meth.
24 A scarf in France is ill-favoured somehow, full veil banned (7)
25 Aged daughter hugging judge gets excited (7)
27 Without some equity income, see about taking Times (5, two words)
EX DIV – VID(X)E backwards.
28 Hint: do put this first for indoor game (4)
CLUE – CLUE(DO), which is marketed as just Clue in the US.
29 Like place to relax (6)
31 As is one first principle (7)
ELEMENT – Double definition – As is arsenic, an example of an element.
32 One into cannabis with oral decay to obtain old medics (10)
33 Actor, British associated with a horse and Henry (7)
BRANAGH –  BR + A NAG + H.   Never heard of him, but the cryptic is quite clear.
34 A little banking marks the river (5)
SOMME – SOM(M)E, another easy clue.
1 Old transport company starts to organise lifting gear, for instance cranes (7)
BROLGAS –  BR + O[rganise] L[ifting] G[ear], AS.
2 Turn aside one number and get a different number (7)
AVERTIN – AVERT + I + N, for an anaesthetic.
3 As before, fancy a few in Glasgow? Hard going (4)
WEEN – W[h]EEN, a biff once I had the checkers.
4 Express tears over one movie not initially popular (7)
SLEEPER –  RE + PEELS backwards + a Woody Allen movie from 1973, I think.   Other interpretations invited.
6 Wine before 6 at school? Name withheld (7)
7 Nerve that’s shown up in courts (5)
LEETS – STEEL upside-down, an obvious write-in.
8 Talk up yours truly? Not entirely (6)
PARTIM – RAP upside-down, a bit of dated slang from the 60s, + TIM, our setter.
9 What mathematicians could do right is Greek to me, one thousand out! (10)
10 English poet’s children heard (5)
AYRES – Sounds like HEIRS.
12 Publican’s role spoken of in low dive (10, two words)
19 Swine grabs a lot of Indian booze giving money no longer valid (7)
20 Canadian province in short has almost the smallest birds (7)
21 Religious schools possessed an edge (7)
22 Commercial line is hurtful (7)
23 Spirit shown up in Greek province on active duty (6)
DAEMON – NOME + A.D. upside-down.
25 Bitter about grim and dangerous guardian? Not half (5)
ACERB – A CERB[eros].
26 Two articles about Troy in letter — from there? (5)
THETA –  THE(T)A, where T is an abbreviation for Troy weight.
30 River in Spain first to brim over? (4)
EBRO –  E + BR[im] + O…..I think.   Comments invited.   George is right, it’s an &lit – E +B[rim] + R[iver] + O[ver], where E = Spain.

7 comments on “Mephisto 3194 – Always check the record date!”

  1. My take on the last one is that it is an all-in-one. R(river), in E(spain), first letter of Brim, O(over).

    Kenneth Branagh is pretty well known, though the last few things I’ve seen him in, a remake of Murder on the Orient Express where he really hammed it up as Poirot, was painful. He is best known for a bunch of Shakespeare adaptations in the 90s and early 2000s.

    Sleeper was a Woody Allen movie, but the definition of SLEEPER as a movie that was not a hit initially but eventually became popular is in Chambers. Think Rocky Horror or The Wizard of Oz.

    RAVEL BREAD was my biggest holdup.

    1. Re. The Orient Express remake. I stopped watching it after five minutes,when the opening showed the train leaving a station in Istanbul, which in the old days it couldn’t have.
  2. 15ac. Without TIME centimetre is centre. So TIME is in both (twice). Oops. I shouldn’t be here. I was looking for the 15×15
  3. Thanks Vinyl1 and the setter- very enjoyable. Had never come across AD to mean active duty- very neat.
  4. The first part of 4D is just a cryptic def based on a railway sleeper – there is no intended RE+PEELS< wordplay
  5. I found this quite difficult, and got stuck at the end with BRAWS and WEEN. I don’t know why it took me so long to get RAW from ‘not manufactured’.
    I’m surprised you’ve never heard of Kenneth Branagh, v. As George says he’s pretty famous. Perhaps more in the UK than the US but he’s been in and directed some very big movies. I saw him play Hamlet in Stratford nearly thirty years ago, which was brilliant.
  6. Nearly an hour, which indicates a tougher solve for me.
    Kenneth Branagh I thought was at his best as Henry V in the Shakespeare version. Not dead yet, though!
    Kapietro is right about TIME, though I took it that TIME was in centimetre twice, the second time being just T. Worked for me, but the real answer is cleverer.

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