Mephisto 3195 – Paul McKenna

Geetings barred-grid fans!

Paul McKenna has taken us to some of the deep cuts in Chambers this week for a puzzle I found particularly challenging, but a lot of fun reading up on the components. I got a giggle out of the pun in the top row because it is a favorite of a friend of mine who announces it every time there are baked goods at breakfast.

Since definitions in Mephisto puzzles can be confrmed in Chambers, I will focus on wordplay here.

Away we go…

1 With this dough is stretched, as previously during depression (6)
GLUTEN – UT(as) inside GLEN(depression). My first job in the chemisty field was a quality control chemist at a four mill, so I got to know gluten pretty well.
5 Trotter, sometime leader of private enterprise? (6)
MORGAN –  I think the second definition is referencing J.P. Morgan
10 Plainsong for female featuring in Byzantine romance (10, two words)
CANTO FERMO – TO(for), F(female) inside an anagram of ROMANCE
11 Leading German in very good economic policy (6)
STOP-GO – TOP(leading), G(german) inside SO(very good)
13 Local governor’s abuse I take (5)
MUDIR – MUD(abuse), I, R(recipe, take)
14 Pass round cracking restored rose alloys (7)
OREIDES –  DIE(pass) reversed inside an anagram of ROSE
15 Posture when Rajput royal runs away (5)
ASANA – AS(when) and then RANA(Rajput royal) missing R(runs)
16 Face French unease for supposed inheritance unit? (7)
PANGENE – PAN(face) then GENE(embarrassment in Frence, unease)
17 Pulling in clear barrier for birds? (7)
NETTING – double definition
23 Exciting device put in pond stirred up area close to hill (7)
AERATOR – anagram of AREA, then TOR(hill)
25 A tense region’s allure (7)
ATTRACT – A, T(tense), TRACT(region). Didn’t think of allure as a verb, but Chambers confirms
28 Wind up that is behind reduced power shifting to the centre (5)
UPTIE – IE(that is) after PUT(reduce) with P(power in the middle)
29 Mark that approves paunch’s glandular secretion (7)
CERUMEN – CE(communaute europeene, mark to approve EU safety standards), then RUMEN(paunch)
30 Drummer, one proverbially industrious, to thrum for some (5)
DRANT – DR(drummer), ANT(one proverbially industrious)
31 Irritable Duke must admit eccentricity (end of story) (6)
FEISTY – FIST(duke) containing E(eccentricity) then the last letter of storY
32 One is equal, Pike, wait for amicable outcome (10)
IMPARLANCE – I’M(one is), PAR(equal), LANCE(pike)
33 Restrained when being sought, we hear (6)
CHASTE – sounds like CHASED(being sought)
34 La Légion’s on the ground in Eritrea, injured one’s withdrawn (6, two words)
A TERRE – anagram of ERITREA minus I(one)
1 A meter-reader that makes hug human? (6)
GASMAN – to make HUG into HUMAN you must read G AS MAN. Of course I thought of the Flanders and Swann song as I entered this
2 Wonderfully astute role for hedonistic do-naught (10)
3 Hack horse pressed by terriers as a whole? (7, two words)
TAP INTO – PINTO(horse), after TA(terriers). The computer meaning of hack
4 English bouncer returned to border (7)
ENGRAIL – ENG(English) then LIAR(bouncer) reversed
5 Low ramp in place of refuge? (7)
MOORAGE – MOO(low), RAMP(to rage)
6 In the manner that characterises X frequently (5)
OFTEN – OF(in the manner that characterises), TEN(X)
7 Irish publicly reject part of Bonfire Night (5)
RENIG – hidden inside bonfiRE NIGht
8 Ruddy ship rolled up without old machine (6)
GRADER – RED(ruddy) and ARGO(ship) reversed missing O(old)
9 Rare short bit of line Beat poet left (6)
NORSEL – Harold NORSE(Beat poet), L(left). I’m not a man, I don’t want to destroy you.
12 Inept tenor could make this riotous stag (10)
18 At Le Mans she is able to go round car (7)
NACELLE – ELLE(she in French), CAN(is able to) all reversed. The car of an airship
19 Wise Prince who reads up on shedding stone (7)
PRUDENT – PR(prince) then STUDENT(who reads up on) missing ST(stone)
20 About to fix the value of humour (7)
CAPRICE – CA(about), PRICE(fix the value of)
21 It covers function I see of taxis (6)
TACTIC – ‘T, ACT(function), I, C(see)
22 Amateur left looking up about pernicious plant (6)
ATROPA – A(amateur) then PORT(left) reversed, then A(about)
24 Do text again from avant-garde poetry when zilch is electronic (6)
RETYPE – anagram of POETRY with O(zilch) replaced by E(electronic)
26 Eg, Buchan’s coarse complexion, a term for gross (5)
RUDAS – RUD(complexion), A, and the last letter of grosS
27 A hustler’s down in the dumps no more (5)
AMORT – A, MORT(loose woman, hustler)

5 comments on “Mephisto 3195 – Paul McKenna”

  1. I took it as referring to Captain Morgan, the privateer and pirate. Agreed that it was on the tricky side, to say the least, with lots of looking up Chambers required.

    Edited at 2021-11-28 09:50 am (UTC)

  2. Tricky one, but I did manage to finish in just under 50 minutes.
    I can’t really measure the difficulty of these puzzles by how much I use Chambers because I look almost everything up, even when I’m sure of the answer.
  3. I really must start looking for the puns in the top row: I might have got MORGAN quicker. I like dc’s interpretation, though I was thinking of the carmaker.
    I don’t know why, but I didn’t find this too tough, though I also chewed my way through a lot of Chambers.
    I thought in CANTO FERMO the use of “for” to clue TO was a bit mean, but not impossible in a Mephisto!

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