Mephisto 3208 – When will my road be paved?

Don Manley puzzles are always completely logical and fair, and not too difficult.   I made good progress with this one at first, only to get stuck at the end.   A combination of alphabet trawls and inspired guesses were needed to get my last two, each of which began with an unchecked letter and were words I did not know.

I’m sure the usual bunch of hardened Mephisto solvers found nothing particularly difficult here.   A few quick checks in Chambers should provide all the dictionary help that most will require.

1 Acceptable rate of progress? I’m not so sure! (4)
UMPH – U + MPH, more frequently seen as humph.
5 Priests chatter — to barbarian first (8)
TOHUNGAS –  TO HUN + GAS for the Maori priests.
10 Once again pick up explosive put in tower (6)
REHEAR – RE(HE)AR, with tower as a verb.
11 Scottish servant is back (4)
HIND – Double definition, where hind survived in Scotland but disappeared in the south.
12 Musical Grace quietly slowing down with hesitation, stifling tremulous sound (12)
13 Mineral still has poisonous element (6)
KILLAS – KILL + AS, arsenic, with still as a verb.   This is a Cornish mining term.
15 Son gaining weight — shock no longer (6)
STONNE –  S + TONNE, some Spenser.
18 The writer’s poetry is offered with this modern technology (5)
IMODE –  I”M + ODE, not so modern any more.
19 The area designed for a mistress (7)
HETAERA – Anagram of THE AREA, an obvious write-in.
20 Car takes winding mile in winding road — nothing to be lost (7)
DAIMLER –  Anagram of MILE inside of an anagram of R[o]AD.
22 Perform together in school, avoiding hard time (5)
COACT – COAC[h] + T.
28 Stomach’s in order when given a pharmaceutical compound (6)
OMASAL –  OM + A SAL, such as sal volatile.
29 Initially easy puzzle becomes hell (6)
EREBUS – E[asy} + REBUS.
30 Mama is suffering with strain on account of old religious system (12)
31 Good time for fruit (4)
GAGE – G + AGE, for a fruit most commonly known from greengage.
32 Organ’s no longer right with endless beer (6)
LIENAL – LIEN + AL[e], where the lien is a former term for the spleen.   I was looking for bien, where the word for good is the one that is obsolete.
33 Beaten hero with little energy — outwardly miserable grump (8)
SOREHEAD – S(anagram of HERO + E)AD.
34 Senior cleric given a hearing — big noise once (4)
DEEN –  Sounds like DEAN for the word now spelt din.
2 Club’s male responsible for a sort of repetition (6)
MERISM – MERI’S M.   More Maori, this time a war club.
3 Unusual old phial, shaped like a body part (8)
PHALLOID –  Anagram of OLD PHIAL, with a euphemised literal for the Times.
4 Acted wildly, being detained by the sound of it (6)
HELLED – Sounds lke HELD.
5 To some extent brutal, a king gets divorce (5)
TALAK – Hidden in [bru]TAL A K[ing], an Islamic term.
6 Heiress out to grab gold? That’s out of order (9, two words)
HORS SERIE – Anagram of HEIRESS around OR.
7 Riverside resident has home set up with group (5)
NILOT –  IN upside down + set.
8 A short cotton garment for an Arab (5)
ADENI – A + DENI[m]. 
9 What may have been sung with tear seen flowing (8)
SERENATE – Anagram of TEAR SEEN – an 18th-century cantata.
11 Attack rubbish after friendly greeting (5, two words)
14 I hew select ground — having to extract tungsten form this? (9)
SCHEELITE –  Anagram of I HEW SELECT – W for tungsten, originally wolframite.  A tungsten ore, so a semi-&lit.
16 The fellow’s getting hold of doctor, one so upset and sweating (8)
HIDROSIS – HI(DR + I SO backwards)S.   If you know the Greek word for sweat, then this is a lot easier.
17 Bairn troubled with insect around is a “weed” (8)
BEARBINE – BE(angram of BAIRN)E.
21 Learner needing attention, coming to English lesson once? (5)
LEARE – L + EAR + E.
23 Started surgery, meeting exceptional need (6)
OPENED – OP + anagram of NEED.
24 Classical reasons given by church gripping a nation (6)
CAUSAE – C(A USA)E, a very generous literal for a Mephisto.
25 Old character I set up as representation of important person (5)
IMAGO –  OGAM + I upside down, more usually ogham, and more usually a mature insect.
26 Introductory words of appeal to wise person in native language (5)
OSAGE – O SAGE!   Almost as good as O BEY!
27 Material in woman’s garment given identity (5)
BRAID –  BRA + ID, my FOI and an obvious starter clue.

3 comments on “Mephisto 3208 – When will my road be paved?”

  1. Yes quite a gentle one, done in under half an hour. I still used Chambers a lot though, as always.
  2. Didn’t have any question marks around the grid, all done and dusted fairly quickly. I don’t think I would have shown such restraint if asked to write a clue for 3 down.
  3. Certainly on the easier side, in less than the half hour. I certainly needed Chambers to sort our PRALLTRILLER and TOHUNGAS, though the wordplay for both was pretty kind. They just didn’t look likely. SCHEELITE, on the other hand looked like any ore might.
    I agree with George that Tim was somewhat coy on 3d, and perhaps a little more -um – precision might have been better than the very vague definition. There’s a particularly annoying advert playing on most channels at the moment which delivers a number of alternatives!

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