Mephisto 3210 – Would you buy a used car from this man?

This Mephisto was a little more difficult, pushing my solve into the next morning.    Paul can sometimes be a little difficult, but if you take the cryptics and think about them you can usually make something of them.   Unfortunately, I don’t seem to think very well after midnight.   I finished it off the next morning before breakfast – that was easy!

Parsing after the fact, I found Alsatia and lieutenant pretty hard to fathom, but I managed to work them out.   That leaves oddeven, which is rather difficult to explain, but I’m sure someone will come up with it.

1 Soil behind Henry’s house (6)
HEARTH – H + EARTH, an easy starter clue involving the usual suspects.   Hearth by synecdoche.
6 She does flirt with one at centre (5)
DAILY –  DA(-L,+I)LY.   I would normally put the L in lower-case in the parsing, but then it would look just like the I!
10 Buried shellfish is perhaps Tarka’s worst nightmare? (10, two words)
OTTER SHELL – OTTER’S HELL.   I had to think hard to remember that Tarka is an otter.
12 Fresh satires? That’s our dream (7)
ARTSIES – Anagram of SATIRIES.   The plural of artsy is not given in Chambers, but this is what you would expect.
13 Hound is circling round stretch of Irish water (7)
SLOUGHI – S(LOUGH)I, with IS backwards.   Familiar to dog-show watchers.
14 Timber, erm, material once common in joints for seafarers (5)
15 Steamy gossip that’s spiteful going round about privates? (6)
TORRID – T(OR)RID, DIRT backwards. 
16 This convert expressing thanks would be silent (6)
MUTATE – MU[ta]TE would mean silent, unlike the other words that mean convert.
17 Sugar with pot of tea (7)
23 Unsafe to associate with head missing coarse material about new cases (7)
UNCANNY –  [g]UN(CA,N)Y, where cases must be construed as a verb.
25 Attendant officer’s securing special indirect efforts (6)
26 Coach then court conductor (6)
BUSBAR – BUS + BAR, as in the bar lawyers are called to.   It’s a conductor on a circuit board.
29 More sexy Gallic friend stripped off causing excitement among Scots (5)
STEER – STE[ami]ER.    As Bart would tell the Scots, don’t have a cow!
30 Central to shepherds and oddly irenic — it’s how Pan is (7)
HIRCINE –  [shep]H[erds} + anagram of IRENIC.
31 Arrange a meeting with Charlie about working with Victor (7)
CONVOKE –  C(ON + V)OKE, where Charlie is cocaine and not a fool or a NATO letter this time.
32 Cold dessert is deformed if stirred (10)
33 Write note with a feather (5)
PENNA – PEN + N + A, unusually easy for a Mephisto.
34 Tips from some experts loading up sheds for modern yards (6)
MEWSES – MEWS + [som]E [expert]S, a clue that encapuslates the evolution of a word meanings.
1 Silence surrounding old part of signal (5)
HOIST – H(O)IST,  A hoist can be a group of signal flags on a single line. 
2 Administrative trainee covering rent by son accepts new tenancy (7)
ATTORNS –  A.T. (TORN) +  S,  a word we had fairly recently.
3 Come up again in core curriculum (5)
RECUR –  Hidden in [co]RE CUR[riculum], another very simple clue.
4 Upsetting newspaper in habitual response that’s automatic (6)
5 Virile sort topped with unruly hair who opposes Ormuzd (7)
AHRIMAN – Anagram of HAIR + MAN.
6 Conceivably do true scenic route? (6)
DETOUR – Anagram of DO TRUE.
7 A large island so far about to become refuge (7)
ALSATIA –  A + L + AIT AS backwards.   A sanctuary for debtors, evidently similar to The Mint.
8 Previously as in releasing a lenient locum? (10)
LIEUTENANT –  Anagram of A LENIENT around UT.
9 Toadies succeeded splitting peninsular republic (6)
YESMEN –  YE(S)MEN, a bit of a chestnut.
11 Means to level ground of latest against being included (10)
FLOATSTONE –  Anagram of  OF LATEST including TO.
18 Dramatic midnight? Neither this nor that, finish up with day in fact (7)
ODDEVEN – Maybe ODD + EVEN[t]?   The literal refers to a Shakespearean usage.   Discussion invited.
19 Noise-reducing gizmo Sikh fixed in shed (7, two words)
HUSH KIT – HU(anagram of SIKH)T.
20 Frees from French a daughter in specs (7)
21 Good, since cases lead to politicians finding uppermost reserve (6, two words)
GAS CAP – G + AS + CA + S – yes, ca. is an abbreviation of cases. 
22 Christ, a rather uplifting case of dry eye? (6)
XEROMA –  X + A MORE upside-down.   It helps if you know the Greek word for dry.
24 Copper seldom used muscle relaxant (6)
CURARE – CU + RARE, another semi-chestnut.
27 Second squad’s salary (5)
28 Repeat opening deals similar to loans (5)
REPOS – REP + OS, one regular readers of the FT will biff.

4 comments on “Mephisto 3210 – Would you buy a used car from this man?”

  1. 18D Odd-even

    Dramatic midnight? Neither this nor that = the def – from words from Roderigo in Act 1 Sc 1 of Othello – around line 120, depending on your edition.
    finish up = do< – “finish” is the second Chambers def for “do” after accomplish/complete
    with = concatention indicator
    day = d
    in fact = even (third adverbial mng of “even”)

    Edited at 2022-03-13 08:31 am (UTC)

  2. Not being a regular reader of the FT, I knew not REPOS, apart from (usually American) programmes about large men taking your yacht away because you’d defaulted on a loan. So I essayed REDOS, hanging it onto repeat and expecting someone else to explain what the rest of the clue meant.
    FLOAT-STONE as “means to level” puzzled me, especially before I separated out “ground” as the anagram indicator. The only image I could find was a steel one looking remarkably like something a plasterer would use, but then I’ve never been in the building trade (or the masons). Apparently it’s also something in Pokenmon!
  3. Fun puzzle, though I did not fully parse ODD-EVEN so thanks Peter B for checking in.
    This time I did know the TV character that is in the pun in the top row, ARTHUR DALEY from Minder played by the late, great George Cole… he dabbled, he dithered, he died.

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