Mephisto 3215 – Tim Moorey

Greetings, barred-grid fans!

My greatest difficulties in this puzzle were in the top left, having a strong conviction that “park” in the clue was going to lead to P. I think near the end I scrubbed everything out in that corner and started over again, leading to a longer solve than I am used to for the Mephisto.

My take overall is that there are is a higher ratio than usual of unusual words in the grid, and I was often going to Chambers to check to see if the letter salad was actually a word.

In Mephisto puzzles, definitions (the most direct of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay here.

Away we go…

1 Place to park behind station (4)
SEAT –  I was looking for all sorts of wordplay and it was a double definition.  Of course, “station” is the 16th noun option for seat in Chambers, so I shouldn’t feel that bad
4 One inclined to go wrong could be a faceless jihadi (8)
ERRORIST – remove the first letter from TERRORIST(jihadi)
9 Staff managed to trim a Brazilian tree (11)
MACERANDUBA – MACE(staff), RAN(managed), next to DUB(trim, 4th verb option in Chambers), A
11 Veteran Italian is old judge no longer employed (5)
OSCAN – O(old), SCAN(judge… a noun form here)
12 City sort of home for the rabble (6)
MOBILE – double definition, the first a city in Alabama (haven’t been there), and the second part of MOBILE HOME. See comments: there is a third definition.
14 Soldier’s half-hearted action displayed (7)
PARADED – PARA(soldier) and DEED(action) with only one E in the middle
15 Cat runs away from goat’s-hair fabric (5)
TIBET – The cat is TIBERT from Reynard the Fox, remove R(run)
16 Former probes are confidential (7, two words)
A LATERE –  LATE(former) inside ARE
17 Taking day off, two places of seclusion being discussed (6, two words)
EN L’AIR – remove D(day) from DEN(one place of seclusion), then LAIR(another place of seclusion)
22 Amateur covering of trial repeatedly gets stick in US (6)
ATLATL – A(amateur) and the exterial letters in TriaL, all repeated
23 House report is behind small reorganisation of Health and Safety Executive (7)
SHEBANG – BANG(report) after an anagram of HSE(Health and Safety Exectutive)
24 Salmon farm in Provence near me (5)
MASUS – MAS(French farm), near US(me)
26 Environment Agency calls for small ropes (7)
EARINGS – EA(Environment Agency), RINGS(calls)
28 Bad error to ride a sick horse (6)
ROARER – anagram of ERROR surrounding A
29 Nothing stops nurse returning for a drink (5)
HAOMA – O(nothing) inside AMAH(nurse) reversed
30 Erratic Conservative PM said nothing’s wrong? A lie that’s put out (11)
SPASMODICAL – anagram of C(conservative),PM,SAID,O’S(nothing’s), then A, and LIE missing IE(that’s)
31 Marmoset indeed in France seen alongside second small tree (8)
OUISTITI – OUI(indeed, in French), then S(second), TITI(small tree)
32 Fan yakked about uncovered one-horse carriage (4)
EKKA – reverse YAKKED and remove the outer letters
1 Couple given months for putting up a small child (5)
SMOWT – TWO(couple) and MS(months) reversed
2 Beaten in Toulouse? That’s satisfactory but record time taken (7)
ACCABLE – ACCEPTABLE(satisfactory) minus EP(record) and T(time)
3 Southerner disheartened old Greek (4)
TEAN – the Southerner is a TEXAN, remove the middle letter
4 Young partner in finance managed rents (5)
ERNST – anagram of RENTS for the other half of Ernst & Young, though I prefer the German Dadist
5 Batter’s role in defence (7)
RAMPART – RAM(batter) and PART(role)
6 Party absorbed by Bojo’s latest bombast that’s created a stink (7)
ODORANT – DO(party) inside the last letter of bojO and RANT(bomast). The surface reading gave me a smile, and the timing is impeccable!  I wonder if this was a late edit, as I understand that Listeners are often written and edited months in advance.
7 Persian verse brings in tense distorted rhythms (6)
RUBATI – RUBAI(Persian verse) containing T(tense)
8 Cooking ingredient Indonesian chief gets in markets (9)
SALERATUS – RATU(Indonesian chief) inside SALES(markets)
10 University official in bubble tackling education (6)
BEDELL – BELL(a bubble formed in a liquid) containing ED(education)
13 Question about Saigon hospital being organised for malaria treatment (9)
QINGHAOSU – QU(question) containing an anagram of SAIGON,H(Hospital). Glad there were only two unchecked letters in this one!
17 Heat extremes stop Middle East project (6)
EXSERT – anagram of EXTREMES, minus ME(middle east) – “heat” is the anagram indicator
18 Where you may find a cuckoo being most silly (7)
INANEST – you may find a cuckoo IN A NEST
19 Cords perhaps getting fashionable in Surrey town (7)
BAGSHOT – BAGS(cords, trousers) and HOT(fashionable)
20 Jam rolls are small and special for a little girl (7)
LASSOCK – LOCK(jam, gridlock) containing A(are), S(small) and S(special)
21 Head of Music Society welcomes a Scottish bar that’s taken up thumb pianos (6)
MBIRAS – first letter of Music, and S(society) containing A, and RIB(Scottish bar of a grate). Aside on the mbira – in the USA they are called kalimbas and are strangely popular at the moment.
24 What’s dividing leaders in Mali, Djibouti and Iraq? Not me, I’m a great leader (5)
MEHDI – first letters of Mali, Djibouti and Iraq surrounding EH(what)
25 Alternatively part of spiral canal (obscure noun) (5)
SCALA – anagram of the first letter of Spiral and CANAL minus N(noun)
27 Jackdaw flying around one in disused wharf (4)
KAIE – KAE(jackdaw) surrounding I(one)

7 comments on “Mephisto 3215 – Tim Moorey”

  1. Much the toughest Mephisto for a good while: I don’t recall anything except the excellent and topical ODORANT falling with any easy.
    Odd that the deleted T for ERRORIST should have been reissued by the preceding SEAT, adding to my occasional impression that the bar lines are not necessarily fixed during set up. A fun post solve game is to spot words that might have been included early on in the process. Well, I LIKE IT1
  2. And could not 1A also be a quintuple definition?


  3. My time on this is unrecorded but probably off the scale. 1A went straight in, but then… Very hard and I needed aids beyond my paper copy of Chambers to finish. But I see I am a runner-up!

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