Mephisto 3219 – Paul McKenna

Greetings barred-grid fans, and welcome to The New Place! Hope you are enjoying it so far.

Speaking of enjoying – this is the end of a three-week journey, as Paul  McKenna has not only given us a top-notch Mephisto, but a little linked pun in the top row.  The top row of Mephisto 3216 read TIN CURTAILER, and the title of the novel is completed in the grid this week.

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

Away we go…

1 Rushes could be small and hold sure being blown about (9)
SHOULDERS – S(small) then an anagram of HOLD,SURE. The sports definition of shoulders
7 Spoil a church’s rule book (3)
PIE – double definition
10 Stubborn priggish talk with a head whimsically circling (9)
OPINIONED – PI(priggish talk) inside ONIONED(with a head, whimsically)
11 Afternoon steeped in tender loving care forms post-balneal treat? (4)
TALC – A(afternoon) inside TLC(tender loving care)
12 Plot moves to a new place for sleeper’s standard support group? (8)
BEDPOSTS – BED(plot), POSTS(moves to a new place)
15 Fluff that winds up hawk owl (7)
BOOBOOK – BOO-BOO(fluff) and the last letter of hawK
16 Fleet lad fae Falkirk’s sincere (6)
AEFALD – anagram of LAD,FAE
17 Quiet about a language in Africa (5)
SHONA – SH(quiet) ON(about), A
19 What ought to describe a bachelor in Scripture? How endearing (7)
RIBLESS – RI(Religious Instruction, scripture), BLESS(how endearing)
23 Close to foreign sea, an Asian tree supplies timber (7)
MERANTI – MER(sea in French), AN, then a TI tree
24 May, say, and note fragile creature outside (5)
MONTH – N(note) inside MOTH(fragile creature)
25 On Greek colony, question crop-spoiling weaver (6)
QUELEA – ELEA(Greek colony) after QU(question)
27 See Tory shattering rare secret teaching (7)
ESOTERY – anagram of SEE,TORY
29 Scots drive round flourishing end of estate getting refreshment (8)
CAPER-TEA – CAA’ (Scots drive) surrounding PERT(flourishing) and the last letter of estatE
30 Way to get up in Chamonix? Sneak back grabbing bit of brekkie (4)
T-BAR – RAT(sneak) reversed containing the first letter of Brekkie
32 Time to duck spirited Guatemalan dance (9)
MALAGUENA – anagram of GUATEMALAN minus T(time)
33 Placards wherein you see historical plough (3)
ARD – hidden inside placARDs
34 Vociferously be very excited with salad — it’s a principle (9, two words)
BOYLE’S LAW – sounds like BOIL(be very excited) and SLAW(salad)
1 All but drink up, I’m primarily somebody overdoing tipples (3)
SOT – Odd clue – two related wordplays… TOSS(drink) reversed missing the last letter, and the first letters of Somebody Overdoing Tipples
2 Without kicking off, eg, Kingsley’s country makes base of perfume (8, three words)
OIL OF BEN – the actor Kingsley’s country could be SOIL OF BEN. Remove the first letter
3 In abnormal sun lay up specific manuscripts (7)
UNCIALS – anagram of SUN containing LAIC(lay) reversed
4 What could constitute whopper about British Left? (5)
LIBEL – LIE(whopper) surrounding B(British), then L(left)
5 Sanction band of heralds (7)
ENDORSE – double definition
6 Sleep on puzzle (6)
REPOSE – RE(on), POSE(puzzle)
7 Peru provided spondulicks for neighbour (4)
PESO – PE(Peru) and SO(provided). The peso is the currency of Chile, which borders Peru
8 Enthusiastic about redrafted Dante being chanted (9)
INTONATED – INTO(enthusiastic about) and an anagram of DANTE
9 Rejecting God duke’s reconnected with heretic Basque (9)
EUSKARIAN – remove D(God) from DUKE’S, then form an anagram, follwed by ARIAN(heretic)
13 Pond life? I came struggling under trooper who’s dropped in (9)
PARAMECIA – anagram of I,CAME after PARA(trooper who’s dropped in)
14 Ancient beast is done up over imperfect distinctive character (9)
DEINOSAUR – anagram of IS,DONE over AURA(distinctive character) missing the last letter
18 Absolutely master fillet’s branding (8)
OWN-LABEL – OWN(absolutely master), then LABEL(a fillet with pendants is the 10th definition of LABEL in Chambers)
20 A little sergeant-major will usurp power without further ado (7)
SMARTLY – PARTLY(a little) with SM(sergeant-major) replacing P(power)
21 ____ landed a loaded clout, wearing it causes upsets (7)
CAESTUS -anagram of ‘T and CAUSES.
22 Foremost of Achaeans trapped by good Achilles, eg, demanding action (6)
GHERAO – first letter of Achaeans inside G(good), HERO(Achilles, eg)
26 Biden’s home, for example, put up treatment (5)
USAGE – USA(Joe Biden’s home), then EG(for example) reversed
28 Written opinions peaked once missing the mark (4)
OP-ED – MOPED(peaked) minus M(mark)
31 Pictured with top dropped and bottom out of view, ie in the scud (3)
RAW – DRAWN(pictured) minus the first and last letters

4 comments on “Mephisto 3219 – Paul McKenna”

  1. I think I found this quite tricky, but I left the timer running while I did something else so I have no record of my time. My first thought when I saw ‘tinker tailor’ a few weeks ago was ‘soldier sailor’.

    1. In the LeCarre novel “Spy” is substituted for the “Sailor” from the nursery rhyme as “sailor” is too similar to “tailor”. These occupations from the rhyme are used as codenames for the suspects in the inner circle of the security agency ,one of whom is a traitor. To avoid possible misunderstanding SAILOR has to go.

  2. First post on the new site – after I worked out that I had to register before I could log in. On the difficult side, but, as a Falkirk bairn, pleased to see my home town get a mention.

Comments are closed.