Mephisto 3220 – “Where Alph the sacred river ran….”

This Don Manley Mephisto was not terribly difficult, but since I was tired I didn’t finish it all in one sitting, wisely breaking off and going to bed with several undone.   When I came back, I found most of them rather straightforward, with only a couple needing a trawl through Chambers.

I hope everyone is enjoying the new site – let’s get those avatars uploaded, now that John has made them show up properly.

1 One with no funds — I’m aged, bottom in certain classifications (7)
INFIMAE –  I + N/F + I’M + AE, a compendium of abbreviations.
6 Condescend, being old-style European going round India (5)
DAINE – DA(I)NE, a Spenserian spelling.
10 WI teased the old woman escort in the auditorium (9)
MAMAGUYED – MAMA + sounds like GUIDE.
11 Clever expression, not half an attempt to show social division (7)
12 Sulk in Lochgilphead or Troon? (4)
DORT – Hidden in [Lochgilphea]D OR T[roon].
14 Want a bishop (without being Italian) to lead church (7)
ABSENCE – A B + SEN + C.E, where sen = without in Italian.
15 Colour of blood is awfully scary, enthralling yours truly (7)
CRAMESY – Anagram of SCARY around ME.
17 By the end of street is bleak slab with inscription? (6)
TABLET – [stree]T + ABLET, where both bleak and ablet refer to a fish.
20 Pick up drug long delayed (5)
21 Hair — the last thing you will want in beer (5)
22 Books with many a prayer or song? (6)
ORARIA – OR + ARIA, at last a simple one.
25 Wind around part of hospital with one very good person (7)
ENTWIST –  E.N.T + W + I + ST.   Usually that part of the hospital is at the end of a word.
28 Frightened to cross river, suffering psychological damage? (7)
SCARRED – SCAR(R)ED, another beginner clue.
29 Dynasty’s pungency (4)
TANG – Double definition, my FOI.
30 Fighter betrayed, leading to fuss (7)
SOLDADO – SOLD + ADO, a write-in if you know the word.
31 Song of jazz fan full of traditional woe, met with cheers (9)
32 What pupils do audibly in swamp (5)
LERNE – Sounds like LEARN.
33 A certain river’s wrecked the lane (7)
LETHEAN –  Anagram of THE LANE.   I thought I wouldn’t know the river, then I saw it.
1 Striking deed of troublemaker before performance (6)
IMPACT – IMP + ACT, where the literal could be interpreted as the act of striking.
2 What land may be having story about member? (8)
FARMABLE – F(ARM)ABLE, another rather simple one.
3 One wanting silence, restricting a person praying out loud (5)
IMAUM –  I + MU(A)M, an alternate spelling.
4 Dull subject — not one of education’s essentials (5)
MATTE – MATTE[r], where you take out one of the three Rs.
5 Dissolute star in time becomes favoured no longer (7)
AGRASTE –  AG(anagram of STAR)E.
6 Duke, last one to make a colourful contribution (7)
7 See a source of disease that flies around (5)
AEDES – Anagram  of SEE A + D[isease], an &lit.
8 Crazy romantics showing the influence of drugs? (9)
9 Opinionated leader of enterprise with ridiculous tenet (6)
ENTETE – E[nterprise] + anagram of TENET.
13 Grey matter is protected by this underwear packed for travel? (9)
BRAINCASE –  BRA IN CASE, a chestnut.
16 A certain ground having a sort of ridge (8)
18 English writer to draw in a particular geometrical fashion (7)
19 Conservative out of a job? Express sympathy (7)
21 Note Italian river, mostly calm (6)
POSTIL – PO + STIL[l] – I nearly biffed POST-IT, but couldn’t parse.
23 Transfer to another — an act getting reported (6)
ATTORN – Sounds like A TURN.
24 Source of light needed for chopping tree (5)
ARGAN – ARGAN[d], a fancy kind of lamp.
26 I abandoned small room offered by landlord? (5, two words)
27 Having to keep date within range (5)

3 comments on “Mephisto 3220 – “Where Alph the sacred river ran….””

  1. Thank you for those explanations. There were a couple which I got wrong, having persuaded myself of readings which, in retrospect are less convincing than yours.

    For 21a I had PILES (stop sniggering), on the grounds that Chambers has PILE as a covering of hair or a single hair, etc. I read it as PILS containing E as the last thing in THE.

    For 21d, POSTAL (a US postcard, apparently), as PO + STAL(L).

    Both a bit of a stretch, but they seemed like a good idea at the time.

  2. Fairly straightforward.
    I had 19 as C for conservative then ON DOLE for ‘out of a job’. Doesn’t make much difference!

  3. Fun puzzle – didn’t know many of the definitions, but the wordplay was all clear.

Comments are closed.