Mephisto 3221 – Tim Moorey

Greetings barred-grid fans!

I had a few struggles with this one, particularly in the bottom right hand corner, where I think I was looking too hard for a pop culture or sport reference that Tim Moorey is likely to drop in to a Mephisto puzzle.

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 Special bunch of flowers is sent over for techies (6)
SYSOPS – S(special), POSY(bunch of flowers), and ‘S all reversed
6 Phrase coming from communication area (5)
COMMA – COMM(communication), A(area)
10 Fulham and the like once almost lost against girls (9)
ASTRAGALS – ASTRAY(lost) missing the last letter, then GALS(girls). Both fulhams and astragals are dice
11 King’s Head starters for ending the diet! (7)
KNESSET – K(king), NESS(head) and the first letters in Ending The
12 Term for pension once received by accepted nationalist? (5)
ANNAT – last letter in pensioN inside A(accepted), NAT(nationalist), an all-in-one
14 Like vulgar fellow from rocky Ayrshire? Not first in English! (7)
‘ARRYISH – anagram of AYRSHIRE minus the first letter in English
15 Muslim title mentioned around capital of Yemen? (5)
SAYID – SAID(mentioned) surrounding the first letter in Yemen
17 Tail wagging in shelter for songbird? Could be mine (7, two words)
COAL TIT – anagram of TAIL inside COT (shelter for an animal). Mine referring to the animal itself here.
18 Ruminant from horror shows? (5)
MHORR – hidden inside froM HORRor
19 Winchester high flier (5)
RIFLE – anagram of FLIER
21 Club with tiddly peer in it quietly dropping off? (7)
NITERIE – anagram of PEER,IN,IT minus P(quietly)
23 One in infectious diseases department finally provides genetic data carrier (5)
IDANT – AN(one) inside ID(infectious diseases) and the last letter of departmenT
26 Hearing sounds around square reverberating (7)
SESSION – NOISES(sounds) surrounding S(square) all reversed
28 Silk protested about sharing small money (5)
SATIN – two wordplays – SAT IN(protested) and A(about) inside S(small), TIN(money)
29 Not put away, still in spot of bother getting nicked (7)
UNEATEN – UNBEATEN(still in, in cricket) minus the first letter of Bother. It is not often I get to blog two clues in the same week with the exact same wordplay, but it came up in Times 28300!
30 Spymaster in Tangiers disguised as European expert? (9)
GERMANIST – M(spymaster) inside an anagram of TANGIERS
31 What’s said by cast (5)
THREW – sounds like THROUGH(by)
32 Guy from Austria, number 3 for Bayern Munich (6)
ANDREI – This was the one where I was looking at football players until I tore my hair out. It is just A(Austria), N(number) and DREI(3 in German) and I don’t think it is a specific Andrei
1 Drinks from concerns wanting introduction to Tokyo? (5)
SAKES – STAKES(concerns) missing the first letter in Tokyo
2 Very hot like some casseroles (5)
STEWY – double definition, casseroles could be stew-y
3 Border shops strain to get lichen (8)
ORSEILLE – ORLE (heraldic border) containing SEIL(strain, found in Chambers under SILE)
4 Will’s crush, a juvenile infatuation (4)
PASH – double definition
5 Barking’s helping to follow beginners in local authority team (9)
LATRATION – RATION(helping) after the first letters in Local Authority Team
6 Endless wine for sister (5)
CLARE -remove the last letter from CLARET(wine)
7 Spirit shown by Canadian province after airline cancelled (6)
MANITO – the province is MANITOBA, remove BA(British Airways)
8 Marking out geraniums for arrangement (9)
9 Darling showing on land around head of tributary (7)
ASTHORE – ASHORE(showing on land) surrounding the first letter of Tributary
13 Love cheat is involved with a prime minister (9)
TAOISEACH – anagram of O(love),CHEAT,IS,A
14 Rugby action represented by striking battle (9)
AGINCOURT – anagram of RUGBY,ACTION minus BY
16 Shearer’s side put to shame upfront? Small number dropped (8)
SHEDHAND – HAND(side) with SHEND(put to shame) in front, minus N(number)
17 Torch being used in castle, right? (7)
CRESSET – ESSE(being) inside C(castle), RT(right). I can’t find C = castle in Chambers or Collins, but I can’t see any other possibility here
20 Nurse and doctor caught in shower (6)
FOSTER – Double definition, second based on the nursery rhyme – Doctor Foster went to Gloucester, in a shower of rain. He stepped in a puddle, right up to his middle, and never went there again.
22 Weak in the end, without muscle (5)
SINEW – W(weak) after SINE(without)
24 Busy with wine recipe (5)
ASTIR – ASTI(wine), R(recipe)
25 Sea bream outside not of much value (5)
TANTI – TAI(sea bream) surrounding N’T(not)
27 Sibelius perhaps in short trousers (4)
JEAN – remove the last letter from JEANS(trousers)

8 comments on “Mephisto 3221 – Tim Moorey”

  1. Mephistos 3222 and 3223 online

    3223 has been mistakenly put up online, rather than 3222 which is in the print edition. As I write this, I don’t know whether we will add 3222 and keep 3223 here with an amended closing date, or just replace 3223 with 3222. I’d therefore advise not solving 3223 online until a decision is known.

      1. Yes – it’s not my decision, and whatever decision is made, we need to think of something that will work for everyone.

  2. I didn’t find this too tricky, just over half an hour to solve it. Funny to see GERMANIST twice in the same weekend.

  3. Ditto with GERMANIST. There was a typically nasty (or clever) piece of misdirection in 17a that might have led the lazy or unwary to biff COAL PIT.

    Nor sure about SHOPS as a container indicator. Chambers does define it as ‘imprison’, so from that POV it’s okay, but as a definition per se I think it’s pretty ropy.

    1. I wondered if it was a misprint for ships, quite a common containment indicator. Not too tricky though for some bizarre reason I had throw rather than threw. I may have been thinking of in the throes of.

  4. There were two here that I didn’t get the wordplay on: AGINCOURT, which had to be, but I didn’t spot the disappearing BY. And THREW, which came up on the right side of the coin instead of THROW, both of which being cast. And wouldn’t you know, it was BY again pretending to be something else which i didn’t make the leap for. 43.11.

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