Mephisto 3222 – “I am a pilgrim, and a…..”

Well, here is the famous puzzle that was supposed to have been published online two weeks ago, but 3223 went up in its place.    Old-fashioned newspaper subscribers got the right puzzle, and probably didn’t even hear about the whole kerfuffle.     As I expected, I got the harder of the two puzzles, and I really struggled with this one.     However, after much research, I can nearly explain everything, and for once the McKenna pun is relatively straightforward.

1 Something done about dolly became harder to get? (8)
DEEPENED – DEE(PENE)D.   Pene is a variant spelling of peen, and dolly as a verb means to hammer.
7 Head off to visit relative (4)
11 Who smiles? Gross boozer in front of the Queen (7)
12 Rapid reaction force radically (yes) endowed with bit of temerity (11, two words)
SWEENEY TODD – Anagram of (YES) ENDOWED + T[emerity].   The answer is CRS for the Flying Squad.
13 First of the Chinese that expresses joy finding Chennai’s station (6)
THANAH – T[he] + HAN + AH, an Indian police station.
14 Run in spirits losing international earners for Irish? (6)
NIXERS –  NIX[i]E(R)S.   A nixie was a nicor in Beowulf, so the word came readily to mind.
15 Disconcerting earful for staff of command (6)
FERULA – Anagram of EARFUL, usually spelt with RR.
17 Plant is Irish in the first place (4)
18 As locals have it net depression results in this game (8)
LEAPFROG – LEAP + FROG.    A leap as a Scots noun can be a basket or a net, and a frog is a depression in a brick.
21 Scope in Latin according to assiduous advocate (8)
23 No longer stick with current rajah’s seat (4)
GADI –  GAD + I.   A gad is now a miner’s tool, but it was a stick in Shakespeare’s  time.
24 Fine to avoid woman in the legal profession on school project (6)
SCHEME – SCH + [f]EME, a bit of law French.
25 Scaffolder’s support added to report (6)
26 Date Milton’s previously mentioned wiped out (6)
ERASED – ERA + SED, a Miltonic spelling of said.
29 Buzz about dress and, well, a good impression (11, two words)
BELLA FIGURA – BELL + A + FIG + UR + A, a compendium of obscurities, all in Chambers.
30 Main ensign becomes dull (7)
31 Regret spinning old coinage (4)
EURO –  RUE backwards + O.
32 Strong passion in pilgrim? (8)
1 With one steamer departing doubt remains (4)
DUST – D[i str]UST.
2 Cassio’s to go round forming new list (7)
ENWHEEL – Anagram of NEW + HEEL.   Yes, a hapax from Shakespeare.
3 Pressure on witticism lifting union agreement? (6)
PRENUP –  P + RE + PUN backwards.
4 Pay up for heating vessel (4)
ETNA – ANTE upside down, a chestnut.
5 Grey one’s turning out sweets (8)
6 Rector’s away making rubbishy composing, as before (6)
DITING –   DI[r]TING, a word that survived longer as enditing, but even that is pretty much obsolete.
7 Otherwise again good to go about neat lack of vital sine qua non? (6)
ANOXIA – Anagram of AGAIN – G containing OX.    I had biffed anemia, before I saw what was going on.
8 Out again ringing royal one up in millions of cases? (11, three words)
UNDER THE SUN – UNDER + THE(US  upside-down)N.
9 Charge is very informally beyond doubt (8)
TRESSURE – TRES SURE, for you Franglais speakers.   A heraldic charge, to be exact.
10 Change course with career causing harm? (11, three words)
WEAR AND TEAR – WEAR +  AND + TEAR, in various senses.
15 Nothing in reduced excuse will support weary staff (8)
16 Overbearing being egregious about matter that’s been raised (8)
ARROGANT – ARR(GO upside-down)ANT – matter and go as  verbs.
19 Separate and plunge once (7)
DEMERGE – Double definition – you could look them up.
20 Mahmood’s last in bat, with one wicket remaining, giving a nod of readiness (6, two words)
WILL DO – WILL([mahmoo]D)O[w].
21 Positive positions for those of the working class (6)
22 Adult in charge, an early Asian prince (6)
CHAGAN – CH(A)G + AN, who later became a Khan.
27 Centre for arrivals opening in Lerwick? (4)
RIVA – hidden in [ar]RIVA[ls], a Scots word.
28 Driver accepting gold challenge in the Highlands (4)
DAUR –  D(AU)R, another Scots word.

4 comments on “Mephisto 3222 – “I am a pilgrim, and a…..””

  1. Print solvers were informed about the puzzle swap, as they needed to be told that for them, 3223 wasn’t a competition puzzle. Some still proved how focused solvers are on the grid and clues by emailing scans complete with the revised “sub-grid” content, with no lines for writing an address, no picture of the atlas prize, and the text which explained why instead of giving an address to post/email to.

    I don’t think 29A is that obscurity-ridden. buzz=bell=phone call is pretty ordinary informal language here, and this meaning of buzz and bell isn’t “mainly Brit” in my iPad Merriam-Webster (Collegiate I think). Much the same for “fig” if you can remember “full fig” as the complete outfit for some activity.

  2. I found this much harder than the other one – about four times as hard to be precise. Lots of rooting around in Chambers to justify the answers, which I always enjoy.

  3. Slow to start, but once a couple of toeholds were found, progress was made. A lot of ploughing through Chambers to find definitions and justifications. 1a was a good example of this.

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