Mephisto 3229 – Don Manley

Posted on Categories Mephisto

Greetings, barred-grid fans – we begin with some news from Mephistoland:

Don Manley is stepping down from Mephisto after his 200th puzzle in January, and we are looking for one or more new setters. If you have some crossword setting experience and would like to be considered as a possible contributor, please email
And this puzzle is a fine example of the shoes the next Mephisto setter will have to fill – elegant wordplay for obscure terms in a tightly-knit grid.
In Mephisto puzzles, definitions (the most direct of which I have underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay here.
1 Church is given cladding of stone and rock (6)
SCHIST – CH(church) and IS inside ST(stone)
6 Everyone wearing Cornish flower or ribbon (6)
FALLAL – ALL(everyone) inside the river FAL
11 Spotty track on slope contains something greasy, not half bad (12)
POINTILLISTE – PISTE(track on slope) containing OINTMENT(something greasy) missing the last half and ILL(bad)
13 Love having sufficient at home (6)
NUFFIN – NUFF(enough, sufficient), IN(at home)
14 Engineers entering to withdraw short cord (7)
CREANCE – RE(engineers) inside CANCEL(withdraw) minus the last letter
15 Foray made by great England scorer seeing sides off (5)
REAVE – I did have to look this one up – the scorer is soccer player Jimmy GREAVES, remove his outermost letters
16 A salt absorbs minimum of that oil (5)
ATTAR – A, TAR(salt) containing the first letter of That
18 Big-time female out for vengeance (7)
MEGAERA -MEGA(big), ERA(time). You don’t often see the definition as longer than the wordplay in a clue, so this was a fun one
20 Anger once shown by adolescent with extra energy (5)
TEENE – TEEN(adolescent) with E(energy)
22 Number in Nazi corps getting guns (5)
STENS – the number TEN inside SS(Nazi corps)
24 Go to hill to find Aboriginal device (7)
TURNDUN – TURN(go) and DUN(hill). We used to make these in school, a grooved piece of wood on the end of a rope you would whirl round to make a noise
28 Street to get round with excellent Greek architectural features (5)
STOAI – ST(street), O(round) and A1(excellent)
30 Report of what hard-up person may need without help (5)
ALONE – sounds like A LOAN(what hard-up person may need)
31 Like some leaves turning brown in troubled tree (7)
TERNATE – reversal of TAN(brown) inside an anagram of TREE
32 Like liquid percolating from squishy clay, eh? (6)
LEACHY – anagram of CLAY,EH
33 To-do with chairman out of order — old-fashioned tigerish type (12)
34 Electronic components? They may give you dangerous shocks (6)
ADDERS – double definition, the second referring to the snake
35 Society essentially gets the old to disappear (6)
SPERSE – S(society), PER SE(essentially)
1 Security devices in Paraguay interrupting criminal tricks (7)
SPYCAMS – PY(Paraguay) inside SCAMS(criminal tricks)
2 Way abusive language has zero content (6)
COURSE – CURSE(abusive language) containing O(zero)
3 After word of greeting, agrees new fees for Maoris? (8)
HIREAGES – HI(word of greeting) and an anagram of AGREES
4 Bird’s restraint (5)
STINT – double definition
5 Vehicle ascending short road with pothole? (7)
TIP-CART – reversal of both TRACK(road) minus the last letter and PIT(pothole)
7 Old gallery is an attraction (5)
ALURE – A(an), LURE(attraction)
8 One with secure home to get tipsy holding celebration with grandma (10)
LIFE-TENANT – LIT(tipsy) containing FETE(celebration) and NAN(grandma)
9 Starvation when ill? Somehow sort out drug (6)
ATIVAN – anagram of STARVATION minus SORT
10 Sealing end of transaction, deposit weak-sounding letters (5)
LENES – last letter of transactioN inside LEES(deposit)
12 Pussy with a longing to eat new flowering plant (10)
CATANANCHE –  CAT(pussy) and AN, ACHE(longing) containing N(new)
17 As one trying to sort out problem, help them up hill (8)
MEDIATOR – AID(help), ‘EM(them) reversed, then TOR(hill)
19 A do sure to be organised for film-makers (7)
AUTEURS – A, UT(do) then an anagram of SURE
21 Agreement to double hospital facility before end of decade (7)
ENTENTE – ENT(hospital facility) twice, then the last letter of decadE
23 Commercial message has product here finally getting top position (6)
TELE-AD – last letters of producT herE then LEAD(top position)
25 Extracts metal from mountains — second area for extraction (6)
UNTINS – MOUNTAINS minus MO(second) and A(area)
26 Loose garment, prime requirement for the dancing girl (5)
TALMA – first letter in The, then ALMA(dancing girl)
27 Composer providing some simple harmony (5)
LEHAR – hidden in simpLE HARmony
29 Ship’s covering, yellow, cut short (5)
ORLOP – OR(yellow), and LOP(cut short)

4 comments on “Mephisto 3229 – Don Manley”

  1. A little knowledge… For 15A I knew of the border Reivers, and saw the answer was related to the footballer but missed his name was spelt with an A so ended with one pink square. Grr.

  2. I thought this was at the easier end of the Mephisto spectrum, got quite a few of them without opening Chambers!
    George, you’ve only accounted for one N in catananche (NHO and nor has my spellchecker), I think it’s an ache containing N for new.

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