Mephisto 3240 – Dearly bought

This one was definitely on the tougher side, and I was please to be able to finish after considerable struggle.     I did biff quite a few, and the pun was very helpful.   However, as often happens with this level of puzzle, I sometimes found it  difficult to parse the evident correct answer.

As I wrote the blog I researched the more obscure ones, and I think I have come close to completeness.   A couple of them are still a bit obscure, so comments are invited.   Anyone who managed to complete this puzzle is probably pretty skilled at this sort of thing.

1 Stonkered due to bangin’ hamper found locally (6)
TOPPED –  TOP + PED, an obscure dialect word for a hamper or basket.   The first element could probable use more elucidation.
5 Learner in shtook? Having resistance to shriek (6)
HOLLER – HO(L)LE + R for resistance.
10 Still to be fixed so returned having been repackaged (10)
UNRESTORED – Anagram of SO RETURNED, one I biffed and then saw.
12 As was neat undertaking by African men (7)
FEATOUS –  FEAT + OUS.   Yes, ou is South African slang for a chap or a bloke.
13 Reservation with mere pier? (7)
RESPOND – RES + POND.  “A respond is a half-pier or half-pillar that is bonded into a wall…”, in case you were wondering.
14 Loadsamoney for Indian creditor facing tangle (5)
CRORE – CR + ORE, another biffable one.   Ore is tangled seaweed.
15 Bygone bearing in each matter that’s discharged (6)
16 You may not pass this being juiced — I’m in (5)
17 Goombah wasting time with multi-cutter? (7, two words)
23 Start of epic where natural order is subsequent to reason (7)
INFERNO – INFER + N.O.   I was looking for the first word, not the first volume!
25 You’ll get strop with gardener’s tool as ’istoric ’awthorn runs (5)
EDGER – [h]EDGE + R for runs, giving the barber’s tool.
26 Hold back for husband halfway through the seafood (6)
TWAITE – T(-h,+WAIT)E, a clever substitution clue operating on what seems like a mere filler word.
29 Every English eccentricity is an avenue for French to explore (5)
ALLEE – ALL + E + E.
30 Patchy priest that is left among poor (7)
PIEBALD – P + I.E. + BA(L)D.
31 Kick back getting into fat dancer’s outfit (7)
LEOTARD – L(TOE backwards)ARD.
32 Memories unsettling Sergeant-Major’s resonance (10)
33 Academician is translator with extra rabbit (6)
ASTREX – A’S + TR + EX.   A curly-haired rabbit, to be exact.
34 American spots honey-trap — face without any lines (6)
UREDIA – [l]URE, DIA[l].  The American version is uredia, and the British is uredinia – I say aluminum, you say aluminium.
1 Different tongues are possibly one’s language (6)
TUAREG – Compound anagram, where TONGUES ARE make ONE’S TUAREG.   Biffed by me.
2 Put up some of jockey’s pot now (7)
PRESENT – A triple definition, I believe; the one in the middle is a bit obscure, but it’s right there in Chambers.
3 One’s friends giving sly looks (5)
PEEPS – Double definition, one contemporary slang.
4 Dramatically maintain combined operations in estuary (5)
ESCOT – ES(C.O)T.   Dramatically because this word only occurs in Shakespeare.
5 Dictionary cracks that name for hillbilly (7)
HOEDOWN –  H(O.E.D)OW + N, where both hillbilly and hoedown are adjectives.
6 Sure-fire indication of cut including Latin (6)
ORACLE – O’ RAC(L)E, where race is an obsolete derivative of raze, meaning a cut or a scratch.
7 Don’t try to contain obscenity climbing into shelter (7, two words)
LET RIDE – LE(DIRT upside-down)E.
8 Avidly erect one stall and then moderately good to go (10)
ESURIENTLY – I RUSE upside-down + [g]ENTLY.
9 Old Scots harbours concerned with rates (6)
11 Reduced large dress anyway (10)
REGARDLESS –  Anagram of LARGE DRESS, with a novel anagram indicator – reduced as in cooked down.
18 Old fashioned favour to soften up commissionaire (7)
GREETER – GREE + RET upside-down.
19 “A Close Shave” could be broadcast next month (7)
20 Mostly suffering hero is able to replace a prial of small units (7)
21 Teaching aids pretty nearly behind rising trouble (6)
REALIA – REA[r] + AIL upside-down.
22 You will get hamper from Greece — relax (6)
GREASE – GR + EASE.  Both hamper and grease have a slang meaning of giving presents in return for favors.
24 Bloated mass upset French soul with god (6)
OEDEMA – AME + DEO upside down.
27 Unit is weak and practically paramilitary preposterously (5)
WEBER – W + REBE[l], where the R is moved to the bottom, which is what preposterously literally means – the first is last.
28 No longer behaved per drill (5)

4 comments on “Mephisto 3240 – Dearly bought”

  1. Many thanks to both setter and blogger.
    On 1 ac. – bangin’ (sic) is in Chambers meaning great, very good (sl.), i.e. top.
    On 25 ac. – just to clarify (my understanding at least). A strop is a leather strap which is used to sharpen (put an edge on) a blade. (H)edger is the cryptic part of the clue.

  2. Yes this was tricky.
    In 25ac ‘hawthorn’ is a historical word for a hedge, so ‘istoric ‘awthorn give ‘edge, and the ‘runs’ gives the R at the end.
    Re 11dn, one of the meanings of ‘reduce’ in Chambers is ‘to change to another form’, which seems more precise as an anagram indicator than the cooking sense.

  3. A tricky one – the top row pun did not help me out much as I started in the bottom half and worked my way up.

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