Mephisto 3243 – Paul McKenna

Greetings barred-grid fans.

I thought this was a little easier than the last few Paul McKenna puzzles with fewer tricky wordplay elements.  As usual for Paul McKenna there is a little treat in the top row, this time referring to a Rock Hudson/Doris Day movie.

In Mephisto puzzles definitions (the most obvious of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay here.

Away we go…

1 Tedious type leading a university course with a taste of Asia (6)
PILLAU – PILL(tedious type) before A, U(university)
6 Doubt or query masks the thrust behind spin? (6)
TORQUE – hidden inside doubT OR QUEry
10 Stay prepared in Welsh island prior to a patrol (10, two words)
WAIT AROUND – W(Welsh), AIT(island) before A, ROUND(patrol)
11 Term for dip and thrust (6)
PLUNGE – last letter in diP and LUNGE(thrust)
14 SNP’s ultimate objective: a way in for their people (4)
PEND – last letter in snP, then END(objective)
15 My nose is wrinkled cutting what’s held by heir (7)
SHAR-PEI – SHARP(cutting) and the middle letters in hEIr
16 Give one times for choices at work? (10)
FLEXIHOURS – FLEX(give, ability to bend), I(one), HOURS(times)
17 From the north the wife does differing jackets (7)
TUXEDOS – T'(the in the North), UX(wife) and an anagram of DOES
20 Note market for computers, printers etc dropping one nothing (3)
SOH – SOHO(Small Office/Home Office, section of retail) minus one O(nothing)
21 Papal bull contains what clerics may wear (3)
ALB – hidden inside papAL Bull
23 Alien’s no good for force in attack (7)
STRANGE – NG(no good) replacing F(force) in STRAFE(attack)
25 Knowing softy will dodge line for tipping (10)
FLY-DUMPING – FLY(knowing) then DUMPLING(softy) minus L(line)
26 Once again spotlight judge over incomplete point (7)
REFOCUS – REF(judge) and FOCUS(point) minus the first letter.  Strange clue, at reading it sounds like it was written for a down answer.  Of course that means I missed the point (ahem). REF, O(over) and CUS(p)
28 Bohemian drink (4)
CHAI – double definition, the Bohemian one being found in Chambers under CHAL
29 Waders for Scots with chances to go round west of Ullapool (6)
WHAUPS – W(with), HAPS(chances) surrounding the leftmost letter in Ullapool. Waders being birds here.
30 Scuppering piffle about exercises and severe treatment (10)
TORPEDOING – ROT(piffle) reversed, PE(exercises) and DOING(severe treatment)
31 Fruit which flies in South Africa, beginning from April, spoil (6)
SAMARA – SA(South Africa) and the first letter in April surrounding MAR(spoil)
32 Saints getting in surprisingly easy attempts (6)
ESSAYS – S and S(saints) containing an anagram of EASY
1 Penelope’s left virtually superior valet at last — eg, Parker (6)
PUPPET – the first letter of Penelope, then UPPER(superior) minus the last letter, and the final letter of valeT.  The definition and the whole clue refers to Thunderbirds, a show I could practically recite as a kid.
2 Wanton jumper, we hear, that turns freely to tighten belt? (10, two words)
IDLE PULLEY – IDLE(wanton), then sounds like PULLY(jumper, sweater). I think this is correct – pullover is in Chambers, but it appears Pully could be a brand name?
3 Country relative rolls up for dance among Austrians (7)
LANDLER – LAND(country) and then REL(relative) reversed
4 Sadly die with courage — that would be bitter-sweet (10)
AIGRE-DOUCE – anagram of DIE and COURAGE
5 This indigene near Colorado’s capital could be smart (3)
UTE – add the first letter of Colorado and you would get CUTE(smart)
6 This holds account on Tesla for painter (7)
TACHIST – THIS containing AC(account), then T(tesla, the unit)
7 Take spoon, say — it’s a hoot (4)
ROAR – R(recipe, take) and OAR(spoon)
8 Bit of banter mostly lifted superlative mnemonics (6)
QUIPUS – QUIZ(a piece of banter) minus the last letter, then SUP(superlative) reversed
9 Educated and lovely rector stopped ruddy provender (6)
EDDISH – two wordplays – ED(educated) and DISH(lovely) and R(rector) removed from REDDISH(ruddy)
12 I popped into new ashram alongside his Hindu teachers (10)
MAHARISHIS – I inside an anagram of ASHRAM, then HIS
13 Study of weather in unsettled year of rising standard in mercury (10)
AEROGRAPHY – anagram of YEAR containing PAR inside HG(mercury) all reversed
18 See this fern developing — and use some excitedly (7)
OSMUNDA – anagram of AND,USE,SOME minus SEE
19 Uproarious hoofing shows Yankee behind cases not specified (7)
CANCANS – CAN(US term for the rear), CA(cases), NS(not specified)
21 Lifting jug before admitting fine demons of mythology (6)
AFRITS – reversal of STIR(jug), A(before) containing F(fine in music)
22 Variant way to make rum ruby? (6)
BYFORM – if you substitute BY FOR M then ruM becomes ruBY
24 Is MCP putting head down? (6)
EXISTS – SEXIST(male chauvinist pig, MCP) with the first letter lowered
27 In East London grandaddy of a success within (4)
OUPA – O(of), A containing UP(success)
29 Weight on top of every bale, as it used to be (3)
WOE – W(weight), O(on), and the first letter of Every

3 comments on “Mephisto 3243 – Paul McKenna”

  1. Thanks, George. I think 26A is REF + O + CUS{p}. For 2D, pully seems to be another Collins special.

  2. I found this reasonably gentle. As always the awful pun raised a smile.
    I read 26ac as CS above. I’m surprised PULLY isn’t in Chambers: it’s pretty common in my experience and (again as CS points out) it’s in Collins.
    I didn’t understand 27dn when solving but then when I looked at it again this morning I suddenly remembered that East London is a city in South Africa.

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