Mephisto 3258 – Within and without?

I found this just a little tough, and some of the wordplay is still a little vague.  But I did finish, and all my answers were correct.    Whether I can explain how the clues work is another matter.

Having finished the blog, and researched the answers and the wordplay in Chambers, I am not entirely satisfied with a couple of the entries.   Comments and corrections are invited.


1 Gas and gaiters with priest boring old style clerics (7)
BISHOPS – BISH + O(P)S.   Both ‘gas and gaiters’ and ‘bish’ can apparently mean nonsense or inaccurate talk.
6 Ray Kennedy’s header added to glut (5)
SKATE – S(K[ennedy])ATE, a starter clue.
10 Amends made by putting brassica back in to allotment (10)
REPARATION – R(RAPE backwards) ATION.     If you didn’t know rape was a member of the genus brassica, you do now.
12 Birthday dancer (about 50, right) — she’s on the slippery slope? (8)
SLALOMER – S(L)ALOME + R.  Salome danced at Herod’s birthday party.
13 Return of “Cleveland Indians”, say — very toxic stuff (5)
VENIN – NINE +V, backwards.   Fortunately, I had seen the word before in another puzzle.
14 Discharge what could be true about power (5)
ERUPT – Anagram of TRUE around P.
15 Counting the whole caboodle singer carried line with Lord (7, two words)
17 Inductance in copper with a tendency to drop? (6)
BLOBBY – B(L)OBBY – yes, L is a valid symbol for inductance.
19 Coach is relaxed about husband (6)
20 Old grudge mostly suppressed by French king’s legal return (6)
22 Spenser’s intimate enough, embracing male (6)
BELAMY – BELA(M)Y.   Belay can mean desist from, so is equivalent to enough!
24 Cop in Cork I admitted pulling in one parasitic low life? (7)
GIARDIA – G(I)ARD(I)A.   If you know the Garda, the rest will fall into place.
27 Sorrow in court for what’s tabled? (5)
28 Quite unlike Rolling Stones — indeed, full of old saints (5)
29 Angry and cross warning indicator (8, two words)
HIGH SIGN – HIGH + SIGN.   Angry is about the 35th meaning of high, but it’s there, and a cross is a sign.
30 Lorry carrying about prize bird (10, two words)
ARCTIC TERN – AR(C)TIC + TERN, which is a prize in a gambling game where three numbers are drawn.
31 In the old-fashioned way stop flipping hard assessment tasks (5)
STASH – H + SATS backwards.
32 I resent loosening studs (7)
ENTIRES – Anagram of I RESENT.   The use of entire to mean stallion is definitely quite rare.
1 Excellent promoter of literary studies holding up variety (5)
BRAVA – A(VAR)B upside-down.   I believe Bachelor of Arts is meant.
2 Fuss about slightly rejigged plan of crate’s size? (8)
SPANLONG – S(anagram of PLAN)ONG, as in a song and a dance.
3 Familiarity is somewhat hot at first (5)
HABIT –  H + A BIT, another starter clue.
4 Wanly set about nappy, say (6)
PALELY – P(ALE)LY.  Yes, nappy can refer to beer – tell that to the baby!
5 Street along with square giving rise to groups of plovers (6)
6 Dreadful scene surrounding Israel’s secrecy (7)
SILENCE – Anagram of SCENE around IL.
7 Carp about what offers synonym for aborigine (5)
KOORI – KO(OR)I, where a synonym offers an alternative.
8 Divine assurance merits hope possibly (10, two words)
9 Being abused Harley Street finally becomes mundane (7)
EARTHLY – Anagram of HARLEY [stree]T.
11 Roar that’s recurrent in desolate and dismal writer (10)
BELLETRIST – BELL + E (the letter that recurs in DESOLATE) + TRIST.   Bell here means bellow.
16 Car’s trailer in roll (8)
17 Biden’s throwaways lacking sign of original materials (7)
BROCHESBR[o]OCHES.  BROCH[ur]ES – thanks to Keriothe, I knew I was missing something.
18 Second-rate leftovers topping clubhouse’s soup (7)
21 Brown coal could be left with this to catch fire (6)
22 Generous drink as a nightcap (6)
23 Goats pitch up round personnel dept? (5)
TEHRS – TE(HR)S, upside-down SET, where both pitch and set are probably nouns.
25 What features in Cadro’s timeless domestic dish? (5)
ROSTI – Hidden in [Cad]RO’S TI[meless].
26 Kibbutznik’s letters declarin’ society’s going downhill (5)
AYINS – SAYIN’, where the S is moved down.

13 comments on “Mephisto 3258 – Within and without?”

  1. Never seen the soup spelled ‘bortsch’, and spent some time trying to reconcile the clue with the normal spelling, but sure enough it’s in Chambers.

  2. 32A: as an adjective about an uncastrated male horse, “entire” is in the Concise Oxford (my current standard for “not that rare”, though I suppose I could get a smaller Oxford Dictionary), so the noun seems guessable.

    1D: BA here is the British Academy, which has a website. No mission statement that I could see there, but at some of the content seems to match the Chambers def.

    23D “pitch” and “set” match as verbs, in fact – “to pitch (eg a tune)” is the 31st transitive verb def of “set” in my iPad Chambers. “set” is a word to watch out for – 105 meanings plus a whole raft or related words in Chambers, and I believe it’s the word with the most definitions in the OED.

  3. 17 ac. Grateful to understand why “brooches” Biden’s (US usage I assume?) are throwaways. I can’t find it in Ch nor via Google.
    Many thanks to setter and blogger.

      1. Have never come across THROWAWAY before in this sense here in the States.

        (I haven’t quite finished this one, and have only glanced at the blog so far.
        Maybe I’ll go have another stab at it.
        I did finish the latest one!)

    1. The Cleveland Indians were recently renamed the Guardians. Likewise the Washington Redskins are now the Commanders.
      In Canadian football the Edmonton Eskimos are now the Elks. The Chicago Black Hawks(ice hockey) and the Atlanta Braves( baseball) have kept their nicknames as these terms were not considered demeaning by North American native peoples.

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