Mephisto 3283 – Robert Teuton

Posted on Categories Mephisto

Greetings, barred-grid fans!

I enjoyed this romp, there’s some quirky and suggestive clueing. Nothing too particularly difficult, but I am finding Robert Teuton’s clues to have consistently amusing surfaces and concise wordplay.

In Mephisto puzzles, definitions can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay here. I have underlined the definition that is the most direct to me.

Away we go…

1 Audience joining in disrupted Nolans gig (9)
SINGALONG – anagram of NOLANS GIG. If you don’t remember the Nolans, lucky you. Click this link at your own risk of bleeding ears.
10 Universal joint keeping end of piston square (5)
UNHIP – U(universal), and HIP(joint) containing the last letter of pistoN
12 Sheaths are fabricated in line for arrows (7)
OCHREAE – anagram of ARE inside OCHE(the line you stand behind in darts)
13 Striking century in chase (6)
SCENIC – CEN(century) in SIC(set upon, chase – found under SICK in Chambers).  To make up for the link to the Nolans, here’s my favorite use of the term SIC
14 Fine skin covers Arabic hand (5)
NESKI – hidden inside fiNE SKIn
15 Fruit to serve that’s past it — alternative to like it? (8)
KALUMPIT – KA(to serve), then LUMP IT(alternative to like it)
16 Small potatoes? Yes and no (5)
SMASH – S(small), MASH(potatoes), with the definition referencing the rest of the clue
17 Love Bug bearing spot of oil, one on the wing (6)
ORIOLE – O(love) and RILE(bug) containing the first letter of Oil
19 Casing of enamelled metals beaten for small gongs (8)
MEDALETS – anagram of the external letters of EnamelleD and METALS
21 Edge aside from latest of Mr Bean’s brainwaves (8)
IMPULSES – RIM(edge) minus the last letter in mR, then PULSE’S (bean’s), with the clue referencing the Rowan Atkinson character
24 Here you see eg steeplechasing, losing a grand, ending up with nothing? (6)
RACINO – RACING(steeplechasing) minus G(a grand) then O(nothing)
25 Principles of poker lie in considering a fold (5)
PLICA – first letters of Poker, Lie, In, Considering, then A
28 Those expelled left out of selective broadcast (8)
EVICTEES – remove L from SELECTIVE and jumble
30 Scattered seed shifting 90 degrees at the end (5)
SEMEE – the seed is SEMEN, move the N(north) by 90 degrees to E(east)
31 Rhea let go holding head right back (6)
NHANDU – UNHAND(let go) with the first letter moved to the end
32 Fellow scraping off piece of gateau’s nut topping (7)
CHAPEAU – CHAP(fellow) then remove GAT(gun, piece) from GATEAU.  The nut is the head in this instance.
33 Porcupine ruffling short snout round tail of another (5)
URSON – anagram of SNOUT minus the last letter surrounding the last letter of anotheR
34 Bacterium found in orifice after eating maize cake (9)
TREPONEMA – TREMA(orifice) containing PONE(maize cake)
1 Investigate American saving schemes … (5)
SUSUS – SUS(investigate, sus out), US(American)
2 … American arranged privately (8, two words)
3 Traps with king in cards (5)
GINKS – GINS(traps) containing K(king). Card referring to an odd person
4 Setting diet regime finally (6)
LOCALE – LO-CAL(diet) and the last letter in regimE
5 Sign of encouragement with company backing end for fat cat (6)
OCELOT –  OLE(sign of encouragement) and CO(company) both reversed, then the last letter of faT
6 Old resident female about to give up — time to go? (7)
GREMIAL – GAL(female) surrounding REMIT(give up) minus T(time)
7 Spooner’s sin boiling smalls at Oxford? (11)
8 Tie-dyed blanket perhaps thrown over Przewalski’s horse (4)
TAKI – IKAT(tie-dyed blanket) reversed
9 Buries again unnamed veteran German soldiers (7)
REITERS – REINTERS(buries again) minus N(name)
11 American after spell flying claimed base where F-15 functions (11)
HEXADECIMAL – A(American) after HEX(spell) then an anagram of CLAIMED.  In hexadecimal, F would be the the fifteenth number
18 Aspiring plan about to eke out old, old remedy (8)
LEECHDOM –  MODEL(plan) reversed, surrounding ECH(eke).  Aspiring here means going up.
19 Stopped by sophomore’s college dance (7)
MORESCO – hidden inside sophoMORE’S COllege
20 Alzheimer’s treatment likely to include grain (7)
ARICEPT –  APT(likely) containing RICE(grain)
22 Regularly impose triages, they decide our fate (6)
MOERAE – alternating letters in iMpOsE tRiAgEs
23 What’s agreed prior to match, parking up to take in McDonald’s run? (6)
PRENUP – P(parking) and UP containing REN(Scots for run)
26 Recipe in list to discover (5)
LEARN – R(recipe) inside LEAN(list)
27 Abandoned wife? One trifles largely on the rebound (5)
AGUNA – A(one) and NUGAE(trifles) minus the last letter, all reversed
29 Mediaeval court versus His Majesty accepts closure of defence (4)
VEHM – V(versis), and HM(His Majesty) containing the last letter of defencE

17 comments on “Mephisto 3283 – Robert Teuton”

  1. I was interested in the REN in 23d (PRENUP).

    My 1998 Chambers has in alphabetical order of entries:
    “ren. See run”
    “rin, a Scots form of run”
    “run, formerly also ren; (Scot) rin, […and then three columns of definitions]”

    So, as I am reading that, REN is just an old version of RUN and not Scottish. Do the newer/current versions of Chambers have REN as Scots for RUN? Or in another dictionary?

    1. I hadn’t noticed that – I think REN has come up before so I just bunged it in, but my paper and electronic copies of Chambers both have REN as old and RIN as Scots.

      1. Interesting.
        Doing a bit of googling, I see that back in 2008 (!), Mephisto 2486 (Tim Moorey) clued the word element REN as “run as before”, and Mephisto 2511 (Paul McKenna) had “RIN” as “Lowlands drive”.
        Also, in the last few years Azed clued “RIN” three times as “Scottish track”, “Scottish gallop”, and “Jock’s race”.
        It’s a shame, because I think Robert’s clue is a cut above these others: the surface reading giving the idea of making plans for sport and a burger (and hiding the “this is a Scottish word” indicator well).
        Unfortunately, it does appear to be based on a misreading of Chambers. (RIN does come up in Scottish verse quite a bit, but I have never seen REN.)

  2. I still don’t understand the ‘yes and no’ part of 16, would someone mind spelling that out for me? Thanks

    Perhaps it’s working like this:
    Yes – it is smash because smash = s + mash
    No – a smash is anything but small potatoes

    1. You’ve got it – Chambers has “a smash hit” as one meaning of “smash”. It’s pretty common for it to be much easier to find wordplay suggesting an “opposite” of the answer than the answer itself, hence the fairly common appearance of “just the reverse” in clues. The first of those “commons” is because the opposite aspect can be partial – the “opposite” of an extra-terrestrial could be “big green man” as well as “earthling”.

  3. Thanks to both setter and blogger.
    Nhandu – I can’t seem to find rhea = nhandu which only seems to be (five species of) tarantula. Yuk.

    1. It’s one spelling in the Chambers entry for “nandu” = “rhea or S American ostrich”, which gets a mention in the Wikipedia article for “rhea”.

      1. Merci.
        As I have Collins online, I tend to use it before my (paper) Chambers (Rev. 13th Ed.) and Collins said tarantulas (5 of). As does Google. So I didn’t check Ch. which, as you point out, sends you to the alternate sp. without the H.
        BUT Ch. makes no mention of tarantulas!!
        Once again the same lesson – check ’em all!

  4. 4D. I had LOCAL as a US term for an exam, which could at a stretch be referenced by DIET, in a clue that I felt was pretty tenuous. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the bleeding obvious when it’s staring you in the face. (Either that, or I’m not exposed to enough advertising.)

    Agreed that there are some very smooth surfaces, particularly the topicality of 1A.

  5. A steady and enjoyable solve in 47 minutes. I especially liked the clue for HEXADECIMAL, with both immaculate wordplay and a genius definition to go smoothly with it.

  6. This was a bit of an odd one: mostly very easy (for Mephisto), but then I got very badly stuck with a few (four, to be precise) left in the NE corner and it took me several attempts and most of the week to grind them out.

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