Mephisto 3295 – Robert Teuton

Greetings, barred-grid fans.

I did this puzzle in breaks while watching The Night Stalker on TV (and I’m about to tackle the next one while watching its sequel, The Night Strangler). I remember it being a pretty breezy solve with a few wordplay elements having to be looked up in Chambers.

In Mephisto puzzles, definitions can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on the wordplay here.

Away we go…

2 Local bound to enter my two pubs playing game (11)
BUMBLE-PUPPY – LEP(dialect form of LEAP, bound) inside an anagram of MY,PUB,PUB
11 African group fighting irrational admission? (4)
IMPI – the irrational admission is I’M PI
12 Old computer that’s crashed I can upgrade finally (5)
ENIAC – anagram of I,CAN and the last letter of upgradE
14 Grape mould to interfere with German red (only one barrel) (8, two words)
NOBLE ROT – NOBBLE(interfere with), and ROT(“red” in German) with one B(barrel)
15 Fix border over piece of decoration (6)
DOODAD – DO(fix), then DADO(border) reversed
16 Talk about having bash in meeting place (6)
KGOTLA – anagram of TALK containing GO(bash, attempt)
18 Mining co wanting good supply of temperature resistant alloys (7)
NIMONIC – anagram of MINING,CO minus G(good)
20 Minions hampered Gru, a wise criminal (7)
EARWIGS – anagram of GRU minus the last letter, A,WISE.  The definition in Chambers is flatterers. Clever clue alluding to the insufferable movie series
21 Advanced climber on face of K2, vertical in the main (5)
APEAK – A(advanced), PEA(climber) and the first letter in K2
22 Litter lout drops close to bin in hospital (5)
SEDAN – NED(lout) minus the last letter of biN inside SAN(hospital)
24 Love to accept a new job with no objection, irrigation worker (7)
ZANJERO – ZERO(love) containing A, N(new) and JOB minus OB(objection)
26 Worthless article ragman’s tossed on back of cart (7)
TRANGAM – anagram of RAGMAN after the last letter of carT
28 Fantasist to feel remorse returning with gun (6)
REVEUR – RUE(feel remorse) reversed with REV(gun an engine)
30 Praise Scottish strike stalling English (6)
BELAUD –  BLAUD(strike in Scots) containing E(English)
31 Antics in Stratford shopping arcade needing response (8)
MALLECHO – MALL(shopping arcade) and ECHO(response)
32 Aussie international’s dropped by somebody (5)
WALLA – WALLABY(Aussie international rugby player) minus BY
33 Pep’s life story involving ending in Manchester (4)
BRIO – BIO(life story) containing the last letter of ManchesteR
34 Passive resistance I contrived with tensive air (11, two words)
VIS INERTIAE – anagram of I with TENSIVE,AIR
1 Beanpole to gain upward growth rarely seen before (11)
WINDLESTRAW – WIN(gain) then WART(growth) after SELD(old term for rarely) both reversed
3 United lead overturning old curse — it’s not played down (5)
UPBOW – U(united), PB(lead), then WO(woe, curse) reversed
4 Mellow character most often seen in cheese with mould (6)
MILDEW – MILD(mellow) and the most common letter in chEEsE, then W(eith)
5 Perhaps Jacob’s crying, born having to grasp rival’s heel (8)
BLEATING – B(born) and EATING(having) containing the last letter of rivaL
6 Fat idler missing lots of love (4)
LARD – LOLLARD(idler) minus  LOL(lots of love)
7 Function packing floor served up mushrooms (6)
ENOKIS – SINE(function) containing KO(floor) reversed
8 Take ring from love during one rustic dance (6)
UNHOOP – O(love) inside UN(one, rustic) HOP(dance)
9 Get a beer from regulars in pub if invited (4)
PINT – every third letter in Pub If iNviTed
10 Rheumatoid arthritis returning in weak old beggar (8)
PALLIARD – RA(rheumatoid arthritis) reversed inside PALLID(weak)
13 Mock fool nearly blundering with card, the last trump (11, three words)
CRACK OF DOOM – anagram of MOCK, FOOL minus the last letter and CARD
17 Here I am after wandering around Australia — welcome to NZ! (8)
HAEREMAI – anagram of HERE,I,AM surrounding A(Australia)
19 Shopper not in for installing TV screen that’s movable (8)
MANTELET – INFORMANT(shopper) minus IN,FOR containing TELE(TV)
23 A noodle’s trimmed pasta (6)
ANELLI – A, NELLIE(noodle) minus the last letter
24 Embroidery I removed to imitate Mexican blanket (6)
ZARAPE – ZARI(embroidery) minus I, then APE(imitate)
25 Awful bile after a lot of Asian breadfruit snack (6)
JALEBI – anagram of BILE after JAK(asian breadfruit) minus the last letter. I originally had JAP here and missed that the breadfruit was to indicate something less offensive, apologies all.
27 Finds a cranium contains more than one bone (5)
SACRA – hidden inside findS A CRAnium
29 Armorists love to include inverted heraldic symbols (4)
VOLS – hidden reversed inside armoristS LOVe
30 Cloud burst cutting off street round centre of Wells (4)
BLUR – BURST minus ST(street) surrounding the middle letter of weLls

29 comments on “Mephisto 3295 – Robert Teuton”

  1. The “heel” is the last letter of “rival,” actually.
    (Didn’t finish this, but very interesting.)

  2. I found this a bit more of a struggle so completed in two sessions. A couple of things held me up in particular: NHO gun as in ‘gun an engine’ (28ac) – spent far too long trying to confirm that REV was an accepted abbreviation of REVOLVER. In the end I settled for that, which got me the answer but not the right way.
    The other thing that troubled me was why I should ignore the U in GRU (20ac). The signal for that seems to be ‘hampered’. Is that a recognised indicator in crosswording circles? It seemed to me that we had two anagrinds but I couldn’t see how they were functioning. In the end I took ‘hampered’ as the anagrind and ‘criminal’ as a suggestion that U had been inexplicably stolen.

    1. I figured it either had to mean the U at the end of “Gru” was elided or the E at the end of “wise”; found EARWIGS as an anagram, but still haven’t gotten around to obtaining Chambers, so couldn’t check the definition.
      (I’m wondering what language KGOTLA is from now!)

      1. According to Chambers KGOTLA is Bantu.
        By the way, if you use a tablet then the App version of Chambers is very cheap – less than a third the book cost, unlike Collins. The Chambers app is unabridged and comes with the thesaurus (can’t remember whether that an additional charge or not). I have to say I like to own the physical book as well).

    1. In Collins, it is given under British English as an abbreviation for Japanese, with no indication of it being offensive; that is reserved for American English.
      I must say I have never been able to work out why Brit is OK but Jap is apparently not…

      1. I think you have an old edition of Collins – the 13th/2018 edition does have “Jap” indicated as offensive. But as others have said, the definition is simply “snack”, with jak as the truncated word.

        There’s no logic to what’s offensive or not. All you can really do is follow the information in dictionaries, and use judgment where the description is “sometimes offensive”.

            1. When you look up a word there’s always a little red drop-down menu at the top that gives you the various options. Just select ‘Collins English Dictionary’. Easy peasy!

    2. It’s JAK – breadfruit – abbreviated. JAP would be considered non-PC these days. Jalebi is made with dough.

  3. Many thanks to setter and blogger.
    1 d seld = rarely.
    Like Richard, I wasn’t sure how the U had to disappear and my “logic” was the opposite of his. In fact now that I look it up, I see that hamper = curtail!

  4. I found this quite tricky, and made life more difficult for myself by putting in a confident SARAPE, assuming (wrongly) that SARI might also be a word for embroidery.
    I was initially shocked by JAP but then I thought there was no way they would use a word like that and reconsidered.

  5. I like the modern references in the surface readings: Despicable Me film series (20ac, as mentioned in the blog), Pep Guardiola manager of Manchester City FC (33ac). And 5d possibly brought someone contemporary to my mind.

    But I did wonder about 6d. Is LOL really “lots of love”, or has it ever been?

    “[…] my favourite text mishap, which came from David Cameron’s famous belief that LOL meant lots of love rather than laugh out loud. As a result he sent me a message that read: ‘So sorry to hear about the death of your Dad. LOL.'”
    Daniel Finkelstein, The Times, Monday May 25 2020

    1. It is in Chambers, and I seem to recall letters and notes in the 70s and 80s ending in LOL.

      1. Oh right, thank you! (And also for the background info -if it’s in Chambers that’s enough of course, but nice to hear about how it was used).

        Seeing other comments, I ought to get the Chambers app. It seems good value (and probably the future), I just don’t really have an ideal device to install it on. And I do quite enjoy flicking through the pages of my (old) edition!

        I’ve also enjoyed hearing about the horror film accompaniments to your solves. Sometimes the TV is on when I’m tackling crosswords – but I’m not yet at the stage where I could do it during the commercials!

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