Mephisto 3296 – I get by with a little help from my friends!

I thought this was going to be hard at first, but it turned out otherwise.   I had to check a few things in Chambers, but at least they turned out to exist when I looked them up.     There were a lot of answers I knew – yes, even Neasden.    Most of the parsing are pretty straightforward, although there are one or two that require a little thought, and maybe even a little texting.

 

Across
1 Shopping bag backed with a type of hemp (5)
ABACA – CABA backwards + A.   Cabas is the more common form of this word taken from the French.
8 Scots put question over cleaner (4)
Q-TIP – PIT + Q.    Yes, pit is the Scots dialect version of put.
11 Expedient concerning bad financial minister (8)
RESOURCE – RE SOUR C.E, i.e. Chancellor of the Exchequer.
12 City completely embracing nuclear environmentalist (6)
ECONUT – EC + O(N)UT.
13 Youth seen round one local disused area with grass (5)
LAUND – LA(UN)D.
14 Urban rider dropping pupil round back of college (12)
SKATEBOARDER – SKAT ([colleg]E) BOARDER.
15 One quoting a doctor about Mussolini? (7)
ADDUCER – A D(DUCE)R.
17 Blush, working with lawbreakers (7)
CRIMSON – CRIMS + ON.
20 Language control in speech (5)
CZECH – Sounds like CHECK.
21 Visualising element xenon in volume (5)
VOXEL – VO(XE)L.    A 3-D pixel.
23 Area of London — as in new paradise? (7)
NEASDEN – N E(AS)DEN.
25 Civil War Republican colonel captured by force (7)
LINCOLN – LIN(COL)N.   A linn is a waterfall, so the literal of force is a bit metaphorical.
28 Point nearest to moon by cold ninth ring in orbit? (12)
PERICYNTHION – PER + ICY + anagram of NINTH O.
 30 Screen may show such a novel energy reserve (5)
EBOOK – E + BOOK.
31 Chub’s relative is among whitish fish (6)
PAIDLE – PA(ID)LE.   The id fish is more often spelt ide.
32 After strike, union’s leader’s mostly bad with small branches (8)
RAMULOUS – RAM + U + LOUS[y].
33 Down with garments covering women (4, two words)
A BAS – Double definition, but the literal must be down with because of the enumeration.
34 Delays steamship crossing river (5)
STAYS – S(TAY)S.
Down
1 God of Milton’s Paradise Lost? Could be pair with him (4)
ADES – PAIR + ADES is an anagram of PARADISE, where Lost is an anagram indicator.
2 Advocate lower setting (8)
BACKDROP – BACK + DROP.
3 Major route in foreign parts avoided by British (5)
A-ROAD – A[b]ROAD.
4 Awfully meticulous on making scornful insults (12)
CONTUMELIOUS – Anagram of METICULOUS ON.
5 Refrain from touching Beatles’ song is lacking it (5, two words)
LET BE – LET [it] BE.
6 Criminal robs one former royal residence (7)
OSBORNE – Anagram of ROBS ONE.    A place on the Isle of Wight that Edward VII got rid of as soon as Queen Victoria died.
7 Dance LPO plays accompanied by alto (7)
POLACCA – Anagram OF LPO + ACC + A.
8 Sandstone — reported quantity he sculpted here initially is tons (12)
QUARTZSCHIST – Sounds like QUARTS + SC + H[ere] + IS T.    SC is an abbreviation of sculpsit, he sculpted, used for signing statuary.
9 Dogged plod right about five hundred grand (6)
TRUDGE – TRU(D G)E.
10 Editor standing in for Spaniard? (5)
PEDRO – P(ED)RO.
16 Reserve money — not a treat for rainy days? (8, two words)
ICE LOLLY – ICE + LOLLY, where the literal refers to what you might buy on a sunny day at  the beach.
18 Not strictly secretive without need (7)
SLACKLY – S(LACK)LY.
19 Very curmudgeonly to off-Broadway shows (7, two words)
ONLY TOO – Hidden in [curmedge]ONLY TO O[ff-Broadway].
22 Problem with seeing a second king overturned (6)
XEROMA – A + MO + REX, all backwards.
24 Old theatre mounted adult stage show (5)
OPERA – O + REP upside-down + A.
26 Scotland’s contribution consisting of transport (5)
INPUT –  IN + PUT.
27 Forms of fungus one repeatedly found in room at Topkapi? (5)
OIDIA – O(I)D(I)A.   An oda is a chamber in a harem, from which we get odalisque.
29 Catmint plants climbing shed endlessly (4)
NEPS –  SPEN[d] upside down.

13 comments on “Mephisto 3296 – I get by with a little help from my friends!”

  1. I think for 25A, it’s relying on “force (2) or foss, n a waterfall [ON fors]” in Chambers.

    For 13A I wasn’t sure exactly how “local disused” fitted in. My Chambers has “un” as dialect for one, so I wondered if it was “one local”. And then LAUND is “Shakesp”, so then the definition would be “disused area with grass” (so, Shakespeare is taken as old -disused- but not local?).

  2. Not a lot to add, solved this while watching The Night Strangler do did it in dribs and drabs, all seemed to come together pretty readily.

    1. In Chambers, “skat” is an alternative spelling of “scat”, the more familiar “dropping” term. If you ever want a challenging trick-taking card game that doesn’t involve learning bidding conventions, skat is recommended.

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