Mephisto 3299 – Robert Teuton

Greetings, barred-grid fans!

I really enjoyed solving this puzzle, since it was the intersection of doing the puzzle, having a gin and tonic, and watching a broadcast of the Joan Collins movie Empire of the Ants.  A fun time all around! I thought this puzzle was a notch up in difficulty from the last Robert Teuton offering, I had to check several in Chambers as I was moving through.

In Mephisto puzzles, definitions can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on wordplay here. Away we go!

1 Hospital chaps to bandage one lady’s fingers (6)
BHINDI – H(hospital) inside BIND(to bandage), I(one)
6 Narrow strait accommodating short haul at sea (6)
STRICT – ST(strait) containing TRICE(haul at sea) minus the last letter
12 This could be shaping how an area is mostly dry (10, two words)
RAIN SHADOW – anagram of HOW, AN, A(area), IS and DRy minus the last letter
13 Take a breather having unwrapped kebab in lap (7, two words)
LIEBACK – middle letters of kEBAb inside LICK(lap)
14 Part of foreleg covering lion’s head in a Stubbs? (4)
ULNA – the first letter of Lion inside the actress UNA Stubbs (Worzel Gummidge)
15 Club’s part in trainee player’s comeback (6)
ALPEEN – hidden reversed in traiNEE PLAyer
16 Waders start to slip on rocks (6)
STILTS – first letter of Slip next to TILTS(rocks)
18 Case for Needles and Pins being regularly covered sixties UK hit? (4)
ETUI – alternating letters in sIxTiEs Uk, jumbled
19 Little holy one is feeble carrying scriptures (9)
SAINTLING – ‘S(is), AILING(feeble) containing NT(scriptures)
22 Sex hormone’s sadly gone limiting enthusiasm (9)
OESTROGEN – anagram of GONE containing ESTRO(enthusiasm)
24 More than one concert hall song with alto (4)
ODEA – ODE(song) and A(alto)
25 No news in quest after pine cabin (6)
LOG-HUT – remove N(news) from both HUNT(quest) and  LONG(pine) with LONG coming first (thanks vinyl1 for the wordplay tip)
27 Eejit put my husband out (6)
TUMPHY – anagram of PUT,MY,H(husband)
29 Greek department saying to cut back on funding (4)
NOME – GNOME(saying) minus the last letter in fundinG
31 Was a rum shrub containing ginger roots? (7)
ASARUMS – hidden inside wAS A RUM Shrub
32 We help to train songbirds or similar set in trees twittering (10)
33 Gang member is rarely thrown around (6)
TSOTSI – IS and TOST(thrown) reversed
34 Conservative in race debate finally to resign from party (6)
SECEDE – C(conservative) inside SEED(race, ancestry) and the last letter of debatE
1 In India, bear taste of Bombay potato (4)
BALU – first letter of Bombay, and ALU(potato)
2 Score a goal at Ibrox? Rampant Leeds hit haul (12)
3 Resentment returning in extremes of Christians — requirement for this? (7)
IRENICS – IRE(resentment), then IN reversed and the external letters of ChristianS
4 Over time caught a chub-like fish with two rays (5)
DIACT – reversal of T(time), C(caught), A, ID(chub-like fish)
5 Notch is in coin that’s damaged (8)
INCISION – anagram of IS,IN,COIN
7 Mineral water essentially illuminated in appearance (7)
THULITE – middle letter of waTer, then LIT(illuminated) inside HUE(appearance)
8 Eminem perhaps cut off and left beating on a drum (6)
RAPPEL – Eminem is a RAPPER – remove the last letter and add L(left)
9 French plan that is to include Germany and Spain (4)
IDEE – IE(that is) containing D(Germany) and E(Spain)
10 Masqueraded about university in England after combined operations go amiss (12, two words)
COME UNGUMMED – MUMMED(masqueraded) surrounding U(university) inside ENG(England) after CO(combined operations)
11 More than happy about victory involving double-header (8)
TWI-NIGHT –  TIGHT(drunk, more than happy) surrounding WIN(victory)
16 Marksman hits too randomly after onset of short-sightedness (8)
SHOOTIST – anagram of HITS,TOO after the first letter of Short-sightedness
17 English scholars start to teach slang is wrong (8)
ANGLISTS – anagram of the first letter of Teach,SLANG,IS
20 What indicates my dismay? Answer: plant fibres (7)
ARGHANS – ARGH(an expression of dismay), ANS(answer)
21 Disreputable woman included in employed within organisation (7)
IN-HOUSE – HO(disreputable woman, particularly to Eminem), inside IN USE(employed)
23 Crested tit next to quarry (6)
TAPPIT – TAP(a tit is a tap), next to PIT(quarry)
26 Declaim zero cost (5)
ORATE – O(zero), RATE(cost)
28 Local girl gets over Filipino (4)
MORO – MOR(girl, found in Chambers under MAWTHER), then O(over)
30 Reasonableness blowing top over domestic slave (4)
ESNE – SENSE(reasonableness), minus the first letter, reversed

11 comments on “Mephisto 3299 – Robert Teuton”

  1. I’m surprised we weren’t told 2dn is 3 words – is that fair or is that par for the course with Meohisto? I realise now that I copied my solution incorrectly when I submitted it even though it was correct on paper. Certain I entered Hail the Dudes.

    I struggled to parse 18ac: is ‘hit’ indicating anagram?

    1. I agree that 2D should have said “(12, three words)”. As we can see other clues in this puzzle tell us when the solution is more than one word. I think this was probably an omission on publishing.
      HAIL THE DULES appeared early last year in Mephisto and it was enumerated like that.

      Also as glh intimates in his comment above, HAIL THE DULES appeared one week earlier in the Azed puzzle in the Observer: again marked as three words.
      I don’t attempt Azed, but I sometimes read the solving blog over at fifteensquared: so that gave me quite a bit of help with that clue!
      I suppose an (unfortunate?) coincidence, that Azed’s clue was quite similar:
      All hushed, tie being played? Cheer goal at Ibrox (12, 3 words)
      [anagram of “All hushed tie”].

      But I enjoyed Robert’s clue more. Fun surface reading, and anagram fodder. Also the definition of HAIL THE DUES is “to score a goal” (as per Chambers, under dool(2) ). Azed’s definition of “Cheer goal”, is not really right (as per discussions on the other blog).

  2. Thanks for the blog.
    I also really enjoyed this one. I gave myself a decent length session early in the week, to really get to grips with it (deciding to forgo looking at the main ST cryptic). I started by just reading the clues to enjoy the entertaining surfaces in their own right. I then found on second readings I could write a good number in.
    Not sure I could manage it to the accompaniment of Miss Collins wrestling with a giant puppet!

    I particularly liked the surface of 18A “Needles and Pins”. I was annoyingly close to sorting out the wordplay, but didn’t manage it.
    Also for 19A, I tried to convince myself that “SAIL”, meaning “to get through effortlessly”, could therefore mean SAILING meant feeble.

    I appreciated the precision in 11D, with “more than happy” = TIGHT.
    As per Chambers, HAPPY means “mildly drunk (slang). TIGHT means “intoxicated”. Therefore “More than happy” means more than just mildly drunk, therefore TIGHT.

    1. Ta – the weirdest thing about blogging Mephisto, especially since I do them online rather than printing, is that I come back to the puzzle nearly a week later and try to remember the wordplay, so I usually sleepwalk through one or two of the more complex ones. When it was pdf only I would jot the wordplay in the margins.

  3. You don’t suppose Bin District was intended to be some sort of pun? We’ve had a few groaners over the past few weeks.

    1. Ha! I’ve always felt it a shame that when (20 years ago?) councils started issuing houses with recycling bins etc they didn’t use consistent colours. So, in my BIN DISTRICT, recycling goes in the green bin, garden waste in the brown, but in other areas it is reversed.


      It is Paul McKenna who always puts a pun in the top row of his Mephisto. Which as you say, can sometimes be more difficult to spot/groan-worthy than others. Paul’s next puzzle should be Mephisto no. 3302: so we’ll need to keep our eyes peeled in a couple of weeks’ time!

  4. One point about scoring a goal at Ibrox. It would probably be a 92nd minute penalty, and it wouldn’t be for the opposition. (Scotland’s Shame are one game away from conceding only one penalty in 114 domestic league matches – that’s three whole seasons worth.)

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