Mephisto 3301 – Tim Moorey

Posted on Categories Mephisto

Greetings, barred-grid fans.

I enjoyed this one – the wordplay is excellent all-round, and can be trusted to get to the unusual answers readily.  Pretty brisk solve.

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

Away we go…

1 Rock is what starts party best (6)
PELITE – first letter of Party, then ELITE(best).  A surface which might suggest an illicit party here in the US
5 Fish weight brought back for fair (6, two words)
NOT BAD – DAB(fish) and TON(weight) all reversed
9 Effusive in public after getting English degree (11)
EMANATIONAL – NATIONAL(public, like a utility) after E(English), MA(Master of Arts, degree)
11 Esther lost in outskirts of county town (8)
CHERTSEY – anagram of ESTHER inside the external letters of CountrY
12 Hoax in bed recalled (5)
PUT-ON – NOT UP(in bed) reversed
13 Right to take book home once (6)
LIBKEN – LIEN(legal right) containing BK(book)
14 False membership fees reversed in Post Office (6)
PSEUDO – DUES(membership fees) reversed in PO(Post Office)
17 It helps replace part of body in posterior? Not normally (9)
18 Dead wobbly straw hat (9)
DUNSTABLE – D(dead), UNSTABLE(wobbly)
22 What dreadful lager contains is the dregs (6)
ULLAGE – hidden (appropriately) inside dreadfUL LAGEr
23 Secluded recess that’s made for it! (6)
NOOKIE – NOOK(secluded recess), I.E.(that’s)
24 Girl’s going around as a techie (5)
SYSOP – I think this is POSY’S reversed, as POSY and POSEY are girl’s names, but I’m open to other interpretations
26 Sales aptly shown in a pie chart? (8)
TURNOVER – titchy double definition as a turnover is a type of fruit pie
27 500 out taking drinks to party? It must have enough ice to go round (11, two words) 
SKATING RINK – remover D(500) from TAKING,DRINKS and jumble. I was at a Christmas event last night where they had rented a “no-ice” skating rink. There were flat panels joined together on the ground and something lubricating was sprayed on them and people put on shoes with little plastic blades and… well mostly fell over on it.
28 Negative about accommodating leaders in every single meeting? Not me (6)
YES-MAN – NAY(negative) reversed containing the first letters of Every Single Meeting
29 Tedious hardline Tory defending a government repeatedly (6)
DRAGGY – DRY(hardline Tory) containing A, then two G’s (government)
1 Part of bridge end nicked? That’s criminal (4)
PERP –  PERPEND(parpen, a bridge parapet) minus END
2 Having no heart for crowd in jostling queues, I’d avoid the Army and Navy (8)
EMBUSQUE – remove the middle of MOB(crowd) and insert into an anagram of QUEUES
3 Unwound on cruise? Naturally for veterans (8, two words)
IN COURSE – anagram of ON,CRUISE
4 Hope IT working for old African (6)
ETHIOP – anagram of HOPE,IT
5 Theatrical Lionel gets work with lead perhaps (6)
NIELLO – anagram of LIONEL
6 Bajan’s small heap (not a Tesla) inclined to shake in the Highlands (5)
OORIE – TOORIE(small heat) minus T(tesla, the unit)
7 Two containers, one in a poor state (10, two words)
BASKET CASE – BASKET and CASE are both containers
8 Nanny not drinking before noon, sure to be relaxed (8)
DRY-NURSE – DRY(not drinking) then N(noon) and an anagram of SURE
10 Old star has the desired effect, making duff parts (10)
STERNWORKS – STERN(star) and WORKS(has the desired effect)
14 Engaging lawyer, go after Trinidad estate for unduly rigorous formality (8)
PEDANTRY – DA(lawyer) inside TRY(go) after PEN(West Indian estate)
15 Plant found readily around Thailand? (8)
DIELYTRA – anagram of READILY surrounding T(Thailand). The indicator is “found”
16 Passing over the purpose of Chambers! (8)
FORGOING – Chamber can mean chamber-pot, which is FOR GOING in
19 Fish feast traditionally ending with wine (6)
ALEVIN – ALE(traditional feast) and VIN(wine)
20 Snipe coming from dhak tree out of area north of North Dakota (6)
BUT-END – BUTEA(dhak tree) minus A(area) then ND(North Dakota). Snipe can mean a cigarette butt
21 Duke with very small amount in ancient vase (5)
DIOTA – D(duke) and IOTA(very small amount)
25 Lacking energy, lacking energy, lacking energy (4)
POKY -POKEY(lacking energy) minus E(energy)

8 comments on “Mephisto 3301 – Tim Moorey”

  1. First go at a Mephisto for yonks. I have a bit of a soft spot for Tim M as he once awarded me top prize in a Sat Times clue competition (sadly discontinued) – thank you Tim!

    Was this at the gentler end? However I just couldn’t see POKY at the end and needed that to have any chance of SYSOP. So two short but very much enjoyed it with some lovely clues.

    Thanks Tim and George

    1. This confused me for a while! Chambers is rather demur here:
      duff (5): “slang, the buttocks, rump”. (Well that’s nice and clear).
      Under Stern (2): “sternworks – hinder parts”.
      …I wasn’t immediately clear what that meant.
      (Reminded me of looking up rude terms in my grandparents’ Nuttal’s English Dictionary, which would normally send you round in a circle).

      The OED made things clear:
      stern-works: jocularly, the buttocks
      “Plucking a switch out of a thicket, he began to lace Modestine about the stern~works.”
      R. L. Stevenson, Travels with Donkey (1886)

  2. Thank you for the blog.
    I missed the possible reading of “Rock” in 1A! Also, hadn’t picked up “end nicked” in 1D.

    But very much enjoyed this one.

    My favourite clue was 2D. Brought into mind the type of scene you’d see on a Giles cartoon RNLI Christmas card: busy Christmas shopping scene. I’d thought the “Army and Navy Stores” department store chain was from another era, but Wikipedia tells me Kent had a couple of branches up to 2005.

    5D. After seeing Una Stubbs a couple of times recently, nice to have Lionel Blair referenced possibly. (Although US solvers might think of a more august theatrical family).

    6D was great. Using two Scottish word indicators in the clue. “in the Highlands” very clear, but “Bajan” foxed me for ages. (Uncapitalised “bajan” meaning a freshman at the University of Aberdeen, rather than someone from Barbados).

    I also chuckled at 16D.

    The final clue 25D, was maybe a slight let-down? Intriguing surface, and some clever ideas, but relying on a common type of spelling variation.


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