Mephisto 3303 – Robert Teuton

Greetings barred-grid fans.

It is the eve before Christmas Eve here. With the crazy holiday schedule, I think I did this puzzle on Wednesday morning, so it should be fresher in my mind. I remember the vocabulary not being too obscure, but there is some tricky wordplay.

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

Away we go…

1 IT interface is something very difficult to put back (6)
SPIGOT – ‘S(is), PIG(something very difficult), then TO reversed
6 Chambers leads to albergo’s definition as “European inn” (6)
POSADA – POS(chambers), and the first letters of Albergo’s, Defintion, As.  Yes, albergo is an inn in Chambers
12 Magnum’s shot, killing mark, clipping piece of backbone — a lethal weapon (10, two words)
MACHINE GUN – ANAGRAM OF MAGNUM minus M(mark) containing CHINE(piece of backbone)
13 Heat’s requiring aircon to be fitted in old cabs (7)
FIACRES – FIRE’S(heat’s) containing AC(aircon)
14 Plant organism found in botanical gardens (4)
ALGA -hidden inside botanicAL GArdens
15 Ideal parents in my opinion should insert silver spoon at the beginning (6)
IMAGOS – IMO(in my opinion) containing AG(silver) then the first letter of Spoon
16 Fungicide defiling most of the air on top of mould (6)
THIRAM – anagram of most of THe and AIR next to the first letter of Mould
18 White lady in India offering alternative in sporty costume (4)
GORI – OR(alternative) in GI(a judo costume)
19 Spread better saving skin with quite good form (9)
ETIQUETTE – anagram of bETTEr minus the exterior letters and QUITE
22 Arsenal changing hands? This may raise poor support (9)
ALMSHOUSE -the arsenal could be an ARMS HOUSE, change R for L
24 Slimmer for starters cops salad dish (4)
SLAW – first letter of Slimmer, then LAW(cops)
25 Serenade directed at me involves Romeo pursuing love (6)
AMORET – anagram of AT, ME containing R(Romeo) after O(love)
27 Cuckoo unmoved about discarded amount of corn (6)
HEMINA – ANI(cuckoo) and MEH(unmoved) all reversed
29 Look into fortune-teller’s crystal? (4)
SCRY – hidden inside fortune-teller’S CRYsyal
31 Radical boor reflecting on call to turn to the left (7)
BOLSHIE – SLOB(boor) reversed, next to HIE(call to turn to the left)
32 Collar unruly local kid following confusion (10)
PICKADILLO – anagram of LOCAL,KID following PI(confusion)
33 Blast dropping high explosive (6)
SCATHE – SCAT(animal faeces, dropping), HE(high explosive)
34 Very drunk men are picked up by designated driver (6)
DAMNED – anagram of MEN and A(are) inside DD(designated driver). Great surface
1 Perhaps tête-à-tête is nothing at all about nothing (4)
SOFA –  ‘S(is), FA(nothing at all) surrounding O(nothing)
2 Outside ruin in Delphi spending day raving about loving Greece (12)
PHILHELLENIC – HELL(ruin) inside of an anagram of IN,DELPHI minus D(day), then C(about)
3 Poetry school’s aim forged with energy (7)
IMAGISM – anagram of AIM, then GISM(energy)
4 Only child to raise? Not quite a case for protection (5)
OCREA – OC(only child), then REAR(to raise) minus the last letter
5 Agitating more with thin particle (8)
THERMION – anagram of MORE and THIN
7 What’s opening offer on my US works bearing author’s name? (7)
ONYMOUS – first letter of Offer, then an anagram of ON,MY,US
8 Refuse to learn about comedian (6)
SEWAGE – SEE(learn) surrounding WAG(comedian)
9 Eager to behead giant (4)
AGOG – remove the first letter of the giant MAGOG (found in Chambers under GOG AND MAGOG)
10 I’m out retired hurt — not exactly a gem (12)
11 Most excited rocking ’n’ rolling in States (8)
16 Cafés shortened kiddy dance parties (8, two words)
TEA SHOPS – TEASE(kiddy – found under the second headword for KID in Chambers) minus the last letter, then HOPS(dance parties)
17 It’s sordid grabbing last of rhino like a shark (8)
SQUALOID – SQUALID(sordid) containing the last letter of rhinO
20 Tense hands clenching Indian copper once in police station in Mumbai (7)
THANNAH – T(tense), HH(hands) containing ANNA(former Indian coin)
21 Nice duster, light and practicable (7)
TORCHON – TORCH(light) and ON(practicable)
23 Tired of Milton’s effect in Sanskrit? (6)
SWINKT – WIN(effect) inside SKT(Sanskrit)
26 Muslim that’s learned way of working round everything (5)
MOLLA – MO(modus operandi, way of working), then ALL(everything) reversed
28 Plastic laminate could be for this mineral (4)
MICA – the plastic laminate is FORMICA, remove FOR
30 Year with no right to study go to Spenser (4)
YEAD – Y(year) and the remove R(right) from READ(study)

6 comments on “Mephisto 3303 – Robert Teuton”

  1. Found this week’s hard to get started. Once I did then the answers flowed at my normal rate of doing these – a few hours to complete.

    One quibble I have is that MACHINEGUN is one and only one word in Chambers.

  2. I think 1d is SFA, as in Sweet Fanny Adams, or Sweet F… All, surrounding nothing. Thanks for explaining 2d, which had to be what it was, but looked too tortuous to be bothered working out. Special shout-out to SCRY.

    1. Probably, but since FA (with two definitions meaning nothing at all) is in Chambers, I figured I’d list it this way.

      1. Chambers only seems to have the rude version of FA: it says ‘see also Fanny Adams’ but doesn’t include it explicitly in the definition. SFA, on the other hand, is defined only in the politer sense.
        Either works of course but George you are insisting on the swearier interpretation, which I applaud.
        Happy Christmas, anyway. I’m currently enjoying a beer after wrapping Santa presents for the kids. At varying ages between 14 and 20 they are really too old for it now but we still do it out of habit, and for fun. Perhaps not for much longer.

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