Mephisto 3305 – Tim Moorey

Posted on Categories Mephisto

Greetings, barred-grid fans,

Tricky one this time around from Tim Moorey, I thought. Not that many unusual terms as answers, but crafty clues and tricky wordplay.

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

Away we go…

1 Fish caught after bit of struggling (4)
SHAD – HAD(caught, like a disease) after the first letter of Struggling
4 Rubbish is left by small house in dusk (8)
COCKSHUT – I think this is COCK(nonsense, rubbish), ‘S(is) to the left of  HUT(small house)
9 Drugs are found in French capital all over the place (8)
PAREIRAS – ARE inside an anagram of PARIS(French capital). It is rare, but OK to have an anagram of a unique entry in Mephisto
11 Fungus that’s a jolly harmful strain (10)
ARMILLARIA – A, RM(royal marine, jolly), ILL(harmful), ARIA(strain)
12 Not very good epitomised beaten Palestinians long ago (8)
EDOMITES – remove PI(very good) from EPITOMISED and form an anagram
15 Tucking into fish, one small bass scoffed (5)
GIBED – GED(the pike, fish) containing I(one), B(small bass)
16 Spanish titles not entirely well-chosen or sensible (6)
SENORS – hidden inside well-choSEN OR Sensible
17 Person working close to Bari is an Italian type (6)
BODONI – BOD(person), ON(working) and the last letter of barI. I don’t have my physical Chambers close to hand, so it may be in list or appendix but BODONI is a font that has two versions in MS Word
18 Pale gent starts to drop off, high as a kite! (6)
ELANET – anagram of PALE and GENT minus their first letters
20 Old ladder put into tree for an Ugrian (6)
OSTYAK – STY(ladder, obsolete) inside OAK(tree)
22 Scottish fellow (no entry for Chambers) (5)
ALLAN –  an all-in-one, since CALLAN is a Scottish fellow, remove the first letter of Chambers. ALLAN as a name is not in the main section of Chambers
25 Old Bob having worked out is injured (8)
STRAINED – S(shilling, old bob), then TRAINED(worked out)
26 European found dominance in colonial district (10)
ENCOMIENDA – E(European) then an anagram of DOMINANCE
27 Difficult task helping Republican out gets tedious rebuke (8)
JOBATION – JOB(difficult task) then RATION(helping) minus R(Republican)
28 Ticket with foremost of early deals reduced somewhat (8)
SEASONED – a SEASON ticket and the first letters of Early Deals
29 Pig wanting seconds mentioned as before (4)
HOTE – SHOTE(pig) minus S(seconds)
1 Scottish forecaster gathers in returns (5)
SPAER – REAPS(gathers in) reversed
2 Making a start on narration with workers for short time (11)
HANDSELLING – TELLING(narration) with HANDS(workers) replacing T(time)
3 Under magnification partly one’s seen true skin (5)
DERMA – hidden inside unDER MAgnification
4 See one nameless pitman gets a crest on helmet (6)
CIMIER – C(see), I(one) then remove N(name) from MINER(pitman)
5 Pun lit up a Rome club (9)
6 Supermarket fish or marine fish (6)
SPARID – SPAR(supermarket), ID(fish)
7 Daughter drilling her sons — they manage trips (8)
HERDBOYS – D(daughter) inside HER, BOYS(sons). TRIP can mean a small flock of sheep
8 Leader of Jews has time with unhappy old John reduced (7)
TSADDIK – T(time) and SAD(unhappy) then DIKE(lavatory, john) minus the last letter
10 Women work to a meeting for supreme council (11)
WITENAGEMOT – W(women) than an anagram of TO,A,MEETING
13 Note Victoria, perhaps, giving by will (9)
TESTATION – TE(musical note) then Victoria STATION
14 Literary passages rewritten in Catalan gripping Spain (8)
ANALECTA – anagram of CATALAN containing E(Spain)
16 Ability to keep balance on board, for example retained by US elite forces (7, two words)
SEA LEGS – EG(for example) inside SEALS(US elite Navy forces)
19 Wealthy people investing a billion for important Europeans (6)
NABOBS – NOBS(wealthy people) containing A,B(billion)
21 Argive princess’s set up house (6)
SEANAD – DANAE’S(Princess of Argos) reversed
23 Measurement having to include diameter (5)
WIDTH – WITH(including) containing D(diameter)
24 Nudie shot in Italian city (5)
UDINE – anagram of NUDIE

8 comments on “Mephisto 3305 – Tim Moorey”

  1. Enjoyed this one immensely—especially since I finished, with all correct!
    My first one in was CALEMBOUR, a word I’m quite familiar with, and I got about a third in my first burst of inspiration. Returned to it another couple times in the course of the week. LOI, I think, was SEASONED, a word I’d guessed earlier but whose definition here I (still not having Chambers! ha) found elusive.

  2. Same here, couldn’t see how ALLAN worked. I reasoned ALLAN is of Gaelic origin so possibly a Scots fellow with literally no entry in Chambers. I note that Allan does appear in a few words listed in Chambers Scots dictionary (unfortunately out of print, but still a useful reference for Scots literature including 20c works by Dorothy L Sayers, Ian Rankin etc). Allanhawk being one – a skua.

    I was held up by incorrectly biffing ASPERINS for PAREIRAS. I should have checked more carefully as l understood the clue. Once I realised, answers began to come more quickly. Definitely much harder than more recent puzzles.

  3. 17A: Bodoni has an entry in Collins English Dictionary, which is our first place to look for proper noun answers. Curiously, neither Chambers nor Collins has Arial, Courier or Times as typefaces, which suggests that the coverage of this material is a tad out of date. (Chambers has some – Baskerville and Caslon, for example.)

    22A: the print version of Chambers has appendices, including a Some First Names list including Allan. A long time ago, the abbreviations were in an appendix too. The other one that seems most likely to catch you out is “Phrases and quotations from foreign languages”. A few, such as “l’état, c’est moi” are short enough to be Mephisto answers. I have a dim memory of one being able to find these on my iPad, but can’t remember how if it’s still possible.

    1. Some of the appendices (and the ‘word lover’s miscellany’) are accessible on the app via ‘help’, but these don’t seem to include the first names or foreign phrases ones.

  4. I found this tricky, but I left the timer running while doing something else so I’m not sure quite how tricky. I was surprised by the appearance of an answer that wasn’t in Chambers (BODONI).

  5. 50 minutes for me, which is around average, but as I recall there wasn’t much desperate looking up to do.
    One of my quirks with the barred grid puzzles is spotting where the setter might have had a word but for the bars in between. This one threw up LIEBSTRAINED, Germlish for when an affair goes sour, and PAREIRA SPEWS, which suggest the drug has the opposite effect to the one intended.

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