Mephisto 3309 – Tim Moorey

Greetings, barred-grid fans!

I remember having a lot of fun solving this one over a few shots of rum while waiting for the Saturday night classic horror movie to start – The Evil Of Frankenstein with a wonderfully campy Peter Cushing performance, so an all round good night.

I didn’t think there were as many unusual terms in this grid, though we have the usual crafty Tim Moorey wordplay, which I will attempt to unravel below – remember that in Mephisto, all definitions can be confirmed in Chambers.

Away we go…

1 Poetry is still needing no introduction (6)
EPOSES –  REPOSES(is still) minus the first letter
5 Reconditioned Porsche not right for ages (6)
EPOCHS – anagram of PORSCHE minus R(right)
9 Glossed over ordinary photo used in taped broadcast (11)
POSTILLATED – O(ordinary), STILL(photo) inside an anagram of TAPED
11 Two girls close to ice getting cover for knees (8)
PATELLAE – the girls are PAT and ELLA, then the last letter of icE
12 Wearing opposition down, a race with courage good going (6)
ATTRIT – A, TT(race) and GRIT(courage) minus G(good)
13 Enough said perhaps about money for loose shirt (6)
CAMESE – CAESE(sessa, enough said) surrounding M(money)
14 Heard old-fashioned instruments (5)
CORNI – sounds like CORNY(old-fashioned)
17 Prickly editor tackles oriental char endlessly (9)
ECHINATED – ED(editor) containing CHINA TEA(oriental char) minus the last letter
18 Point taken by County Sheriff’s officers (9)
TIPSTAFFS – TIP(point) and STAFFS(Staffordshire, county)
22 Fly south over pole (5)
STANG – GNAT(fly) and S(south) all reversed
23 Perform better where French leading diplomacy (6)
OUTACT – OU(“where” in French), then TACT(dipolmacy)
24 Miliband behind Labour worked hard locally (6)
MOILED – ED Miliband after MOIL(labour)
26 Green algae hit Luxor badly (8)
27 Cosmetic lotions from toilet on loaded trains (11)
ASTRINGENTS – GENTS(toilet) after an anagram of TRAINS
28 Distinguishing title needing £25 in European money (6)
EPONYM – PONY(25 pounds) in E(European), M(money)
29 Remains seen after Government cuts (6)
GASHES – ASHES(remains) after G(Government)
1 Measure extreme pressure on hydrant area (4)
EPHA – EP(extreme pressure) on H(hydrant), A(area)
2 Bond with terminal value, mine receiving special boost (8)
POST-OBIT –  PIT(mine) containing an anagram of BOOST
3 Most serious Irish novelist is priest in the end (8)
STERNEST – Laurence STERNE (Tristram Shandy), ‘S, and the last letter of priesT
4 After sudden sharp blow, check loose parts of cable at sea (6)
SLATCH – SLAT(sudden sharp blow), CH(check)
5 Tension principally in Chile involved ambassador (6)
ELTCHI – first letter of Tension inside an anagram of CHILE
6 Not up for supporting pop song (5)
PAEAN – NAE(not) reversed after PA(pop)
7 Aged Chinese people cease struggling with tills (10)
8 Hodge’s bad penning record could be blamed on one (8)
SHEEPDOG – anagram of HODGE’S containing EP(record)
10 Noisy undisciplined protest is about oil primarily (10)
STREPITOSO – anagram of PROTEST,IS containing the first letter of Oil
14 Stew you once put in container (8)
CATHOUSE – THOU(you, once) inside CASE(container). One of the definitions of STEW in Chambers is a brothel
15 Fish around river in Provencal country houses (8)
BASTIDES –  BASS(fish) surrounding TIDE(river)
16 Apple control uncovered printing type (8)
REINETTE – REIN(control), then LETTER(printing type) minus the exterior letters
19 County with a new balance (6)
ANTRIM – A, N(new), TRIM(balance). County in Ireland.
20 Rarely reporting minister sharing tiresome piece of work (6)
FAMING – MIN(minister) inside FAG(tiresome piece of work). Familiar with FAG from the steady diet of Enid Blyton I was inexplicably fed as a boy
21 Like brownish-yellow colour of church and rectory, both empty (5)
OCHRY – O(of), then ChurcH and RectorY both missing the internal letters
25 Sleep back-to-back as before with no trouble (4)
DOSS – DOS-A-DOS (back to back) minus ADO(troube)

14 comments on “Mephisto 3309 – Tim Moorey”

  1. Strangely coincident with the ST cryptic were the singular versions of ASTRINGENTS and PATELLAE – any collaboration going on between setters?

    Mostly plain sailing for me though the construction of DOSS and REINETTE eluded me. All clear from GLH’s blog though – thanks for that.

  2. Held up a bit in the NE by misreading TILLS as TILTS on my printout. For 16d I had SETTER as a ‘type’ or person who sets print, but I don’t suppose it matters.

    1. Now you mention it SETTER also occurred to me in 16d. But as you say, it doesn’t really matter. I didn’t make any notes against this clue so I assumed l hadn’t fully worked out the parsing when checking my solution against GLH’s blog.

  3. Thank you for the blog. And for the horror film update. (I think I have seen most of the Hammer Frankensteins, but I don’t remember that one!)

    I very much enjoyed 8d SHEEPDOG, once I had looked up “Hodge” = “n. a countryman, rustic”. The clue giving the image of a poor series of performances at the sheepdog trials.

    However, 24ac MOILED seems slightly disappointing, I thought? It’s a nice surface reading: both Miliband brothers (David and Ed) have been/are prominent Labour Party politicians.

    But the wordplay seems just to be saying that “moil” can be a noun meaning “labour”, and also a verb meaning “work hard” (so a very similar thing – same entry in the dictionary), which has the usual past tense suffix “-ed”.

    work + ed = worked
    toil + ed = toiled
    labour + ed = laboured
    moil + ed = moiled


    1. I knew Eddie when he was an intern at The Nation magazine. (We also had Nick Clegg, the next year if memory serves.)

  4. What is “locally” doing in the clue for MOILED? Just hinting at local elections or union locals? I see some connection but does it work as part of the definition?

    1. The entry for MOIL, both noun and intransitive verb, specify a dialect usage. I did wonder if the ‘labour’ definition was to do with childbirth, which would improve the clue.

    1. Not explicitly, but out- as a prefix for “more successfully than” is, so I don’t think it is a stretch

  5. I have only just started doing Mephistos, since for a long time I thought that with the electronic versions of Chambers available it would be too easy to do them (look for words with missing letters, have the computer find anagrams). But I find they are great fun even with these aids and I get enough opportunity to figure out wordplay and sometimes guess what the answer might be and confirm it in Chambers. But one technical feature does disconcert me — usually when I finish the everyday cryptics I proofread before submission to avoid pink squares. But as soon as I enter the last letter in a Mephisto it tells me my time if I’m lucky, but points out that there is a mistake if I’m not (in this puzzle I had TOILED instead of MOILED and FETING for 20dn, which is a word but doesn’t really fit the wordplay). My LOI was REINETTE and I had no chance after entering it to give my doubtful entries a second thought without being told about them. Do Mephistos have to work that way?

    1. This may be something that happens if you submit after the puzzle has closed (Mephisto is a prize puzzle, but I can’t win a prize since I’m not in the UK). If you solve before the deadline, you submit as normal, but you won’t know until after the deadline whether the submission is correct or not. See several blogs where I had an incorrect answer but wrote it up as if I knew what I was doing because I usually write the blog before the solution appears.

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