Mephisto 3315 – Robert Teuton

Greetings, barred-grid fans.

This one raised a lot of smiles. The wordplay was challenging, the vocabulary obscure and the surfaces of many of the clues were outstanding. This has been a good week for puzzles!

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

Away we go…

1 Rate brews with a test? That’s me (9, two words)
TEA TASTER – anagram of RATE, and A TEST
10 Answer a grumble about a lot of dung doubling as throat remedy (12, two words)
ALBUM GRAECUM – A(answer), then an anagram of A GRUMBLE, then CUM(doubling as). I don’t think CUM can mean “a lot of” and I can’t find a word for dung that shortens to CUM, so I think the definition is kind of split across the last bit of wordplay. I’m open to suggestions. Of course – I wondered if doubling might have been used like “doubling over” to mean reverse, so the end is MUCK(dung) reversed missing the last letter
11 Unpleasantly damp and often warm like Quahog? (6)
CLAMMY – double definition as a quahog is a type of clam
13 Fish: southern constellation (5)
SARGO – S(southern) then the constellation ARGO
14 Chest gently touched during conversation (4)
KIST – sounds like KISSED(gently touched)
16 Containing protesters tipped to be aiming for Holyrood? (7)
ETTLING – KETTLING(keeping protesters within a cordon) minus the first letter
18 Divine Scottish remote regions (not cold) (4)
SPAE – SPACE(remote regions) minus C(cold)
20 Labelling piece of jewelry worn by mother round back of neck (10)
EARMARKING –  EARRING(piece of jewelry) containing MA(mother) and the last letter of necK separately
22 I recalled numerous parties in clubs of equal intensity (10)
ISODYNAMIC – I, then MANY(numerous), DOS(parties) reversed, then I(in) C(clubs)
23 Accommodation’s good in Hell? (4)
DIGS – G(good) in DIS(hell)
26 Ancient Greek returning to work at one (7)
ITALIOT – reversal of TOIL(work), AT, I(one)
28 Parasite sounds jolly (4)
TRYP –  sounds like TRIP(jolly as a noun can mean an outing or junket)
29 Irish on the rocks, a mild stimulant (5)
SIRIH – anagram of IRISH
30 Obtain Ecstasy that’s legal (6)
ELICIT – E(ecstasy), LICIT(legal)
31 Swinging Lulu posed with ex, last of the pros (12, three words)
POULES DE LUXE – anagram of LULU, POSED, EX and the last letter of thE
32 Gave strength to note in planner largely withdrawn (9)
ENERGISED – RE(musical note) in DESIGNER(planner) minus the last letter, all reversed
1 Join metal riding gear and tie the knot round top of leathers (8)
TACK=WELD – TACK(riding gear), then WED(tie the knot) surrounding the first letter in Leathers
2 Muscle pump in genial warmth (5)
ABASK – AB(muscle), ASK(pump, grill for information)
3 Breadbaskets? They’re found in the kitchen (7)
TUM-TUMS – double definition, with the second being an alternative spelling of TOM-TOMS
4 Arsenal’s output is unconfined rubbish (4)
AMMO –  GAMMON(nonsense, rubbish) minus the external letters. Fun clue.
5 Toddler’s airplane circling yard is red (10)
TROTSKYITE – TROT’S(toddling child’s), KITE(airplane) surrounding Y(yard)
6 Active gas inlet situated by Aberdeen? (8)
7 Old satchel that is split (5)
SCRIP – SC(scilicet, that is), RIP(split)
8 Inclination to fight acting up badly by US hostel (9)
PUGNACITY – anagram of ACTING,UP then Y(US hostel, as in YMCA or YWCA)
9 Motorway activity rolling past stokes air pollution (4)
SMOG – M(motorway), then GO(activity) reversed after S(stokes, the unit of viscosity)
12 Scottish dwelling indeed that is consumed by fire (10)
YEARD-HOUSE – YEA(indeed), then DH(das heisst, that is) inside ROUSE(fire)
15 Back home in the country after onset of intense exhaustion (9)
INANITION – reversal of IN(home) inside NATION(country) after the first letter of Intense
17 Flying rhea? No I’m a flightless bird (8, two words)
MAORI HEN – anagram of RHEA, NO, I’M
19 Left out part in Excel (8)
EXCEPTED – PT(part) inside EXCEED(excel)
21 Molluscs: awful until I included a hint of aioli (7)
NAUTILI – anagram of UNTIL,I containing the first letter of Aioli
24 It’s made from fish, sauce (Roman) essentially (5)
GARUM – GAR(fish), and the middle letters of saUce and roMan. Excellent clue!
25 Fatty deposit found in granular custard (5)
ARCUS – hidden inside granulAR CUStard
26 Children’s game that’s insubstantial, not won (4)
I-SPY – WISPY(insubstantial) minus W(won, abbreviation for the Korean currency)
27 Grand old swindler, clever Geordie? (4)
GLEG – G(grand) and LEG(blackleg, swindler)

11 comments on “Mephisto 3315 – Robert Teuton”

  1. Got this all correct, but guess I really should get Chambers. Collins has ETTLE for “to intend or aspire” but doesn’t indicate that it’s particularly Scottish.

    1. I see this a lot in Scottish literature. Eg Witch Wood by John Buchan, which is written entirely in Scots dialect.

  2. The CUM in 10A comes from MUCk (a lot of dung) being reversed (doubling – Chambers: To turn sharply back on one’s course).

  3. Thanks Robert Teuton for an enjoyable puzzle and GLH for the blog. For album graecum, I think “a lot of dung doubling” is MUC(K) reversed with doubling as a reversal indicator- one of the Chambers definitions of doubling is turning back in running. Clever to get dung in the cryptic given album graecum is dried dung as well.

  4. Thank you for the blog: that helped me out with a couple of parsings.
    Very fun and enjoyable puzzle.

    11ac. Surface brings to mind the animated TV comedy show “Family Guy”: set in the fictional Rhode Island city of Quahog, featuring a bar called “The Drunken Clam”.

    I like clues like 20ac: inserting short elements separately into one word to make another. And the surface was an elegant way to give the instruction for such wordplay.

  5. This one went in easily for me in just over 30 minutes: for once the longer words – even the Latin and French!) sped things up, and I had the e=impression there were more of them than usual. I hadn’t come across the TUMTUMS before, except in chatter during nappy changing, though that was a long time ago!


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