Mephisto 3317 – Tim Moorey

Greetings, barred-grid fans.

I was back to my usual Saturday night routine, watching the late horror movie when the Mephisto came out and I solved it over a couple of beers and the 1973 version of Dracula with Jack Palance as a demonic, leering count. I was in a good mood!  Didn’t take too long to get through this one.

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

Away we go…

1 The art class painted colourful headgear (11, two words)
11 Conceivably airline’s ground transport for Indians (5)
BABUS – the airline’s ground transport could be a BA BUS
12 Bones found in Indian set meal, not hot (4)
TALI – THALI(Indian set meal) minus H(hot)
13 Appointed for a lawsuit, Democrat lawyer’s first to probe two articles (7, two words)
AD LITEM – D(democrat) and the first letter of Lawyer inside A, and ITEM(two articles)
14 Eccentric actor is a card (5)
TAROC – anagram of ACTOR
16 Ye Olde Bull sticks with house wine ultimately (7)
GUMSHOE – GUMS(sticks), HO(house) and the last letter of winE. BULL for policeman as an old US slang is found in Chambers
17 Each book has pieces about parts of a tapeworm (9)
STROBILAE – EA(each), LIB(liber, book), and ORTS(pieces) all reversed
18 Know instinctively, time to stop a Greenlander (6)
INTUIT – T(time) inside INUIT(a Greenlander)
20 Stick and where you should put it! (6)
22 Golfer on course repelled press with hooter (6)
NURSLE – the golfer Ernie ELS and RUN(course) all reversed
24 Screw cap of originality improved lager cans (6)
GAOLER – first letter of Originality inside an anagram of LAGER
26 Left do captivated by casserole and squash (9)
DILUTABLE – L(left), UT(musical do) inside DIABLE(casserole dish). Squash referring to the drink here
28 Case of speech defect, say (7)
STUTTER – external letters of Speech defecT, then UTTER(say). An all-in-one
30 No new option in play, they’re stock themes (5)
TOPOI – anagram of OPTION minus N(new)
31 White-hot container used by dentist (7)
CANDENT – CAN(dontainer), DENT(dentist)
32 Losing the first, begin again and drive into water (4)
ENEW – remove the first letter from RENEW(begin again)
33 Remarkable money brought back in notes (5)
MEMOS – SOME(remarkable), M(money) all reversed
34 Adult censored must agree stories showing coarseness (11)
GROSSIERETE – remove A(adult) from an anagram of AGREE,STORIES.  “Must” indicates the anagram, think of fermentation
2 Islamic judge in knitted jumper spoken of (4)
CADI – sound like CARDI(knitted jumper)
3 Rather clever short story writer with no little following (5)
ABLER – FABLER(short story writer) minus F(following)
4 Extremely harmful ballgame in America? Nothing in it (7)
RUINOUS – RU(ballgame), IN, US(America) containing O(nothing)
5 English run for property writ? No longer available (6)
ELEGIT – E(English), LEG IT(run)
6 Corporation starts to unpack loads involving barrows (6)
TUMULI – TUM(stomach, corporation) and the first letters of Unpack, Loads, Involving
7 Hard time in spring for office of Cossacks (9)
HETMANATE – H(hard) then T(time) inside EMANATE(spring)
8 North Carolina inhabitant set on local cover (7, two words)
TAR HEEL – TAR(set on), and HEEL(cover, found in Chambers under HELE)
9 Fools about in water channel (5)
SLOOT – TOOLS(fools) reversed
10 Deputies failing on sharing facilities (11)
VICEGERENTS – VICE(failing) then RE(on) inside GENTS(facilities)
11 Son at home is blocking deal? Sign of a bastard (11)
BAR-SINISTER – S(son), IN(at home),IS inside BARTER(deal). Found in Chambers under BARTON
15 Faculties with debts, large uni finally liquidated (9)
ABILITIES – LIABILITIES(debts) minus L(large) and the last letter of unI
19 Experienced type, true pro theatrically (7)
TROUPER – anagram of TRUE,PRO
21 Keeper’s rather stiff grabbing ball (7)
HOARDER – HARDER(rather stiff) containing O(ball)
23 Returns some poorest celeriac picked up (6)
ELECTS – hidden reversed in side pooreST CELEriac
24 Fish ragu I’m cooking (6)
GURAMI – anagram of RAGU,I’M
25 Firm right away involved in expense (5)
STONG – STRONG(firm) minus R(right). Found in Chambers under STING
27 Once fierce British army corps (5)
BREME – B(British), REME(army corps)
29 Dog and Duck: name seen up among foremost of Soho taverns (4)
SNOT – O(duck, zero in cricket), N(name) reversed inside the first letters of Soho Taverns

6 comments on “Mephisto 3317 – Tim Moorey”

  1. Guessed others would find this not very difficult, as li’l ol’ me got it all correct—without recourse to Chambers.

  2. Glad to hear you’re back to your horror film accompaniment!

    34ac. “Must” as an anagram indicator, made me think of the “Guidance for solvers” section of the Sunday Times Mephisto Crossword book 1 (2003). It talks about needing Chambers for the obscure vocabulary, and then says:
    ‘[The wordplay is] also likely to make reference to Chambers obscurities… For example, “Must lose, being alone (4)” relies on “must” meaning “in a frenzy” to indicate an anagram.’

    I haven’t got this book myself, but read the introductory sections in the “Read Sample” section on Amazon UK. (There is also a customer review from Peter Biddlecombe , written in 2010, that is very interesting).

    3d and 21d both use “rather” in a way I don’t think I really understand. “Rather clever” = ABLER, and “rather stiff” = HARDER. I can see that clever = able, and stiff = hard. But how does “rather” give the “-er” comparative form?

      1. Right, thanks! I was having trouble thinking of an example.

        But I think I am seeing it now. I think one needs to be using different adjectives.
        Taking a simple adjective “steep”:
        Road one is flat. Road two is steeper. (or “Road two is rather steep”).
        So “steeper” = “rather steep”. (You are comparing “flat” to “rather steep”).
        It doesn’t work with the same adjective.
        Road three is steep. Road four is steeper. (not the same as “Road four is rather steep”).

        So in 3d. Jack is struggling. However, John is abler. However, John is rather clever.
        21d. The bristles on my old toothbrush were soft. This new one’s are rather stiff (=harder).


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