Mephisto 3331 – Robert Teuton

Posted on Categories Mephisto

Greetings, barred-grid fans!

I remember this one being a pretty breezy solve, with a few hat tips to Tim Moorey’s final Mephisto from two weeks ago. I am a little addle-headed right now, since I am always four years late to the party, I (and all my household) have covid and are in various degrees of decrepitude.

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

Away we go…

1 Stamina government’s put in to gain re-election? (12, two words)
STAYING POWER – G(government) inside STAY IN POWER(gain re-election). A kind of a topical clue, as the UK general election was last week.
10 One walloping by female’s amazing (6)
FAR-OUT – A(one), ROUT(walloping) next to F(female)
12 Little width in very informal trousers (5)
TREWS – W(width) inside TRES(very, informal)
13 Opening for scrum-half to lean over prop (5)
STILT – first letter of Scrum-half then TILT(lean over)
14 Numpty finishes off final nine pages after school (7)
SCHLEPP – last letters of finaL, ninE then pp(pages) after SCH(school)
15 Gull clipping wings flew back concerned with wing bone? (5)
ULNAR – the internal letters of gULl, then RAN(flew) reversed
17 Tim heading off, he’s top cryptic setter of this puzzle! (8)
MEPHISTO – anagram of tIM minus the first letter, HE’S and TOP
18 Improved mobile design added to electronic department (6)
MENDED – M(mobile), END(intention, design) with E(electronic), D(department)
19 Make stronger appeal (notes for parish priest) (6)
ANNEAL – APPEAL with N’s(notes) replacing PP(parish priest)
22 Attach pipe lacking diameter to draw inward (6)
ADDUCT – ADD(attach), then DUCT(pipe) minus D(diameter)
24 No latitude initially for rascals on Ecstasy — that’s a threat (6, two words)
OR ELSE – remove L(latitude) from the front of LORELS(rascals), then E(ecstasy)
25 Down on borders of hill harvest vegetable (8)
KOHLRABI – KO(down in boxing), the external letters of HilL then RABI(harvest)
27 Time invested in a snubbed principal violin? (5)
AMATI -T(time) inside A, MAIN(principal) minus the last letter
28 Historical officers, Latin conquerors wanting victory? (7)
LICTORS -L(Latin), VICTORS(conquerors) minus V(victory)
30 Ancient prayers bishop’s seen ordained (5)
BENES – B(bishop) then an anagram of SEEN. Ordained here means arranged.
31 Not happy for Scots to confer with English about independence (5)
DOWIE – DO(confer, as in “let’s do lunch”), W(with), and E(English) surrounding I(independence)
32 King in complete turnaround finally went on (6)
DRONED – R(king) inside DONE(complete) and the last letter of turnarounD
33 Stableboy worries about yard’s blossoming prospects? (12, two words)
LADY’S TRESSES – LAD(stableboy) then STRESSES(worries) surrounding Y(yard)
1 Formosa must assumingly partly counter Mandarin (7)
SATSUMA – hidden reversed in formosA MUST ASsumingly
2 Other CD ripped and burnt (7)
TORCHED – anagram of OTHER,CD. The Mephisto audience must be of the vintage from when ripping CDs was a thing, right?
3 Rueful cry from Tory’s latest member of parliament? (4)
YOWL – last letter in torY, then OWL(member of parliament)
4 Apparently being taken in young hooligan stole (6)
NAPPED – APP(apparently) inside NED(young hooligan)
5 Liquor? Dad’s after good whack (6)
GRAPPA – PA(dad) after G(good), RAP(whack)
6 Lecturer in Oxford University pointed and summarized (8)
OUTLINED – L(lecturer) inside OU(Oxford University), TINED(pointed)
7 Tesla car’s heading for special new distinction (5)
ECLAT – anagram of TESLA with the first letter of Car replacing S(special)
8 Harking back to the past in cabaret routine (5)
RETRO – hidden inside cabaRET ROutine
9 Every other character in Brechtian work hadn’t cut director down (10)
BEHINDHAND – alternating letters in BrEcHtIaN, then an anagram of HADN’t minus the last letter, then D(director)
11 Filming location can broadcast new Lost (10)
TINSELTOWN -TIN(can) then an anagram of NEW,LOST
16 Infidelity snarled at rudely (8)
20 Sat possibly on horse? (7)
ASTRIDE – anagram of SAT on RIDE(horse). An all-in-one
21 How you can make trainees train tenants (7)
23 Capacity to advance fast (6)
TALENT – T'(to), A(advance), LENT(fast)
24 Love spiciness added to recipe by the way (6)
OBITER – O(love), BITE(spiciness), with R(recipe)
25 United defender caught out lying about having left City (5)
KABUL – U(united), BACK(defender) reversed, minus C(caught), then L(left)
26 End of game in chaos (5)
OMEGA – O(of) then an anagram of GAME
29 Such showing suggestions of typical Ozzies gone swimming? (4)
TOGS – initial letters of Typical Ozzies Gone Swimming

13 comments on “Mephisto 3331 – Robert Teuton”

  1. Hey, another one I finished (and quite early in the week)—so I’m sure it was quite breezy for most..

    I still sometimes use “Far out!” as an exclamation and a few years ago had to explain to a French friend, who was a Nation intern in the early 1990s and has worked for Ouest France ever since, exactly what I meant by that…!

  2. 27a: it’s the last letter of MAIN that’s ‘snubbed’, but you knew that, and you’ve got Covid. A speedy solve – about the same time for me as a chewy daily cryptic – and thanks for explaining one or two that I couldn’t be bothered working out.

    DOWIE – as in The Dowie Dens o’ Yarrow – was a write-in.

    1. Ta – came back to this after sleeping for nearly 12 hours and I’m surprised the only things I messed up were this and separating the two words in 1 across.

  3. Yes, this was rather disappointing. Mephisto should be a challenge, with lots of obscure words. It normally takes me 90 minutes. In this Mephisto, I knew all the words except dowie (d0=confer is in Chambers), and most of them I wrote straight in. It took me 15 minutes. Robert, you can do much better than this. Let’s hope it was a temporary lapse.

    1. Bear in mind that Robert is still relatively new to Mephisto setting. His last couple were more than a bit challenging, so maybe this was an attempt to readjust that overshot somewhat.

  4. Yes this was pretty straightforward: I use Chambers at the drop of a hat to confirm even the slightest doubt, and I hardly used it at all.
    The Crossword Club site is marking my answer of LESSEES at 21dn as wrong. It seems to think the correct answer is LESSENS, which is surely wrong.

      1. Agreed. At the risk of making a fool of myself I emailed the ST puzzles team for an explanation. Will they respond or are they buried under thousands of complaints from Mephisto fans?

        1. I’ve just had news about this from other places. The wrong solution was there because I failed to make my usual check that my test-solving answers were correct before sending any comments to the setter (mainly done because if you base editorial comments on an incorrect answer, you end up looking pretty silly). The solution on the club site version will be corrected.

          The email address for feedback about Sunday Times puzzles is – I’ve just checked that mailbox, and cannot see any comments about this sent there.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *