ST 2891 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2891 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2891 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good Sunday morning from Winnipeg. 

Once again, lots of good, and some not so good, rugby yesterday, although the results may not be liked by everyone, especially the bizarre finish to the game in Paris. 

Virgilius, in what appears to me to be a benign mood, has provided us with another very typical and very enjoyable Sunday puzzle,

My favourite is 26a.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in red at the bottom of the hints!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow:


8a Taking everything into account, nothing more to say? (3,4)
A double definition (I think), the second one describes when, for example, a story is finished.

11a Clever and popular mastermind embracing love (9)
The usual two letters for popular, and a type of mastermind containing the numeral for love in tennis.

12a Delivered wood ahead of time (5)
A soft wood when it has been prepared for the work bench and the single letter for time.

14a Book format the writer partly selected (7)
A book of the NT that is lurking (partly selected) in the third to fifth words of the clue.

17a Country staged it badly for supplier of home-made products (7,8)
A nice 15 letter anagram (badly) of COUNTRY STAGED IT gives a home based business.

19a Protester runs after small child’s vehicle (7)
The cricketing abbreviation for what is scored follows both the single letter for small and the short form of a child’s three wheeled ‘vehicle.’

26a Present as means to make novel acquisition, say (4,5)
A gift that the receiver uses (or used to use?), in place of cash or plastic, in a bookshop.

28a Man committed to union securing new funding (7)
The male half of a betrothed couple containing (securing) the single letter for new. 


1d River so long pilots use these to communicate (6)
The single letter for river followed by the Spanish word for farewell, synonym of so long.

3d Healthy dog that wasn’t attached to early movies (10)
A ‘noisy’ synonym for healthy and a synonym for dog in the sense of trailing someone gives what was not along side the pictures on early celluloid.

7d Unfortunate sailor’s reason for having no play? (8)
Double definition, the first might be on a desert island.

15d Move weight, creating criterion (10)
A synonym for move (in an emotional way perhaps) and a unit of imperial weight.

17d Get ready for pool in fine woollen garment (8)
Convert a cheque followed by a (small) lake gives the wool, and the garment, made from the hair of a goat.

20d Feel aggrieved about being put in post again (6))
Double definition, the second is having put an item back in the mail.

23d Perform with female fellow or don? Just the opposite (4)
A two letter word for perform and the single letters for female and fellow gives the action of raising headgear when greeting someone.

25d China much misrepresented (4)
Anagram (misrepresented) of MUCH gives a synonym for china plate (rhyming slang).


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‘You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ – so said John Lydgate, according to Google results, a monk and poet from Suffolk, who predated Abraham Lincoln, who also said it or something similar, by approximately 400 years.  So, here is today’s musical offering, no prizes for guessing one of those who will be pleased:



And, to honour the passing of Chuck Berry yesterday:

46 comments on “ST 2891 (Hints)

  1. Thanks for the Chuck Berry Senf

    “Chuck Berry was the rock ’n’ roll 
pioneer who turned the electric guitar into the main instrument of rock 
    “Every riff and solo played by rock guitarists over the last 60 years contains DNA that can be traced right back to Chuck Berry.”

  2. Early on parade today Senf, just played the clips, Jane will be pleased. That Enya has a singing voice nearly as good as Bob Dylan’s.

      1. Was only joking Jane, she has a good voice. I understand people not liking Dylan’s voice or even the wailing harmonica, and as he gets older some reviewers have talked about the concerts in terms of ‘live mumbling’. I get a bit frustrated, because if people don’t see past that, they are missing out on a lifetime’s wealth of philosophical/poetical thinking that you just don’t get with any other popular performer. I promise not to say any more on the subject!

        1. Paso here (Rick)…I’m going to see Bob Dylan at the London Palladium next month.
          Doble (Dulcie) won’t be coming because she’s not too keen but Bob, Chuck and
          obviously the Stones, Muddy etc…gave me the inspiration to persuade my Dad
          to buy me a guitar. It cost £5 and when I wanted an electric one, he paid £17 and ten shillings.

  3. Didn’t seem quite the same as some recent Sunday puzzles, but I’ve no idea why (or could even be imagining it). Liked 7d and 17d. As usual, thanks to all involved today.

  4. Well that took more passes than usual. Only six in after the first read through. The short anagram was the last one in shortly after the unfortunate sailor and the novel acquisition. I do have an Enya CD. It is one of many that I own that still have their cellophane wrappers unopened. Having listened to half of the track above I see no need to ever remove the wrapping

  5. Put in a couple of wrong answers which made it a bit of a trial but got there in the end.
    I always find Virgilius a bit of a tussle but as ever it is a satisfying xxxx minutes.

    26a COTD for me with 7d running it close.

    Thanks to Virgilius & Senf for the explanations & the Chuck Berry “tribute”. I had many hours of pleasurable listening (when my ears still worked) from his music.

  6. Unlike Senf, I found parts of this really tough. However, consuming vast quantities of alcohol yesterday starting at around 15:00 and finishing close to midnight may have had an adverse influence on my brain today.

    As ever on a Sunday you could almost choose any clue as favourite, but I particularly liked 8a (my last one in), 14a, 26a, 3d & 7d.

    RIP Chuck and thanks for all the pleasure. As MP rightly says his influence on rock guitar playing has been immense. I still get a thrill every time I hear his intro to Johnny B Goode.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

    1. RD
      After your comment just watched / listened to Johnny B Goode live 1958 video. Then a Roll over Beethoven live. . As you said RIP, a true great.

  7. Like RD, I found this trickier than usual in places. Lots to like, though, particularly in the down clues. My list includes 3, 6, 7, 15 and 16D. Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  8. No sweat today but a bit of fun. Thought about list differently so was awry with second letter for 13a. Also had wrong second word for 8a which initially caused problem with 3d. Fav was 7d. Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  9. Many thanks, Senf – you certainly pleased this person – as, of course did today’s offering from the maestro.

    Plenty of ‘ticks’ on the sheet – 24&26a plus 2,7&17d being the best for me. Perhaps 26a gets the top slot as it reminded me of the ten shilling ones I got every Christmas and birthday from my godfather. I had such fun wandering around W.H. Smith trying to decide what to buy with it. The first purchase I can remember making was The Book of a Thousand Poems (much to my mother’s astonishment!). I couldn’t have known at the time how invaluable it would be later in life when my daughters had to learn several poems off by heart for their English Speaking Board exams.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the well chosen hints.
    PS The Chuck Berry clip wasn’t bad, either!

    1. I knew a poem once.
      But forgot which one it was.
      Like fables. I could recite so many but now I ‘m lucky if I remember 2 lines.
      I know so many more words today but can’t put them back in any order.

  10. I’m with RD and Expat Chris in finding this at the trickier end of Sunday crosswords.
    I didn’t know the 13a meaning of ‘list’ or have forgotten it.
    I’m missing something in 7d – I get the sailor bit but how did the ‘reason for having no play’ get in there?
    3 and 15d took for ever.
    I liked 19, 24 and 26a and 3 and 23d. I haven’t yet made up my mind about which of those is my favourite.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the crossword and to Senf for the hints, pics and Chuck Berry.

    1. Have a look at your answer to 7d,and be prepared to kick yourself when you realise why there is no play

      1. As you have to split the answer to see the second bit of the clue, I’m not entirely convinced, as Senf obviously is, that this is a double definition clue.

        1. CS – I assumed that is why the ‘?’ is at the end of the clue, but I will always bow to crossword knowledge and experience that is greater than mine.

  11. A fairly gentle puzzle with some nice misdirection. Favourites were 26a&15d. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  12. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A very high quality puzzle, and most enjoyable. I was sorry when it was over. I started with 8a, finished with 7d. The latter was quite tricky. I liked 18d, but my favourite was 23d, so clever. Was 2*/4* for me.

  13. As usual, “bigly” enjoyable, Virgilius never disappoints us.
    ‘Cos I got the second word wrong in 8a, I really struggled with 3d, and I also couldn’t get 19a. As I looked at the hints and saw that 19a was not included, I suddenly tumbled. Those two answers took as long as the rest of the puzzle.
    Fave was 26a, the most popular it appears, but lots more to like.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints and Chuck Berry, lots of memories.

    1. Sorry, 19a is included, but I mis-numbered it as 18a. I am out and about at the moment so I am unable to make a correction.

  14. I raced off to a flying start on this one but as usual Dulcie had to come in
    probably got 55% to my 45%.
    We find this the best crossword of the week
    so many thanks to Virgilius and Senf for the hints..

  15. Senf – you have made my day with your mention of John O’Lydgate (poet and monk) who was born in Lidgate in 1370. I lived for many years in that charming little village near Newmarket. Interestingly some graffiti was recently discovered on the wall at St. Mary’s church there which is thought to be by J O’L so you have pleased some of the people some of the time (today!).

  16. Found it very mild for a Sunday.
    But still very enjoyable.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints.

  17. I thought this was unusual for a Virgilius crossword in that I scampered through the top half and then struggled though the rest. Normally I struggle from start to finish!
    I liked 3D bestest. 2/3.5* overall for me.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.
    There do seem to be a lot of folk of a certain age on here when you look at the CB tributes! And I’m definitely one of them. Miserable sod but such great music.

  18. Always a good day when I finish the puzzle over breakfast, so thanks to Virgilius for a lovely puzzle, and thanks to Senf for untangling the knots when I got stuck. I got it wrong at 8a, which worked with 3d, but not 2d. After reading Senf’s hint I got back on track. Not sure I understand 22d even though I bunged in my answer I can’t see how it works.

    1. 22d is a word meaning bound into which is inserted abbreviations for name – the definition is preserved.

  19. BusyLizzie – I wonder if BD will let me say 22d is perform with 2 letters. (Sorry this should have been a reply to your Comment 18).

    1. If you say that 23d is perform with 2 letters you are matching Senf’s hint.

      Trouble is it would appear that Busy Lizzie doesn’t understand 22d.

  20. Just into 2* territory, and 3.5* for enjoyment. My favourites were 7d – in honour of the man in the goatskins who craved cheese – and 24a – in honour of Chuck. I’ve been playing him all day. I think I’ve settled on “Promised Land” as my all-time favourite, but “Johnny B Goode” is right up there too. Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf.

  21. Well, that was a nice end to the weekend. Thoroughly enjoyable. Last in, and biggest smile out of many, was 7d.

  22. I thought this was at the trickier of Sundays, the SE corner in particular.
    I could not parse 20d, and quite a few too time for the penny to drop.
    Thanks Virgilius and Senf…

  23. No problems today , to my delight and surprise.But then I may be giving myself a longer time allowance than others who post here.
    1d was my last one in and my favourite and 7d was my second last and really should have pipped the post for most amusing.
    Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

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