ST 2898 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2898 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2898 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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Good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where it is beginning to get much warmer and we are not having the rain and flooding being experienced in Ontario and Québec.

Another very enjoyable and very typical Sunday puzzle from Virgilius, but, for me, he is not in as benevolent a mood as the last couple of weeks; half a dozen anagrams (including a couple of partials), a couple of double definitions, a homophone, and a pair of lurkers (including one in reverse).

My favourite is 13a.

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:

1a Authorised putting soldier in front of square (8)
A three letter word for one soldier followed by a synonym for square when something is not in fashion.

11a Study of people from North misrepresented in sorry statement (12)
A statement that is issued when one is sorry containing (in) an anagram (misrepresented) of NORTH.

13a Said bad things about male in regular row (8)
The single letter for male followed by a word that means arranged in a line or in agreement.

16a Distress, we hear, that may stop runner (4)
A homophone (we hear) of a synonym for distress that may be used by an equestrian.

21a Certain extract from bulletin, if edited the wrong way (8)
A lurker (extract) found in the fourth to sixth words of the clue and reversed (the wrong way). 

23a Perfectionist almost ruined first illustration in book (12)
An anagram (ruined) of PERFECTIONIS(T) less its last letter (almost).


27a Material about a Mediterranean area (8)
The favourite two letters for about followed by a name for the Eastern Mediterranean.

28a With passion, they lead astray (8)
An anagram (astray) of THEY LEAD.


2d Drive or other kind of golf shot (8)
A double definition; the second is the shot made by a golfer to get his/her ball onto the green.

4d Cutting a new pattern for unisex garment (6)
A synonym for cutting, e.g. in reference to a sarcastic comment, A from the clue, and the single letter for new – I think that the definition is a little weak.

7d How one flies extremely close to ground, mostly (4)
A synonymic phrase for extremely close to ground with its last letter deleted (mostly).

12d Biography with some text that’s appropriate for killer (4,8)
The type of story that is a biography followed by a meaningful collection of words.

16d Irish writer putting in evergreen that quickly spreads (8)
The famous resident of Reading Jail containing (putting in) a three letter tree.

19d Put in grave situation with very limited area left in gap (8)
A synonym for put in grave situation (as in burial) followed by the single letter (limited) for very, and the single letters for area and left.

24d Art of a kind, works primarily timeless (4)
A synonym for works with its first letter removed (primarily timeless) gives an artistic medium.

25d Substance that’s hard found at bottom of mine (4)
A three letter synonym for a mine followed by (found at bottom) the single letter for hard.

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This is for Miffypops, I am not sure if he is still on his epic Dylan Tour but, just in case he has not ‘maxed out’ yet:

45 comments on “ST 2898 (Hints)

  1. I started putting ticks against clues with an ‘aha!’ moment, then gave up as there were so many. Good stuff indeed. A great Dylan clip too, Senf. It is worth looking for the song ‘With God On Our Side’ – there is a version available from the same concert I think.

    1. Just listened to that and must say it’s the strangest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

      1. Well at least you had a go. I’ll just have to accept that I’m into it, and plenty of other people aren’t!

    2. If we’re talking about ‘With God on our side’ you should listen to Manfred Mann’s version – I admit to being biased as I love anything with Paul Jones in it – just his voice, you understand! :wink:

      1. Ta Kath. In the 70s I had an album ‘Solar Fire’ by MM Earth Band. Don’t know much about their other stuff, but will look into that version.

  2. I agree, a little more testing than the last couple of weeks. I find with Mr V I rarely complete a whole corner at first reading and I meander my way around the grid and then go back to fill in the gaps. The NW Corner proved the most problematic today for me. A visiting 17 month old grandson meant an early start and hence an early post. I liked 21a – a typically clever clue. Thank you to all involved.

  3. I found this more testing than usual too – wonder whether it was the grid as even I noticed the number of double unches.

  4. Difficulty: fine until the last few, where I had to break for a coffee to kick start the old noggin. The final three took me longer than the rest put together … in fact, with two to go I had to divert to a different crossword to calm my nerves!
    Enjoyment: high.
    Favourite(s): can’t chose. Lots of candidates.
    Thanks: to Virgilius and Senf.

  5. Definitely more tricky than the usual Virgilius, at least from my perspective. I was very slow to answer four of the clues – 16&27a along with 2&24d all causing a bit of trouble.

    Liked the ‘grave situation’ in 19a but my podium places finally went to 9&15a plus 7&12d.

    Many thanks to the Sunday maestro for the challenge and to Senf for yet another high quality blog. I’ll just gloss over the music clip…….

    1. Interesting, Jane. We overlap on the eight lettereds, but not the four.

      I had no trouble with 16a or 24d but did take ages to see 10a.

      2d and 27a, however, did cause me a bit of trouble … and then a whole lot more trouble besides!

          1. I had trouble with it despite it being something I’m familiar with – Kath might need to phone a friend!
            By the way, Senf, I meant to add to my comment that I agreed with you about 4d being a bit underwhelming – I put an ‘umm’ alongside it.

            1. Hopefully my hint will work for Kath and any other golf-challenged solvers.

              I could write an essay on the 4d definition. But, in a nutshell, while a whole range of garments can be made from the 4d answer, strictly (or pedantically(?)) speaking, the garment that I assume Virgilius is referring to is for men. However, if my assumption is wrong, all bets are off.

              1. I am lucky enough to have a specific 4d related to the ‘Grant’ ancestry in my last name.
                Would post a link, but that would be naughty step job, I suspect.

        1. Kath is so totally knackered that she has very few words left . . . in a minute, maybe

    2. And there was I thinking this might be the clip to win you over Jane …. You can actually hear the words!

  6. Very hard work, complete blank in NW corner until Senf’s helpful hint got me back on track. No particular favourite just relieved to have finished. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf. Enjoyed photos from Open Gardens, gosh didn’t you do well.

  7. Is no one else having trouble with inserting clues in the ipad edition?? Impossible to use today. Cryptic and small and sudoku all affected.

    1. Oh – hello, Eleanor – are you new here? If so then welcome from me. I had to reply as our Younger Lamb, aka our younger daughter, is also called Eleanor – she’s always called Mouse, except by her boyfriend.
      As for your original question – I don’t know as I always do the crossword on paper.

  8. The usual Sunday entertainment from Virgilius.
    Yes, trickier than usual, but I made it harder for myself by spelling 23a incorrectly and writing a letter in 11a so badly it looked like another letter – oh dear! All sorted eventually, but added considerable solving time.
    I’m not even going to attempt a fave, I’ll select one liked the least and that’s 4d. All the rest are in the thoroughly enjoyed list.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his blog.

  9. Most enjoyable and doable although I am still stuck with 18a – I might have the second part of 8d wrong! Did not quite understand the cluing of 4d although I got the answer – it seems that I was not the only one. Realised that up until now I had always spelt 16 wrong! Difficult to choose a favourite as there were many. Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. First warm day since Easter!

  10. Slightly tough (for a change!), NW corner was last in, 1a & 4d. Don’t get 2d, really – I guess it’s a golfy thing…
    20a is a chin-rubber but 9a makes up for it all.
    With thanks to V and Mr M.

  11. The golf shot didn’t work for me …. on a par (haha) with cricket clues basically

  12. Well 2d was my favourite once the penny finally dropped. This was a real challenge today I thought; very entertaining with loads of good clues to struggle with. 3/4.5* overall. 4d was a bit of a let down so that’s the reason for only 4.5!
    Thanks to Virgilius for the challenge and to Senf for the hints.

  13. Three quarters of this went in easily enough, and then I reached the NW corner, which took about three quarters of my time. :-) Last in 4d, which was obvious when I finally saw it, but until then… Golf shots. I can think of about two, which didn’t help much…

  14. Certainly tougher than recent offerings from the Sunday Maestro and needed the hints for 4d (sub-par clue) and 7d. Having got 7d, felt it was the pick of the crop. 3*/4*

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  15. Hmm – I agree with those of you who found it trickier than of recent weeks – I have a cast iron excuse.
    Yesterday I went to my Elder Lamb and her partner – she has an interview tomorrow and she needs clothes that were here – a journey that normally takes anything between one and two hours took me five and a half – just don’t ask.
    Today I went to my Younger Lamb – she has two little cucumber plants – they’re called Clarence and Clive – again, just don’t ask – and they needed to be put into a grow bag. Enough . . .
    Now on to the crossword!
    I was stupidly slow with some of the less difficult clues – 2d, as predicted by some, caused trouble, as did 24d.
    I missed the reversed lurker in 21a – no surprises there.
    It was just as enjoyable as Sunday crosswords always are.
    I liked most of these clues but I think my favourite has to be 9a however sick I am of the whole subject.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.
    Food, wine and, above all, sleep needed now . . .

  16. Disappointing, unusual for a Sunday.
    Far too many answers I could not parse, even with the hints
    2d is a poor clue.
    Thanks to all.

  17. This took longer than usual but I found it very enjoyable. The reverse lurker was brilliant but the words extract and wrong way gave it away a little too easily. Thanks to our revered setter for the puzzle and thanks to Senf for the review. And for the Dylan clip. I will never be maxed out by the man. Liverpool tomorrow and Wembley Arena on Tuesday. The tour finishes in Dublin on Wednesday night I don’t have tickets but one can never rule it out.

    I do feel sorry for those who don’t get it.

  18. Done it all except 17d, which is obviously so simple as to require no hint! Can anyone give me a smidgeon of help?

    1. Impediment is the definition, abbreviation for husband + ‘and’ from the clue + ‘I’ from the clue + 3 letter word for ‘beat’

  19. IMHO nothing to write home about today. East fell first. 10a band presumably a single letter. Had reservations about 16a and 4d. Stupidly failed to parse 24d. Fav 3d with 7d as runner-up. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  20. Only did this n Monday morning. Usual excellence from Virgilius and slightly more difficult than usual. Like others before me, the NW corner proved trickiest and pushed up my solving time. Many thanks to himself and Senf for his hints. 3*/4*.

  21. Just got round to this this morning. A nice steady fill in. 2.5*/4* I liked 1a, 16a, 16d with 27a being my favourite.

  22. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. I enjoyed this a lot, but found it very tricky. Needed 5 hints to finish. Favourite was 11a. Was 4*/3* for me.

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