ST 2899 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2899 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2899 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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Good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, the sun is shining and the birds are singing – life is good.

Another very enjoyable and very typical Sunday puzzle from Virgilius, back in a benevolent mood (for me); a handful of anagrams, a homophone, and a lurker.

My favourite is 11a.

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 Run and catch returning lover (7)
The single letter indicating a score in cricket followed by a synonym for catch (a criminal) all reversed (returning).

11a What’s in store for those wanting to be upwardly mobile? (9)
An installation that assists shoppers to move between floors in a department store.

12a Something associated with a prayer, inspiring with reverence (5)
As (1,4), the first half of the title of a 1940’s song and film .

13a Material sent back for English novelist or American-born poet (5)
A thin cotton material reversed (sent back).

17a Like people in Panama, men involved with erratic canal (7,8)
Anagram (involved with) of MEN ERRATIC CANAL. 

24a Moving protest that lasts more than four weeks (5)
One of the months of the year that is also a type of protest.

26a Instrument from band grabbed by excited chairman (9)
Anagram (excited) of the single letter that looks like a band and CHAIRMAN.

(Hands up all those who knew that Judith Durham (The Seekers) was such an accomplished pianist)

28a After short part of speech, are ready (7)
An abbreviated (short) form of a part of speech followed by ARE from the clue.


1d Each copy, namely carbon, included (6)
A three letter synonym for copy (imitate) containing (included) the two letter abbreviation for a Latin expression meaning namely and the chemical symbol for Carbon.

3d Without involving others, a learner goes after place to study in future (10)
The short form of a place of higher learning followed by a synonym for in (the) future, A from the clue, and the single letter for a learner.

7d Cow not left in marsh (8)
The type of marsh found in East Anglia containing (in) the opposite of left.

16d For toy, expend over pound, then object (9)
A three letter synonym for expend containing (over) the single letter used for pound followed by a synonym for object (item).

18d Couturier with a line in red (8)
A French fashion designer followed by A from the clue and the single letter for line.

20d Passing car, finally, on the inside, using horn piercingly (6)
A synonym for passing containing (on the inside) the last letter (finally of caR gives an occupational hazard for matadors – personally, I am not convinced that the synonym for passing is ‘good.’

23d Stole — punishment pronounced (4)
Homophone (pronounced) of a synonym for punishment is a synonym for stole (clothing).

25d Hard appearance that could be a shock (4)
Single letter for hard and a three letter synonym for appearance.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

There are probably a few (including a resident of Anglesey?) who thought that I had a total aberration with my selection last Sunday; how about this one from 1964?

And, here’s a bonus!

30 comments on “ST 2899 (Hints)

  1. I found this a little tricky in places, and didn’t help myself by putting in an alternative answer for one of the downs which resulted in some perplexity with the clashing across answer. A top puzzle as usual, and a perfect way to get back into the normal solving routine. Much enjoyed.

    It was lovely to see some of you in Nottingham and I look forward to seeing some more of you on Tuesday.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  2. Sincere apologies to those who were not able to post comments earlier. Today I learnt that there are still gaps in my blogging expertise, I will certainly remember the gaps I discovered today. And, thanks to BD for fixing the problem.

    1. Tried to email you to commiserate about how it feels when it all goes wrong when you’re doing the hints but it bounced back at me. Whatever – it’s not a plane crash and no-one is dead.

  3. All done without frightening the horses. The NW corner was the last to go in.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  4. The NW corner held me up too, and certainly increased the solving time a tad. This was another in a very long line of top drawer puzzles from Virgilius, and was 3*/4* for me, with 11a my favourite. Thanks very much to the Sunday maestro, and to Senf for his hints.

  5. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, which I found very tricky. Needed the hints for 8&13a & 1d, and electronic help for 6d. Favourite was 12a. Was 4*/3* for me.

    1. I almost chose that as fave but 11a just topped it by a whisker. Welcome back.

  6. i found the top LHS almost impossible and was about to resort to the hints, when I realised that I had put the material in 13a and not the poet and author. How dim can one be, of course I couldn’t solve that corner. All sorted, thank goodness.
    As usual, a most enjoyable Sunday treat, a little more tricky than usual, but my carelessness made it even trickier.
    I’ll go along with 11a as fave, though there were many contenders.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for his hints. Glad your winter is finally over.

  7. I didn’t find Virgilius in a completely benevolent mood – I thought there were some quite tricky bits but all good fun as usual.
    The top left corner held me up as did 18d.
    With alternate letters in 7d it couldn’t have been anything other than what it was but it took me an age to see why.
    I liked 11 and 24a and 6 and 20d. My favourite was 12a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.
    We’ve had a decent amount of rain, at last – everything is looking much happier and the water butts are full – it’s definitely very sluggy and snaily out there though – yuk! :sad:

  8. In company with others it would seem, it was a couple in the NW corner that held me up towards the end, although I did also get into a bit of a pickle with 18d where I went at it a*** about face.

    The usual brilliance from Virgilius with 12a & 15d vying for the top slot.

    Many thanks to the maestro and also to Senf for the blog. Yes, I did worry that you’d been ‘got at’ by our Monday blogger last weekend! Today’s clip of Judith Durham was certainly an eye-opener and I’d forgotten just how young Eric Burdon looked back in the 60’s. Ho, hum – probably true of a lot of us!

    1. Welcome to the blog, Frank.

      9d Start off gospel, or earlier book
      Remove the first letter from a word meaning gospel or factuality to leave the name of a book which appears in the Bible earlier than the Gospels.

  9. A very enjoyable solve. Found 9d and 20d took some extra thought (quite a lot of it actually) and 20d has to be my COTD. ***/****. Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  10. Found the NW quite difficult to get into but the clues that held me were 12a and 23d.
    Still haven’t found that punishment and haven’t looked at what a stole looks like yet.
    After that I am sure that my grid will be complete.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints.

  11. For the most part this felt pretty straightforward, until 18d where I struggled badly. As enjoyable as ever.

  12. I was pleased to come back in after playing cricket to find the blog open for comments.

    This was another wonderful Sunday puzzle for which my rating is 3*/5*. Although I agree with Senf that much of it was at the easier end of Virgilius’ spectrum, the NE corner did put up more of a fight with 10a & 6d my last two in.

    There are too many ticks on my page to mention them all and double ticks went to 12a, 4d, 20d & 23d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  13. Found this hard… still can’t do the NE corner – I’ve read the clue and the hint for 12a and I’m still none the wiser! 5 and 6 d might as well be written in Russian for all the sense they make to me….

    1. I can’t give a better hint than Senf has already done for 12a.
      5d – the definition is a celebratory event. You need the A from the clue and another word for delay or fall behind all reversed (held up)
      6d – the definition is bar, as in a line or a band. S(outh) is followed by another word for ‘moonshine’ or rubbish, hogwash, or twaddle.

    2. As with Kath’s comments above. 6d clearly begins with the letter S (south) but the synonym for ‘moonshine’ is somewhat stretched. It took me a while to see it. The celebratory event took me over time too. But it isn’t that difficult. 12ac. What do put together with a prayer to provide hope in a difficult situation. These three caused me trouble. They fall into my stop reading the clues dictum. Reading the clue as a sentence will not work. Dissecting the words, defining the definition and sorting the wordplay is what is needed. Difficult in all you struggled with.

    3. I concur what Kath and Miffypops have said, including the comment about the synonym for moonshine. However, both moonshine and the word you are looking for are in each other’s entries in the Small Red Book (Chambers Crossword Dictionary).

  14. What a cracker! Completed in 1* time, even though I stared blankly at the empty grid for a while until 4d dropped in. Then the rest seemed to flow in beautifully. Altogether, a solid 4* for enjoyment, and I particularly loved 20d. Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for confirming some of my inspired guesses.

  15. Found this pretty tough & a puzzle of 2 halves. South was fine but North especially the NE. Thanks to Kath & MP for hint on 6d didn’t appreciate “moonshine” synonym. Not unfair but getting close for me. The trick will be remembering it next time!
    Very pleasing to nearly finish unaided
    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf for explanations. Happy (US) Mother’s Day to all mothers. Yes they’ve had the UK one but for me there can’t be enough of them.

  16. Well I couldn’t agree less with Senf on this occasion. I didn’t consider Virgilius to be in benevelont mood. Perhaps it’s because I came to this late in the day/night but I have to admit to having had to seek all sorts of help in order to finish. Just not my cup of tea at all but I see plenty of bloggers enjoyed it so it’s obviously one of those wavelength things. I don’t think I should make any specific comments but I just hope for more fun tomorrow. ☹️

  17. Well I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword. It took me a while and certainly to my mind was not benevolent! 12a was my favorite clue and 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

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