ST 2910 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2910 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2910 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where I have a busy couple of weeks coming up. I am taking time off from ‘everything else’ (except crosswords, eating, and drinking) to volunteer at the Canada Summer Games which the city is hosting. An inter-provincial/territory multi-sport event held every four years (with Winter Games in between just like the Olympics) which is for ‘strictly’ amateur athletes, so it is an opportunity for potential ‘next’ Olympians to demonstrate their abilities.

Another very enjoyable Virgilius puzzle, less tricky than recently, but I don’t think that he has returned to benevolence – the usual handful of anagrams and one lurker.  Having completed the whole puzzle last week, I forgot that I really only need to complete half of the puzzle for hinting and completed the whole puzzle again this week – this might be habit forming.

My favourite – 8d.

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 Noon temperature fifty-five, in short (6)
An easy charade to start – the single letter for temperature and the Roman numerals for fifty-five contained by (in) a (Scottish) synonym for short.

4a In dunce’s cap, is maybe avoiding reality (8)
The single lurker (in) found in the second to fourth words of the clue.

12a Aspiring actress delivering line with energy in debut (7)
A synonym for debut containing (delivering . . . in) the single letters for line and energy.

14a Staff at home for French master (5)
A synonym for a staff and the usual two letter word for at home gives the creator of my current avatar.

15a Name honour, and record recipient of big one (8)
The single letter for name, a British honour, and a synonym for record gives a recipient of an award for academic, cultural or scientific achievement – and I did not even think of illustrating this with MP’s favourite.

23a Coming first in race, getting inside an opponent (7)
Alternative words (1,4) for an opponent containing (getting inside) the first letter of Race.

27a Motivation I have, following popular change in US (9)
The abbreviated form of I have after (following) a synonym for popular and a US coin.

28a Something psychoanalyst might try to do for close friend (5,3)
A double definition (I think).

29a What could make us run in battle? (6)
The usual cricketing abbreviation inside (in) a synonym for battle.


1d Piece of mural art records attempt (8)
Synonyms for records and attempt.

5d Half-hearted meal, a roll before trip — that’s more than enough (14)
A six letter evening meal with one of its middle letters removed, A from the clue, a type of (bread) roll, and a type of trip (around the **** floor).

7d Disrespectful mischief-maker promises to settle scores (7)
The usual mischief-maker and a type of promissory notes.

8d Very little said otherwise for short time (6)
A double definition – the same word pronounced two different ways (said otherwise).

9d What may be done with tea and cookies that reveals a lot? (7-7)
Tea and a particular type of cookie can be used for predictions.

17d Mainly do well covering court scene (8)
A single word for do well without its last letter (mainly) followed by (covering) the abbreviation for court.

22d Has raised Bedouin, say, mostly in desert (6)
HAS from the clue reversed (raised) and a synonym for Bedouin with the last letter removed (mostly).

24d One of those trying to provide seat for person standing (5)
A person who indicates a selection with an ‘X’.

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The Shadows having some fun, in their own way, with Time Is Tight, the Booker T and the MG’s’ hit from 1968 (yes, the number of apostrophes is ‘correct’ – there is one in the name of the group, but, pedantically, it probably should not be there):

32 comments on “ST 2910 (Hints)

  1. More gentle than usual for a Sunday but good fun. Thank you Virgilius and Senf. My laptop doesn’t seem to like “Senf” and has suggested half a dozen alternatives. I prefer”Senf” to “Serf” and he probably does, too.

  2. The Sunday puzzle is usually a treat and this is no exception but wished it had lasted a bit longer. The only clue that caught my fancy was 9d.

  3. 2*/4.5*. Great fun as always on a Sunday, but 15a stopped this being perfect in my eyes. It is not in my BRB, and I suspect the provenance of this clunky word is across the pond.

    My page is littered with too many ticks to list them all, but top of the pile were 8d & 9d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

    1. Ditto to dutch and Gazza on the BRB, but a number of on-line dictionaries do agree with you.

    2. 15a is in my BRB which is the 11th edition and was apparently first published in 2008 – I hadn’t realised it was so old. No wonder it’s falling to bits – perhaps I need a new one.

      1. Mine is slightly older than yours but oddly doesn’t show any edition number. It is certainly very well thumbed and a bit dog-eared. Perhaps I need a new one too.

    3. I often agree with you, RD, but in this instance I feel you’re letting your anti-Americanism go a step too far. It may be that the Americans coined that word, but it is now accepted as a word and that’s how language evolves.

  4. Much fun as always on a Sunday. I liked 1a, 15a, and especially 19d.

    Many thanks Virgilius and Senf

  5. 9d was also my COTD, although the list of possibles was long as usual for a Sunday. I didn’t take exception to the answer to 15a so I will rate this 2*/5* overall.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for yet another wonderful puzzle, and to Senf.

  6. Nice of the Sunday maestro to acknowledge you, Senf, but then he does seem to be a very nice man – although my affection wavered a little after tackling his offering in the Guardian yesterday!
    Liked the 1a& 1d combo and would agree with others that 9d (my last one in) deserves the honours today.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to our Games volunteer – hope you don’t have to deal with too many 28a’s!

    BTW – the video clip won’t play over here (even on You-tube). Not to worry, I’d much rather have listened to the wonderful Booker T whose LPs featured highly in my youthful collection.

      1. Thanks, Senf – I did eventually find a live version online, they all look so happy making music together.
        As the full title is Booker T and the Memphis Group I suppose the apostrophe is appropriate if you’re following it on with a specific song title?

        1. Don’t know why the other video didn’t work. Just think, and perish the thought, I could have put a video of you know who at 15a.

          1. According to the words that flash up – ‘this video contains content from Eagle Rock who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds’. Sound like a friendly bunch, don’t they!
            At least, as you say, I was spared the video possibility for 15a – I shall remain thankful for small mercies.

  7. As good as usual and it’s restored my crossword confidence having made such a hash of yesterday’s NTSPP.
    I did have to ask Mr Google about 11a to see if ‘he’ was a producer – completely missed the relevance of ‘leaves’. Dim.
    Didn’t have trouble finding the one and only lurker but I always forget the 13a ‘old soldier’ and the ‘cookies’ bit of 9d foxed me for too long.
    I liked 5, 8 and 9d. My favourite, which took me ages, was 28a.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.
    Seems to have stopped raining so off to the jungle with snorkel and flippers.

  8. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite straightforward with some good clues. 26a gave me a feeling of deja vu. Last in was 15a, which I’d never heard of, but the wordplay was clear. My favourite was 28a, very humourous. Was 2*/4* for me.

  9. Well-clued and enjoyable as always from Virgilius, my favourite was 5d.

    Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf.

  10. Sundays in crosswordland are always a pleasure.
    The greatest for me today was 23a.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  11. I look forward to our Sunday setter so much, another lovely treat.
    One quibble, and I think I may be picky here, the hunting outfit at 13a is normally called “pink”.
    I loved 8d and 9d, but so many others tickled my fancy.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf, have fun at the games.

    1. I read it as old soldier being the definition, thus the answer as there were plenty of them around during the Revolutionary war. But you are right in that the fox hunting elite wear “pink”.

  12. I really enjoyed this, must do Sunday’s more often. Lots of lovely clues but best have got to be 6 & 22d. 13a took ages for the penny to drop which is a bit embarrassing for an old soldier. Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  13. Much too difficult for me, but no complaints.
    No favourite as I didn’t solve that many.
    Thanks to both.

  14. Thank you Virgilius, today’s puzzle has restored my confidence after doing so badly yesterday. I particularly liked 11a.

  15. A typically enjoyable Virgilius, albeit on the gentle side. I loved 5d, 9d and 27a, but l confess l found 15a rather jarring, whatever its origins. Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf.

  16. Lovely crossword; kept me occupied for quite a while. 11a was my favourite.i think the last week or so has seen a series of good high quality back pagers. It has been a pleasure to solve them. 3/4* overall by the way.
    Thanks to the Sunday maestro, and thanks to Senf for the hints. Have fun at the athletics!

  17. Good fun with no real problems. Can’t believe I failed to parse 29a. Perhaps years spent in US make15a OK by me and I will refrain from adding my two pennyworth to 13a colour comments. 24d was Fav. Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

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