ST 2912 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2912 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2912 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – only the Women’s Softball Final and the Closing Ceremony (and (most importantly) the volunteers’ appreciation party) of a very successful Summer Games to go.

Another very enjoyable Virgilius puzzle, only 27 clues. I thought Virgilius had returned to benevolence but, in the end, I decided that he was still on the slightly tricky side – the usual handful of anagrams (including partials), a lurker, and a partial homophone. Apologies in advance for any faux pas in the hints, I started the solving and hinting process a little over four hours later than usual and when I should have been safely in the arms of Morpheus.

My favourite – 9d – not difficult enough to merit a hint.

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 Really messy place containing litter, perhaps (6)
Where the litter of a farm animal might be found could also be a term used (occasionally?) to describe our children’s bedrooms?

8a Warning about stray shot by chief that’s positioned between temples (8)
What a player in a sport calls out when his or her ball is not going straight and a synonym for chief (of an organization).

10a Expression of disapproval that’s heard after bad service? (6)
A call that can be uttered loudly by an official in the sport played by a current Knight of the Realm.

12a Person observing tree with it, in strange sense (10)
A tree (the wood of which was used for making bows) and IT from the clue contained by (in) an anagram (strange) of SENSE.

16a Natural way to treat someone in a foreign capital, with party he arranged (12)
A from the clue, a foreign capital (in its own language’s spelling), and an anagram (arranged) of PARTY HE.

21a Man on board that’s central to network, in general (4)
The lurker (that’s central to), which is the middle letters of the last three words of the clue gives a playing piece (in one of RD’s favourite games).

23a Force merger of two kinds of transport (8)
A single word synonym for force formed by the concatenation of two forms of transport.

25a Large group inserting a line for news announcer (6)
A term for a large group (of animals) containing (inserting) A from the clue and the single letter for line gives a news announcer in days of yore or a UK newspaper that ceased publication in 1964.


1d Quality expert forward added to rugby, finally (8)
A three letter abbreviated form of an expert, a synonym for forward, and the last letter (finally) of rugbY.

3d Legendary Greek hero in academic writings around university (7)
Documents that post-graduate students have to submit containing (around) the single letter for university. This individual was/is famous for slaying the minotaur.

6d Turned up without performing piece of mine (9)
A synonym for turned reversed (up) containing (without) a two letter synonym for performing gives part of a mine (of the exploding type).

14d Not picked up in foreign car, be left inside (9)
IN from the clue, a foreign (German) car, BE from the clue, and the single letter for left.

15d Paris and, possibly, Madrid is where one’s capital is (8)
An anagram (possibly) of PARIS AND gives a native of the country of which Madrid is the capital.

19d Racing vehicle in middle of night with adequate skill (2-4)
The middle letter of niGht, two letters for adequate, and a synonym for skill.

21d Awful mark, then good one — that’s fate (5)
An anagram (awful) of MARK followed by one of the indefinite articles – I went to sleep scratching my head as to why good was in the clue.

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With the start of the new ’round ball’ season this weekend, here is Bill Bailey (on The One Show) having some fun with the Match of the Day theme (and the Ski Sunday theme) – and, unless Anglesey has declared independence from the rest of the UK, this should be viewable by all:

26 comments on “ST 2912 (Hints)

  1. The warning in 8a is actually uttered when the ball is going straight – straight for another player or a spectator.
    Thanks to Senf – and to Virgilius for another great offering.

    1. Yes, but, it all depends on the use of straight – straight at or in a straight line (and I know that many good shots do not have a straight trajectory). Before my eyes finally closed, I thought about changing straight to not in the intended direction but Morpheus won.

  2. The reason that good is in the clue for 21D is that the required letter represents a good mark. [edited BD]

    1. Thanks Andy, I knew someone would provide the explanation. Were it not the last Down clue, I could have skipped over it but the ‘rules’ of prize puzzle blogging mean that it was automatically on the list of clues to be hinted.

  3. Yet another great puzzle on Sunday. The setter must have been in a ‘sporty’ mood. There were references to tennis, golf, motor racing,rugby and hunting. Hard to choose a favourite clue because there were several excellent contenders. In a photofinish between 20a and 9d the latter wins by the shortest of heads.

  4. First rate entertainment once again from the Sunday maestro, how on earth does he keep up such a high standard?

    I had exactly the same thoughts as Senf over 1a – what amazes me is that both of my girls now keep their own homes immaculate!
    6d required a penny drop moment as I was initially in the wrong mine and, in a similar vein, it took a while for the type of capital we were looking for to register at 15d.

    Gold medal going to 10a with 20a & 9d not far behind.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for a great set of hints – hope you enjoy the party!

    PS Do give a listen to the Bill Bailey clip – such a multi-talented man.

  5. 3*/5*. Sheer crossword heaven!

    There is another of those apparent coincidences where a very, very recent answer has occurred again in today’s puzzle but I’d better not be more specific.

    My favourite was a toss up between 1a & 20a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius. As Jane asks, how on earth do you continue to maintain such a high standard? But please keep it going! Many thanks too to Senf.

  6. A veritable bowl of cherries which has pleasantly kept me from tasks waiting to be done. Enjoyed all the sporting references but nevertheless a contest between 1a and 17d for Fav. Needed a couple of nudges in SE to confirm my solves. Now on with the gardening motley. TVM Virgilius and Senf.

  7. A nice crossword from Virgilius, requiring just enough thought for a Sunday. My favourite, too, was 9d

  8. Last one in was 11a. Took a while for the penny to drop.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the good brain teaser and to senf for the hints.

  9. Lovely stuff again. Like Jean-Luc, it took me a while to get 11A. 15D and 25A were my last two in, in that order, and once I had them I wondered why they took me so long. My favorite is 14D. thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  10. 20a or 9d as favourite. How about a dead heat between the two? Another cracker of a crossword from Virgilius, at the slightly harder end of his setting spectrum I would suggest. Enjoyable, testing and thought-provoking. 3*/5* from me.

    Thanks to Virgilius for another wonderful puzzle and to Senf.

  11. LOL 1a put me in good mood to continue although I usually start at the bottom right hand corner and work up. Having had three days rest from crosswords it was a real treat to come back via Virgilius and Senf. As usual far to many favourites to risk picking one so will close with grateful thanks to the Sunday team.

  12. Lovely stuff from Virgilius as usual.

    I was discombobulated for a while with 1d – how clever … nothing to do with rugby!

    Thanks to Senf for the hints (15 out of 27 is very generous)

  13. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. Yes a decidedly tricky puzzle today. Needed the hints for 6d despite having most of the letters (was only thinking coalmines), electronic help for 10a. Not sure if I’ve got 11a correct. Very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 20a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  14. Another Sunday treat, fun from start to finish. I agree, I found it a bit trickier, though, upon completion, I don’t know why I thought so.
    How many times am I going to be fooled by “putting” in 2d? That was my last one in.
    I needed the hint to know why 6d was correct, thanks for that Senf.
    No faves today, too many qualifiers.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf

    1. I’ve been fooled by the 2d “putting” more times than I’d like to admit to but not this time, if only because we’ve had it recently enough for it still to be somewhere in my head.

  15. I found today’s offering a little easier than normal. Oo-er, I’ll pay for saying that!
    9d was probably favourite and 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints.

  16. Apart from a handful of clues I found this fairly straightforward even though there weren’t many anagrams.
    10a took a while but I don’t know why and the ‘good’ bit of 11a needed thinking about.
    My first thought for 25a was the wrong ‘large group’ and, having thought of it, I couldn’t get it out of my head.
    I liked 20a and 9d and my favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  17. Another great offering, favourite was 20 as it reminded me of the John Lennon song.
    Cheers Senf and Virgilius, beautiful day in South London today.

  18. All good stuff. This felt more difficult than usual throughout, but still finished in ** time, so maybe not.

  19. I did this while watching a film, so can’t really make an objective assessment of difficulty, but there were the usual clever and interesting clues. My favourite was 6d. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  20. 21d was awful MARK, then a good mark – that’s where ‘good’ comes from😊

    (just seen that Andy explained that earlier – oops)

  21. Another great crossword from Virgilius. We struggled a little to open up the NE corner but got there eventually – 3*/4*.

    Favourite clue was 12a.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

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