ST 2914 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2914 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2914 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg; a flying visit to San Antonio, Texas this week, with thankfully trouble-free travel and decent weather. I feel sorry for those feeling the wrath of Hurricane Harvey this weekend, but happy that I am not still there.

Sunday quiz – photographed in Winnipeg last month, what is special about this car? Anyone who can tell me will get a drink on me on January 27, 2018; you will have to be in attendance to claim the prize.

Another very enjoyable Virgilius puzzle, less tricky than in recent weeks, the usual handful of anagrams including three partials and one lurker. Nothing controversial this week (that I could see) but I think 1 Across might draw some comments.

My joint  favourites – 27a and 4d.

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 It may be used to escape hazard from food that’s fried at high temperature (4,4)
A sporting clue to start – as (5,3) what goes with fish at a high temperature rewritten as (4,4).

9a Journalists king admitted to a current party activity (5-3)
A from the clue and the single letter used for (electric) current containing a term for journalists and a single letter for king (as in that board game).

13a Don’t object so much, stupid (8)
A two word synonymic phrase for don’t object so much combined into a single word.

16a Person losing heart as lowly farm worker (4)
The two letter heart removed from person.

18a Darned partners embracing opponents (4)
Two of the partners in a card game containing (embracing) their opponents.

23a Novel in Welsh containing good sign for most British ladies (12)
An anagram (novel) of IN WELSH containing the single letter for Good followed by a synonym for sign (portent).

27a Organiser of services in one of them (8)
A military reverend.

28a Lord who memorialised men in charge in 1854 (8)
A poet who wrote about a military disaster.


2d Measure of persistent radioactivity in lithium or iron? (4-4)
A liquid measure (as served in a pub) and the chemical symbols for lithium and iron.

4d Bird circles in two places in anticipation (6)
A synonym for anticipation containing (in two places) letters that look like circles (for a bird not found in the UK).

6d For example, Marx family members as comrades (8)
The second part of the name of a comedic family.

7d Starts from airport somewhere in Africa, lands in East (4)
The initial letters (starts from) of the third to sixth words of the clue.

12d Like some races in angry state (5-7)
Synonyms for angry and (a) state, joined by a hyphen give some races.

17d Something old king passed, making salad (8)
A nursery rhyme king, with a possessive s, and what he might have given assent to.

19d Decisive defeat, later reviewed in court (8)
A three letter synonym for court containing (in) an anagram (reviewed) of later was the beginning of the end for this chap.

25d Succinct refusal as customary behavior (4)
An (archaic) synonym for customary behavior created by a contraction of a two word refusal (that, if spoken by a child, might be accompanied by stamping of feet).

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.

From 1967, not necessarily one of the best Bond films, but the best Bond, one of the best theme songs, and Little Nellie (I had the privilege of meeting her creator and pilot – Wing Commander Ken Wallis – 

73 comments on “ST 2914 (Hints)

  1. A lurker here. I came across the site a couple of years ago.

    After a few months I could usually complete the cryptic with your help.

    I took time off and came back. Now I can usually complete without your help. Yesterday’s I did. The problem is that it took about three hours and I cannot afford three hours every day. I guess the answer is to allocate a time and count how many clues I solve – allowing a few minutes at the end to read your hints. Presumably I will get faster with experience as I never expected, this time two years ago, I would get anywhere.

    My main reason for posting is to ask why you don’t see to suggest this site as a help:-

    It is no good if your hints have been around for more than a day as it picks them up. But for an on the day cryptic it is the best online aid I have found. What appeals is the way it filters by word length and also if you have any characters already in place.

    Is there some reason why you folk don’t like it – or have you found something better?

    Forgive me if I do not reply across the middle of today. Godfather duties. But I’ll be back late afternoon to read any comments.

    Many thanks, Dave and the rest of you, for a really great site and my introduction to the cryptics.

    Tony. London SW6

    1. My guess is that a number of folk on this site are more concerned with solving the wordplay rather than finding the answer and then trying to prove it is right.

      That’s not to say that I never use missing letter solvers!

      1. I don’t know really but I’ve always thought that using electronic aids is well, not exactly cheating, but it devalues the answering of clues.

        I must admit that I do result to various apps and occassionally Answerbank but I feel much prouder if I’ve only used pen and paper!

    2. Call us purists, but the objective is to solve a puzzle unaided.

      I tried the site you listed for 4d, and, even with the three checkers, it could not suggest a solution.

    3. Hi Tony,
      I think the second line of your comment should give you the answer to your question. If you had started out by relying on help from a site such as the one you suggest then I doubt that you would have progressed very far in terms of your own solving abilities. I think the main aim of the BD site is to teach us how to work out the clues for ourselves – surely that’s the goal we’re all aiming for?

    4. I’ve never used that site, but I have used electronic help if absolutely stuck. If I have to use electronic help for more than one or two, I tend to lose interest and turn to BD’s site for the hints.

    5. Hi Tony.

      I inadvertently sparked off a thread a while ago about what constitutes cheating. Some responses:




      In summary, I’d say solve however you like – it’s a puzzle for your entertainment. Using aids helps you improve (I think there’s limited value in spending hours staring blankly at a clue), the aim of which is to need them less … or move to harder puzzles!

    6. I love this site, not only for assistance, but because it’s so friendly. I still consider myself a novice but have improved enormously with all the guidance given here. I’m sure I wouldn’t have progressed nearly as much if I just used an electronic tool. Those are useful but now I need to know the ‘why’ as much as the ‘what’.
      That said, I’m usually finishing a puzzle the day after everyone else!

  2. It is often said on a Sunday, but if you start ticking good clues, you end up with too many to list. (Personally, I thought this was a little harder than some recent Sunday puzzles, but I might be in the minority).Particularly liked 2d. Brian, if you are here, there is a good clue for you at 1a. And Senf, is the Morris Minor thing anything to do with the windscreen?

  3. I found it quite a challenge compared to Saturday, and needed all the help. Thanks to setter and Senf.
    My favourite is 23a – so very misleading.

  4. The only thing special (to me personally) about the car pictured above is that it is exactly the same make and colour (a grey Morris Minor 1000) as my very first car, a 1950s model bought second hand for £50 in 1970. And some great fun I had travelling all over the UK in it. Mostly, in the winter, it had to be cranked up using the starting-handle, or run-off down the hill at the end of our road.

    1. Sorry, Jose, this one is not grey – being in the shade from trees might cause some confusion – see my comment below about ‘mouse clicking’ on the picture.

      1. Thank you, Senf. I have clicked on the image to enlarge it – and it looks more grey than ever! I’m confused now, if not grey what colour is it?

        1. What Jane said. Google ‘Morris Minor 1,000,000’ and you will get all sorts of information and pictures.

  5. My main concern with 1a is that as a player of the sport in question, whose very limited ability means that I have to resort to the solution often, is why did it take me so long to solve the clue? It made me smile. 18a also appealed to me.
    As always on a Sunday thank you to Mr V. and Senf.

  6. Good Sunday crossword as ever. But is 1a really used to escape a hazard? Thank you Senf and Virgilius.

    1. Firstly, the clue says ‘may be used.’
      Secondly, yes – there is no absolute requirement to take a penalty when in a hazard. There have been plenty of occasions, including in major tournaments, when players have used 1a to escape from a hazard including when it requires removing articles of clothing before doing so.

  7. One across is a golfing term, but not from a hazard. It is performed from the fairway or rough, but not from a hazard.
    I am still stuck on 21 across……..

    1. Your comment went into moderation as you have changed your alias.

      For 1a, see my response to neveracrossword above.

      For 21a – definition is lairs. A single letter for temperature inside a synonym for dreadful.

  8. Quite a tester today and so the level of satisfaction is greater after completion. So many great clues- 1a, 2d, 8a, 12d, 17d. The golf shot is my favourite. My plaudits to the Sunday setter for his/her sustained excellence.

  9. Today’s puzzle wasn’t amongst my favourites however it was pleasant enough. 2d new to me but safely bunged in. 1a took a while to dawn and then became my Fav with 8d and 17d running up. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  10. My first car was a 1959 Morris Minor, bought for £90 and sold a year later for £85. However it was later than the one pictured. Split screen Morrises stopped in 1956, so the one shown (in immaculate condition) is worth a lot.

    1. Not a split screen (photographic illusion/reflection?) – this car was manufactured at the end of 1960/early 1961. If you mouse click on the picture it should ‘pop out’ to a larger version.

  11. Quite a tough one where I did result to ‘reaching out’ to all the resources available to me!

    As far as the car is concerned, it’s a ‘Moggie’ – a Morris Minor – but the only other significant thing I can think of is that it was designed by Alec Issigonis, who went on to design the iconic Mini.

  12. Looks like it’s left hand drive.

    Another good Sunday puzzle from Virgilius. My favorites are 23A,14D and 16D. Thanks V. and Senf.

  13. The Minor looks like one of the limited edition Minor Million models commemorating the production of the millionth car at Cowley. All finished in that rather fetching shade of lilac.

    1. Looking at pictures online I rather think you could be right, Rick.
      See you in January when you come to claim your drink from Senf!

      1. A lifetime messing around with old cars hasn’t been entirely wasted…
        I won’t be able to claim my prize but will be happy to donate it to BD.

    2. Yes, we have a winner! A Morris Minor 1,000,000 – reflected in the badgework – a total of 350 produced to commemorate the first time a British car had reached a production run of that 7 figure number.

      As I said above, I photographed this one in Winnipeg last month and apparently it is still roadworthy. It is LHD, and only 30 or so of the 350 were produced that way.

      1. Darn, too late. Mr BL got this the minute I showed him the picture, but the 5 hour time difference was against us 😊

    3. I agree Rick. I saw the picture and wondered if it was lilac. My mother had one as my grandfather sold Morris and Jaguar in Grimsby. My grandmother drove our car for a year then gave it to my mother. My brothers and I all learned to drive in it some years later.

  14. One of those weeks where I really wish it was my turn to do the review. Mind you, then I’d get into trouble with the favourites police person because I have so many clues vying for the gold medal position. My other thought was that at least Brian will be happy with 1a

    A splendid if short-lived diversion from jam making.

  15. 3.5*/5*. I found parts of this tougher than normal for a Sunday, but what was normal was the brilliance. I agree with CS about the proliferation of possible favourites; you could make a case for almost any one of the clues for that accolade.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  16. I’m definitely in the ‘trickier than usual’ camp – some of these took a fair bit of head-scratching.
    All well worth the effort – as RD says, the brilliance was there as normal.
    Can’t possibly pick a favourite but I did get it down to a personal short list of six – 1,13&26a plus 8,12&17d.

    Many thanks to the maestro Virgilius and to Senf for a great set of hints. BTW – 4d’s do turn up in the UK, their favoured haunt is reputedly the lawns of vicarages!

    PS Looks as though you might owe Rick a drink. Sadly, I shall have to buy my own – I would never have guessed that one!

  17. Have a mental block on 22d – any hints anyone? Done the rest.

    I thought the solution to 1A was, to say the least, dubious. To extract oneself from a hazard one would usually use a wedge, gap wedge or sand iron and ‘pitch’ it out of trouble. The stroke mentioned is generally performed when one’s ball is in close proximity to the green, when the ball should pop up and run towards the hole on a low trajectory.

    1. 22d – Definition is field. One of the usual academics containing the reversal (rising) of a pronoun and verb replacement for the writer is.

  18. Super stuff from Virgilius again. I was held up on my last two, meowing up the wrong tree as is my, erm, customary behaviour.

    4d made me smile and I particularly enjoyed several of the later down clues too. My favourite is 2d. (Incidentally, the hint for that one needs amending. The wordplay is that the first part of the answer applied to the second part of the answer gives either of the chemical symbols of the elements mentioned.)

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    1. Kitty – thanks for your comment on 2d. I wasn’t happy with what I wrote, but there aren’t many ‘phone a friends’ available at 2:00am UK time. I did see your comment quite soon after you posted it, but with my usual Sunday morning/early afternoon activities it got forgotten. Now, at 11:30pm, I not sure that it matters. Thanks again.

      1. No probs, Senf. Just goes to show how different we all are. I can’t stand leaving typos etc. up. Galloping horses for courses and all that. :)

        Re phone a friends, Mr K, Falcon and the 2Kiwis would be awake at that time, plus quite a few of the other bloggers are known insomniacs, and all would be happy to help. So I’m sure if you send an email around, people will pick up.

  19. I rarely give up, but without resorting to electronic help, this one is beyond me, even with Senf’s hints. Have no idea what G&S is in 8d, something British that we have forgotten or has come about since we left I guess. Might have another stab at lunch time, but did not enjoy like the lovely puzzle yesterday.

      1. Yes indeed for 16d think music and satire on the Aesthetic Movement as per Oscar Wilde.

        1. Thank you, duh I get it now. I thought it was something like M&S but different…. filled in a couple more answers but throwing in the towel now. Too hard for me today.

    1. Hi Lizzie,
      Did leave you a message the other day but you mustn’t have picked up on it. Just wanted to know how you’re going on with administering Rupert’s meds. I always found it extremely difficult with the daughters’ cats.

      1. You probably didn’t get my update. Home now and doing good so far. But today refused his Plavix, despite pill pockets and other measures. Taking other pills, insulin shot and we have given one fluid infusion. He seems happy and eating ok. Thanks for asking.

      1. Rupert doing ok, see my reply to Jane. But he is starting to get difficult re the pills. Pill Pockets were magic at first, but now he leaves some untouched. Spits out if we put pill in his mouth as recommended by veterinarian… Tried crushing and putting in his food, even chicken broth, but he just sniffs and then doesn’t touch the food, so that doesn’t work.

        We were warned this is all a temporary fix and we will just continue to do the best for him. At least he is amenable about his insulin shots and fluid infusions. His good eye is deteriorating but he sees enough to get around right now. As long as he is happy and perky that is all we can ask of an aging gent. Thanks for asking.

        1. I don’t know if this would help but I used to put pill in mouth and butter on our cat’s nose so that when she licked the butter off she swallowed the pill. I hope he’s continuing to improve.

          1. I’ll give that a try. Right now he clenches his mouth so you can’t get the pill in or spits it right even if you manage to get it in. Thanks! (At least it is only the Plavix that he objects to – it must have a strong taste and smell.)

  20. I found this really tricky, never did get 4d. I had to use my gizmo for that one but it never did come up. I should’ve worked it out, the clue is pretty clear.
    A few gimmes started me off in the right direction, particularly 28a, 12d and 16d.
    No faves today, too much good stuff, too many smiles along the way.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf, particularly for parsing 22d at comment 17, it was a bungin for me.

  21. Three hours but I got there on my own.

    Thanks for the comments about Wordplays. I take what you say but I do like the ability to find synonyms with a word length filter and a few chosen letters.

    Cocktail time now – to celebrate.


  22. I really enjoyed solving this crossword with pen and paper sitting in the sunshine. One, the sun was glorious and two, I had no access to apps and gizmos! Thus it did take a tad longer, but I got there. 3d was my favourite but 22d ran it close. 3/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and Senf for the hints.

  23. 5* time for me. New word at 16a and a google assist needed for 16d. Tougher than usual. Maybe it’s the heat. Phew!

  24. I found this about normal for a Sunday. Great set of clues as we have come to expect.
    8d was a bung-in, I have no idea why it is correct.
    22d was last in, which I didn’t understand either.
    Fav was 16d, very easy for me as I was in it once.
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius

    1. 8d – think SW19 at the beginning of July (although the answer may not be 100% correct (or, come to that, PC)).

      1. Thanks Senf, I got that bit, but the penny has just dropped…
        Great set of hints and blog,thanks!!

      1. I did, it was the ‘outcry’ bit that I did not get until just now, I always knew it was something to do with SW19

  25. I found this decidedly on the tricky side, especially for a Sunday Virgilius, struggling throughout. Perhaps I’m tired, because my LOI 14d, which looked impossible at the time, now looks particularly straightforward. Oh well…

  26. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. I enjoyed what I could do but needed the hints for 1,13,1623,27a and 4d. Just couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength today. Favourite was 2d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  27. Trying to parse 22d – l was on completely the wrong track until the penny dropped – took me just into 3* time, but l agree that this was rather stiffer than this setter’s usual puzzles. I liked 2d and 21a. Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  28. Senf,
    Your holiday destination brought memories of that wonderful Frédéric Dard and his inspector San Antonio.
    He claims he started writing with a vocabulary of about 300 words and invented the rest.
    Sounds perfect for crosswords.
    Today’s Virgilius didn’t cause too many problems but needed to check 1a and 2d as both terms were new to me or invented just in time to make the 13th edition of Chambers.
    Thanks to the Sunday maestro and to senf for the hints.

  29. The picture is of the millionth Morris Minor produced. Sadly I cannot attend for the free pint!

    1. Probably not the millionth, but one of the 350 special editions to celebrate the millionth – close enough for government work.

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