ST 2915 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2915 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg on ‘the day that war broke out’ 78 years ago.

After Mister Ron’s Toughie yesterday, Virgilius has returned to benevolence while still giving us another very enjoyable puzzle, the usual handful of anagrams, including two partials, and two lurkers.

My joint  favourites – 5d and 16d.

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 One thing we hear about time that’s surprise (7)
Single letter synonym for one and what we hear containing (about) the single letter for time.

11a Problem for readers, I agree, in English school (9)
The three letter word that indicates agreement contained by (in) the single letter for English and a synonym for school (as a verb).

12a Climber in Australian Alps (5)
The first lurker (in) found in the last two words of the clue – the other lurker is 18d.

17a Queen who made herself unpopular, namely in dreadful rant at one time (5,10)
A two letter abbreviation of a Latin phrase that can mean namely contained by (in) an anagram (dreadful) of RANT AT ONE TIME.

19a I had turned over poems of various kinds (7)
The contraction of I had reversed (turned over) and a collective term for poems.

24a Big game found, if not actually lions initially (5)
Nothing to do with safaris, a sporting big game from the initial letters of the third to seventh words of the clue.

28a Lady, perhaps, showing journalists around borders of estate (7)
A term for journalists containing (showing . . . around) the first and last letters (borders) of EstatE.


1d Clear area in quiet part of camp (6)
The single letter for area contained by (in) the musical letter for quiet and a ‘structure’ that is part of a camp – BRB and LRB verified.

3d A truce I arranged, including individual who has lots to offer? (10)
Anagram (arranged) of A TRUCE I containing (including) a three letter term for individual – in this case the ? appears to be ‘genuine’.

5d Fit for second or last part in Shakespeare play (4)
The second and last words in the title of a Shakespeare play give a synonym of fit (medically).

9d Give everyone a hand in agreement (4)
Double definition, the first is an action as a prelude to a game.

16d Sabotage how James Bond worked in East (9)
The relationship of 007 to his boss, IN from the clue, and the single letter for East.

17d Medic declined to cover condition that’s changed (8))
A two letter abbreviation for a medic (although this may cause some comments) and a term for declined (terminally?) containing (to cover) a two letter synonym for condition.

22d Like Hawaii as state, or Louisiana, on trial (6)
Double definition, the second is the two letter abbreviation for Louisiana and a synonym for trial which defines Hawaii’s ‘position’ as a state.

25d Placed face up (4)
A (slang) synonym for face reversed (up).

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.

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Lionel Ritchie in harmony with the Bellagio Hotel (Las Vegas) fountains (the originals), or should it be the other way round:


  1. Young Salopian
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with Senf that this was a more comfortable solve than yesterday’s Prize Puzzle, but it still had all the elements of an excellent crossword. I, too, liked 16d as my favourite, and overall this was a 2*/4* for me.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for cheering up a cool and damp Sunday morning here in The Marches, and to Senf.

    • Brian
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I absolutely agree, yesterday’s was a real stinker.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    2.5*/5*. Excellent stuff as ever on a Sunday. I managed to complete most of the grid smoothly but got held up slightly with my last few in the NW corner.

    23d was a new bit of slang for me. 16d was my favourite with 11a (my last one in) close behind.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  3. neveracrossword
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Easier and more enjoyable than yesterday’s offering. Thank you Senf and Virgilius.

  4. Alan savage
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Struggling with 16 down ******** [partial answer redacted]

    • Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Alan

      Please read the Comment Etiquette, the FAQ and the instructions in red before posting on prize puzzles.

      None of the answers seems to match, or come close to, the pattern that you gave before I redacted it.

      Update: I think you may have meant 16d in yesterday’s puzzle, in which case your initial letter is incorrect. Please try to post on the correct puzzle.

    • Senf
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome from me also Alan.

      16d is included in my hints above.

  5. Michael
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I had a shocker with ths one and struggled throughout – thank God it’s over!

  6. JonP
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A steady solve today for me, being held up a wee bit by a couple of the four letter clues.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius **/****

  7. Expat Chris
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I completed the puzzle very early this morning and with a great deal of satisfaction…and then realized it was yesterday’s prize puzzle that was as yet untouched and still on my clipboard! Have to say I was on wavelength and didn’t find it nearly as bad as everybody in that comments section is saying.

    On to today’s, and it was another Sunday smasher. All my favorites are down clues — 2,3,5 and 16. Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  8. Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The usual Sunday story. I very much enjoyed the crossword – thanks to Virgilius for that, and to Senf for the hints (I’d just question the underlining in 19a and 28a, and 22d).

  9. jane
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Had a couple of sticky moments with 17d (rather a convoluted clue, I thought) and with 23d which needed verifying with the BRB.
    No other problems apart from trying to put one of the answers in the wrong place – must concentrate more.

    16d might have made the podium had it not been for the depiction of an impostor in the role – as it is I’ll nominate 10a for the smile factor and 25d for its simplicity.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the blog – Lionel Ritchie and the fountains made a good start to a lazy Sunday.

    • Senf
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Just think of it as the same way that Dr Who ‘regenerates’ every so often (which means that there might even be a female James Bond in the future).

      • jane
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Ah – but I also gave up watching Dr. Who when the ‘real’ one departed……..

        • Senf
          Posted September 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

          William Hartnell?

          • jane
            Posted September 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink | Reply


            • Brian
              Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

              No no, the only Doctor was Tom Baker with K9!

              • hoofityoudonkey
                Posted September 3, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Patrick Troughton for me

  10. PLR
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I echo RD’s observations on this puzzle. 23d was new to me too. Toss up between 2d and 16d for favourite clue but the former evokes memories of something seen on a sporting field many moons ago and so wins by a short head.

  11. Angellov
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not much sparkle today but agreeable enough. Swindle in 23d new one on me also. NE corner last to go in mainly due to not being familiar with 12a. No Fav(s). Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  12. stanXYZ
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    For once the Sunday Virgilius didn’t take top honours for puzzle of the week!

    A few surface readings were most un-Virgiliusesque – 8a & 17a to name but two.

    However, he remains my favourite setter alongside Brendan!

  13. Hoofityoudonkey
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well I enjoyed it and a welcome stroll after yesterday.
    As ever, a few I could not parse
    17a – thanks for the hint
    15d – ?
    17d – thanks for the hint
    18d – ?
    Favourite was 16d, last in was 8a (I was looking for a homophone until the penny dropped).
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius

    • Senf
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      15d – anagram (new production) of STARRING ME gives the MC (presenter of show) of a ‘circular’ entertainment that used to be very popular.

      18d – the second lurker (indicated by some) found in the last thee words of the clue gives a single word for secured by rope.

      • Hoofityoudonkey
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks Senf

  14. Paso Doble
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great puzzle from Virgilius and thanks to Senf.

    • Senf
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I fixed your misspelling of Doble (you put Doblo).

  15. Kath
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A good crossword that’s cheered up a rather grey drizzly Sunday morning – it’s also taken me away from the MPP which is slowly driving me mad!
    11a caused a spot of bother for a while – I couldn’t get beyond the name of the school that’s so often part of a crossword answer.
    I liked 21 and 24a and 20d. My favourite was 16d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.
    Back to the MPP – :phew: – or maybe I’ll hide it and try again another day.

    • Weekendwanda
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ditto for me with 11a!

    • Merusa
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Re 11a, me too!

    • Angellov
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

      And me re 11a – great minds thought alike wrongly!

  16. Angiebaby
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh so much more enjoyable than yesterday. My self confidence is restored a little.
    Only needed a little prompting from the hints, for which I am ever grateful.

  17. Weekendwanda
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well I think this was an antidote for yesterday. Could not have been more different. Probably took a tenth of the time to solve! Did have a hold-up in the NW. Then got 11a having tried for some time (like Kath) to fit in a particular school. Once I thought outside the box the second part of the answer quickly appeared. This helped me with others the last being 1d for which I needed all the checkers. I confess to using a synonym finder for 8a and was annoyed when it was revealed as I had been so close. Apart from that needed no assistance – human or otherwise but as ever enjoyed reading the hints and comments. Thanks Virgilius for restoring my faith in my solving abilities. 2d probably my favourite. Thought I would have a go at the GK but gave up after only getting five in!

  18. BusyLizzie
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Much more enjoyable than yesterday, but sadly (or contrarily?) the hints did not help me as I already solved almost all of those, it was several without hints that I am still pondering over. Perhaps brain will kick in fully later over lunch.

  19. Merusa
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A very benevolent Virgilius this morning, but wotta treat!
    I had to refer to my thesaurus for the synonym for 23d, new to me.
    So much good stuff, fave has to be 16d (well, Jane, I like him!), runner up is 5d, very clever.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints and tips.

  20. Brian
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A superb Sunday puzzle with lots of first class clues inc 11a, 21a and my fav 16d.
    Must confess to needing the hint to solve 5d which was the last in.
    Thx to all esp BD for yesterday’s help which I did not pick up until this morning.
    For me ***/*****

  21. dutch
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyable sunday fare as usual. last one in was 9d!

    many thanks virgilius and senf

  22. Jon_S
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyable, and most definitely on the easy side. Last in 23d, where that meaning of the definition was new to me.

  23. Florence
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A lot of fun to entertain me today. 16d Was my big smile moment when the penny dropped. Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  24. Salty Dog
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like Florence, l was greatly entertained by 16d; like Jon S, l had not come across that particular meaning of 23d, and needed electronic assistance to confirm that my solution was correct. On balance, 2*/4*. My thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf.

  25. Sheffieldsy
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely as always from Virgilius, yet definitely one of his easier ones.

    Really liked 13a.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  26. GMY1965
    Posted September 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Can someone give me a hint for 23d please? I have an answer but not sure of it meaning swindle. Thanks

    • Senf
      Posted September 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Assuming that you have the checkers from the across clues, a synonym of swindle (as a verb), or something that ‘transfers’ from one level to another (as a noun).

      • GMY1965
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks got it now

  27. Toni
    Posted September 4, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I can’t believe that I didn’t recognise my own name in this

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