ST 2916 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2916 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2916 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – signs of autumn this week, two mornings where we started off in low single digit temperatures; but, today, we have a forecast high of 30 degrees so it is all rather confusing.

Virgilius has returned to being somewhat tricky while giving us another very enjoyable puzzle, the usual handful of anagrams, including partials, and two lurkers.

My co-favourites – 10a, 16a, and 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 Pressure surrounding midsummer trade (8)
A synonym for pressure (when persuading someone to do something) containing (surrounding) the middle letters of suMMer.

10a Fish that gets played? Doesn’t sound like it (4)
A musical instrument that when pronounced differently becomes a fish, or should that be the other way round?

13a Creative skill is put into middle section of smarter essay (8)
IS from the clue inserted between (put into) the middle letters of smARTer and a synonym for essay.

16a E.g. Keats, Milton, or Pope, often (4)
The first name of the two poets in the clue which is also the ‘adopted’ name of a large number (often) of Popes.

17a Leaders deserting the navy — that’s hard to bear (5)
Delete (leaders deserting) the first letters of the third and fourth words in the clue and combine what’s left.

21a Capital husband invested in modern food store (3,5)
A capital city formed from a synonym for modern and the abbreviated name of a type of food store containing (invested in) the single letter for husband.

27a Runner is more complacent going across line (8)
A synonym for more complacent containing (going across) the single letter for line gives a person who deals in contraband.

28a Chap becoming more mature and coping (8)
The combination of two synonyms: the first for chap, the second for becoming more mature.


2d Otherwise a small group of players includes old musical work (8)
A two letter synonym for otherwise, A from the clue, and a term for a small group of musicians containing (includes) the single letter for old.

3d Medium is frantically lamenting bad omen in stars? (12)
The single letter for medium, IS from the clue, and an anagram (frantically) of LAMENTING.

4d Religious teacher with little time for chat (6)
A Jewish religious teacher and the single letter for time.

8d Mint and nutmeg, initially, put in tea, say (5-3)
An informal synonym for tea containing AND from the clue and the initial letter of Nutmeg.

14d Long story about what Romeo and Juliet have in common (5)
A type of story containing (about) the letter shared by Shakespeare’s lovers.

19d Some heathen I antagonised, European citizen (8)
This chap is found as one of the lurkers (some) contained in the second to fourth words of the clue.

22d Like many cases in court, end in disarray (6)
A synonym for court (when seeking the affection of another person) and an anagram (disarray) of end.

25d Name of Parisian embracing right standard (4)
How, for example, name would be shown on a document in France containing (embracing) the single letter for right.

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The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) playing Ennio Morricone’s theme from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

The UOGB is a very entertaining group, with a wide repertoire, which has been around for over 30 years and should not be confused with the copycat, Germany-based TUKUO which lost a court case that means that it cannot perform under that name in the UK.

34 comments on “ST 2916 (Hints)

  1. A really good puzzle with a great variety of clue types and a long list of favourites including 11, 13, 16, 17 & 20a and 3, 4, 5, 14 & 17d. Really I hardly know where to stop . . .
    Only query is 7d – answer is OK but am not sure about accuracy of the description. As usual, though, I’m bound to be missing something.
    A most enjoyable accompaniment to this morning’s lie-in. Big thanks to the setter and Senf.

    1. I think the description is accurate – perhaps for two reasons – if I have got the answer right. It takes me back – both the gear and the car. Daren’t say more as do not wish to fall foul of the rules

        1. No, you’re not being thick – you just need to think in a slightly different way. ‘Gear’ here is a slang term for clothing – the definition is a car and also an item of clothing for a woman – it’s not a top – a top could be a sweater or a T-shirt but not the answer. Oh dear – I hope I haven’t made things worse as all this sounds terribly convoluted!

        2. This may or may not help but I would pass on the advice frequently espoused by Miffypops (including today) – ‘I often say to new solvers stop reading the clues.’ Often, a clue does not make sense to a solver but it is still possible to get the correct answer – write it in and look at the next clue.

  2. Another enjoyable puzzle by Virgilius. It went fairly smoothly for me but it took a while for the penny to drop for my last two entries, 17d and 27a. Favourite is 22d, which also took me a while to see.

    Many thanks Senf, loved the ukulele band

  3. Customary excellence from the Sunday maestro. Difficult to pick out one clue from many contenders for top clue but I will vote for 8d.

  4. 27a my last one in, 11a very clever, well disguised and my favourite with 16a a close second. A slightly tougher Virgilius offering this morning, but hugely enjoyable as always. 3*/5* overall for me, with many thanks to the aforementioned and to Senf..

  5. Slow start and then flew in as if by magic.Last one in 24d. Could not parse what seemed to me to be the answer. Just having another look I believe I am right and can now justify it! Apart from that 22d was a head-scratcher until the penny dropped as was 27a which is probably my favourite together with 11a which is very clever. Liked 4d – I was thinking of another religious teacher more regularly seen in crosswords.
    Thank you Virgilius. Also to Senf – did not need the hints but very good ones for those who do.

  6. The usual Sunday excellence on display here. I liked 7d a lot, but I have to go with 20a as today’s favourite. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  7. Yet another very entertaining Sunday crossword from Virgilius.

    There were many clues vying for top position today – but the “Pick of the Bunch” was my last one in – 11a – nice anagram!

      1. Many apologies – my laptop crashed recently – I am a complete novice using iPad!

        Thanks to Senf for the blog – especially as it is still only 07:00 in Winnipeg!

  8. Disappointingly needed a few hints.
    My inexperience caused me to miss the runner of 27a. Will remember for next time and the religious leader at 4d.
    I totally missed the anagram at 11a, surely the easiest clue of the day.
    I did not like 5d or 7d normally the answer hits you like a bolt from the blue, these had me thinking “really?” I held off putting them in.
    I really liked 16a, a lol moment when the penny dropped, and my favourite.
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius

    1. 20a – a synonym for regrets and an abbreviated synonym for surgery all reversed (going the wrong way) gives an affected person.

      17d – Anagram (tormented) of FLESH OR and last letter (rear) of ponY.

    2. Ah now I see both! 17d is very clever as is 8d and 16a.
      Probably one of the most straightforward Sunday puzzle for a while but hugely entertaining!
      For me **/****
      Thx to all

  9. **/****. Lovely puzzle with some clever clues (8&17d were favourites). Thanks to Senf and the setter. It rained all day yesterday – about time too.

  10. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A very nice puzzle typical Virgilius, some really good surfaces. I liked 11a & 17d, but my favourite was 14d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  11. I thought this was quite tricky in places.
    10a was my last one in and I couldn’t get that until I did 3d which for no good reason took ages.
    The ‘Pope’ bit of 16a confused me for far too long – I even had to check first names although I was pretty sure of them all. Dim!
    I liked 16 and 27a and 4 and 17d, even though I hate them.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.
    I’m completely stuck with the NTSPP.

  12. All good things must come to an end so after a week of such enjoyable puzzles I was brought down to earth with a bang today and struggled with this one. Thanks to much electronic assistance I got there in the end but with no sense of fun or achievement. Thank goodness tomorrow is another day. Thank you (I think!) Virgilius and Senf.

  13. This was just the job for yet another wet and miserable Sunday! A very good crossword which took me a while to find the entry point but from then on became an easier solve as successive answers went in. 20a was my favourite, and 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for his hints. 30 degrees? Oh my….

  14. Many thanks to Virgilius for a lovely puzzle, and to Senf.
    Last one in and favourite, 27a; runner-up, 11a.
    A chilly start to the day in Valencia with 20 degrees and jeans and sweater needed, but we did creep up to 28 in the afternoon… summer here is almost over :(

  15. Thoroughly enjoyable, without anything particularly difficult throughout. Perfectly judged as ever for a Sunday.

  16. Not particularly difficult (only just into 2* time), but so, so clever. Almost too many potential favourites to list, but l think 11a deserves the laurels. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  17. I had a bit of trouble with 17d – I got the anagram but couldn’t see what it had to do with the clue – not my favourite IMHO

    Apart from that a very enjoyable and not too taxing puzzle – I’m still a little fragile after my day out at Lords – I’m not the man I used to be!

    1. The best I can come up with is that 17d is an all-in-one anagram (if that even exists), as follows:

      An anagram (tormented) of FLESH OR and last letter (rear) of pony.

      The answer then torments flesh or the rear (and even the rest of) of a pony.

      It will be interesting to see how the reviewer (Cryptic Sue I expect) explains it in 12 days time.

  18. I started off at a gallop and then ground to a halt. What at first I thought was quite an easy puzzle turned out to have its tricky little moments. It took me ages to work out 6d. 8d was hands down favourite. Thank you Virgilius and Senf. Best wishes to all in Florida. Still thinking of you. I’ve been watching it all on CNN news.

  19. We found this a little tougher than Sundays’ normal fare. 3*/4*.

    We had 16a and 17d as our favourites. We parsed the latter exactly as Senf says above – a breathtakingly clever all-in-one clue.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  20. I always look forward to the Sunday puzzle as it is challenging but not impossible. Today’s offering was relatively benign yet a joy to solve. Anagrams,charades, homophones and even a lurker that took some finding- this puzzle had the lot. I have a huge amount of respect for the ingenuity and breadth of knowledge that all the setters display but for me this Sunday setter is primus inter pares..

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