ST 2923 (Hints)

 

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2923 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – some wild, even wintry weather this week – as shown by my car on Thursday morning – with more in the forecast.

A typically excellent Virgilius in which he has, once again, been quite tricky with some good misdirection and obfuscation. The usual handful of anagrams, including partials, and only one lurker.

My joint-favourites – 17a, 21a, 3d, and 15d plus a few more I could have added.

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:

Across

8a Simplify calculation by increasing number in assembly (5-2)
The process to simplify the result of a calcuation.

12a Game that’s handled by person in hot seat? (5)
A double definition, the first is a card game.

14a Plant old bishop and priest put in US city (7)
A US city frequently abbreviated to two letters containing (put in) the single letters for old and bishop, and an OT priest.

17a Smooth, cold, and undecided about HM in session with reporters (5,10)
A synonym for smooth (clothing), the single letter for cold, and a two word phrase for undecided containing (about) alternate two letters for HM.

24a King taken in by light-headed religious ascetic (5)
The single letter for king contained (taken in) by a term defining hair colour.

27a Times can be read on this — other paper put back (7)
A tabloid newspaper and a synonym for put reversed (back).

28a Criticise article about expert that deals with all complaints (7)
The increasingly frequent synonym for criticize and the single letter article containing a synonym for expert.

Down

1d Religious leader embracing right, right? Right (6)
A religious leader containing (embracing) the single letter for right, followed by the single letter for right.

3d Counselled about conclusions of the lower court being made known (10)
A synonym for counselled containing (about) the last letters of fifth to seventh words of the clue.

6d Means to raise a large wild animal (6)
A tool used for raising an object, A from the clue, and a single letter for large.

7d Reduction, as incorporated in formal ruling (8)
A formal ruling containing (incorporated in) AS from the clue.

15d Pub repeatedly is disrupted by an uncivilised lot (10)
A synonym for pub repeated, and IS from the clue containing (disrupted by) AN from the clue.

17d Not advocating war, if one’s in treaty (8)
A synonym for treaty containing (in) IF from the clue and the single letter for one and S from the clue.

22d Expert navigator needed in fleet as mandated (6)
The lurker in (needed in) the last three words of the clue.

25d Attack with ultimate in air support (4)
The last (ultimate in) letter of aiR and a synonym for support.


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Number One from October 1972, with one of the oldest ‘pop stars’ ever (this appears to be from the TOTP end of the year ’round-up’):


 

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75 Comments

  1. Margaret
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Can’t believe I’m first here today- where is everyone? I enjoyed this and thanks very much to Senf, Virgilius and BD.

    Can’t entirely parse my answers to 9d and 26a so was hoping they’d get a mention.

    While I’m here I wanted to say thanks to Mr K for the very interesting surveys. I seem to be in the majority groups throughout from memory.

    I solve on my iPad and I’ve seen today, yet again, that I got 0 out of 32 correct answers last Sunday. Quite an achievement isn’t it? So according to them I’ve made up 32 incorrect words which fit together perfectly in the grid!

    • Graham
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      Me to re 9d.
      26a has to be cut my more than usual last letter.
      Otherwise an enjoyable solve.

    • Senf
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply

      9d – includes the poetic form of a synonym for possibly (so says Chambers LRB).

      26a – The reduced (cut) name of the flower is a synonym for happy.

      • One Across
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink | Reply

        Re: 9d
        No doubt about the answer, due to the noble person. Ok with the first letter. It seems the last three letters come from a contracted 4 letter word (a tenuous synonym for possibly) with the second one replaced with an apostrophe, which is then dropped. Dodgy.

        • Senf
          Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink | Reply

          Setter’s (same as poetic) licence?

          • Heno
            Posted October 29, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Have read the above comments, but I’m totally confused. I can’t parse 9d&26a.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

      Margaret, if you can consistently get 32 random words to fit a crossword grid perhaps you should consider becoming a setter? :wink:

      • Margaret
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink | Reply

        Haha. Yes RD, if only I were really that clever!

    • Margaret
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks both. I thought that was the case with 9d, but it didn’t feel comfortable. However on checking my electronic version of Chambers I see it’s there (only going one way, however).

      26a I felt the final letters of the answer should have been dealt with in the clue, but looking again I see how it works. Thanks for the assistance.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Glad that you like the surveys, Margaret. The results of the second one will be posted on Tuesday morning.

      • Margaret
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Mr. K. I shall read with interest

  2. Hoofityoudonkey
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Senf.
    A great pleasure and the usual great puzzle from Virgilius.
    Last in was 5d, I am still not sure of the relevance of the second half of the dd.
    24a was a new definition for me.
    Fav was 21a when the penny dropped, but I suspect an old chestnut to the more experienced.
    Thanks to Virgilius too.

    • Senf
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      5d – not a theatre you pay to sit in.

      21a – definitely an oldie but goodie in this form or similar.

      • Hoofityoudonkey
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Hi Senf, yes I guessed the theatre but I did not realise that the answer was a precursor to the event in there

  3. toffeeman
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    Still struggling with 23 down. Any hints?

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

    • Graham
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      Think – corrupt xxxx.

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

        BD hasn’t said it so much lately, but he used to regularly point out that if you start your ‘help’ with the word ‘think’ you are straying into alternative clue territory

      • Tantalus
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

        We two too have been found guilty of using the “think” term – found guilty and banished to the naughty corner. Better to underline but doesn’t seem to work.

        A synonym for fighting plus the abbreviation for power, makes a word for (underlined) corrupt (end underline)

        Go Vettel

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    2* / 4.5*. Yet another top quality Sunday puzzle with just a very minor niggle regarding a repetition. Not only was expert used twice for the same synonym, the two occurrences actually intersected! I’m another in the can’t fully parse 9d camp.

    Picking a favourite is as ever on a Sunday the most difficult task as we are always spoilt for choice. My short list is 8a, 21a, 1d & 16d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

      P.S. I see Senf has replied to comment #1 above about 9d. Thanks Senf, but it’s not in my BRB.

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

        It is in my BRB under the non=poetic version of the word

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks very much, CS. Yes, it’s in my BRB too in that guise, but being a rabbit of very little brain that’s a step too far for me.
          :unsure:

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

            PS. And thanks to Gazza and Senf too who both commented whilst I was replying to CS.

      • Gazza
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink | Reply

        ‘Possibly’ is in the BRB under the the full form of the poetic word. I think it works as in ‘How can I possibly thank you?’.

      • Senf
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

        Same as CS and Gazza, plus my comment at #1 was referring to the Crossword Dictionary (which I refer to as the L(ittle)RB).

    • Merusa
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      As I was solving those repititions, I thought, uh-oh, RD is going to comment on that!

  5. stanXYZ
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    I seem to be in good company today … struggled to parse 9d and 26a.

    Isn’t 8a a double definition?

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink | Reply

      8a? Yes, it’s a DD.

      • Gazza
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

        Since it’s hyphenated the answer must be a noun so I can’t see how it can be a double definition.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted October 29, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Gazza, my BRB gives both definitions for the hyphenated answer. As it’s Sunday I can’t quote the entry verbatim as I’m too busy to go to the naughty corner…

          • Gazza
            Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Perhaps we can resume this discussion after the full review is published.

            • crypticsue
              Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

              I’d be willing to bet at least 50p that you don’t! In fact if I had 50p for every time someone had promised to come back …..I’m not sure what I’d do …. but I’d certainly have quite a bit of change in my purse

              • Senf
                Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Perhaps ‘after the full review is published’ means on January 27, 2018.

                • Rabbit Dave
                  Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  A significant and important date!

              • Rabbit Dave
                Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

                I think I’ve only promised once to come back about a prize puzzle and I did. I’ll promise again now and try to keep up my 100% record!

              • Gazza
                Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

                I’ve tied a knot in my handkerchief so your 50p is as good as lost.

                • Tantalus
                  Posted October 29, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Based on the survey, CS probably has ten bob notes in her pocketbook.

                • Kath
                  Posted October 29, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  I reckon your hanky will be lost by then . . .

  6. Young Salopian
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    The difficulties surrounding 9d and 26a took the shine of this Virgilius offering a little bit for me. They had to be what they were, so time was not impacted, but parsing them satisfactorily took too long, so 2* /4* for me. 1d my favourite clue.

    Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

    • Young Salopian
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I have looked at 26a again and I think I was trying to read too much into it, to make it harder than it actually is, so I withdraw my earlier comment about this clue. For completeness’ sake I will bung on an extra half a star to the enjoyment.

  7. One Across
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I doubted this was the master. Virtually all Lego words except 8a 11a (anagram) 4d 5d 16d and 22d (lurker). Lack of variety spoiled some of the fun. Nevertheless, the “right right right” and “product of mine” were amusing.
    2½* / 2½*
    Great work, Senf

    • Gazza
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I agree that this didn’t seem like a Virgilius production. We had a similar clue to 26a in a Saturday prize puzzle a couple of months ago – I wonder whether the same setter is responsible?

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

        If you’d just drafted the review, you’d probably decide that it was him.

        • Senf
          Posted October 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I certainly had no cause to think otherwise when I was solving and preparing the hints.

  8. PLR
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As usual I enjoyed this offering from the Sunday setter which I found reasonably straightforward. Unlike yesterday I had no difficulty deciphering the anagrams and this helped me as Senf would say canter to the finish.

  9. MsGlad
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I also complete the crossword on my iPad and also seem to have got a whole grid of incorrect answers last week 🙄

    • Tantalus
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Based on the survey, most people are still using fountain pens to complete the puzzles.

      • Merusa
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Too right!

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I could ask about that in the next one: pencil, pen, or quill?

        • Miffypops
          Posted October 29, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Finger

      • BusyLizzie
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Its a gel pen for me.

  10. Mr Kitty
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this paled in comparison to yesterday’s crossword. Like many above, I found 9d and 26a lacking the crispness of wordplay that we usually see on a Sunday. However, I did like 28a and 22d. Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  11. Brian
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I normally enjoy Sunday puzzles but this has me beat. Managed about half with the hints but the rest is a complete mystery.
    Way too tough for me!

  12. Merusa
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I loved it all. I always enjoy the Sunday challenge.
    I’ve been following the discussion re 26a and 9d with interest.
    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf. We’ve been having it cooler down here as well.

  13. BobH
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found this quite (**) easy. Bottom half easier than the top. Enjoyable solve. Really liked 3 down, and my last one in.

  14. John Bee
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As with others I am not sure about the answers I have bunged in for 9d and 26a. I’m pretty sure I have the gist just not 100% on homophones and or plural forms. Other than that the rest was not too tricky. 11a my fave today if only because the anagram didn’t leap out of the page. 16d ran it close too.
    Thanks to Senf and the setter whoever that may be.

  15. Gwizz
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought that unusually today’s crossword lacked a little sparkle and at times while doing it I wondered whether it really was the work of the Sunday maestro. However I duly completed it and allowing for the affects of 28a I’ll nominate that as my favourite.
    2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius (hopefully), and to Senf for the hints etc.

  16. Heno
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky in places. Couldn’t parse 9d&26a, despite reading the comments above. Favourite was 1d. Was 3 ✳ /3 ✳ for me.

  17. Hector Pascal
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Completed at a near R&W pace before dawn today but just getting round to the blog 12 hrs later. What’s the collective noun for experts – a confusion maybe? – anyway there were too many of them in the SE corner. Three I counted.
    It did not occur to me that this was not the work of V, but I did think it was unusually easy. Enjoyable though.

  18. Kath
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I enjoyed this and it hadn’t occurred to me to doubt that it was set by Virgilius – 1d certainly feels like one of his.
    Being out of routine, i.e. not starting it until quite late having been in the garden all day, always makes a difference to how difficult I find a crossword.
    There weren’t very many anagrams which also adds to the difficulty level for me.
    Like others I had trouble justifying my answers to 9d and 26a and I’ve been trained so well by the blog that I always dither before doing a ‘bung in’.
    9d turns out to be a case of ‘should have looked it up’ and I think I was trying to read more into 26a than there is.
    I messed up 27a which caused serious trouble until I saw what I’d done – don’t ask!
    I particularly liked 17 and 27a and 1 and 6d. My favourite was 15d.
    Thanks to Virgilius (I think) and to Senf.
    Quite cold here tonight so smug as all my tender plants are snuggled up in the greenhouse and we’re just about to light a fire.

  19. Virginia Bonner-Davies
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Noone has mentioned 10 across which I am still stuck on,no hint for it either.

    • Gazza
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, Virginia.

    • Margaret
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Virginia, split your (one word) answer into two sections and then look at “theory oddly” for the first section and “people “ for the second section. Hope that has not sent me to the naughty corner – got to prepare for work tomorrow

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Virginia, welcome from me too.

      For 10a, take the odd letters of “theory” and follow with a generic word for “people” to give you the answer which is a synonym of “street”.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted October 29, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Whoops Margaret beat me to it, but at least we are both saying the same thing!

  20. BusyLizzie
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed but only managed about 70% of the answers.

  21. Jon_S
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, 9d and 26ac seemed a little odd, look forward to the full review for those. Overall though about ** for difficulty, and no, it didn’t feel like this was one of Virgilius’. An enjoyable diversion nevertheless.

  22. Salty Dog
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    On the gentle side for this setter, but a pleasant way to spend the time it took me to sip my way to the bottom of a whisky. 1/3.5, and my favourite 27a. Thanks to V and S.

  23. Una
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It didn’t feel like a Virgilius to me. Were there any lurkers ?
    I liked 1d.
    Thanks to all concerned.

    • Senf
      Posted October 29, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Lurker at 22d (and hinted).

  24. Florence
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This took me little while to get off the ground, and then it all fell into place nicely. I’d worked out 22d, but then had to googlething it to check. Silly really, as it was so obvious. Couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  25. Brown eyed girl
    Posted November 2, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’m stuck with 20 d – have I spelt 24 a incorrectly.

    • Posted November 2, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink | Reply

      20d Assuming game for children includes family (6)
      A three-letter children’s game around (includes) a word for family

  26. Brown eyed girl
    Posted November 2, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks, had 24a wrong

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