ST 2924 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2924 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2924 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – more wintry weather this week, with increasing amounts of soft fluffy white stuff.

Another typically excellent Virgilius puzzle in which he has returned to benevolence (at least I think so); the usual handful of anagrams, including partials, and only one lurker.

My joint-favourites – 11a, 27a, 4d, and 16d.

Congratulations to Cryptic Sue on her achievement in The Times Crossword Championship yesterday (isn’t it about time that Mark Goodliffe retired as Champion Emeritus?).

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 Self-centred travel in troubled cities (8)
A two letter synonym for travel contained by (in) an anagram (troubled) of CITIES.

9a What’s detested in every article, mother concludes (8)
The three articles, arranged appropriately, and a two letter term for mother.

11a Ideal speech for selling musical gift (7,5)
A synonym for ideal and a term for a speech used to sell something.

16a Starts off aria like true opera singer (4)
The first letters (starts off) of the third to sixth words of the clue.

18a Take part in everything that’s jolly (4)
The lurker (take part in) found in the fourth word in the clue – verified in both entries in the Little Red Book.

21a Is imprisoned by key and lock, suffering (8)
IS from the clue contained in (imprisoned by) a musical key and a lock (of hair).

27a Is permitted to do wrong in airline, producing capital (8)
A three letter synonym for is permitted, and a synonym for to do wrong contained by (in) two letters for a (national) airline produce an antipodean capital city.

28a Opposite of rare statement of approval (4,4)
A double definition, the first relates to the subject of the picture below.


2d With beat raised, dance that’s hit on course (4,4)
A synonym for beat reversed (raised) and a (formal) function which includes dancing.

4d Passionate little heroine switching ends (6)
A heroine of a Dicken’s novel with the outside letters swapped (switching ends).

6d Time in European city with an enthusiastic supporter (8)
The single letter for time contained by (in) a European (capital) city and AN from the clue.

8d Like man dealing with issue in caring way (8)
An adjective that describes how a man acts towards his offspring.

12d Very poor current politician on left I drop (12)
The single letter for (electrical) current, a two letter politician, a synonym for left (surplus), I from the clue, and a synonym for drop.

16d Music for church service (3,5)
A type of music, FOR from the clue, and one of the usual sets of two letters for church.

22d Small shack for tool (6)
The single letter for small and a synonym for shack.

25d What changed as result of spring coming? (4)
Anagram (changed) of WHAT.

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Today is the 412th anniversary of The Gunpowder Plot, it is also Peter Noone’s 70th birthday. Here he is with the rest of Herman’s Hermits with a recording, from 1965, that got to Number One in the USA and Canada, but, perhaps strangely, not in the UK:


51 comments on “ST 2924 (Hints)

  1. 2* / 5*. Another corker from our Sunday maestro. Not too difficult but a joy from start to finish.

    16d was my last one in and favourite. Other double ticks went to 11a, 18a, 4d, & 5d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  2. Yes v enjoyable start to the day. Needed second brew but still hot when I finished.
    I struggled a bit with the european city (I tried to get fan in there.)
    I was trying to get an extra letter in 1a too.
    Fave clues many but 9a 16d 4d and 11a best of a good bunch.
    Not a fan of 5d and 18a – 75% checkers and I am pretty sure of the answer but they didn’t read well to me.
    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  3. Enjoyed this very much with the exception of two clues – 5d and 7d. I don’t normally like criticising but those two just didn’t read well to me. Can’t say more as it’s a prize crossword. I was also for a while trying to put an extra letter in 1a.

    Nevertheless I always enjoy the Sunday crosswords so thanks very much to Virgilius and Senf

    1. By the way I meant to say that once again, both yesterday and today, apparently I got nil correct answers on last weekend’s two prize crosswords. I so wish the DT would get it’s act together

      1. I think we had this conversation about a year ago Margaret when I was plagued with the same problem. I think, following the DT advice, I deleted the App and reinstalled it. I think I phoned them and a “young thing” talked me through it – it was obvious from their comments that they thought it was a problem, at my end.
        Whatever the rights and wrongs of it are I now seem to be given the credit due. Interestingly however I know that I submitted last Sunday’s crossword with an silly error in it but all is well because they are saying that I scored 30/30 – then I noticed that it’s from two weeks ago….

        Am I correct in saying that the Saturday and Sunday grids are identical this week?

        1. Thanks Faraday. Yes, I certainty remember our conversation of some time ago and things have been going smoothly until the last couple of weeks. Thanks for the tip, I’ll try it. Can’t quite work out how it’s a problem our end though.

  4. Good jigsaw puzzle, with each piece informing intersecting clues. This made it seem a lot easier than it might have been. Nice misdirection in the homographs (rare, guys). Not sure about parsing of 7d although answer seems clear. Thanks to the Sunday team, especially the ones not making any money.
    2 * / 3 ½ *

  5. Another wonderful puzzle from our regular Sunday compiler. I went through most of it at a good clip, then came to a grinding halt in the SW corner, with the excellent 16d my final entry and my COTD. That tricky corner pushed out my solving time, so 3* /5* from me overall.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for the challenge and to Senf.

  6. Lovely puzzle and well done to the lovely Lemon Drizzle Lady.

    As for Mark Goodliffe, why should he retire? If you want the title, beat him. Anyone who won with him still around wouldn’t feel they were a champion.

    Incidentally, he is also the holder of the Telegraph version, the Bert Danher Trophy, which was donated by his relative, one Sir P McCartney.

    And will probably never defend it.

    1. Hi Tilsit,

      If that was the 2004 Competition for the Bert Danher Trophy (its only incarnation I believe), I’ve still proudly kept my two letters from the Telegraph, one enclosing a commemorative pen for correctly completing the puzzle, and the second confirming that I finished in 43rd place, a mere 27 minutes and 14 seconds behind the winner!

  7. As always a wonderful Sunday treat. I did not find this as challenging as yesterday’s puzzle. Lots of great clues with very smooth surfaces that are the hallmarks of the Sunday setter. Last one in was 27a which is also my favourite clue. CS I would like to say 28a.

  8. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A super puzzle as usual from Virgilius. Last in was 4d. Favourite was 22d. Was 2 ✳ /5 ✳ for me.

  9. Very enjoyable but rather quick solve. Must have been on the right wavelength today as it was finished in 1* time without the need of any computer aids. I can understand stanXYZ’s, comment about 11a but think it works both ways. Many thanks to setter and Senf.

  10. At the simpler end of Virgilius’ scale, I though, but that did not in any way diminish the enjoyment.
    Lots of great clues, in particular 4d, which is COTM for me. Other clues that should be mentioned in despatches are 9a, 2d, 27a, 6d.
    After football this morning I shall have a go at the NTSPP, I just hope it’s not at the usual Toughie level.
    Many thanks Senf and Virgilius

  11. I really enjoyed today’s offering. Partly because I was able to complete it without resorting to cheating, there being no essential references to things I have never heard of. I had the wrong “cape” in 26A for a while and made hard work of 17D which was last in. 11A “Ideal speech for selling musical gift” and 20A “Don’t forget about ring” my favourites.

  12. Not too challenging a puzzle but what it lacks in difficulty it certainly makes up with enjoyment. Was a great pleasure from star to finish except for 7D which held me up for a while. I particularly liked 12D My rating is 1.5/5 My thanks to Senf for the hints.

  13. Certainly more benign than normal but still a pleasure to solve. Both 4 and 16d were excellent so they are joint faves (sorry Kath). 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hint.

  14. Just beaten by 26a. I’ve got alternate letters but cannot crack it. I bet it’s simple!
    Not sure either about 7 d but it fits and makes sense.

      1. Thanks. I’d played with that but got bogged down looking for an actual place like Cape Horn or Cape Fear but knew the letters I had were correct.

  15. I really look forward to our Sunday fun and this was a real treat.
    I rather liked 7d, it’s clever and I don’t see anything wrong with it.
    My fave was 4d, outstanding, running close behind were 11a, 2d and 16d
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints and tips.
    Clever, clever Crypticsue, you’re a STAR! Congrats.

        1. Oh! See Senf’s preamble, C’Sue has excelled herself at the cruciverbalist meeting yesterday!

  16. Unlike certain other crossword addicts, I don’t normally attempt three puzzles in one day, but this was a must after tackling yesterday’s NTSPP and MPP a day late, and naturally it was well worth it.

    Difficult to choose favourites amongst such a good crop of clues, but I’ll go for 10a, 23a and 16d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  17. Away from crosswords at the moment, due to my laptop being repaired with parts that don’t exist (after 4 weeks, they are just going to give me a new laptop, which will do), but just popping in to congratulate CS on a fantastic achievement.

  18. Very enjoyable as usual. 16d just gets the gong, but is in very good company. 20a & 10a also highly rated.
    Many thanks to Virgilius for the amusement and to Senf for the blogging duties.

  19. Very enjoyable making a good end to the week. Only 18a was questionable and I still don’t understand how it = jolly? But I was clearly on the setter’s wavelength apart from that clue, with 16d being my COTD.

  20. Another excellent offering from Virgilius today which I found to be mostly straightforward.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius 1.5 * / 4 *

  21. Right on the */** cusp for difficulty, and **** for satisfaction. Little ticks of approval against 4d, 11a and 17d. Once again, Virgilius hits the spot for me. Thanks to V and Senf.

  22. I made heavy weather of this, probably distracted by the heavy artillery going off outside the window, but as enjoyable as always on a Sunday. 17d was very nicely done, one where I only managed to spot the wordplay an age after getting the answer.

    1. Sorry about that. Should have said 17d last one in as last clue I got to in my haphazard way of solving. Thanks setter – I am not always on same wavelength .

      1. I should have added that I originally had the wrong answer for 26a. I found a lurker which I thought fitted the clue. I was convinced this was right till I attempted 12d. Am I the only one?

  23. Good light entertainment to end an enjoyably relaxed weekend. Tried to fit 9 letters into 8 spaces in 1a until I realised dropping a letter produced similar meaning. 18a had to be but complete parsing didn’t occur to me. Fav was 4d. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  24. Virgenius crosswords are like The Blue Planet II – pretty much unmissable.
    Agree with most folks; 2/4.
    Congratulations CS! Now I’ off to look up your achievement.
    Thank you Senf

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