ST 2925 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2925 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where the rivers are already freezing over! Although, it will be a while before the ice fisherman are allowed to start.

And, a very happy birthday to Cryptic Sue!

Another typically excellent Virgilius puzzle, however, last week’s benevolence is not carried over; only 28 clues, but some head scratching required and it was difficult to decide what not to hint on – the usual handful of anagrams, including partials, three (partial) homophones, but no lurkers.

There could be some potential for repetition radar based comments.

My joint-favourites – 22a and 11d.

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 Remarkable theory won’t, when revised (10)
A simple anagram (when revised) to start of THEORY WON’T (ignoring the apostrophe) – some might think it goes downhill from here.

10a Devout accepting empty temple? That’s pathetic (7)
A synonym for devout containing (accepting) the extremities of (empty) TemplE.

12a Finished in one sitting? Novel you reportedly pan wouldn’t be (13)
Thanks to Gazza and Faraday for their assistance – anagram (novel) of a single letter homophone of you and PAN WOULDN’T BE – I could not see it for looking – and the answer is in the BRB.

15a Asked, in conclusion, what choir sounds like (8)
A homophone (what . . . sounds like) of choir contained by (in) a synonym for conclusion.

22a Enterprise Utopians initially put together? (8,5)
The ‘expansion’ of the initial letters of the first two words of the clue.

25a Set small bed beside big lake (7)
A type of small bed and one of the Great Lakes (the one surrounded by yellow in the picture below) – an oldie but goodie, but I don’t think it has appeared for some time.

27a So tried to change fashionable position, on paper (10)
Anagram of SO TRIED followed by a three letter informal synonym for fashionable.


1d Verb or adjective, say, as part of speech (4)
The part of speech that verb or adjective is a type of.

2d After onset of tears, gives out these? (7)
A single word for gives out after the initial letter (onset) of Tears – I think it’s an all-in-one, but I might not be right.

5d Part of body found in trendy establishment (3,5)
An informal synonymic phrase for a trendy establishment.

8d Wrongly judging motorway is north of English university town (10)
The single letter for a motorway, IS from the clue, and an English university town (where an Irish writer was confined).

11d Part of shoe on dishonest person? It’s hard to say (6-7)
Part of a shoe (especially one that has laces) and a type of dishonest person.

20d Leading lady or man performing in moving protest (7)
A synonym for performing contained by (in) a type of protest that involves moving from one place to another.

23d Spring this year’s a little longer than most (4)
A double definition, the first is a synonym for spring (nothing to do with the season of the year).

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For this Remembrance Day, The Central Band of the Royal Air Force – The Evening Hymn, Last Post, and Sunset:




  1. Gazza
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius for the usual excellence and to Senf for the blog.
    12a is an anagram.

    • Heno
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink | Reply

      Well spotted. I got it from the checkers, anagram didn’t occur to me.

  2. Hoofityoudonkey
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Senf. Is 12a actually a word? It certainly goes down as the weirdest clue that I have seen for a while!
    Apart from that, I found this much the easiest Sunday offering for a while.
    Thank Senf and Virgilius

  3. Faraday
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you Senf for the elucidation. I enjoyed this, as always, but it took a while for the pennies to drop on several clues.
    IMHO, 12a is an anagram of you (reportedly) and “pan wouldn’t be” – or perhaps I’m just old and confused 😂

    • Faraday
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply

      Garza is obviously quicker off the mark than me 🤣

      • Faraday
        Posted November 12, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink | Reply

        Gazza! Auto correction😤

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Another Sunday, another superbly enjoyable cryptic crossword, for which my rating is 3* / 5*.

    Once again I feel spoilt for choice when trying to pick a favourite with almost all the clues deserving consideration. My page was covered in ticks with double ticks awarded to 12a, 22a, 26a, 2d & 23d and 1d taking the accolade of favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf, and a very Happy Birthday to crypticsue!

  5. Young Salopian
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    Virgilius on typically sparkling form this blustery Sunday morning. So many excellent clues with a good sprinkling of humour to be had along the way. 12a just my favourite although in truth I could have picked any one of a dozen. 2* /5* from me overall.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for the challenge and to Senf. Many happy returns to CS.

  6. PLR
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    It is cold but bright and cheerful in Nottingham this Sunday morning. I had no difficulty with this puzzle which as always well clued and accessible. 22a was my top clue but 12a, 7d and 11d are also 1a. Happy Birthday CS.

  7. spindrift
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    re23d: isn’t the answer shown in Senf’s hint or is it just me?

    • Senf
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink | Reply

      Not you spindrift, me, thanks for pointing it out – fixed.

  8. jane
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    Solved 12a without realising it was an anagram (minus points for me) and then had a bit of a fight with 15a & 8d. I was so obsessed with the wrong university (blaming that on CS!) in the latter that I couldn’t see the proverbial wood for the trees.

    Podium places going to 12&26a plus 11&23d.

    Many thanks to the Sunday maestro and to Senf for a great set of hints and particularly for the tear-inducing Remembrance Day salute from the RAF band.

    Many happy returns, CS – hope you’re having a day out of the kitchen for once!

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for all the birthday wishes

      And no, it is very much Sunday as usual – two crossword reviews posted, lovely if very cold walk in the woods, then back in the kitchen making Sunday lunch

      • jane
        Posted November 12, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

        That’s just wrong, CS. Your family should be doing the cooking or – if they can’t/won’t – then taking you out for lunch.

      • Merusa
        Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        CS, I hope you have a super, super day and tons of spoilation!

      • LetterboxRoy
        Posted November 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Late on parade – Happy Birthday CS!

  9. Jezza
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Apart from 12a which I solved, but I did not like at all (I disliked the surface), I thought this was an excellent puzzle.

    2/4 from me; favourite clue – 26a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf.

  10. Michael
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The easiest Sunday Cryptic for quite a while IHMO – nice anagrams including 12a – finished well before lights-out last night for a change.

  11. bonkersconker
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Only rarely do I get to the Sunday crossword – this one was worth the extra effort (!) – plus very enjoyable. I would rate at 3*, 22a clue of the day.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Not sure why your alias has only one conker today but it sent you into moderation

      • bonkersconker
        Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Sorry about the missing ‘s’ – a problem arose with my Gravatar account, requiring a minor amendment to the alias! Many thanks for sorting this out on the blog.

  12. John Bee
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    V Pleasant start to Remembrance Sunday. Any minor hold ups I had have already been mentioned by others so I won’t repeat them. I too “solved” 12a without realising from whence the answer came.
    25a my COTD.
    Thanks to Senf and Vigilius and hope CS had plenty of 4d to remove today.

  13. Expat Chris
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely stuff as usual. 24A was my favorite. thanks Senf and Virgilius.

    Unseasonably cold here in Maryland. Down in the low 20s at night. Word is we could get snow for Thanksgiving!

    • Merusa
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I see they’ve had snow in UK, hasn’t anyone told them it’s only November? We expect to be in the mid-80s here today, hello pool, here I come! After our searing summer heat, it’s our turn to gloat.

  14. Kath
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The usual really good Sunday crossword.
    After a slow start with very few across answers it all went better once I got onto the down clues.
    I could hardly believe that 12a was a real word – a bit like doable which is another one that I always doubt.
    22a had to be right but it took me far too long to see why and I confess to needing the hint to understand 1d.
    For no good reason I had trouble with 20d.
    If my answer to 19a is right I can’t see why – when that happens it’s usually because I’ve missed a lurker but I’m sure this isn’t one.
    I particularly liked 22a, once I understood why, and 2 and 23d. I think my favourite was 26a – so simple.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf and, in advance, to anyone who can sort out my 19a problem.

    • Young Salopian
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Think two players in a card game, with a word meaning broken, as in a horse, within them.

      • Kath
        Posted November 12, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Of course – thank you – that might just have driven me mad. However didn’t I see it? :roll:

        • Ora Meringue
          Posted November 12, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thank you, Young Salopian.
          I could not see why my answer was right for 19a either.

        • Proper Charlie
          Posted November 12, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

          It was driving me mad too! Thank you Young Salopian and also to Kath for asking the question – am not sure I would have been brave enough to!
          Lots of clues to like and raise a smile. 24a and 3d among my favourites.
          Many thanks to setter and Senf.

          • Kath
            Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

            It’s always OK to ask when or if you don’t ‘get’ something. No-one ever minds and no-one will ever make you feel dim.

        • BobH
          Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I didn’t get it either. A bit obscure, but thanks for prompting a well received response.

      • Shropshirebloke
        Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thank you fellow Shropshire dweller. Trying to parse my answer to fit that clue has driven me potty for quite some hours. You have helped preseve my mental stability :-D . As usual, a really good Sunday prize crossword puzzle.

  15. Brian
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable but cannot for the life of me parse my answer for 19a other than that it is part of a flower! I’m curious to know what the criteria is for the Saturday and Sunday hints, is it a deliberate policy not to hint the trickier clues?
    Whatever, this was excellent.
    Thx to all

    • Senf
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Brian – You asked, here’s the answer. Hints are provided for approximately half of the clues, including (tricky or not) the first and last in each list. Trickiness is subjective, so what is included or excluded is based on the opinion of the blogger. Then, on days like today, I sometimes find that there are more than half of the clues that I consider to be tricky so it almost comes down to a coin toss as to what gets included.

  16. stanXYZ
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am somewhat disappointed by 1d – in fact I still don’t understand it.

    I loved the “Pair holding hands” in 19a.

    • Senf
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      stanxyz – look up the two words in a dictionary and check the part of speech ‘label.’

      • Hoofityoudonkey
        Posted November 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Still none the wiser

        • Merusa
          Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Hoofit, I just did what Senf told me to do and I get it. Under those words, they are described as that part of speech.

          • Hoofityoudonkey
            Posted November 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Got it now, thanks

  17. Ora Meringue
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I needed some electronic help with this one, but got there in the end.
    Very enjoyable.

    Thanks to Virgilus and to Senf (and Young Salopian) for hints and the parsings.

  18. Graham Wall
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My brainpower is slowly returning. Last weekend’s and yesterday’s crosswords have been very satisfying in a crosswordland sort of way. Enjoyed this very much, although like StanXYZ I did not get the gist of 1D My nomination for best clue goes to 19A and my best birthday wishes go to CS I have course must lodge my thanks for Senf’s efforts.

  19. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoying a real spring day today with temperature above 20 Celsius.
    I wonder if Framboise is back in Hyeres already to take advantage of the longest summer in memory. Only rained a bit last Sunday. Even experienced a mini tornado which was very localised but enough to destroy a few greenhouses belonging to flower growers.
    1d and 9a were last as I was looking for some kind of homophone in 1d as I didn’t realise that a verb or an adjective could be one of these. I am so bad at grammar.
    25a made me smile.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.
    Happy birthday to CS.

    • Merusa
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You say you’re so bad at grammar, I think you do better than most of us, and it’s not even your first language!

  20. Gwizz
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was very a enjoyable crossword to slive; which come to think of it is what the majority of Sunday crosswords are. Hmm…
    Anyway 12a was my fave; please Mr K don’t tell me how many times it has appeared before!
    2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints.

  21. Merusa
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Again a right, Royal treat from Virgilius.
    I spotted the anagram indicator at 12a and used electronic help to solve, otherwise I would not have got it. I’m totally surprised that it’s actually a word.
    Thanks to Senf for unravelling 1d, who knew?
    I’m not even going to attempt to choose a fave, too much good stuff.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the Sunday fun, and to Senf for his hints, and for the absolutely beautiful Remembrance Day clip.

  22. silvanus
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another in a long line of top quality Sunday puzzles, although my repetition radar did bleep at one point (and no, I won’t break the rules and say where!).

    My favourites were 26a, 2d, 4d and 23d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf, and many happy returns to CS. There are a lot of Blog anniversaries at the moment!

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’ve mentioned it in the review ;)

  23. Jon_S
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyable, on the easyish side. The SW corner proved to be a little knotty, I suspect for no other reason other than I ran out of steam.

  24. BusyLizzie
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you to Virgilius for a great puzzle, and I am over the moon at solving it without any help, not even hints. That’s 3 in row including yesterday’s Cryptic and NTSPP so feeling very smug, as I rarely manage to finish without help, never mind successively. Been stressing this week, so perhaps it is an adrenaline thing. Whatever, very happy right now. Favourite clues were 3d and 5d. Last in was 12a when I finally realized that it was an anagram. An avid reader, this perfectly describes my favourite type of novel.

    Amused that POTUS has tweeted his displeasure at being called old. Would love to tell him that as he is 6 months older than me, and has had more than his three score and ten, he is old, not fake news 😊

    • Merusa
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      He consistently makes these outrageous statements and then turns around and says the dead opposite. I can’t get my head around his disciples who still adore him in spite of his obvious insanity.

      • Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink | Reply

        Please avoid political comment on this site – console yourself with the thought that the alternative would have been at least as bad.

  25. Salty Dog
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The only real difficulty was in understanding how my (obviously correct) solution to 19a should have been divined. Seeing that Kath had the same problem, l don’t feel so bad about that! All in all, **/****, and favourite clue 5d. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  26. Heno
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 12:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A super puzzle as usual from Virgilius. So many good clues, great surfaces, a master at work. Last in was 19a, which I actually managed to parse. Favourite was 26a, super clue. Was 2 ✳ / 5 ✳ for me.

  27. Flyingfox
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 2:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    All bar 12a for me too. Thanks for the tip Senf!
    A well disguised anagram and good misdirection. I was thinking sitting as in a restaurant.

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