ST 2926 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2926 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2926 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where the ‘foothills’ of this winter’s snow disposal mountains are already being formed.

Virgilius reverts to benevolence this week with a hint of oldies but goodies and some good obfuscation.  Once again, it was difficult to decide what not to hint on – the usual handful of anagrams, including partials, some double definitions, but no homophones or lurkers.

My joint-favourites – 6d and 9d.

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 Fundamentals, thus, grasped by degrees (6)
A Latin translation of thus, frequently used by writers who quote from other sources, contained by (grasped by) the plural of a type of first degree.

4a Merciful judge, one who regularly trains? (8)
Double definition, the second is a frequent rail traveller.

11a Healthy, from what we hear (5)
Another double definition, the first is an adjective to describe being in a healthy condition.

15a Comprehensively added everything carried outside (8)
A synonym for carried containing (outside) a synonym for everything.

18a Against current university student group holding power (8)
The single letter for university and a type of study group containing (holding) the single letter for power.

23a Male surrounded by fools and duds (7)
The male pronoun contained by (surrounded by) a synonym for fools – I thought the definition might be an (unidentified) Americanism but the BRB says it comes from a Middle English word.

27a Lead, for instance, around work — running for union? (9)
What lead is a type of (chemically) containing the abbreviation for a musical work.

29a Collect, for example, from settler across river (6)
Ecclesiastically, a  settler of accounts containing (across) the single letter for river.


1d Support painful punishment that produces strong reaction (8)
A synonym for support and a type of punishment still used in some parts of the world.

2d Web designer creating something angler can use online? (7)
Not that sort of web designer, a term that might be used for an arachnid and used by an angler.

5d Superior to European, I’m in position? That’s highly inaccurate (14)
A multi-part charade – a synonym for superior, the single letter for European, and I’M (minus the apostrophe) from the clue contained by (in) a synonym for position.

6d Economiser? Not half (5)
Removing half of the definition gives a type of the definition – I think that makes sense.

9d Light scattered in various directions, something astronaut may experience (14)
Anagram (scattered) of LIGHT contained by (in) a variety of enough compass directions to make up a 14 letter word.

16d Starts off flight, my dear — it’s extremely far (5-4)
Remove the initial letters (starts off) from the third to fifth words of the clue to come up with an astronomical distance.

21d E.g. perfect lady’s limits in edgy fashion (7)
Perfect grammatically and the outer letters (limits) of LadY).

24d Place to stay that’s cool, paradoxically, on English lake (5)
A paradoxical synonym for cool followed by (on) the single letters for English and lake.

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Number One from November 1957, Buddy Holly and The Crickets:


48 comments on “ST 2926 (Hints)

  1. Lots of great clues as usual. Mentioned in dedpatches 12a, 26a, 2d, 16d.
    I thought this was trickier than of late, and I was unable to parse a few, 1a, 14a, 9d, so looking forward to the hints.
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius

  2. 5* for enjoyment as ever on a Sunday, and today was a bit trickier than usual so 3* for difficulty from me with 21d my last one in.

    There were some very nicely disguised definitions on show, e.g.: 4a (twice!) & 2d. I needed my BRB to check “duds” in 23a, and I feel a bit stupid that I can’t parse the first two letters of 7d. The answer to 10a is a word which is becoming increasingly mispronounced and it makes me want to scream when I hear it spoken incorrectly.

    I have a long list of double ticks: 4a, 12a, 2d, 6d, 9d &16d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

    1. RD – first part of 7d – I think we have had it before. While almost suggests a deletion, it isn’t – think position of a door.

  3. The usual Sunday delight. Had to ask Mr. Google if my answer was correct for the web designer. For far too long I was trying to make an anagram of 5d and thanks to Senf for the hint for 9d as I thought the last four letters were the directions and the first ten relating to the first word of the clue and I was slightly unsatisfied with it. The proper parsing makes much more sense.

    As always, a thoroughly enjoyable solve, thanks to all.

  4. I am certainly in the ‘a bit trickier than usual’ camp this morning, but the extra head-scratching kept the enjoyment level high as pennies crashed to the floor around me. Another terrific puzzle from Virgilius to kick start a sunny Sunday. 3* /5* from me with the outstanding 9d a clear favourite.

    Many thanks as always to Virgilius and Senf.

  5. Very enjoyable and quite tricky – great fun!

    I had to use my BRB to find the ecclesiastical meaning of ‘collect’ which was new to me, I was really pleased with that one.

    Big game this afternoon for West Ham at Watford, the first game for David Moyes – a change of regime and a lot of talk about a change in training methods and attitude but I can’t help but think it’s going to get worse before it gets better – COME ON YOU IRONS!

  6. I really enjoyed this one too. I couldn’t see the first part of 7d either, thanks Senf.

    I have to say I was beaten by 27a, and needed the hints. It’s a word which is so rarely used these days, as is “living over the brush”!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  7. The usual excellence from the Sunday maestro with the odd ‘gimme’ in the likes of 25a to give a toehold for anyone needing it.
    Thought 16d was very clever but it was a bit let down by the surface read. No, I haven’t thus far come up with anything better!

    Top three places went to 4,11&18a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for both the hints and the blast from the past in the video clip.

  8. Took some time to get going and then it wasn’t all plain-sailing but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and then suddenly hey presto! East succumbed before the West. The 23a word dating back to the 1300’s was new to me although it had to be. Podium places (in no particular order) go to 4a,12a and 2d. Thank you Virgilius and Senf for providing a good time.

    1. It may date back that far, Angellov, but I can vouch for the fact that it remained in constant usage. Both my Mum and Grandmother launched it in my direction on many occasions!

  9. Extremely enjoyable as always, I concur with others who found it a little trickier than normal.

    My ticks went to 12a, 18a, 9d and 16d. Just one bleep from the repetition radar today, two uses of the same containment indicator.

    Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf.

  10. Very entertaining puzzle today. My favourite clue was 9d – very clever.
    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  11. I found that a bit trickier than recent puzzles.
    The west half was filled in before the east was barely started.
    Tried to use a wrong letter in anagram that held me up in the SE and had a wrong answer in 21d. NE corner was the last to fall and needed Senf’s hint to complete 5d.
    I agree with others that 9d is a fine clue but I liked 16d at least as much.
    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  12. Got around to doing this puzzle only a short while ago after an afternoon spent in clearing leaves- a job I dislike but can’t put off any longer. The Sunday setter was in a benign mood but as always managed to produce an enjoyable puzzle. I liked 2d and 9d but top marks for the merciful judge

  13. Thoroughly enjoyed this one from Virgilius and being my contrary self, I didn’t find it particularly tricky (but when everyone else claims a puzzle to be easy I find it hard?). Did need some help from Senf to finish, so thank you. Favourite was 9d.

  14. I’m in the trickier camp today, but very much an enjoyable challenge.
    I didn’t think the word in the 23a clue was odd, maybe that’s because I live in the US.
    Fave was 16d but 9d gave it a run for its money.
    Thanks to Virgilius, you’re a star, and to Senf for his hints, and explaining 7d.

  15. A good puzzle . Thanks to compiler. But we had some sidetracks!
    11a Thought that xxxxxxxxxx was a good answer. Pity it was wrong!
    28a Also thought xxxxxxxx was a good answer. Pity it was wrong !

    1. I’ve edited them for you now. Can’t offer you any cake to eat in the Naughty Corner as Mr CS and I are having the last two slices of lemon drizzle with our tea.

      1. Thanks for the thought but I don’t eat cake! Trying to lose weight before impending Christmas lunches!

  16. V was in a benign mood today, l thought, but as usual gave us an entertaining and enjoyable workout: */*****. My favourites were 1 a and 4a. Thanks to V and BD.

  17. I found this a little more difficult than par, but no complaints as that was an outstanding puzzle. 9d and 23ac impressed particularly.

  18. Enjoyed this over a Lobster Roll in Legal Seafood. Both were great. For me maybe slightly easier than the standard Virgilius with 9d being a classic clue type from this setter and easily my favourite. Great stuff and thank you again.

  19. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. Fantastic Sunday offering as usual. I didn’t find it that tricky, but was completely beaten by 21d, so simple after I’d read the hint. I just couldn’t see the wood for the trees, well done setter. So many great clues, but my favourite was 9d. Was 3 ✳ /5 ✳ for me. Great fun.

  20. Ah, lights out time approaching! Terrific crossword with lots of work for the little grey cells. 9 and 17d were my top two, and I think the latter just edges into podium position. 3/5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the review.

  21. Always used to get stuck on these 14 or 15 letter words typical of Virgilius.
    But that was before.
    Very smooth solve for a Sunday which helped me catch up with the rest of the weekend’s crosswords
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  22. First time for a long time that the Sunday puzzle defeated me but the top right corner is a complete mystery and as always the clues that need hinting (7d, 8d, 11a & 13a) never are!
    Not my favourite for that reason

  23. I’m running a week behind but this crossword has disappeared from the Telegraph website? Please can anyone shed any light ?

    Many thanks

    1. You are quite correct – I don’t know where it has gone but I know a man I can ask. I’ll report back in due course

  24. Correct me if I’m wrong, but 4a doesn’t really work, I feel. ‘To train’ is never used in English, colloquially or otherwise, for ‘to catch a train.’

      1. Well I never!

        I’ve used your fantastic blog for a long time, but this clue was the only one I felt the need to comment about :p

        I also had a bit of an issue with 9d. The ‘variety of enough compass directions’ part is a bit cheeky; I’d normally expect something more definite from a Telegraph crossword.

        1. For 9d, I am not sure if you are commenting on the clue (various directions) or my hint (variety of enough compass directions to make up a 14 letter word); I do try to compose my hints so that they are not gimmes – it is a prize puzzle after all. In any event, I considered it to be a very good clue which required some thought to solve it.

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