ST 2929 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2929 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2929 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where we have been ‘enjoying’ the effects of a ‘Colorado Low’ (no prizes for guessing where that started out from, or where it’s heading) with low temperatures down to -18 degrees, plus (or minus?) wind chill effect, but not too much of the white stuff (yet).

Another excellent Virgilius puzzle maintaining the trickiness of last week – the usual handful of anagrams, one homophone, and one lurker.  Once again, I could have hinted on more clues than I am allowed to so I expect some solvers will be disappointed.

My co-favourites – 11a, 22a 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 Arrived with something for sale in legendary court (7)
A synonym for arrived and how an item for sale is identified at an auction.

9a English composer turned up with right instrument endlessly (7)
UP from the clue reversed (turned), the single letter for right, and a stringed instrument with its last letter removed (endlessly).

11a What you’re doing that’s said to show irritation (9)
Written as (5,4) a phrase that shows irritation.

13a Place in which she leaves this herd (5)
Remove SHE (leaves) from the last two words of the clue and reduce what remains to a single word.

22a Party vote with opposition? (5)
A three word phrase (2,1,2) which would indicate voting against something gives a BRB verified rowdy party when reduced to a single word.

23a Warning about small article is what produces results (9)
A synonym for warning containing (about) the single letter for small and one of the indefinite articles.

27a Like September of all months? Yes and no (7)
Consider the letter count (and number of days) of September compared to the other 11 months.

28a What’s central to smart lesson? That’s simple (7)
The lurker indicated by what’s central (following DT’s and MP’s leads – hint not an answer).


1d Modest when holding power, act differently as one who doesn’t (7)
A synonym for modest containing (when holding) the single letter for power followed by an anagram (differently) of ACT.

3d Sound clues for Northern city (5)
The homophone (sound) of types of clues.

5d Cut made by censor ultimately disrupting cast (5)
The last letter (ultimately) of censor contained by (disrupting) a synonym of cast (as in cast off).

8d Manipulate in lazy way, without flexibility (7)
A synonym of manipulate followed by a single word for in lazy way.

16d Freshly minted coin in Pacific island (3,6)
A single word for freshly minted and a coin that was out of circulation long before decimalisation.

18d Like some old people having skill in bridge (7)
A synonym for skill contained by (in) a bridge or part of a bridge.

20d British union’s leader smothered in banal praise (7)
The single letter for British and the first letter (leader) of Union contained by (smothered in) a synonym for banal.

24d Examination that involves studying books (5)
The examination of books of account.

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Leonard Cohen’s first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, was released 50 years ago in December 1967, this is the opening track – Suzanne (for which, apparently, he was tricked into signing away the rights):


38 comments on “ST 2929 (Hints)

  1. Another treat from Virgilius which didn’t hold me up for as long as last Sunday’s did.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius 1.5*/4*

  2. 2* / 5*. “Fab-u-lous!”

    Not tricky today but wonderfully enjoyable. 22a was my favourite closely followed by 27a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  3. A fairly easy solve today, as others have already said.

    Personally my COTD is 19a. I got the answer fairly quickly, but it took a while for the penny to drop.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  4. The SE corner held me up with 19a my final entry. Another superlative puzzle from Virgilius that I found a little more taxing than RD at #2 but equally as enjoyable, so 3* /5* overall for me. Trying to pick a favourite is as difficult and disingenuous as ever on a Sunday, but I will select 22a for its humour and sharp brevity.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for another excellent and thoroughly enjoyable challenge and to Senf.

    Still snowing here in the Marches with no let up in sight. Good luck to anyone who has to be out in this, where ever you are.

  5. Hard to believe that someone who sets the bar so high can continue to clear it but Virgilius certainly does.
    My only slight hesitation came with trying to fit the wrong old people into 18d for a while – one of the checkers led me astray.

    Liked the ‘food requested’ in 4d and the ‘call for better service’ in 7d but 22a heads the list.

    Thanks to our Sunday maestro and to Senf for making the difficult choices – trying to figure out your new avatar but can’t enlarge it from the blog header, so will have to wait until you post a comment.

      1. Thanks, BD. Having trouble getting my head round the apparent proportions but no doubt Senf will enlighten me!

    1. A couple of years ago, while on a holiday in the Williamsburg area of Virginia (lots of colonial history), I went on a two hour or so ‘cruise’ on an old schooner from Yorktown. The crew wanted a reason to fire its signal cannon which was ‘conveniently’ provided by a couple on their honeymoon. The avatar is taken from one of the sequence of photos I took of the cannon being fired. The cannon is a bit blurred because, although it was lashed down quite tightly, there was some recoil captured by the camera (aren’t modern digital cameras with motorised shutters wonderful).

      1. What a delightful little thing – don’t think I’ve seen one of those before today. Possible present for my grandson when he’s a bit older?!!

  6. Our printer doesn’t like this cold weather – it lives in a North facing room and takes forever to warm up- and so I had to solve this on line. It didn’t take long but was the usual Sunday treat.

  7. One of those penny drop days, started off confidently but then got a bit stuck trying to justify my bung-ins. Parked it while I had lunch and everything dropped into place nicely. Raining and cold in East Anglia glad i am not going anywhere. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  8. A brilliant puzzle, as others have said it’s very hard to pick favourites when one is spoilt for choice.

    With the UK weather being so inclement, I had imagined that staying snug indoors with a delightful puzzle would have encouraged a few more comments by this time, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

    Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf.

    1. If they’re anything like Kath they are stuck indoors without any power as the heavy snow has brought down power lines and big trees and the blizzard shows no sign of abating. We’ve just got heavy rain now

  9. Pure joy on this cold morning – I know, nothing like your cold, still, cold enough.
    This was a very gentle Virgilius, loved it all.
    I am reluctant to choose a fave, but I did think 13a and 27a were very, very clever.
    Others really appealed, 22a and 7d were smiles.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf, it was all over too quickly.

  10. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Virgilius, not as tricky as last week. Was held up a bit at the bottom of the puzzle. Last in was 27a. My favourite was 28a. Was 2*/4* for me. Went out to play Racketball this morning, but no cars could get up any of the hills, so had to return home.

  11. This was really delightful so many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf whose help I managed to do without apart from really understanding my answer to 27a. I really liked the lateral thinking in 7d and 19a, brilliant, among a lot more great clues. **/***** for me. What a great blog this is, how I could have done with it when I started teaching myself to do the DT crossword while on contract in Saudi very many years ago.

  12. The usual Sunday treat. How does he do it? My favourite was 22a which almost tripped me up until the penny dropped. 3/4* overall as I had one or two many bung-Ins which had to be rationalised.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  13. Good stuff as ever, on the easy side this week with no real hold-ups. More time to enjoy (or endure?) the snow that’s fallen here. :-)

  14. Very nice solve today, an excellent puzzle.

    A bit of a panic today, when I switched the TV on it said that there was no satellite signal and I thought I’d have to miss the football – snow had settled on the dish – I had to get the ladders out and get up and clear the dish. I’m not that keen on heights but when needs must….

  15. Gentle(ish) re-introduction to Sunday puzzling for me. A few head scratchers but nothing too taxing.

    22a my COTD short & sweet. 23a was LOI.

    Thanks to Virgilius & Senf. Whoever invented Wind Chill Factor – I remember things were much warmer before we had it.

      1. Hi Hoofs,
        Getting there thanks but Mr Murhinho’s “plan” of winning a football match without the football didn’t help things.
        Hope all is well with you & yours.

      1. Thanks Merusa. I have been lurking but like Albert the lion needed a poke. Your email was the “stick with the ‘orses ‘ead ‘andle” so to speak.

  16. Today concluded an excellent weekend’s crosswords.
    Beautifully crafted crossword which I was pleased to finish as I feel so rough.
    Santa visited the golf club Christmas party for the little ones causing great delight.
    Fav of a great bunch was 27a.
    Thanks all.

  17. A good puzzle but my day hasn’t recovered from Exeter Chiefs going down at home to Leinster this evening, so I’m probably in an unusually negative frame of mind. */**** seems about right, and 20d my favourite (and l wish I had a few pints of it at hand). Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  18. Well, the fastest we’ve ever finished one of Virgilius’s so it must be 1* difficulty plus 4* for pleasure.

    We’re fully aligned with Dutch for favourites and thought 5a was a bit of a trap for another word that fits the grid and most of the clue.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  19. Possibly a ridiculous question but how can you know who the Setters are each day when it is not indicated ?

    1. Your comment went into moderation because you used a different alias from your previous comment.

      To answer your question, you should look at FAQ 28, accessed through the FAQ Tab at the top of the web page. As shown in FAQ 28, we know for certain the setters for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday (although there might be some variation). Setters for Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are less certain.

  20. Late finishing off this crossie because of the challenges at LHR yesterday. Had a bead of sweat on my brow with the SE corner and unsure of the parsing of 19a.
    Another gem from Brain Greer for who’s existence I am ever grateful.
    Warm wishes to all.

    1. 19a – definition is singular information – One of the musical keys and the three letters for a ‘hole in the wall,’ containing the single letter for university.

  21. Like the last comment I can’t work out 19a. Pretty sure what the answer is but no idea why. Help please!

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