ST 2932 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2932 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2932 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning and a Very Happy New Year to all (setters, fellow bloggers, regular commenters, and lurkers alike) from Winnipeg – forget Alberta Clippers and Colorado Lows, for over a week, most of Canada has been ‘enjoying’ the effects of a Polar Vortex, which has even reached down to parts of Texas and other southern US states, bringing in very cold weather from Siberia; yesterday when I peeped out from under the covers the temperature was -34ºC (-44ºC with wind chill) and the maximum temperature for the day (ha-ha) was -29ºC (-39ºC with wind chill).

Virgilius has the honour of being the setter of the final DT/ST prize puzzle of the year and he has not disappointed; as excellent as ever, and quite benevolent – the usual handful of anagrams (including partials), one lurker, but no homophones.  

My joint favourites – 28a, 3d, 5d, and 22d.

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:


8a Admonishment about demonstration (7)
The familiar two letters for about followed by a type of demonstration that might be concluded with QED.

10a Land in Middle East, making those people briefly angry (7)
An abbreviated and informal pronoun (briefly) for those people followed by a synonym for angry.

13a Work of statistician or carpenter accomplished after short time (5)
A synonym for accomplished after the single letter for time.

17a Epitome of precision –- ain’t disorganised (15)
Anagram (disorganised) of OF PRECISION AIN’T.

21a Physical strength shown as one separates partners and their opponents (5)
The designation of four participants in a card game with the single letter for one inserted between (separates) two of them who are partners.

24a Area covered by strike, island or part of island (5)
The single letter for area contained (covered) by a synonym for strike and the single letter for island gives a country that shares an island with a second country.

26a Record including location for weathervane as planned (9)
Two letters for a ‘modern’ record containing (including) one of the locations where a weathervane might be found written as (2,5).

28a It’s like gold — that’s what we hear? Not at all! (7)
Not a homophone! When we do not hear anything compared to a precious metal.

Quite dreadful, but I couldn’t resist it!


1d Gain leading scholar on subject of computers etc (6)
An informal synonym for a leading scholar followed by two letters for computers etc.

3d Like some trees, if planted in clay, initially burdensome (10)
IF from the clue contained by (planted in) the first letter (initially) of Clay and a synonym for burdensome.

5d Row in boat if fit, also going the other way at the end (4)
The lurker (in) found in the third to fifth words of the clue; the answer is also found by reading backwards (going the other way) from the end of the fifth word of the clue.

7d What ceremonially covers soldier and supports family (8)
Concatenated synonyms of supports and family. 

15d Awfully mad appeals –- male, in particular, gets it in the neck (5,5)
Anagram (awfully) of MAD APPEALS.

17d Buy tea in container for cash (8)
A synonym for tea contained by (in) a single word for container for cash.

22d Small device wife and I would understand (6))
The single letter for wife, the abbreviated form of I would, and a synonym for understand.

25d Thought middleman oddly deficient (4
The odd letters removed from (oddly deficient) MIDDLEMAN.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

An obvious choice for the last day of the year, here’s to cruciverbalism in 2018 being as enjoyable as it has been in 2017:



52 comments on “ST 2932 (Hints)

  1. Many thanks to Virgilius for a lovely puzzle to finish the year, and to Senf for the hints.

    Happy New Year to all. Wishing everyone good health and happiness for 2018.

  2. Not quite as much fun as yesterday but still very enjoyable. Bottom half went I. Very quickly but top more of a struggle for me. Tip for anyone not yet started. Start with 17a. Last corner In was NW but good grid meaning that plenty of checking letters for the head-scratchers. Last two in 8a and 9d but all possible without aids. 13a and 1, 2 , 7 and 15d my personal favourites. Thanks Virgilius and Senf. I shall now look at the hints and check I am right particularly with my last two in. Happy and healthy New Year to Big Dave and his merry band.

    1. Welcome to the blog Richard

      Two points:
      1) please don’t use upper case as it’s the internet equivalent of shouting – I’ve changed your name to upper/lower case
      2) try to be more polite when you are asking a favour of someone

      1. Sorry, autofill was responsible for the capitals and I fail to see what’s impolite about wishing everyone a happy new year!

        1. I am pretty certain that BD was referring to the first part of your comment rather than the second.

          You should read Comment 6 below to see how the same thing was expressed somewhat differently.

        2. In fairness the greeting is OK. I think it is the “What on earth…..?” That is rather abrupt. It is a very easy one actually but you have to think outside the box. I hope you have got it now as difficult to assist without breaking the rules.

    2. Hi Richard
      I’m a day late doing this but, in case you’re still wondering, it may be that you want to re visit the last two letters of your answer to 8a. I got them wrong initially but once I realized my mistake 9d became obvious.

  3. How perfect that Virgilius should have the last puzzle of the year. This is another beautifully constructed example of his art, with so many clever and thoughtful clues. As ever it is tough to pick a favourite, but 5d gets the accolade ahead of 17a for me. I felt this was at the easier end of his setting spectrum, so 2* /4* overall.

    Thanks to Virgilius for a year of great puzzles, and to Senf.

    A happy, prosperous and above all healthy New Year to all who contribute to this wonderful site.


  4. Can any one help me with the parsing of 9D its my last one & so frustrating as its only a four letter word. Many thanks in advance.

      1. Thanks YS I’ve got It now,I had the wrong tense for the ending of 8A,I do hope that BD doesn’t send you to the naughty step or even give you a 9D😉

  5. Splendid puzzle to end the year. 11A, 28A and 7D are my top picks. Thanks Virgilius, and thanks to Senf for the review. We’ve been experiencing a bit of the polar vortex down here, though nothing like you in the frozen north. 14F (-10C) has been our low, and then there’s the wind chill on top. Still, we’ve avoided the snow so far, except for a dusting. Stay safe up there!

  6. As always, the Virgilius Sunday puzzle provided great entertainment.

    2d is my top contender to receive a New Year’s Honour.

    Thanks to Senf for the hints … brrrrr !

  7. For me, a nicely tricky puzzle with lots of head scratching, but very enjoyable. Got there in the end without help which was satisfying. Thank you very much Virgilius for the puzzle and Senf for the blog.

    Happy New Year to you all.

  8. Like Graham, I had the wrong tense for 8a making 9d impossible. Altogether a great puzzle to finish the year, **/**** for me and top clue has to be 26a. Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf and a Happy New Year to all.

    1. Worse than that, I think that both you and Graham mistook a noun as a verb, so tense doesn’t even come into it.

      1. You just beat me to it Senf. I was going to say that if my answer is right (and it may not be of course) the answer is a noun and nouns don’t have tenses . I can think of a verb that would fit but does not answer the clue.

        1. WW – Your comment (briefly) went into moderation, you, probably unknowingly, added a ‘J’ after the ‘.com’ in your e-mail address.

          1. Thanks Senf for solving a mystery! Whenever I comment from my IPhone I go into moderation. Just spotted that my pre-installed email address has acquired an additional letter.

  9. You beat me to it Senf. I was just going to say that if my answer is right it is a noun and nouns don’t have tenses. I can think of a verb that would fit but does not answer the clue.

  10. I agree that this was the usual excellent Sunday crossword but I thought it was difficult – just me then? Oh dear – need to count marbles.
    Having read all the clues through once I only had about four answers – this has taken me much longer than usual.
    2d – ah – that sort of special key! It’s one I always forget, along with his two friends. :roll:
    The answer to 6d was fairly obvious but it took a long time to see why.
    My last two were 26a and 15d – once I got one the other was easy.
    I particularly liked 13 and 28a and 20d. I think my favourite was 9d, tricky though it was – a triple definition?
    With thanks to Virgilius and to Senf and a very Happy New Year to everyone.

      1. Just in case the penny hasn’t dropped yet – the single letter for South and an anagram (rearranged) of Africa minus the end of panic.

  11. For some reason this wasn’t my favourite puzzle from the Sunday maestro – still very good of course but seemed to be missing a bit of that certain ‘something’ that I associate with him. Perhaps it’s just me who’s missing that certain something today!

    21a just edged out 26a for today’s prize.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for another fine set of hints. Not surprised that you had to include the clip for 28a – I found myself humming it as soon as the answer went in.

    Hope that everyone enjoys whatever they’ve got planned for New Year’s Eve and that 2018 proves to be a good year for all of us.

  12. As others have said, a lovely puzzle to end the crossword year, many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    For some reason my favourites always seem to differ from our Sunday blogger, and today was no exception. My ticks went to 11a, 7d and 16d.

    A Happy New Year to everyone, I shall be very interested to see the first Monday backpager of the post-Rufus era tomorrow.

  13. A relaxed final crossword for the year which was over too soon. Enjoyable enough whilst it lasted but the little gray cells remained comatose throughout!
    26a floated my boat and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius for this and the rest of the year’s Sunday challenges, and to Senf for his hints.
    Happy New Year to everyone.

  14. Don’t normally do the Sunday puzzle but pleased I had a go today. Another excellent prize crossword following on from yesterday. A pleasure to complete it and right up my street, on the wavelength from the off. Some great clues again particularly some of the anagrams.

    Clues of the day: Again a lot to choose from but the winners are 3d / 17d.

    Rating 2.5* / 4*

    Thanks to Senf hope it gets warmer soon, and the setter.

    Happy New Year to you all and special thanks to the “blog team” for everything this past year. Your dedication is amazing.

  15. Now that Rufus has retired, Virgilius doesn’t need to share fave setter with anyone.
    The only one I couldn’t be sure about was 18d, a bung in that I can’t parse.
    I love 28a, so clever, but I think fave is 15d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints and tips. I do hope the cold abates soon, I can’t imagine cold like that.

    Wishing everyone a happy New Year, good health and prosperity. Thanking everyone for the entertainment over 2017.

  16. Happy New Year to you all, thanks to BD and all those who have cheered me up this year by helping me to work out the answers. Thanks also to the myriad setters who have delighted and confused me, sometimes both at the same time.

  17. Another excellent puzzle from Virgilius which I found to be mostly straightforward. I did, however, get held up for a long time in the NE corner with a couple of clues and it pushed my solving time up considerably.

    I’m currently in the grips of a rather nasty virus and I’ve found my solving times significantly longer over the last few days – not too sure if that’s a valid excuse but I’ve found that being unwell in the past can hinder the solving process – anybody else?

    A virus-free and Happy New Year to all.

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius ***/****

    1. You too Kitty, and thanks for all the Wednesday nudges.
      Thanks also to Senf, though I don’t use nudges at the weekend, I just enjoy the blog.

  18. Unfortunately the sparkle has gone out of the Sunday crosswords at the moment. That was a drudge compared to yesterday. Hopefully the spark will return in the new year.
    Happy new year all!!
    Thanks all.

  19. Been working all weekend and guess what! I’m the one who receives everybody at home tonight. Don’t know if I will hold up until midnight so Happy New Year to all in BD’s fan club.
    May 2018 bring us happiness, good health, good food and a lot of excellent crosswords…in that order.
    I shall tackle Virgilius tomorrow.
    See you all next year.

    1. Somebody had to draw the short straw, JL – hope you enjoy your evening anyway!
      All good wishes to you as well and hope to see you again very soon.

      1. That will teach me for having the biggest dining table among my friends.
        Everything is ready.
        Even ironed a shirt by hand… And when I say by hand I mean it literally! Can’t find the iron anywhere.
        Have a lovely new year’s eve too my darling Jane.

  20. Another wonderful but fairly tricky crossword. Every clue a gem.
    It took me two sittings to complete but it was well worth it.
    Many thanks to Senf and BD.

  21. Can there be any better way to end the year than completing a Virgilius puzzle, albeit I did need some of Senf’s hints, thank you. Was quite despondent as I got few at the first pass, but then after a second cappuccino everything fell into place. Lots of lovely clues, too hard to pick a favourite.
    Weather is glorious here right now, thanks to a cold front we are experiencing. Having lunch on the patio as I write, but will need a cardy by evening.
    Here’s wishing Big Dave, Miffypops, Kath, 2Kiwis, Mr K and all the brainy hinters, and everyone else who contributes to this blog, a very Happy and Healthy New Year. You really brighten our day.

    1. My house is nearly 100 years old and was built before A/C, thus it is drafty! I had to have the heat on this morning, I’m not a happy camper. All the furry family were in bed with me trying to keep warm.

      1. Sorry, I know you prefer the hotter weather, as does our cat Rupert. He was very miserable yesterday when it was very grey and he couldn’t find a sunny window to lay in front of. Hubby likes this weather but not a fan of really cold weather, hence here we are. Well that and a job transfer. Me? Stick me in sweater in front of a log fire, with a good book, heaven. Last time I did that was 1981 😊
        Happy New Year!

        1. Happy New Year to you too!

          If Rupert thinks this is cold, next week promises to be Arctic. My biggest problem is my feet. Because of Mr. Arthur Itis, I can’t reach them so unable to put on socks and only possess sandals.

    2. Thanks, Lizzie. Happy New Year and best wishes for a wonderful 2018 to you and to everybody else in the BD community.

  22. This felt tricky in places while solving, but I still finished in ** time so perhaps it wasn’t? Last in the NW corner, and 2d in particular. Happy New Year everybody!

  23. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A lovely puzzle to end the year. I liked 24a, but my favourite was 5d which was also last in. Was 2*/4* for me. Happy New Year to everyone. 

Comments are closed.