ST 2935 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2935 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2935 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – ‘weather cycling’ continues; the temperature rises to zero and then slides back down again though not as low as during the first half of the month, and, on Friday morning, Winnipeg was warmer than New Orleans approximately 1,400 miles to the south.

Yet another excellent Virgilius puzzle, as for last week, some head scratching required – the usual number of anagrams (including a partial), one lurker, and one homophone.

Regrettably, personal matters have scuppered my plans for a trip to visit family and attend the BB this year; so, next weekend, I will have one or more wee drams to toast the ninth birthday from here.

My joint favourites – 10a, 13a, 18a, 5d, 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 Start of pitching really upset bad sailor? (6)
The first letter (start of) Pitching and a single word for really upset, and note the ‘?’ at the end of the clue.

10a Big island in a lake in mountainous land (9)
A from the clue and the single letter for lake contained by (in) a mountainous (European) country.

13a I caught African animal in country with greater latitude (7)
I from the clue, the single (crickety) letter for caught, and a type of African antelope.

18a For French form of address, is entering Parisian street name? Au contraire! (8)
The reversal (au contraire) of all of the French (Parisian) for both street and name containing IS from the clue.

23a One way of working that includes bygone painting technique (7)
The single letter for one and an abbreviation of a Latin expression for way of working containing (includes) a synonym for bygone.

25a Declaration in church before line is added to English worship (7)
A two word (1,2) declaration made between two people in church, the single letter for line, IS from the clue, and the single letter for English.

27a Something done about match, perhaps, that makes one happy (9)
A slightly odd term for what is done to a match, of the flammable variety, when it has served its purpose.
A single word for something that is done containing (about) a synonym for a match (of the flammable variety) – thanks to Gordon and RD for their input.

29a Name on piece of neckwear snatched (6)
A item of female neckwear followed by the single letter for name.


1d Co-operate in theatrical performance with dance (4,4)
A type of theatrical performance and an event where dancing takes place.

3d Has meal consumed by sailors, characteristic of boat to China? (9)
A term for has meal contained by (consumed by) one of the usual terms for sailors.

6d He seizes power that is symbolic in Commonwealth country (5)
The gender of he containing (seizes) the single letter for power.

7d Progress with it on Greek island, it’s said (7)
A two letter synonym for with it and a homophone (it’s said) of a Greek island.

9d Female easily carried instrument in black box (6,8)
The single letter for female, a word that can mean easily carried (in terms of weight), and a type of instrument.

16d Not completely sure, though tester made another assessment (9)
The lurker (not completely) found in the rest of the clue.

21d Large numbers turned up after sailing ship docked in port (7)
A type of sailing ship with its last letter removed (docked) followed by a single word for large numbers reversed (turned up).

24d Prop in second team (5)
The single letter for second and a type of team.

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.

From 60 years ago, number one for two weeks in January 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis, with an introduction from the president of his fan club – oh, how times have changed and ear plugs might be required:




55 comments on “ST 2935 (Hints)

  1. Excellent puzzle again from Virgilius displaying his love of Classical Greek mythology. Favourite 18a.
    Thanks also to Senf, though I parsed 27a differently but won’t say as want to avoid naughty corner.

    1. I agree with you about 27a, Gordon. I don’t think there’s a risk of the naughty corner by saying – put a word meaning “something done” outside (“about”) a synonym for “match”.

  2. Well really, Senf! How many joint favourites?! However I do agree we have been spoilt for choice today.

    2* / 5*. As ever on a Sunday I found this hugely enjoyable. It was relatively straightforward although the last few needed quite a bit of head scratching.

    My favourite is 18a, my last one in, closely followed by 3d, my second last one in.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

    1. Blogger’s prerogative; and, i have created a rule that gives a blogger exemption from the wrath of Kath.

  3. What a wonderful puzzle to cheer up a snowy, cold Marches morning. For its sheer simplicity, conciseness and fun, I double-ticked 20a as a particular favourite. The whole crossword delighted from first clue to last, and overall it was 2* /5* for me.

    Thanks very much to Virgilius for yet another masterpiece, and to Senf.

  4. Another sparkling Sunday. I did have to ask my tame blogger about the definitions of 3d and 24d. 18a made me smile. My last in was 25a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    P.S. I don’t think it gives anyone any help to say that I rather like the idea of a 1a 4a!

    1. I had no problems with 3d, but it took a while for the penny to drop on 24d – I don’t think Mouton Cadet Blanc is as effective as a decent single malt.

  5. More Sunday delights from the maestro and how kind of him to include a nod to our blogger.
    Took me a little while to justify 24d (not the ‘prop’ I had in mind) but everything else slotted into place easily enough.

    I liked 20&26a for their conciseness and 18a for cleverness but my outright winner was 3d. That’s given me an earworm for the rest of the day!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the blog and the painful reminder of ‘blasts from the past’! We’ll raise a glass to you next Saturday and hope you can make it for the big 10th BB next year.

  6. One of the first records I ever bought (at a very young age!):

    P.S. Oops. That was supposed to have been a reply to Jane.

    1. Well – if we’re all admitting to our age, I’ll confess that the first record I bought was ‘Handy Man’ by Jimmy Jones.

          1. I blame my older sister (again), my brothers and I had to listen to Cliff Richard, Adam Faith, and other UK artists of that time. Although, while on a college trip to France, she did buy an LP by Johnny Hallyday (the French Elvis) and that was very good.

      1. Nice one too! I had both “Handy Man” and “Good Timing” in my early record collection. In fact I think I’ve still got them in a box in a loft.

            1. I checked the GBHS as I saw it was released in 67 when I was 5 and not getting pocket money for singles yet.but thankfully it wasn’t a hit til 73 when I was 11

      2. Good Game!

        1st Single
        Stay – Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
        2nd Single
        Macdonald’s Cave / Brontosaurus Stomp – The Piltdowm Men

        1st Album
        Elvis is Back
        2nd Album
        The Unforgettable Hank Williams

  7. Yet another high-quality Sunday puzzle off the Virgilius production line, the standard and consistency is truly awe-inspiring.

    The two I found most tricky to solve were RD’s top too, both extremely clever constructions. Not for the first time though, my ticked clues are completely different to our blogger’s, being 1a, 11a, 3d, 17d, 21d and 22d.

    Superb entertainment. Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf.

  8. What an enjoyable puzzle. Sunday’s is always managed around cooking Sunday Lunch but finished well before the veg went on. Loved 1a would have been a record finish for me if I could spell 18a. Many thanks to the setter.

  9. It’s staggering how Virgilius manages to produce such brilliant puzzles week after week. Top clues for me this week were 1a, 18a, 20a and 3d. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  10. Usual very high quality puzzle from Virgilius. As always with his there is a moment of panic on first read but once you locate the anagrams you can begin.
    I thought the lurker is 16d was perhaps a little too well hidden lacking an indicator as such but a minor niggle.
    A wonderful 70th birthday present.
    Thx to all.

    1. Many happy returns, Brian. Now that you’ve got that milestone out of the way perhaps you’ll become a little more sanguine?

  11. Wonderful stuff, thank you Virgilius and Senf. Although I just about managed without the hints, I still enjoy reading the blog and comments. ***/**** for me and top clues have to be 11a and 3d.

  12. No problems to speak of with this. Nice steady progress all the way through, with 3d being my favourite. I thought all the clues were fair and I parsed 27a as part B in the hint. Part A never occurred to me although equally acceptable!

    Thanks to Senf and the setter

  13. Phew, that was quite a battle to begin with but it was all very worthwhile and enjoyable. NW corner held out the longest. Not sure about neckwear in 29a. 24d had to be but I needed Mr. Google to reveal why. Amongst several goodies I particularly liked surfaces of 25a and 21d. Thank you Virgilius for a nice workout and Senf for being on hand.

  14. Well I finished eventually with help from Senf TYVM. I found this a little trickier than sual but I am blaming interruptions here (a shopping trip and snow clearing session)putting me off my stride rather than the excellent V. I think I may have solved some of the mythology elements a bit quicker if I had gotten round to reading the S Fry book about mythology I got for christmas but I am still a couple of books behind my bedside pile.

  15. Had to do this in two separate sittings today and have just finished it. All the clues which held out in the first sitting just fell into place in the second one, strange how that happens.

    I, too, parsed 27a with the second hint and like others above the first one didn’t occur to me.

    Had one wrong letter in 13a which was really stupid of me, especially as I knew I couldn’t fully parse it, so thanks to Senf for putting me right with that.

    A masterpiece as always on a Sunday and I thoroughly enjoyed the tussle, thanks to all

  16. After a few poor Sundays, this was much better, perhaps due to staying indoors due to the vile weather.
    So much to like, fav was the brilliant 14a.
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius.
    PS Posts are very sporadic for me as I don’t have access to a laptop very often and I can’t post from an Android tablet with the site safety feature in place.

  17. Struggled a bit. Finished without hints, but thanks for the potential backstop. Not a great fan of old Greek myths. However 27a put me in mind of that old joke about the castrated glow worm. He was – – – – – – – -.

  18. We’ve just returned from the snowy north … to the snowy south. Not enough snow to hinder a trip out for Sunday lunch, followed by snuggling up back home with yet another delightful puzzle.Thank you Virgilius and Senf. 18a is definitely favourite followed by 3D.

  19. **/*****. As usual Virgilius excels. Brilliant puzzle with 18a and 3d my standout clues. Thanks also to Senf. I’ve been sat in bed doing the puzzle while listening to pine cones and small branches bounce off the roof. We seem to have some very windy weather.

  20. What a glorious crossword! I had to work at it before things got easier. My top clue was 3d and overall 3/5*.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the challenge, and to Senf for the hints.
    My first 45 was ahem… Adam Faith’s Don’t you Know it? But I redeemed my credibility with Buddy Holly’s Brown Eyed Handsome Man as follow-up!

  21. I thought this on the tricky side but so enjoyable. I like when I have to work for a Virgilius puzzle, it prolongs the pleasure.
    I put a bung in for 11a, I don’t see where the “chilly” comes in.
    Too much choice to be able to choose a fave, but 3d certainly tickled.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the fun.

    1. Merusa, for 11a there is an informal word in English meaning “chilly”. Remove the last letter (“mostly”) and add an a (“area”) to give you a “garment worn for warmth”.

      1. Hah, never heard of that. Through a process of elimination, I got there. Had you ever heard of a Memidex dictionary? Another word to file away.

        1. I’d never heard of a Memidex dictionary before but it looks as if it might be a rather useful tool.

  22. Like most others, I had a large list of favourites. Solving time was extended due to getting lost in Greek Mythology as a corollary of solving some of these clue. (terrific stories).
    Loved this one which is well up to the usual Sunday standard. It would be quite fun to decorate a wall of a cloakroom with a wallpaper made from Virgillius crosswords which are surely the gold standard cryptics.
    Thank you Mr Greer yet again and thanks to Senf-in-the-snow.
    ***/**** from sunny Boston, Mass.

  23. My wife and I don’t often attempt the Sunday crossword because of our weekend schedule but today was different and how glad we were. This was a terrific crossword, hardly a clue that wouldn’t normally make COTD in the week. First read through only led to about four answers but, once we got going and dialed in to the right wavelength, things improved. COTD? Far too many to choose one really but, if I had to, I’d add my support for 18a. Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf for the entertainment on a cold, wet day here in SW London.

  24. Excellent puzzle from Virgilius that needed a little teasing out here and there. Say ** and a bit for difficulty.

  25. A minute or so short of 2* difficulty, but lots to enjoy. My pick of the clues was 3d. Many thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the review.

  26. A super Sunday prize crossword puzzle. The top lefthand quarter gave me the most head scratching moments, so I have rated 1a & 1d, plus 10a, 12a & 14a as some of my favourite clues. Most entertaining on yet another wet, sleety – slushy cold January day. Thanks to both setter and ‘bloggist’.

Comments are closed.