ST 2937 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2937 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2937 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – an Alberta Clipper caused a few problems in the middle of  the week, a morning of snow then a day and a half of strong and gusting winds blowing the new snow all over the place.

Today is my first anniversary of Sunday blogging and my 53rd Sunday blog – only 348 more to catch up with BD some time in October 2024 at the present rate. With the ‘rules’ of weekend blogging this means that I have blogged the equivalent of 26.5 crosswords, and I suspect that there are some who consider that I have only solved that many. However, not even copious amounts of alcohol would get me to reveal my solving record. But, I will give one hint; I regularly include a summary of anagrams, lurkers, and homophones in my preamble.

Once again, an excellent Virgilius puzzle, benevolently tricky or trickily benevolent, I’m not sure which – the usual number of anagrams, three lurkers (two of then very ingenious), and one homophone.

Standout favourite – 16a.

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 Part of opening spell for oil producer (6)
Part of what Ali Baba would say is a source of edible oil.

8a Detain alien that’s useful source of information (8)
A synonym for detain (long term) and the favourite cinematographic alien.

11a London architect that builds small home in country (4)
A double definition – see picture for the second.

13a Surprise about a celebrity returning, one working in theatre (5,7)
A, perhaps, not very common synonym for surprise containing (about) A from the clue with  a synonym for a celebrity reversed (returning).

16a Is bloke held by Communists found out about again? (12)
IS from the clue followed by a synonym for bloke all contained (held) by the colourful word for Communist repeated.

21a Part of stove, normally (4)
The first lurker (part of) found in the rest of the clue.

22a Understand loud party being cut short (6)
The single letter for musically loud and a type of party, written as (2,4) or (2-4), with the last letter removed (cut short).

24a Totally composed, at ease — or just partly (6)
The second lurker (just partly) found in the definition.

25a Daughter prematurely joined, at great expense (6)
The single letter for daughter joined with a synonym for prematurely.


1d Way to address girl in Essen or Italy? Yes and no (8)
The third lurker (in) applies to the country not the city.

2d Forbidding gun when protecting monarch (5)
A type of automatic gun containing (when protecting) a regnal cipher.

3d Note what’s said when hesitating as little as possible (7)
The word (what’s said) for a musical note and a hesitational word.

7d Fan of loud music in seat person’s crazy to vacate? (6)
A double definition – the second is somewhat humourous (see picture) (crazy = off one’s . . .).

14d Name included by showy editor for added embellishment (9)
The single letter for name contained (included) by a synonym for showy and the usual abbreviation for editor to finish.

15d Bank absorbing change in the US of late (8)
A synonym for bank (on) containing (absorbing) monetary US change.

18d Employment initially cut — remedy is not clear (7)
A synonym for employment with the first letter deleted (initially cut) and a synonym for remedy.

21d Award presented in ring — reminder of painful fight (5)
The ring shaped letter and a mark or blemish on the skin.

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A random selection this week, from the 1996 film Brassed Off, the finale of The William Tell Overture (a.k.a The Lone Ranger Theme) actually played by The Grimethorpe Colliery Band for the film; and here’s some fun trivia, Giacomo Rossini, the composer, was a leap year baby in 1792:




45 comments on “ST 2937 (Hints)

  1. Virgilius at his splendiferous best – a big thank you to him for letting me start a very chilly and grey Sunday morning with a big smile on my face

    I have three wishes (a) that this was mine to review (b) that I could tell you how many clues I really liked (my piece of paper has more stars than many a minor galaxy) but I don’t want to incur the wrath of my friend Kath and (c) it wasn’t Sunday so I could tell you a story about the small home builder in 11a

  2. A nice way to start a sunny Cheshire day. Fav 10a. A well-balanced and accessible offering. Thanks to Senf ( needed help with 7d). Lunch with the Outlaws then the rugby. Forza Inglaterra!

  3. I don’t usually do the Sunday cryptics but made an exception today & fairly romped through this one,last one in was 19D I just couldn’t see it until a doh moment. Many thanks to the setter & to Senf for his hints.

  4. On first read through I thought this was going to be one of those “do a bit and then keep coming back all day” puzzles. In the event my time was probably quicker than most Sundays.

    Like everyone above, I thought it was an absolute Sunday treat, as always.

    13a had to be what it was, but I still couldn’t fully parse it even after Senf’s hint. Stupidly I missed the lurker in 1d. I had the answer but needed the blog for that.

    Finally, I’m fairly sure my answer for 20a is correct but do the definition and the answer mean the same thing?

    Many thanks to Senf and Virgilius

    1. I think if you look up the definition in a dictionary, then you’ll see why, in my view, it is the same thing as the solution

      1. Thanks CS, I did look up the answer in my online Chambers and the definition didn’t come up. I’ve just looked up the definition and the answer didn’t come up. I’d begin to think that maybe I’ve got it wrong but with all the checkers in place, I don’t see how.

        1. I couldn’t think of a synonym that fitted so googled synonyms of untrue and found it. It is not a word I can recall hearing or using.

    2. For 13a – I have just noticed I missed the need to include the A from the clue so the hint has been revised.

      For 20a – the definition in the clue is in the listing for the answer in the Little Red Book.

      1. 20a – the definition comes up as a synonym of the answer, and vice versa, in Collins online thesaurus.

    3. Thanks CS, Senf and Pommers. I only checked the dictionary and not the Thesaurus and find, on checking the latter, that it is there (but only going one way). I still don’t like it, but accept that my answer is probably right

  5. Another Sunday, another brilliant puzzle from Virgilius. This one was so good I cannot find one favourite to nominate. It was pleasantly tricky in places, most notably, for me, the SW corner which had my last three to complete. Overall this was 3* /5* for me, with many thanks as always to Virgilius and Senf.

  6. Nice puzzle today that left the equines untroubled.
    I struggled a bit in the SW corner.
    20a eluded me mainly because I was Working with the wrong American Women in 19a and they were my LOI.
    Thanks to Senf for a nudge in the right direction on a couple and Virgilius for the diversion.
    Without having too many COTD’S I agree 16a was a good clue and would include13a as its equal.
    Brassed Off is a fave film here and a lot was filmed in The Piece Hall in Halifax. It fell into disrepair and was very nearly pulled down but has recently been restored and is well worth a visit.

  7. I really enjoyed this one. It was tricky enough for me with, I thought, lots of excellent clues. How does he do it? Thank you so much Virgilius for an excellent puzzle and thanks Senf for the blog.

  8. Such a well clued and straightforward puzzle that I needed to check that it really was our regular Sunday setter. So many laugh out loud moments that I’m only going go mention a couple of my personal favourites – 17d & 22a. Thanks to both Virgilius and Senf.

  9. 3* / 5*. Young Salopian has already said precisely what I was intending to say.

    Many thanks to Virgilius, Senf & YS too!

  10. It took me a while to get into this one, but it was enjoyable as ever. I think my favourite is 7d.

    Thanks to Virgilius, and thanks and congratulations on the milestone to Senf.

  11. Happy blogging anniversary, Senf and many thanks for providing the excellent Sunday hints throughout the year. I think it’s highly probable that you do complete the entire puzzles but – don’t for a moment think that will stop me winding you up about it from time to time!

    Another excellent offering from the Sunday maestro in which 17d caused the most amusement, closely followed by 7d once the penny dropped over the second definition.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf – thank goodness that, when we were learning to type in college to the beat of The William Tell Overture, it wasn’t played at quite that speed!

  12. What an excellent puzzle, a real pleasure to complete.
    Only one clue that I didn’t understand and as always I have found the one without a hint! 17d is clever but I can’t see the connection to bold type or far from it, must be me. Lots of fun anagrams but my fav was 1a 😀
    Thx to all.

    1. An alternative meaning for the answer that indicates submissiveness (nothing to do with fonts).

  13. As everyone says, a brilliant puzzle. So many clues to choose from but I’m going for 1a and 15d. **/**** for me. Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  14. A very typical Virgilius, typically brilliant that is. So many clever constructions as always.

    I managed to select 8a, 9d and 17d as my podium threesome, but I could equally have chosen numerous others. My repetition radar did bleep at one point, but Sunday rules mean I’ll leave it at that.

    Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf, congratulations on your blogging anniversary too.

  15. **/****. Very enjoyable solve with favourite 16a. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf for the hints. Another wet day in prospect but back to Blighty tomorrow to see the new grandson.

  16. Another Sunday, another excellent offering from Mr Greer. Some lovely clues of which 14d was my favourite. 3/5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for hinting duties.

  17. Enjoyed this one very much.

    Needed the hint for 22a…definitely ‘up the wrang dreel’ as they say in my neck of the woods for that one.

    Thanks to Virgilus and to Senf.

  18. I agree with everyone, a perfectly enjoyable offering from Virgilius again. Not easy for me but very enjoyable.
    No faves here, Kath would get cross with me as there would be too many.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints.

  19. Everything I could say has already been said. I am ashamed to admit I couldn’t solve 19D without revealing a letter, though. 12A and 17D are my picks today. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  20. Very good and an interesting solve. Did most of it in bed this morning (having had paper brought up with breakfast). First glance looked pretty hard but that proved not to be the case. I was left with 10 and 22a and 7 5 and 17d. Got four of those straightaway on a very short tram journey leaving only 22a. I had thought of one word for that which could mean a loud party but could not parse. After watching The Darkest Hour and buying a hat I had another go and succeeded. Favourite has to be 17d rapidly followed by 19d.
    Thanks Virgilius and Senf particularly for parsing 13a which I forgot to do as the answer was so obvious.

  21. Virgilius always manages to write a clue for a simple word in the most elegant manner.
    What a joy.
    Thanks for all those Sunday puzzles and thanks to Senf for all the reviews so far.

  22. Finished in my fastest time ever for any puzzle .Which was surprising .That might have because some of the words chosen to appear in the puzzle have also appeared in other puzzles recently , though clued differently . That happens , just serendipity.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  23. It’s all been said so I’ll just agree with everyone about what a brilliant crossword it was.
    I knew that I was missing something in 7d – it was the ‘crazy to vacate’ bit.
    I was really slow to get the 12a anagram.
    My favourite was 10a followed by 7 and 17d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  24. SW corner had me stumped for a long time particularly 19d and 22a.For a long time my brain kept saying that 19d must be to do with xxxxxxx, how wrong can you be! Otherwise a good crossword my favourite being 17d.

      1. They are. This is a cryptic crossword. Note that it is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx no capital letters.

  25. Excellent puzzle today from Virgilius. Managed all but one clue in first sitting with no help, but was struggling with 17d. Then realized my mistake in 22a from Senf’s hint, which made 17d fall into place. What a delight.

  26. As Senf succinctly states: Benevolently tricky. Easier than most of V’s creations but with some lovely mind-benders to mis-direct the unwary. I have seen 17d before in it’s entirety – maybe 5 years back. (funny how you can remember individual clues and whole crosswords with eerie clarity). There were lots of easy anagrams to lead into this pleasure-puzzle with a few snares and tripwires to remind you that you are tussling with the master and live only because he lets you. Last in were 7d and 1a & 10a all of which I loved.
    Terrific. **/*****. Thanks Virgenious and Senf.

  27. Another splendid Sunday special from Virgilius and an equally splendid blog from Senf, gosh is it really a year since your first offering? Thanks to both. Spotted 1a than dropped to bottom right hand corner where I usually start, worked slowly but surely up then down until I had filled the lights. Off to read latest book having had a good weekend of crosswords.

  28. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle that I struggled with a little, well into *** for difficulty here. Too many good clues, so little time. :-)

  29. Preoccupied with rivetting TV sport (tennis, rugby, etc.) today so only just got around to this brainteaser which turned out to be a pleasant exercise. SW corner last to fall and that only once the lake district had finally occurred to me. A bit slow in the uptake on 11a too. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  30. Great stuff, as always. How do you keep turning out such splendid puzzles, Virgilius? This wasn’t difficult – top end of 1* – but was a pleasure from start to finish. 12a was my favourite. Ta to Senf for the hints, albeit not needed on this occasion.

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