ST 2938 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2938 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2938 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where we are warming up from the minus twenties to the minus teens.

A benevolent Virgilius has provided another excellent puzzle – one or two anagrams more than usual, a couple each of lurkers and homophones.  One of those Sundays when it was difficult to decide what not to hint on.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, and 23d.

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 Prepare to discharge mine in scene of conflict (7)
A single word term for preparing a weapon and another term for a mine.

10a Sails south in attempt to raise political support (7)
A term for sails on a vessel followed by the single letter for South.

12a Dance music is what ends concert heard on radio (5)
Don’t be fooled by heard, not a homophone, the last letter (what ends) of concerT phonetically (heard on radio).

15a Mean one-line defamatory text about artist (9)
The single letters for one and line, followed by the single word for defamatory text containing (about) the favourite letters for an artist.

19a Animal’s lair or home for humans (5)
Double definition, the second is the home for all humans.

22a For example, taste part of chosen selection (5)
One of the lurkers (part of) found in the rest of the clue.

25a I destroyed plenty with clumsy actions (7)
I from the clue followed by an anagram (destroyed) of plenty.

28a Was left embracing son (7)
A synonym for left (a building?) containing (embracing) the single letter for son.


1d Method of payment providing firm’s first capital (7)
An article used in making payments, a synonym for providing, and the first letter of Firm.

3d Said group of wild animals had a curious look (5)
The first homophone (said) of a term for a group of wild animals.

4d Asian philosopher has little time to put in as superficial decorator (9)
An Asian philosopher containing (has . . . put in) the single letter (little) for time and TO from the clue.

6d Artist carefully studies figures systematically arranged (9)
A synonym for carefully studies followed by a term for a systematic arrangement of figures – hmmm, artist again.

14d City in which man’s name is heard — he’s seen when ice disappears (9)
The second homophone (is heard) of a man’s name, home of the Foxes, with a big hint in the last part of the clue.

20d Way to restore order once in port, supported by diplomacy (4,3)
The favourite ‘short’ name of a South American port followed (supported) by a synonym for diplomacy.

23d Turn up unlike clergy or VIP (5)
Members of the church who are not (unlike) clergy and OR from the clue all reversed (turn up).

24d Right above a diameter, two other lines in circle (5)
The single letter for right, A from the clue, the single letter for diameter, and the Roman numeral for two.

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.

A number of ‘crickety’ people were born on this day over the years, including E W ‘Jim’ Swanton (1907), Bill Lawry (1937), and Bev Congdon (1938).  So, as a tribute and to look forward to warmer weather, the BBC Test Match Special Theme (Soul Limbo by Booker T. and the M.G.’s):



52 comments on “ST 2938 (Hints)

  1. 3* / 5*. A beautiful treat for a Sunday morning. Every single clue was so good that I would anticipate a very wide spread of favourites today. My short list is 15a, 26a & 14d.

    Many thanks as ever to Virgilius and to Senf.

  2. Had to check the sort of bible in 21d when I finally got the right set of letters and the equestrian place which seemed obvious from the def.
    Apart from that, it was plain sailing and a real pleasure to solve.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the review.

  3. Excellent Sunday fare as usual but over too quickly. */***** from me. Fav for me was either 14d or 12a, I can’t decide between the two so I’ll have to declare a dead heat.

    Last in was 20d and that was purely my own fault. I didn’t notice the enumeration so was looking for a seven letter word, D’oh!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    BTW, today’s Everyman in the Observer is pretty good.

    1. Thanks for the tip Pommers, I might make that my choice of free paper at a certain supermarket later!

  4. The usual Sunday magic, solved in my average Sunday time. I needed Senf to explain my answers to 12a and 23d – obvious once you have a bigger and better brain on it.

    Once again I had to start at the bottom, then top left and it was top right that held out to the end.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for the fun and Senf for the explanations

  5. A very enjoyable Sunday morning solve. All completed without electronic assistance, but I couldn’t parse 12a or 4d without the hints here.

    COTD must be the aforementioned 12a just for it’s misdirection.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

    1. My problems were exactly the same as yours.I agree 12a is a cracker and am annoyed I didn’t understand it even though I had filled it in.

      Is there a word which means “a solver of cryptic crossword puzzles”? Cryptanalyst is the nearest I can think of but I’m sure that is not coorect.

  6. 14d my favourite of many in this terrific Virgilian offering. I felt the whole crossword was nicely pitched in terms of difficulty, with a really good clue mix. The NE corner was the last to yield its secrets, and it was 2.5* /5* overall from me.

    Thanks to Virgilius for the workout and to Senf.

  7. Lovely puzzle again. Very enjoyable. Many thanks to Virgilius.

    4d was my last one in and easy to see once I had the checking letters. Thanks Senf for your explanations and also for the great dance and cricket clips.

  8. Another fine offering from Virgilius that I found to be at the easier end of his spectrum.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius 1.5*/4.5*

  9. Thanks to Virgilius for yet another Sunday treat. Not as tricky as some but the usual high standard of entertainment. 12a is my Across favourite and 14d my Down favourite, and if I had to choose only one, then it would have to be 14d

  10. Struggled to get much in on the first pass and hit the hints early doors but each hint led me to solving a few more on my own and pretty soon I didn’t know what my earlier problems were about. Thanks to Senf for the hints and Virgilius for the mental workout.
    20d tickled my fancy the most even though it pinged my familiarity radar.

  11. Like a walk in a perfect garden, like a fine wine, Virgilius puzzles for this solver, should not be rushed. Time is simply not a factor and I find myself savouring their construction and exactness. No rough edges, no iffy definitions and put together like a Swiss watch. This one was unusual in that there were no trademark long words and I viewed the empty grid with some wariness. The solve was smoother and easier than normal but each specimen and each sip delighted. **/*****
    Thanks once again V.

  12. Excellent puzzle **/****
    As many others I solved 12a but couldn’t parse it. Thanks Senf for the T thing :-)

    Just one minor quibble, shouldn’t 4d be “Asian philosophy”?

    1. In general, philosophies are -isms and philosophers are -ists, so I consider that Virgilius has got it right.

      1. I thank you for that clarification. I was thinking that one who follows a philosopher, is the …ist, whereas the philosopher would be under his own name. However I see your point, that a philosopher who follows ***ism is a ***ist even though he didn’t generate the idea. I prefer to go to the source or even come up with my own :-)

        Often I’ve wondered if there’s another language on earth other than English which offers so much scope for word play.

  13. What a superb Sunday puzzle. My guess is that birthday and Christmas have come wrapped together for Brian, as this is so well clued, with no devious twists and no obscure words. A real treat from begining to end. My favourites were 15 & 17a, but so many more really are worth a mention. Thanks to our ‘resident’ Sunday setter and to Senf.

  14. Excellent crossword. Couple of clues I can’t fully understand 9a and 17d.
    Best clue for me was 14d but liked 4d as well.
    For me ***/****
    Thx to all

    1. Many many thanks for the clip on 12a. Lovely xxxxxxxxx xxxxx which was the best part of an otherwise rather dreary movie.

    2. I’d like to help you Brian, but I won’t risk getting my knuckles rapped. Let’s see who’s willing to take a risk ;-)

    3. 9a – break your answer down to 3 component elements.

      17d – the major part of the answer relates to a cooking process.

    4. 9a the definition is ‘one who’s pragmatic’ if you look at the clue Brian, you need the usual ‘about’ a (from the clue) and something that might be a problem for a vessel

      17d The definition is lying in sun. You need a synonym for very hot which goes ‘without’ shade “initially”

      1. As BD always used to say, if you start with ‘think of ‘ you are definitely in alternative clue territory

  15. As Brian can’t work out why my answe to 17d is right – I have an answer but can’t work out the wordplay. Hints please!

  16. Loved every minute of working this one out. I’ve ringed 14d so that must be favourite. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  17. A good work out with some clues straightforward others far more complex but very enjoyable. Thought some of the clues were outstanding. Got held up with 15a and 4d eventually sorted and the last ones in.

    Clues of the day: Got go for the two that held me up 15a / 4d both excellent clues once I understood them.

    Rating 3.5* / 4*

    Thanks Sent and the setter.

  18. Ah, the Sunday crossword is pure joy. After the past week’s offerings, it’s like coming home after a long trip away.
    Each clue was a pleasure to solve, hence no faves.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  19. Terrific stuff as ever on a Sunday.

    My ticks went to 12a, 17a, 3d and 14d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  20. The usual Sunday excellence from Virgilius providing a good work out for these little grey cells. Lots of good clues but the one that amused me most was 19a. The noise of the penny dropping was quite loud! 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  21. The usual lovely Sunday crossword – I wonder what the coming week will bring.
    I didn’t have too many problems although 4d took a while and was my last answer.
    Clues that stood out for me today were 12 and 17a and 23d. I think my favourite was 14d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  22. Back home after long travels, in Fresh Pot, our favourite Portland coffeehouse.
    I want to mention the retirement of my editor Phil McNeill, who’s had my back for about eight years now, spotting typos and pointing out when I’ve been too obscure. Thanks, Phil.
    Chris Lancaster is his replacement. Welcome, Chris.

  23. Held off from commenting this morning as my initial thought after solving was that this one didn’t rate as a Virgilius Sunday best. Reading through it again this evening, I’ve decided that it’s me who’s been having an ‘off’ day rather than Mr. Greer!

    Think I’d put 5a in the top spot.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf – particularly for the Booker T & The MGs clip – one of my all time favourite groups.

  24. Thanks to Senf, BD and of course Virgilius. I’ve done the puzzle but I cannot explain (parse?) my correct answer to 12. KXXXX. I can suffer anguish till next week, or receive a kindly email going “can’t you see, you….it’s like this:…”
    I will continue regarding this site and all contributors and users among the best in my world in any case.

      1. Well I’m afraid even the hint didn’t parse 12a for me but that’s because I still use a different alphabet.

        1. I’m not sure why you think your solution is correct as what you’ve put most definitely isn’t

          1. I had a problem with this initially due to the fact I wouldn’t use the dance in the radio/phonetic context.

  25. A thoroughly enjoyable, fairly straightforward Sunday treat, * for difficulty. Last in 17d, just because that’s where I ended rather than anything particularly difficult being in that corner.

  26. On the 1*/2* cusp for difficulty, maybe 4* for enjoyment. Some clever misdirection, which made it an interesting solve. 15a was my favourite clue. Many thanks to Virgilius, and of course Senf.

  27. A Sunday treat, no mistake.
    Fav was 14d, like many other people.
    Thanks Virgilius and Senf for the hints.

  28. I really enjoyed this puzzle. Maybe it presages a week as good as the last. My favourite is 1a, crisp, incisive and sufficiently old fashioned to be just leaving my old memory.

  29. NE was held up a bit thanks mainly to my being slow in the uptake over 12a. Overall Virgilius set us a pleasant challenge today even if I did feel it perhaps lacked lighter moments. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

Comments are closed.