ST 2940 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2940 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2940 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where temperatures have at last ‘warmed up’ to seasonal levels but there is still plenty of wind chill to make one think otherwise.

Birthday Bash pictures are in the Gallery!

Virgilius in a somewhat tricky frame of mind, but not as tricky as I thought he was going to be when I started the solve – the usual number of anagrams, two lurkers, no homophones, and one superb ‘only Virgilius’ clue.

Candidates for favourite – 14a, 1d, and 15d.

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 How conviction makes one feel — it includes fine that’s too much (7)
A single word for how one feels when one has conviction and IT from the clue containing (includes) the single letter for fine.

11a Defender in a sport adding essential point (9)
A from the clue, a sport played on horseback, and a single word for an essential point.

13a For Dutch town, took flight back ahead of time (5)
A synonym for took flight reversed (back) followed by the single letter for time.

14a Alter something like this to house son who lives alone? (7)
A term for to alter (or do over) what this ‘collection’ of words ‘is’ containing (to house) the single letter for son – no-one does it like Virgilius!.

19a Unscrupulous American lawyer contributing to mass hysteria (7)
The first lurker (contributing to) found in the end words of the clue.

24a Pianist including third piece from Mozart in record (5)
A synonym for a record containing (including) the third letter (piece) of Mozart – being a pianist was just one of this individual’s many talents.

28a Endlessly negligent in workout — that could start an argument (7)
A synonym for negligent with the last letter removed (endlessly) contained by (in) a two letter acronym for workout.


1d Madeira, for instance, that might be found in kitchen (6)
A double definition to start the Downs, the first is the solid, not liquid, form of Madeira.

3d From outside port, men took bearing (10)
The second lurker (from) found in the rest of the clue.

6d Puzzle as partners in special relationship are upset over party (6)
The abbreviations of the two countries who may (or may not) be in a special relationship reversed (are upset) containing (over) a synonym for party.

15d It’s used to secure gear as stupid male’s parking, say (7,3)
Someone described as stupid, the male pronoun, the possessive S from the clue, the single letter for parking, and the abbreviation of the Latin synonymic term for say.

17d Box with youth outside ring, creating work for doctor (8)
Synonyms for a box (container) and a youth containing (outside) the letter that represents a ring.

20d Minion from whom no statement is impossible? (3-3)
An underling who cannot say no.

22d Loathing something worn by cardinal? Just the reverse (6)
An informal term for something a cardinal wears with the two words it is comprised of swapped over (just the reverse) and combined.

25d Like considerable sum put in order (4)
A double definition to finish, the first is a synonym for (like) considerable when referring to a sum of money.

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.

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Number One for two weeks in the second half of February 1968; apparently it was written by whatsisname*, some time in 1967, but Manfred Mann was the first to release a recording of it:

* R.A.Zimmerman



32 comments on “ST 2940 (Hints)

  1. 2.5* / 5*. Another Sunday gem! 6d was my last one in and 14a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  2. Another piece of excellence from the Sunday maestro, amazes me that anyone can construct the perfect clue for 6d – that takes my vote for favourite.
    8a & 1d were the last to fall for me – no idea why!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for a good selection of hints – nice to see Paul Jones again.

    PS Photos from the birthday bash are now showing in the gallery.

  3. 14a my clear favourite in this slightly tricky but eminently solvable puzzle from Virgilius this frosty morning. My first run yielded just two answers, but then the top half fell into place followed by the rest in reasonable time, so 2.5* /5* overall from me. For no good reason 25d was the last to fall into place.

    Thanks to the aforementioned for another sparkling crossword, and to Senf.

    1. 25d was the last one to fall for me mainly because it was on the other side of the print out – if I shrink the crossword to print on one side of the paper, there isn’t room for me to scribble my parsing notes next to each clue ready for the draft review :(

      1. One or two ‘orphan’ clues happens quite often with North American ‘Letter’ size paper being shorter than A4.

  4. Took 3 stabs at it today. About half went in before arising and most of the rest went in post first brew of the day. 28a LOI after cogitation and caffeine, I had done the hard yards on 15d but finished it off incorrectly. A perusal of the hint put me right so thanks Senf. 14a and 6d were my faves today. Thanks to Virgilius too.

  5. Completed at a gentle stroll in 2.5** time. 15d is my COTD if only because it help up (geddit?) the solving of the rest of the SE corner.

    6d was the other one to trip me up, I can never remember how to spell it.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  6. A bit tricky, but I managed to complete it unaided, so very satisfying. Another great puzzle from Virgilius. Thank you to him and Senf.

  7. Excellent today I thought. Not particularly taxing but so many clever clues. My LOI was the cunningly disguised 3d.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius 1.5*/5*

  8. Struggled a bit with this weeks but eventually it came good.LOI was 21a, had an answer but could not understand why. Unfortunately no hint appeared in the blog to confirm my answer. I looked at it again and suddenly saw the light. You feel so stupid for not seeing it earlier!

  9. Virgilius is such a good setter and Sunday is all the better with one of his crosswords awaiting. 14a was my favourite from a strong field. Many thanks to him and to Senf for the review.

  10. Thanks for gallery pictures, great to see you all enjoying yourselves. Few missing faces this year. Another Virgilius masterpiece, slight struggle but nonetheless very delightful. Thanks to Senf and Mr G, COTD 1d by a short head.

  11. Another Sunday treat! Virgilius never fails us.
    I failed at 6d, even resorting to electronic help. Silly me.
    The lurker at 3d was so smoothe, but fave has to be 14a
    Thanks Virgilius and to Senf for the hints and for help at 6d.

  12. **/****. Very enjoyable puzzle with a good mix of Lego clues, anagrams and excellent lurkers. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf. I’m nursing a bad back following our forecast light dusting which turned into 10 inches of snow. So unlike the west coast at sea level.

  13. After last Sunday’s easier than normal puzzle I was expecting a stiffer challenge today, and so it proved, although it was more a case of gently coaxing out the solutions rather than needing a crowbar!

    My top two clues were 18d and 20d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  14. A good mélange of hard and not so hard clues which were all fun to solve. NE corner was last to yield mainly due to 6d not occurring to me – I had in fact been misled by Mr. Google to a different kind of puzzle which fitted in. 14a was Fav. Thank you lots Virgilius and Senf. Nice to see pictures of the Little Venice gathering – what a handsome bunch you all are and what a super looking cake.

  15. Oldies but Goodies as Phibs would have it.
    What a perfect example in 27a. And 7d for that matter.
    But Virgilius always provide us with such marvels.
    Loved 8a and 19a.
    Thanks to the Sunday master and to Senf for the hints.

  16. Some superb clues in today’s Virgilius puzzle. It took me quite a bit longer to finish than most have recently, but I’m certainly not going to complain about that. My clue of the day really has to be 6d, closely followed by 5, 7 & 15d. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf, who’s hints I’ll read a little later.

  17. A * for difficulty here, and as enjoyable as always. Dutch town, what Dutch town? Cue momentary panic. Oh, that one…

  18. 1*/4.5* for my money. A joy, as usual, and l particularly enjoyed 8a, which l pick as my favourite clue because the word takes me back to my first childhood reading of Sellars and Yeatman’s “1066 And All That”. Who can forget the king who reportedly died of an unwise excess of palfreys?

    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf.

      1. Surely you have read “1066 etc” CS? The whole point of the book is that history is not what actually happened, it is what you can remember. Henry I (l think) did indeed die of lampreys, but it sounds so much more interesting if misremembered as palfreys. In any case, you wouldn’t need so many of the for a surfeit.

  19. Dear me, even for a Sunday this is tough. Managed just five answers even with the hints which are more cryptic than the clues!
    Not a good weekend for me crosswordwise.
    Hoping for better tomorrow.

    1. Well perseverance has yielded the appropriate number of answers but It remains to be seen if they are correct as I cannot parse at least six of them!
      Not my favourite Virgilus. I stand by my previous rating of ****/*.

  20. I’d have to have double flu and be too weak to stab at an iPad to miss one of our revered Sunday-setter’s offerings. Great stuff as usual 2/4 this week with that tapeworm lurker my favourite at 3D.
    What on earth has happened to Scotland yesterday. They must have given up the Irn Bru or someth8ng.

  21. I needed to walk away from this puzzle for a while. When I returned to it everything fell into place. How the brain works….
    19a floated my boat today/yesterday so that is my fave. 2/4.5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius for another superb crossword, and to Senf for the hints.

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