ST 2941 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2941 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2941 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where Mother Nature has decided that 75% of average winter snow fall is not enough so the start of Spring will probably be delayed while we catch up on the amount of snow starting today with the arrival of a Colorado Low.  The fact that last winter we had 140% of average winter snow fall does not appear to matter.

I hope that the effects of Emma meets Beast from the East have begun to subside; but, beware, a very strong Nor’easter that went up the Eastern seaboard of the USA and Canada on Friday, Saturday, and today is about to begin its journey across the pond.  So, this time next week?

Virgilius in a somewhat tricky frame of mind again, but not as tricky as I thought he was going to be, perhaps a very enjoyable Mouton Cadet Blanc helped – the usual number of anagrams, two lurkers, four, yes four, homophones, but you only get hints for two of them.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 16a, 4d, and 6d (you should notice a theme).

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 Material Chekhov initially included in his play rewritten (8)
Nothing to do with what Chekhov did, an anagram (rewritten) of the initial letter of Chekhov and HIS PLAY.

9a Get to know about remaining present as stated (8)
One of the homophones (as stated) of synonyms of remaining and present.

11a One left area without soldier? That doesn’t make sense (12)
The single letter for one, the single letter for left, and a synonym for area containing (without) the two letters for a US soldier.

15a What ends in road rage, creating hazard (6)
The last letter (what ends in) of roaD and a synonym for rage.

17a Land in East in fit of temper (5)
A double definition, the first is a type of field.

23a What teacher amended, covering right way to display elements (7,5)
Anagram (amended) of WHAT TEACHER containing (covering) the single letter for right.

27a Call on me first, in relation to treatment (8)
Two letters for in relation to, followed by ME from the clue, and a synonym for call – I am not sure if I have got this exactly right, any suggestions would be welcomed.

28a Raised voice in argument after endless decline (8)
A synonym for decline with the last letter removed (endless) followed by a two word synonymic phrase for argument.


2d Flower in bunch a rebel leader distributed (8)
The first lurker (in . . . distributed) found in the remaining words of the clue.

3d Player in quartet that’s been successful thus far (4-8)
One of the quartet in the last but one stage of a competition.

6d Leaves container holding two things golfer needs, one heard (3,5)
Another of the homophones (one heard) of two golfing elements.

8d Ill-defined situation with big cut covering awful year (4,4)
A synonym of big with the last letter removed (cut) containing (covering) an anagram (awful) of a synonym of big with the first letter removed (cut) and YEAR.

12d What comes after flight — coach that’s for disembarking passengers (7-5)
What comes after or is the last phase of a flight and a type of coach (the passengers have not travelled on an aircraft).

16d Fellow and I modify rocket, for instance (8)
The single letter for fellow and I from the clue followed by a synonym for modify.

17d Alarm about US politician that causes widespread ill-feeling? (8)
A synonym for alarm containing (about) the abbreviation for one of the major US political parties.

25d Part of leg held in cynical foul (4)
The second lurker (held in) found in the last words of the clue.

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Michael Barrett (a.k.a. Shakin’ Stevens), apparently, according to my research, from the ‘wrong’ part of Wales, was born on this day 70 years ago and this was a Number One at the end of March in  1981:



60 comments on “ST 2941 (Hints)

  1. The usual ‘fun while it lasted’ for a Sunday morning.

    6d appeared in a very similar way in DT 28582 back on 11th November last year. No I haven’t got a database, I just remember it from reviewing it!

    Thanks to Virgilius – Sunday’s wouldn’t be the same without you – and to Senf

    1. I had recollections of a previous appearance of 6d as I solved it after reading the first two words.

  2. 2* / 5*+. Sheer brilliance from start to finish!

    Four homophones, all of which I am hopeful that even Gazza will find acceptable.

    10a & 3d are fighting it out for my choice as favourite. I absolutely loved the “academic stream” and the “player in quartet” – genius at work!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

      1. Burkey, if you remove the letter which represents the three basic elements of education from your answer what are you left with?

          1. It’s not a river that I’ll ever forget. As schoolboys during the big freeze of 1963 we actually walked across it instead of using the bridge!

    1. Homophones all ticked – it’s very rare for me to have any problems with Virgilian clues. Thanks to the Sunday supremo and to Senf for the hints.

  3. As always, the Virgilius Sunday puzzle is my favourite of the week!

    I agree with RD that both 10a and 3d are superb.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    Ps. My parsing of 8d is somewhat different.

      1. The penny has dropped on how badly I messed up the hint and it is now ‘fixed’ – I need caffeine!

  4. My parsing of 27a is two letters meaning on followed by me etc, with the definition being the last four words of the clue
    A very pleasant canter this morning which I actually managed to do on my iPhone via the Puffin web browser as recommended by BD in the survey results.
    Many thanks to Vergilius and Senf

      1. The way I parsed this was to change the punctuation:
        Call on me, first in relation to – treatment.
        i.e. a two letter abbreviation for “in relation to” first…

        Is there any cake left in the naughty corner?

  5. 10a and 3d, when I finally parsed it, were co-favourites in this masterpiece from Virgilius. A little tricky in places, as befits a prize puzzle, but splendidly enjoyable from first to last clue, which was 20a for me. Overall 2.5* /5* sums up this terrific crossword.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for cheering up this first morning in a week when we have been above 0C, and to Senf.

  6. Very enjoyable.
    I do find Virgilius’ puzzle in the Ray-T bracket for difficulty, but this one was ok lots of good clues.
    I struggled mightily with 2d as I had no idea what the last word of the clue was doing there and it suggested an anagram. Surely the key word for the clue was ‘in’? Would appreciate some advice as I am still learning this black art.
    Apart from that, highly enjoyable. Favourite clue was 4d which was my last one in.
    Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  7. The usual delightful Sunday service from Virgilius.

    I particularly liked the raised voice in 28a, the wonderful cryptic definition at 3d, and “one heard” in 6d.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  8. Gentle but genius – Virgilius on top form yet again.

    I’ll go with the flow and put 10a & 3d in the top spots although I would also add the ‘chestnut’ at 6d – still makes me smile.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. Earworm duly in residence……….

  9. Another quality Sunday puzzle. I really enjoyed this one and so many clever clues. Thanks a lot Virgilius and Senf.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable today. Too many by far to choose a favourite but 6D is up there for me. Many thanks to all.

  11. Splendid Sunday fare as ever. 3 & 4d and 10a were stars of the show. For me. A good lunch with home-made bread made even better.
    Thank you Virgenius for your beautiful clueing. Thanks Senf for the blog and weather warning.
    Think I’ll head off to the Southern Hemisphere for a week.

  12. Today’s poser had just enough challenge to be satisfying to solve. I believe it’s a chestnut but it took me an age to pass the last part of 9a and I also spent time working on wrong kind of quartet for 3d (my ultimate Fav) so double d’oh! Many thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  13. At the easier end of the Virgilius spectrum but as enjoyable as always. I do wish that Sunday puzzles didn’t always seem to contain double unches though, our compiler does seem fond of such grids.

    Although I liked the popular 10a and 3d, my ticks actually went to 17a, 27a, 6d and 12d. My repetition radar did bleep at one point, but didn’t detract from the fun.

    Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf.

    1. Perhaps strangely, I don’t usually notice the double unches until I have finished the solve.

      1. As someone who very rarely takes much notice of grids when solving, I only ever see double unches when I’m trying to work out why I am well and truly stuck trying to get the last few solutions in a crossword.

  14. Mmm, lovely crossword to finish the weekend. 3d was my out and out favourite, and as has been suggested, 2.5/5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints and forecast.

  15. Hurrah! Managed the whole of a Virgilus without external help!!

    Have to dmit a bung-in of 15a then could not believe how stupid I had been when I saw Senf’s hint. Totally missed the lurker at 2d too, but it could only be what it was.

    Particularly liked 28a.

    Many thanks to Senf and to Virgilus.

  16. What a weekend of outstanding puzzles a pleasure to solve both of them. Again as yesterday full of top notch clues with far too many aces to mention. Bottom half went in easier than top half, with NE corner the last to fall and last in 9a. Agree with Angellov just enough of a challenge but really satisfying to complete.

    Clues of the day: 11a / 18a / 3d for special mention.

    Rating 3* / 4.5*

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius

  17. I’m in the ‘trickier than usual’ camp today – the top half, specially the right bit, took much longer than the bottom.
    1a – oh dear – that sort of material – nothing to do with sewing then.
    Having the first letter of 17a made me think of the wrong fit of temper.
    Missed the 1d lurker and had something musical on the brain for 3d which didn’t help anything.
    For no particularly good reason 7 and 8d were my last two in.
    I liked 18a and 17d and my favourite was 12d.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.
    Much milder – most of the snow has now gone but still a few little patches lingering – my Nan used to say that as long as there was any left at all then it was waiting for more to come and join it.
    No major casualties in the greenhouse.

  18. Good bit of Sunday entertainment. Though it’s an old chestnut, 6d is my favourite. Thank you Virgilius and Senf. Now the snow has gone, I feel I ought to walk off the rather large Sunday lunch I ate. How on earth I had room to fit in icecream I’ll never know, but I did.

  19. First pass without an answer had me stymied for a while but when I got a foothold in the south I had the bottom half done without anything much in the top.
    LOI was 13a I had a wrong last letter in 4d which I couldn’t see around.
    The Spock in me liked 11a and the well concealed lurker hit my buttons today.
    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  20. Lovely stuff once again. I had not picked out any particular favorites before coming to the blog, but in retrospect I’ll go for 3D. Many thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

    We had two days of the Nor’easter Senf mentions. The wind was gusting so hard it sucked 8 of my 9 rose bushes right out of the ground and blew them to heaven knows where!

  21. Sunday back-pagers never disappoint. Today I particularly liked 21a, 28a, 3d, and 6d. In my view the latter has been improved since its previous appearance noted above by CS. I’m interested to see 6d labelled a chestnut because I can’t find any other appearances of it, although my records only go back to 2001.

    In response to the request for suggestions for parsing 27a, I agree with Gordon@4: Call or telephone, with both a usual word meaning on and ME from the clue preceding it (first), and in relation to treatment the definition.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  22. The usual Sunday treat, how on earth does he do it.
    So much to like here, hard to choose a fave, but I agree that the 10a and 3d were both brilliant.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints and tips.

  23. After a mixed week of solving. I really enjoyed this. I do look forward to Sunday’s. Nothing much in the paper though
    Thanks to both.

  24. I’m stuck on 13a and not sure of the last letter of 4d

    I’ve settled on the one I think is right and got a lot of letters but…
    It will probably pop into my head eventually. It usually does!

  25. A lovely bit of Sunday entertainment from Virgilius. All sorted and put to bed during the afternoon. 1a is my favourite today after wasting time thinking up Anton’s writings. 13a & 3d also get my vote. All good fun and with some excellent clues. Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  26. Please help. I have an answer for 5d but no idea what that has to do with wood. Help please also for 3d – I have the first part of the clue but stumped on the second part. Thanks

    1. The wood bit is something you might put on a fire??
      The Pole is the one Peary got to first??
      Does that help??
      Hope the naughty stick does not beckon…

      1. Sure. And Parmentier discovered the potato. There some doubt about that too.

    2. 3d – nothing musical (superb misdirection by Virgilius), if you haven’t already done so, read my hint. if you have read my hint, read it a couple more times.

  27. I struggled to get going, but unlike yesterday sadly it did not all fall into place. Bottom half went in first and most of top half. As usual, the hints were mostly the ones I already solved leaving me stranded on the rest. I fear I have to go in the dunce’s corner today. But I did love 6d.

    1. Don’t be too hard on yourself Lizzie, this was not easy by any stretch.
      Tomorrow is another day…

  28. About average difficulty for a Sunday, and thoroughly enjoyable. I’m guessing perhaps I wasn’t on top form today, though, given how long it took me to spot the device in 20ac. :-) I blame the snow, which is refusing to thaw.

    1. 7d Source of special fare husband got from old Asian city (4)
      This is a source of special fare or foodstuffs. Remove the abbreviation for husband from the name of an old Asian city.

  29. Yet another interesting and entertaining puzzle. Top end of 1* difficulty, but a good 4* for enjoyment. 28a was my favourite, despite the temptations of 14d (with two glasses down already this evening). Many thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf.

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