ST 2942 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2942 (Hints)

 Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2942 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where our winter snow fall total is now above the average; probably because, a couple of weeks ago, one of the TV weathermen was carrying on about the snow fall total being below the average.

Our clocks ‘sprang forward’ some time in the middle of the night so I am trusting that WordPress knows what is happening and these hints get published at the usual time.

Once again Virgilius in a somewhat tricky frame of mind – one or two anagrams more than usual, one lurker,  one homophone, and a few double definitions, all packed into 28 clues.

Candidates for favourite – 12a, 22a, 8d, and 13d – but, remember, being on this list does not guarantee a hint.

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 Paper joined by charming female, future controller? (4,6)
The Thunderer and a single word for a female who charms.

6a Peel a fruit or two, by the sound of it (4)
The homophone (by the sound of it) of a fruit or a term for a set of two.

12a Be ruthless and thus conclude countdown? (4,2,7)
A double definition, the second is what a countdown stops at.

14a Land in country in East, say (6)
The single letter for East and a synonym for country of say – thanks to stanXYZ and Jezza.

19a Spend time behind bars as warning (6)
The concatenation of a (2,1,3) synonymic phrase for spend time behind bars.

24a Disloyal act spelling end of lost cause (7)
The last letter (end of) of losT and a synonym of cause.

25a Everything in drawing matched (7)
A synonym for everything inside (in) a synonym for drawing (as in match score).

27a Cruel monarch that gets drunk after mixing it (6,4)
A double definition – a Tudor monarch and a cocktail.


1d Heavy work, from my perspective (4)
Another concatenation; this time of a (2,2) synonymic phrase for from my perspective.

3d What ship needs, in water, so she’s tight (13)
A nice long anagram (tight – yes, it’s in the list of indicators in the LRB) of IN WATER SO SHE’S.

7d Since one is followed by two and three and four, it’s very simple (7)
A synonym for since, the single letter for one, and the sum of (. . . and . . . and . . .) the other numbers in the clue.

11d Stupidly tried using brain, in a way that’s harmful (13)
An anagram (stupidly) of TRIED and an adverb that applies to using one’s brain.

13d Female always going on field in state of exhilaration (5,5)
The single letter for female and a synonym for always followed by a synonym for field (as a playing surface).

18d What’s central for investor in foreign capital? Yes, indeed (5,2)
Some of the middle letters (what’s central for) of investor inserted in a South American capital city.

21d Restaurant in street writer’s written about (6)
The name frequently used for a writing implement patented by a Hungarian containing (written about) an abbreviation of street.

23d Extreme characters in England and Germany making us anxious (4)
The first and last letters (extreme characters) of the two countries in the clue.

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75 comments on “ST 2942 (Hints)

  1. I thought this was fairly gentle but as entertaining as ever. Is 12a really a double definition? Thank you Senf and Virgilius.

    1. I think you’re right, NaCW (I was going to abbreviate your name to Never, but that might have obscured my meaning!) – the second bit of the clue describes a literal interpretation of the answer, not the answer as a dictionary entry, so I’d say it’s not a double definition.

  2. Totally missed the anagram indicator for 3d, ‘tight’??
    I sailed through most of it, but was flummoxed by 27a, even with all the checking letters, no excuses.
    I thought 7d was superb.
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius.

  3. Even by Sunday standards I thought this was sublime.

    I liked the 1a future controller. I loved 19a and thought 3d was brilliant but even though one of those should be favourite neither can be because: 7d. Wonderful.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  4. 2* / 5* . Another dose of Sunday perfection.

    Kitty has said pretty much everything I was intending to say but I will just add that 6d is a rare example of a double homophone (with the added benefit that both are likely to be indisputable!). Oh yes, and 15a was a new spelling for me.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

    1. RD, obviously you mean 6a. There ain’t no 6d! Double homophone is indeed an unusual twist.

      1. Crikey. Well spotted, Angellov, That’s two blunders (deliberate mistakes as Miffypops calls them) I’ve made in one day …

  5. Fairly swift but immensely enjoyable solve today, bar 10a for which the parsing continues to flummox me for some reason (though I feel convinced of the straight definition).
    Have to agree that 7d is spectacular, don’t recall a similar mechanism being used for a long time.
    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

      1. Thanks a lot. Unfortunately not a tremendously fascinating story behind it, merely a melding of two of the references made by my username.
        Specifically, the headdress likely to be worn by some of the acquaintances of a certain Lovett (a tenuous link it must be said), and secondly the most prevalent stock reared in the area where I grew up, often seen depicted on the buildings in various forms.

        The idea popped into my head one day so I decided to try my best to create it. Glad you like it. :)

      1. Excellent, thanks for the hint. My knowledge of that particular game comes predominantly from crosswords so any marginally more in depth terms don’t spring to mind too quickly! Thanks again.

    1. Hoskins clued 7d in a very similar way a few months ago in the Indy (I can’t give details because this is a prize crossword).

  6. I’ve ticked far too many favourites to list. Best puzzle of the week for me. 27a made me smile. Which reminds me. Is it too early to open the bubbly for Mother’s Day? Many thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  7. Completed in a fairly easy ** time for me. I would argue that 15a isn’t correct, the answer and the word in the clue aren’t the same shape, in my book. It’s difficult to explain further without being put on the naughty step.

    Two COTD from me, 1a and 7d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    1. I don’t want to go to the Naughty Corner either so I’ll just refer you to the BRB’s entry for the solution

    2. What CS said or you can Google the answer and look for a Wikipedia article in the results.

      1. I didn’t realise that I had either an ampli or an amphi – you’ve got me worried now…….

  8. One parsed 7d became my COTD by a fair distance. Quite brilliant. Virgilius is on top form yet again, giving us a masterpiece of concise and elegant clueing that was a joy to complete. Overall this 2.5* /5* for me.

    Thanks as ever to Virgilius and Senf.

  9. Excellent Sunday fare from Virgilius.

    My favourite by some distance is 6a.

    Thanks all.

    ps. 14a Shouldn’t the first three words in the clue be underlined as the definition?

    1. Stan, Senf’s hint is correct. Peel is the definition. The answer is a homophone of a “fruit” and a homophone of “two”.

      1. More haste less speed. Somehow I didn’t see 14a in your PS and thought it was referring to 6a. :oops:

  10. A joyful solve from a setter who is consistently at the top of his game.
    Packed podium with 1,22&24a jostling for position along with 3&7d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for today’s words and music.

  11. 19a bears a striking resemblance to a clue in yesterday’s Times cryptic. The same answer and the same cryptic 2-1-3 phrase.

    1. It’s a popular decomposition of the answer. I have seven previous appearances of that construction in my database of Telegraph, Guardian, and Indy puzzles.

  12. 2d and 12a were a bit of a problem today mainly because I didn’t check the 4d clue before bunging in a wrong answer. When I sorted that out the other 2 clues came to me.
    19a LOI but looking back I can’t see why.
    23d pinged my familiarity radar and 18d was COTD for me. Thanks to S and V.

  13. I missed a couple this week, but of the ones I’ve done, this was the most witty. Thanks to all.

  14. Just the ticket to begin a relaxed Sunday with 19a my Fav although, according to neveracrossword, that isn’t an original so I might also nominate 7d. West side acquiesced before the East. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  15. Lots of fun and many lovely clues.

    I had ticked 12a, 19a, 20d, 23d, 24a, 7d – but there are more

    Many thanks Virgilius and Senf

    1. Your comment went into moderation – you put ’51’ into the name part of your e-mail address and this has not been used before.

  16. An enjoyable Sunday crossword. 11 down took a while until I realized it was not an anagram! I don’t understand why 10 across is an instruction. Thanks.

      1. Thanks, the BRB was indeed helpful. I should have checked there before commenting!

          1. BRB stands for Big Red Book aka Chambers Dictionary – the reference book used by the Telegraph and other nationals. Versions of it are available online and you should be able to find the answer to your question about 10a in there. Sorry not to be more helpful but it’s a Prize Puzzle!

          2. Hi GMY1965. If you take a look at the FAQ section at the top of the page it will explain the BRB and other useful info. I can’t give you the answer to 10a for fear of being sent to the naughty corner. I’m off to play Bridge where hopefully some decent 10a should take place.

      1. Thanks Senf. That was giving me grief also …

        But I’m still on hold at 11d, what’s the definition? No underlining showing up here for this clue on my iPad.

        1. Hi Lizzie,
          11d is made up of an anagram of ‘tired’ followed by a term to describe using one’s brain. The definition is contained in the last five words of the clue.

        2. Apologies – just saw your comment; it arrived while I was ‘out and about’ on my Sunday morning activities. Underlining now added (per Jane’s comment).

  17. I really enjoyed this puzzle. It fell into place quite swiftly but had lots of excellent clues, with 10a and 7d both meriting a smiley face in the margins of my printout from the online puzzles site.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for the entertainment, and Senf too.

    Time for more rugby now!

  18. Lovely Sunday fun once more. This was over far too quickly, like others having a problem choosing a fave.
    Do they have 5d any more? Liked 27a, glad I paid attention in history at school.
    No, I’ve decided no faves, too much good stuff.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints.

  19. Excellent stuff as ever from Virgilius, my top marks went to 12a, 19a, 8d and 20d.

    Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf.

  20. A most enjoyable solve. Many top class clues, of which 7d gets favourite honours. Thanks, Virgilius and Senf.

  21. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A superb Saturday offering, so many great clues, 1a&7d, but my favourite was 6a. I had 19a wrong and needed the hint to sort out. I had American nuclear threat-level warning. Was 2*/5* for me. Just a delight to solve.

  22. Not being a lover of dancing on ice, and after a heavy day yesterday at our local (Pulborough ) rugby club’s 50th anniversary VP lunch, this puzzle was just right after a recovery session this lunchtime at our local. As already commented I am more used to the alternative spelling for 15a. I liked 1a 12a but 7d was the top one.
    Thanks to Senf (do you have connections to Norfolk or just like the stuff?) And to the setter whose name doesn’t appear in the paper version

    1. It is the German translation of a ‘corrupted’ version of my surname. However, I do have a connection with Norfolk as eight and a half years of my time serving HM were spent in the county, and I do like the stuff.

      FYI – the regular Sunday setter is Virgilius.

      1. Could mean being (1) in prison,(2) the Armed Forces, or (3) working at Sandringham. Out of this multi-choice I will go for (2).

  23. No one has mentioned 1a as their favourite…. so I shall. Another Sunday treat which starts for me in the anticipation: in the shower this morning I was thinking “ah, good, a Virgilius day!” This one was of medium strength for this solver and last in was the 1d/1a combo.

    Thank you, Mr Greer for another fine Crossword and to our Canadian weatherman for the review.

  24. As enjoyable as always on a Sunday – overall on the easy side, though with the southern half putting up a little more resistance. I thought 7d was particularly good today.

  25. Thank you Virgilius and Senf for a very enjoyable puzzle. Almost finished at first sitting but was then called away to help Mr BL saw up 13 8 x 4 sheets of plywood. Left over from before we invested in hurricane shutters – 15 years ago… He says it doesn’t pay to rush these things 😊

    Favourite today was 27a.

  26. Once again a crossword to savour, although it was over a bit too soon I felt.
    My favourite clue was 1a and overall I think 2/4.5.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  27. I looked at this and wondered if I could be bothered as nothing instantly sprang into my head. However I started in the NE and I was away. I was proud of myself for parsing 7d easily. Wonderful clue. So many were good and witty that it is hard to select a favourite. Perhaps I shall vote for 1a as Hector pointed out no-one else had and it is clever. I also particularly liked 1d – no doubt been used before – but short and to the point. I thought there may be complaints about 21d as that word for the writer is not used these days (but was common in my youth). My last one in was 27a – probably because I was thinking of another word for Monarch for the second or a foreign despot unfamiliar to me. In the end it was much more simple and I did not know why it was my last. So sorry Brian is not commentating – I would love to read his views. I think he would like it.

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