ST 2944 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2944 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2944 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg –  where spring may have sprung but we can’t see if the grass has riz because we are getting more snow; however, some of the migrating birdies have started to return.

The fourth nor’easter (dubbed the foureaster by the media) in three weeks has finished its journey up the Eastern seaboard of the USA and Canada and is just about to start its journey across the pond – so get ready for a White Easter?

Virgilius in a benevolent frame of mind, and it would have helped if I had not mixed up enumerations between a few clues – the usual number of anagrams, one lurker,  two clues with homophone elements, and one ‘chessy’ clue – but not that man!

Candidates for favourite – 12a, 20a, and 4d (the first two because they are 14 letter non-anagrams).

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:


7a Short of money, performed vocally on street (8)
The abbreviation for street followed a type of vocal performance that has taken place.

11a Male friend grabbing you, as stated, by hand (8)
Synonyms of male and friend containing (grabbing) the single letter homophone (as stated) of you.

12a Creating classes in summer term, initially, with formal consent (14)
The initial letters of Summer and Term followed by a type of formal consent.

17a Author, in awe of editor, held back (5)
A reverse lurker (in . . . held back) in the rest of the clue.

20a Record how old we are – intended, we hear, as deterrent (14)
A synonym for a type of record, a two word synonymic phrase for how old we are, and a homophone (we hear) of a synonym of intended.

23a Sliced beef pie, say, cut by friend in Paris (8)
A type of (say) pie with the last letter removed (cut) and the French (in Paris) for friend.

27a Converted to ally, is steadfast supporter (8)
An anagram (converted) of TO ALLY IS.


1d For part of flight, loved animals going up (4)
The reversal (going up) of animals that are loved and some are best friends.

2d Other producer of pictures arrived before artist (6)
A synonym of arrived followed by the usual two letter artist.

4d Princess and I very minimally raised capital (6)
Not the ‘usual’ princess (this one is still living), I from the clue, and the single letter (minimally) for very all reversed (raised).

6d Historical military leader and PM in faraway capital (10)
An antipodean capital named after the vanquisher of Napoleon.

13d Kind of policies for political group outside mainstream (5,5)
A double definition (I think), the first is the minimum (or used to be) motoring policy.

18d For example, rising embraced by primitive with enthusiasm (7)
The abbreviation, from the Latin, of for example reversed (rising) contained (embraced) by a synonym of primitive.

22d Spirits, including last of rum — or beer (6)
The last letter of ruM, OR from the clue, and a synonym of beer.

26d Suffered beating — those expelled get it (4)
The second part of an informal instruction to someone being sent away (expelled) from a group.

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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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On this day in 1965, the third Number One for the Rolling Stones, and the first written by Jagger and Richards, was in the middle of a three week stint at the top of the charts:



67 comments on “ST 2944 (Hints)

  1. Another fine offering from Virgilius which I didn’t find particularly tricky, but it was certainly no pushover.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius **/****

  2. 2* / 5*. Wonderful!

    Favourite long clue: 20a
    Favourite short clue: 3d

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  3. Enjoyed the Stones clip, not my favourite band but this was their best, along with Little Red Rooster and Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
    How did Bill Wyman manage to play the bass like that??
    Good crossword, still stuck on a couple.

    1. Just beaten by the other princess at 4d, could not get the late one out of my head, though I should have got the answer from the checking letters.
      Thanks to Senf and Virgilius

      1. I also tried hard to fit that princess in – made for some rather strange ‘capitals’!

        1. I even googled some of them Jane, hoping that one of them may have been the capital of some obscure country.

      2. Your blogger also fell into the same trap of the late princess but when nothing appropriate could be found in the list of capital cities in the LRB I re-read the clue more attentively.

      3. I too could not get that Princess out of my head until 12ac gave me the last letter and I concentrated on the “raised” … so last one in on a longish solve, but I am watching the events in South Africa.

        Thanks Virgilius and Senf

      4. I thought it was a reversed lurker in the 4 first words of the clue. The checkers looked good and I actually checked if the possible solution was a capital. D’oh.

  4. He probably played a double bass earlier and got used to the upright neck. I believe Charlie Watts started playing trad jazz so maybe bill was the same. But he’s into early rock and roll these days and they used a double bass.See Bill Haley, Buddy Holly etc

  5. Yet another splendid Sunday offering. 12A was my last one in and my favorite, with 3D very close behind. Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  6. Last two to fall were 12a & 13d, the latter making the leader board along with 20a.
    I did wonder whether the first word in the clue for 2d was necessary – seems to read quite well without it.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for another Sunday treat and to Senf – despite his insistence on sharing the white stuff with us!
    Amusing to see the Stones before they gathered any moss. I see that even 50 odd years ago Mick Jagger moved as though he was a puppet being pulled by hidden strings!

  7. Just like Jane, it was 12a and 13d that held out for me. Does anyone have 13d policies these days?

    I think the first word in 2d is to differentiate it from the artist as a producer of pictures.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    1. 2d – yes, that makes sense – thank you, Malcolm.

      I suspect that 13d’s are still available but don’t know of anyone who has one.

      1. I agree with Malcolm’s view re: the need for the first word of 2d clue. 13d and 12a were also my last two in – in that order. Definitely needed all the checking letters for both

    2. “Does anyone have 13d policies these days?” Yes, in Italy. there is no other option!

      1. Your avatar fascinated me, SW. Is your oil marketed in the UK or is it strictly for the home market?

        1. Lovely picture isn’t it? I’m not sure that I can discuss that here. I’ll ask Big Dave.

        2. Hi Jane. As you can see BD seems fine about this but I am just awaiting what mechanism we should use to communicate as I don’t want to fill the blog with details. By the way, the picture was taken in November 2003 – our first Extra Virgin.

        3. Hi Jane

          I think I have solved the mechanism. Click on my avatar and it will provide you with email contact details.


  8. 2* /5* from me for this hugely enjoyable offering from Virgilius. I love a rekrul, so 17a immediately became a candidate for favourite until I solved 20a. 3d was clever, and 4d very inventive. Great stuff.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    1. 3d might be ‘clever’ but it fools me hence it was a bung-in – were there to be one more letter before the first letter I would understand.

      1. The introducer ‘introduced’ his wife as the first palindrome,


        How the first man might have formally introduced himself to a lady.
        (added on Monday)

  9. Very enjoyable but over very quickly. 12 15 and 20a were favourites together with 2d. Hope I have 3d right. I think I have parsed it, sort of….. Thanks Virgilius and Senf. Hints not needed although I confess to bunging in 17 without noticing the lurker

  10. Excellent as always, I did find the bottom half slightly less straightforward than the top though. Like Jane, I thought “other” could easily have been omitted from 2d without any adverse effect on the clue, but I’m sure MalcolmR’s interpretation is correct.

    My podium trio comprised 7a, 13d and 26d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  11. Greetings from the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament just winding down in Stamford, CT, where I competed with more enjoyment than distinction. Richard Rogan, crossword editor of the Times, gave a very amusing talk.

    1. Good morning sir, and thank you once again for a very enjoyable Sunday puzzle (which, as usual, I solved yesterday).

    2. Hi Brian, thanks for dropping by and thanks for your continued provision of amusement!

  12. About ** for difficulty, and as good as always. 26d was my last in, and one I initially made a mess of until I noticed the tense was wrong.

  13. Another Sunday masterpiece. There’s such a wide choice for fave but I think mine is 20a; 3d is also worthy of mention.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  14. Really enjoyed this one too! I got stuck again on one that should have been simple, I had half the letters and thought I knew the answer (I did in fact) but thought…. ‘Well that’s a bit rude.’ Asked LSH (long suffering husband) and he simply said ‘Chess’ no that’s not the answer btw but I noticed that Senf mentioned chess too! Doh!

    Also btw and off topic but I thought it is funny, apparently a plane en-route from the uK to Las Vegas had to divert because of behaviour of certain passengers and five men were arrested so in stead of a holiday in the sun they are sitting in cells in …. wait for it…. Winnipeg! Love it! Not only is that a perfect punishment but it’s going to cost them a heck of a lot more to fly back to the UK from Winnipeg than the cost of their cheap package deal to Vegas. We spent 2 years in Winnipeg so know it quite well, especially the weather and high costs of getting anywhere from there.

      1. Well I am pretty sure Thompson will have banned them, it costs a LOT to divert a flight – my dad was in the airline business – not to mention disgruntled fellow passengers who got to Las Vegas late because of their shenanigans. Hey it is coming up to spring, even in Winterpeg (sorry Senf!) so maybe if they get jail time they could be made to work on a road crew fixing the quite spectaular pot holes Winnipeg is famous (infamous?) for!

      1. LOL! True! But we once made the mistake of not getting gas and had to drive back to Fargo because there is simply NOTHING for flipping miles.

  15. What an excellent puzzle. There was so much to like about this. My favourites by a small margin were 15&20a. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  16. A puzzle with everything and light on anagrams, most enjoyable.
    I also took a while to understand the first reference in 13d, even with the answer written…last one in.
    Thanks for the hints.

  17. The hint for 27a is actually for 28a
    27a and 21d are unhinted but have defeated me. I didn’t have much time for the puzzle today been to the dales for a bit of cheese shopping and scone munching. I did like 20a and 6d and the rekrul too.
    Thanks to Senf and Virgilious for a good tussle.

  18. Oh the joys of the Sunday crossword!
    The two 14 letter clues were my favourites, and overall 2.5/4*.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints

  19. It took me until now to fill the last one in 21d. More a tea tray rather than just a penny drop.
    That’s what happens if you don’t want to bung in. Have to wait to parse the clue before writing it in. Must admit that I pencil it faintly not to forget.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the fun and to Senf for the hints.

  20. An enjoyable puzzle, although I haven’t managed to finish it yet. My brain is very contrary today, and the ones I need hints for weren’t in those selected. 21d for instance, and unlike Portobella I haven’t twigged isn’t yet. Perhaps later over tea.

  21. Made rather heavy weather of this probably thanks to a very indulgent Sunday lunch chez moi and am currently enjoying the leftover bubbly and other grape juice. South was less testing than the North. Altogether an enjoyable interlude to give me strength to face the washing up, etc. Thank you Virgilius and Senf (please keep the white stuff on your side of the pond).

  22. 1*/3.5*, l think. 20a was my favourite. If l have 3d right (and there’s no hint, so Senf presumably thinks it doesn’t need one), l quite like that too. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

      1. Senf, we had 3d working differently. Without giving too much away, there’s a famous palindrome in which the answer is the introducer. This is probably the basis of Angellov’s comment came from. That the wife is a palindrome is, we think, a coincidence.

        1. The relevant palindrome is given in full in my review – I think it is probably one of the best known examples of a palindrome

  23. Ha ha 19a -not yet mentioned i think – was last to go in because numpty that I am I didn’t clock the chess association.

    Overall very enjoyable – favourite =15a

  24. Managed to chip away at this on and off during the day. I managed to do something very interesting for 6d, but as it’s a prize puzzle, I can’t say what. Thanks Senf and Virgilius.

  25. Superbly enjoyable, as Virgilius’s Sunday puzzle always is, but towards the milder end of his spectrum

    Like 17a and 18d, but our COTD was 15a – what a gem.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

      1. I was, of course. That is the beauty of cryptics. Keeps your brain alert and you can monitor at the same time, esp in the middle of the night. In fact, mental stimulation is positively encouraged.

  26. Everything has been said. So no comment from me except to say that I enjoy the comments and hints as much as the crossword.

Comments are closed.