ST 2945 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2945 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2945 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Easter Sunday morning from Winnipeg –  where we went back into the deep freeze for the second half of the week; yesterday we had a low of minus 17, and a high of minus 9 without taking account of the ever present wind chills.  I think the migrating geese that have already returned must be having second thoughts!

A busy day today, starting with an Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 am (12:30 pm BST), so there may not be very many comments or additional hints from me.

Virgilius in an extremely tricky frame of mind, – some trademark clues, the usual number of anagrams, no lurkers, no homophones, and no themed clues for either designation of the day.

Candidates for favourite – 8a, 16a, 25a, and 21d.

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 Looked for modified sawn-off shotgun? (6)
A relatively easy anagram (modified) to start of SHOTGUn with the last letter removed (sawn-off).

8a Result of splitting atom? That’s only half of it (8)
You have half of something when you split atom into (1,2,1).

12a Bound to come home, I have returned with piece of furniture (10)
The usual two letter synonym for home, the contraction of I have reversed (returned), and an item of furniture.

13a Demanding to hold person in prison? That’s erratic (12)
A synonym of demanding containing (to hold) the three letter synonym for someone in prison.

16a Minimal time allowance for each boy and you (6,6)
The designation of a minimal time period, a three letter word that can be used for allowance for each, and a male child (boy).

22a Possible location for better company full of pride, say (6)
The usual abbreviation for company containing (full of) what pride is a type of (including the indefinite article).

23a Widespread complaint as before, for citation in big story (8)
A Latin word used to indicate the use of a previously cited source (as before for citation) contained by (in) a type of big story.

25a Lear, for example, as English king (6)
Not the Shakespearean Lear but the first name of the artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet.


1d Without pressure, making cuts as part of editing process (8)
A synonym for making cuts containing (without) the single letter for pressure.

3d Philosopher’s absorbing current pastimes (7)
A 17th century philosopher containing (absorbing) the single letter used as a symbol for (electrical) current.

7d In fact, form strategic partnership again? (6)
The two letters for again (repeat) and a single word for to form a strategic partnership.

9d Disloyal — after leader’s ousted, it’s OK (11)
The initial letter (leader) removed (ousted) from iT and a synonym for OK – I think.

15d Bring crackers into part of ground for lark, perhaps (8)
An anagram (crackers) of BRING contained by (into) a (poetic) synonym for part of ground.

18d Enjoyed revelry, left about one (7)
A synonym for left containing (about) the single letter for one.

19d Hold-up after this country initially upset another (6)
A nounal synonym for hold-up after the initials for our country reversed (upset) gives another country.

21d Is deleted from this Greek letter or another (5)
Delete IS from THis and add a Greek letter to obtain another Greek letter.

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An a capella version of I Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye which was in the middle of a three week stint at Number One on this day in 1969:



27 comments on “ST 2945 (Hints)

  1. Yes, that was Mr V. being devious but it was all the more enjoyable for it. I meandered my way from NW to SE where I needed Senf’s elucidation to explain a couple of my answers to me. My scraped Latin O-Level wasn’t quite up to 23a without BRB help.
    Lots of favourites -8a, 11a, 16a, 20a and 1d. Thanks to 5d I now know a new word for hat and 1d reminded me that without has more than one meaning.
    Not an egg or bunny in sight but thanks to all involved.

  2. Almost finished but I can’t parse 5D If anyone can guide me it would be much appreciated.

    1. Now sorted I misspelt the ending of 13A wrong which meant the last letter was wrong for 5D. Many thanks to the setter & to Senf for some much needed hints.

    2. 5d – the type of traveller that leads off 10a and a slang term for a hat that is in the BRB.

  3. More great stuff from a setter who is never 13a.
    Ashamed to admit how long it took for the penny to drop over 8a – thought science and it terrified me! Also very slow to get 19d for no good reason.

    Leaderboard here shows 8&16a plus the enjoyable revelry at 18d.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the blog – nice to hear Marvin Gaye again.

  4. Too hard for me this week.

    Needed all of Senf’s hints as well as some electronic assistance.

    Lovely clues, though. I really liked 20a.

    Thanks to Virgilus and to Senf.

  5. 2* / 5*. Perfection!

    Ticks for everything, with double ticks awarded to 8a, 16a, 22a, 14d & 21d.

    Like Jane, 19d held me up the most but with hindsight it’s hard to see why.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf, and a Happy Easter to all.

  6. The Easter weather in the UK might be disappointing but this Easter offering from our Sunday 6d is far from it. A treat in every way through to the sublime 1a which is now partially obscured by a gold star on my page. Liked 8a but I have seen that before, 14d got double-ticked too.

    Thank you Virgilius, if cryptic crossword setters are opera singers, you are Pavarotti.

    Thank you Senf for the de-code which I needed today for 22a which I could not see in the time available. I would hate to have to pay your heating bills.

  7. Late to start to start this today as the sun put in a rare appearance which prompted us to start the delayed Spring tidy-up in the garden. This was well worth the wait, though, with the usual brilliance and complete enjoyment to be had during the solving process. I particularly liked the popular 8a and my last one in, 19d. It took me a tad longer than usual to complete, which reflects the trickiness of some of the clues, so 3* /5* overall from me.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  8. I completed this in my 2* time but it certainly felt a bit trickier than that. I think I was fortunate enough to identify small parts of the wordplay for a couple of clues that allowed me to “see” the answer and then parse the rest of it. I can understand that this could be a difficult puzzle for newer solvers or the more experienced.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius 2*/4.5*

  9. Struggled a bit today and took to the hints early doors. Thanks Senf. A couple of nudges in the right direction and I was able to do most of the rest. 5d still eluded me and in the end I bunged in an answer and reverse parsed it and eventually found the hat with Mr Googles help. I am also not sure if I have fully understood 14d either. I did particularly like 6d and 19d. I might have had the popular 8a in my list if it wasn’t also one I needed a hint for.
    Thanks To Senf and Virgilius.

    1. Hi John,
      14d – the definition is ‘thing’ as in -‘ I’ve got quite a thing about that’ – and it’s made up of the usual 2 letter abb for a former pupil plus a 7 letter synonym for a meeting.

      1. Thanks I did have that as the answer I must have a “thing” about this sort of clue😉

  10. One of the trickiest Sunday puzzles I can recall, so all the more satisfying when the final answer went in, which, like others, was 19d. The best clues for me were 4a, 8a, 15d and 18d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  11. I completed without any kind of help, but I thought this was definitely trickier than usual. The last half dozen required quite a bit of cogitation, with 19D the last to fall. My favorite is 8A. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  12. Wow what a poser!
    Good to get a very long puzzle on Sunday.
    Never thought I’d finish it but did with your help.
    Had a lot of lions going on in 22a
    Thanks to both

  13. Much trickier than the usual Sunday but thoroughly enjoyable.
    I knew my 15d had to be correct but had no idea why, so, thanks for the explanation Senf.
    I’ll follow the herd and opt for 8a as fave, how clever was that?
    I remembered the hat in 5d, miracle.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf, we’re in balmy high 70s here; just saying, not gloating.

  14. Another enjoyable puzzle. Thanks. Favourites 23 and 25a and 15d. Sad to say I needed the hint for 19a so thank you Senf. If only I had persisted with our country. I think we have seen 11a recently. Can anyone help me to parse 20 without giving the game away please? I got the answer but just cannot ……..Scrap that the penny just dropped!!!

  15. ****/****. This was a tricky puzzle but all the more enjoyable to get it done. My favourite was 8a when the penny dropped. I can think of other clues similar to this. Thanks to Virgilius for the workout and Senf for the hints which thankfully weren’t needed.

  16. Like many other bloggers, I found this quite testing and had to bung in a couple without understanding the wordplay. Luckily, Senf had explained them – thank you. And thanks to the setter for a most satisfying mental workout. I too had to look up the synonym for hat in 5d because I’d never heard it before.

  17. What an excellent crossword! Most enjoyable with a range of lovely clues. I have to agree with the various selection put forward as favourites with 8a yet again in prime position on the leader board.
    2.5/5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  18. Pleased as punch that I have almost finished this one, and it being a tricky Virgilius one at that, and being my contrary self I found this much easier than yesterday’s puzzle, where I struggled and most commentators found easy. Stumped by 5d (despite extra hint above) and 10a. Perhaps the penny will drop eventually. Thanks to Senf for the hints.

  19. I found this to be on the easy side for Virgilius, and thoroughly enjoyable as ever. Last in was 8ac, which was also my favourite today, a fantastic clue.

  20. I needed the review for 19d, then was a bit annoyed for not getting it myself. Favourite clue was 8a. Thank you setter and Senf.

  21. Sunday taken up with family Easter celebrations hence only just got around to tackling this and wow what a struggle it has been. Certainly would never have made it without Senf’s guiding hand. Have to admit it wasn’t a bundle of joy for me but pleased to come through in the end. Nothing worthy of favouritism. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

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