ST 2946 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2946 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2946 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg –  where we have stayed in the deep freeze all week and we woke up to more of the white stuff on Friday morning and a TV weather forecaster described yesterday as a good day for a walk if you were dressed for January!

Some of the geese that probably think they should have stayed South a little longer (double click on the picture for a larger view):

After a number of weeks of varying degrees of trickiness, benevolence returns, so there was some difficulty in deciding which clues not to hint on – Virgilius gives us the usual number of anagrams, one lurker, and no homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 12a, 15a, 3d, and 14d.

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 Detrimental, hard, and as much as one can bear (7)
The single letter for hard and a single word for as much as one can bear.

11a Portion of what one mentioned as reparation (9)
The lurker (portion of) found in the rest of the clue.

12a Like deluded emperor or a king in dreadful end (5)
A from the clue and one of the single letters for king both contained by (in) an anagram (dreadful) of end.

15a Advocate taking increase, mostly in exchange for something else (9)
A synonym for increase with the last letter removed (mostly) contained by (in) a term that means exchange rather than purchase.

17a Puzzling statements from member of team in processions (9)
A four-legged member of a cartage team contained by (in) a synonym of processions.

22a Like beavers, grow up in European river (5)
A single word for grow up contained by (in) the single letters for European and river.

25a Bad feeling I am going to leave to others (3,4)
Double definition – for the second, in writing, the first word would be apostrophised (1’2).

28a Use of firearms spoiled plan fellow conceals (7)
An informal synonym of fellow contains (conceals) an anagram (spoiled) of plan.


1d Consort with, ultimately, American gang (7)
The last letter (ultimately) of witH, the two letters used for American, and a synonym for a gang.

3d Almost too ironbound? Wrong (5
A synonym for too with the last letter removed (almost) contained (bound) by the chemical symbol for iron.

4d Holder of post I, for example, fight (9)
What I is an example of and a sporting synonym of fight.

6d Person taking action that’s clear over row (9)
A synonym for clear and a type of row (as in argument).

14d Fashion rebel introducing new change to be trendy (9)
A synonym for fashion and a synonym for rebel containing (introducing) the single letter for new.

17d Foresee monarch being put into power with decree (7)
A single letter for monarch contained by (being put into) the single letter for power and a synonym of decree.

20d In customary way, USA upset, then disrupted, left (2,5)
USA reversed (upset), a synonym for then reversed (disrupted – I’m not sure that you can have a two letter anagram), and the single letter for left – please see what CS wrote at Comment 1 for a much more accurate hint.

24d Meat that can be saved and brought home (5)
Save one’s ***** or bring home the *****.

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The theme, composed by Elmer Bernstein, from the original The Magnificent Seven (made in 1960, not the 2016 remake) – the western version of the Japanese film The Seven Samurai – complete with action sequences:



29 comments on “ST 2946 (Hints)

  1. 20d is surely a reversal (upset) of USA and then an anagram of USA followed by L(eft) – I’ve marked this as my favourite clue because it is so typically Virgilian. My runner-up is 24d because it made me smile and gave me a chance to check out the history of the two parts in my favourite reference book

    Thanks to Virgilius for the fun and Senf for the hints

    1. So it is, I am not sure what I was thinking about when I developed the hint. I was trying to watch a (ice) hockey game on TV at the time (Go, Jets Go) – more evidence that multi-tasking does not work.

      Thanks Sue.

      1. Of course it’s an on-going argument as to whether men or women are better at multi-tasking!

  2. An enjoyable Sunday walk in the park with North being completed first. Hard to single out a Fav but 4d appealed. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  3. Completed in *** time for me on a pleasant Sunday morning here up North.

    I would question the word “ground” in 13a, I don’t see that meaning in the BRB.

    And as soon as I type that, I now see it. DOH!

    COTD, 13a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  4. 3* /5* for yet another masterclass in cryptic compilation from Virgilius. Like CS at #1, I thought 20d was very clever, concise and typical of our Sunday setter. It was also my favourite. The whole crossword was a delight and hugely enjoyable.

    Thanks to both Virgilius and Senf.

  5. Not a straight dash to the finish line for me today – four or five clues held out to the bitter end.
    Extremely enjoyable, needless to say, and I gave the honours to 24d – put me in mind of restaurant doggy bags!
    Runner-up prize went to 27a for the memories it brought back – think we were instructed as to the minimum number of words said essay should contain.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf – two lovely video clips today, thank you. Hope those poor geese don’t have to wait much longer for Spring to spring over there.

  6. Another excellent puzzle from Virgilius. 21d is my favourite. I feel a bit like that myself sometimes. Thank you Virgilius and Senf. I hope it warms up in Winnipeg soon. I also hope it stops raining here in the U.K. I need to get out into the garden but can’t work up the enthusiasm.

  7. Favourites 5 and 27a and 4 and 24d. Got 14d but needed the hint (thank you Senf) to parse. Hesitated over 2d for some time as did not know the game and also uncertain as if I am right the answer is not a current name for a city. I had to think hard about 17a as there are a number of words with the same beginning of which I am never absolutely sure of the meaning. Overall some very ingenious clues so thanks Virgilius

    1. Yes, it would appear that Virgilius is still living in the days of The Raj as far as the 2d city is concerned.

      1. I’m with him – wouldn’t have known the modern version without looking it up!

  8. Very enjoyable and very doable puzzle – for me perhaps because there were no sporting clues of the cricket, football and golf variety

    so many nice clues that no favourites stand out

    Last to go in 12a – just cos….

    1. Thank you sir. I enjoyed reading the NY Tines article. When I was living south of the border, I enjoyed listening to Will Shortz’s puzzle spot on a Sunday morning news programme on NPR.

  9. I would say that the puzzle was about average in terms of difficulty, but Sunday puzzle are always above average for enjoyment.

    The three clues that appealed most to me were 10a, 22a and 24d, invariably I tend to choose differently to our blogger!

    Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf.

  10. A satisfying challenge, although I had my doubts to begin with. But lots to like, and if I manage to solve the two holdouts later, over lunch, I will be a happy camper. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  11. Another excellent Sunday puzzle. My favourites were 3&20d. 2d was a blast from the past and one of my favourite names for a city. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf. My heart goes out to the families of those who were involved in a dreadful accident in Saskatchewan.

  12. Superb puzzle that took me a while to find a way in but became easier thereafter. 24d was my top clue and 3/5* overall.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  13. Another Sunday and another perfect puzzle.
    When I was at school, many moons ago, they used to feed us rice that we called 2d rice, it smelled like a refuse dump. Ugh, horrid.
    Happy memories of Danny Kaye, what an entertainer.
    I can’t parse 23a, unless I’ve got it wrong, – oops, just realise I have 23d incorrect as well – cancel and file that, got it.
    Loved it all, no particular fave.
    Thanks Virgilius and to Senf for his hints.

  14. 2* / 5*. Late on parade today, but this was a puzzle well worth waiting for which was a joy from start to finish.

    I awarded double ticks to 12a,15a, 3d, 10d & 24d, but my overall favourite was the stunning 20d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  15. Enjoyed the tussle today. Needed a couple of hints to get there. Thanks to Senf and Virgilius. 24d my COTD.
    Last puzzle of a 10 day vacation. Back to work tomorrow when I will not have as much time to solve during the week I hope to have stepped up a gear after 10 days of pretty intensive cruciverbalism so thanks to all the bloggers and setters who have helped. Also the many commenters who have entertained me.

    1. Try to find some time for us in the evenings, John, it’s nice to have you around.

      1. Thanks I will be around but a bit later and possibly with a few more to parse still.😏

  16. A pleasure, as always, adding nicely to that already had from watching Exeter Chiefs trounce Gloucester at Sandy Park this afternoon. Right on the 1*/2* cusp, and my favourite was the delightful 21d. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  17. Finally got to this at gone midnight after a 6 hour slog in the garden in the rain cleaning away the litter of winter. Then it was 5 hours golf watching.
    Great puzzle as ever with favourite being the whole of the NW corner.
    Thanks Brian, for the puzzle and the NYT article.
    Thanks Senf.

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