ST 2948 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2948 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2948 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg –  where, on Tuesday, we had the first (positive) double digit day since October 25th of last year.

The usual excellence from the Sunday Maestro – another tricky puzzle but probably not as tricky as last week – the usual number of anagrams, two lurkers, and two and a half homophones.

Standout favourites – 17a and 26a!

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:


8a Sheltered location in main general hospital area (7)
A Southern American general and a hospital area for patients.

12a Economist said to be making money in his country no longer (5)
The first full homophone (said to be making) of an economist is the former (no longer) money of his country of birth.

13a Possibly watch male entering bank (5)
The single letter for male contained by (entering) a synonym for bank.

17a Funny programme that’s abridged in series it completes (9,6)
An abridged version of the answer is a lurker (in) in the last words of the clue – see Comment 14 for discussion on an alternative clue.

19a Drink beer, mostly chilled, when it’s hot inside (7)
A type of beer with the last letter removed (mostly), a synonym for chilled containing (when it’s . . . inside) the single letter for hot.

26a Purge all extreme characters from party — the British complaint (9)
Remove the first and last letters (purge all extreme characters from) from three consecutive words in the clue.

28a Preserve bit of golf course that’s best avoided when driving (7)
A (stretched?) synonym for preserve and part of a golf course.


1d Obtain conclusion from judge consistent with law (6)
The last letter (conclusion from) of judgE and a single word for consistent with law.

3d Repeatedly note tree rot (10)
A musical note and a tree followed by another musical note and a tree.

4d Novel athletic event that makes the papers (9)
A synonym for novel and a type of athletic event – see Comments 9 and 11 for discussion on an alternative clue.

7d Set of definitions a lexicographer finally put in magazine (8)
A from the clue and the last (finally) letter of lexicographeR contained by (put in) an informal synonym for magazine.

15d Produce text for another good entertainer, correctly pronounced (5-5)
The half homophone – the single letter for good, a synonym for entertainer, and a homophone (pronounced) of a synonym for correctly.

16d Crows, for example, about all I messed up in sport (9)
What crows are containing an anagram (messed up) of ALL I – more of a game than a sport in my view.

18d Skilled but penniless, one supported by hard work (8)
A synonym for skilled with its letter P removed (but penniless), the single letter for one, and a two letter word for supported by.

20d Lots of people who sail, we hear, do so for pleasureI am not sure about the underlining (6)
The second full homophone (we hear) of a single word for lots of people who sail (as an occupation) is a term to sail for pleasure.

25d Cool, paradoxically, about duck making other bird’s call (4)
A ‘pop culture’ synonym (paradoxically) of cool containing the crickety representation of a duck.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

The second number one for The Spencer Davis Group, with an introduction in German, it was number one in the second half of April 1966:



47 comments on “ST 2948 (Hints)

  1. 3* / 5*. Magnificent again!

    I awarded ticks to everything and double ticks to 17a, 26a, 3d & 5d.

    Many thanks to the wonderful Virgilius and to Senf. The Spencer Davis Group video brought back some nice memories, and what a great voice the very talented Stevie Winwood had (and still has).

  2. Normally I am a “lurker” but a regular of the crossword . Today’s was so good that praise must be offered .

    So many excellent clues , my last two were 5d & 21a , devilish .

    Thanks to everyone who contribute regularly in a variety of ways .

    1. Welcome to the blog. Now you’ve ‘delurked’ I hope we’ll hear from you more in the future

  3. 26a was my outstanding clue this morning from the excellent 17a and my last in, 5d. Sunday puzzles are always a treat,and Virgilius certainly maintained his usual very high standard. This was probably at the trickier end of his setting spectrum but an absolute joy to complete. 3* /5* overall.

    Thanks very much to Virgilius for the hugely enjoyable challenge and to Senf.

    1. Ditto. What a joy – as always – after yesterday’s horror 😫. Thanks to the great Virgilius and Senf. 5 down was another light bulb moment after much befuddlement- last to go in and so simple, when you knew how.

  4. Today’s offering went along at a steady pace, and completed in *** time, except for 5d. No amount of head-banging or infusions of tea seemed to help.

    I will admit that I had to rattle a few electrons, before the right word sprang out at me. COTD? Certainly, COTY? possibly!

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  5. Phew! I need to rest my brain – I think that this was almost above my pay grade. Thanks to Senf for explaining the brilliant 26a to me and to Mr V for my Sunday workout although I guess running the London Marathon is a bit more demanding 😎

  6. Absolutely terrific but I only wish I could say I had completed on my Jack Jones however I have to admit considerable help had to be sought. With such a super collection of clues it is almost impossible to pick a Fav but I will go for 21a on grounds of simplicity. Thank you Virgilius for so much clever fun and also to Senf. 🤗

  7. Top notch as always with extra Brownie points awarded by me for the inclusion of one of my favourite words at 3d.

    Impossible of course to pick out a favourite but I’ll mention 21a & 4d – the last ones to fall here.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the blog – those Little Owls always look so darned cross about something!
    Nice to hear The Spencer Davis group again and impressive to hear Spencer speak so naturally in German. I don’t recall it figuring very highly on our school curriculum back then – French and Latin seemed to be the preferred options.

  8. I can’t get my head around 5D any pointers would be much appreciatedl, apart from that all done & dused. Thanks to all.

    1. For some reason, that I can’t see, your comment went into moderation – there don’t appear to be any errors in your e-mail address, etc.

      5d – Delete any (without . . . end) from the name of a country.

      Waiting to hear the penny hitting the floor!

      1. Thanks Senf it went into moderation as I requested deletion because the penny had dropped & I solved the very clever clue.

  9. I have a different clue in the electronic telegraph for 4d no wonder it wouldn’t solve!

    1. Janet – it would be a great help if you could give us the clue for comparison.

      I subscribe to the DT puzzle web site and I presume that it is in agreement with the dead tree version.

        1. Thanks – it’s not unusual for clue variations to occur among the different sources.

          Crack on also provided the ‘alternative’ clue and I responded at Comment 11.

  10. Another wonderful Sunday puzzle.

    The two I liked most were 21a and 3d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf.

  11. On the iPad version it was “recent event started by shot that makes the papers”.

    1. Thanks Crack on.

      Somewhat similar to the web site version I used in the hint – recent = novel and event started by a shot = athletic event

  12. What a brilliant puzzle; thanks to setter. 3*/5* for me. Great clues 17a, 21a & 26a. Always a challenge on a Sunday but nearly always finish. Think that defines enjoyment!

  13. I am so pleased with the new crossword regime at the DT.
    Many thanks for today’s puzzle.
    And, of course, to the setter and Senf.
    A satisfying *** struggle for me.

    1. You changed (mis-typed?) your alias (previously Hrothgar), both should work from now on.

  14. Hi, I started doing the Telegraph crossword about two years ago and have been watching the blog from the long grass. It has been invaluable in my learning the techniques and tricks employed by the setters.
    Today’s crossword is indeed a cracker and I spent a silly amount of time on 5d until the penny dropped. However, in the iPad version of the quiz, 17a reads “funny programme that’s twice cut in series it completes” which doesn’t read quite the same as that posted. Got it from the checkers but it too was a cracker.
    Thanks to all involved.

    1. Welcome to the blog Dyfthedog. Now you have emerged from the ‘long grass’ I recommend that you stay on the ‘short grass.’ Life is much better here.

      So, 17a, another clue for which there are variations among sources. ‘That’s twice cut’ is equivalent to ‘that’s abridged’ in the DT puzzle site and, presumably, dead tree version.

      It would be good if Chris Lancaster could give us the reasoning for the need to change clues like this.

  15. As others have noted, another top drawer puzzle from Virgilius.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf (and other bloggers). Like Dyfthegog, a few years ago I had no idea how cryptics worked and owe what I know to this fine site.

  16. Probably because my first pass left me despairing this turned into one of my favourite puzzles of the year. Favourites were 17,21&26a and 3&15d. If I had to pick a winner it would be 26a by a nose. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf. ***/*****. Likely to be off the air from Tuesday for a few weeks if I can’t find wifi and a printer.

  17. The usual lovely puzzle, albeit very tricky, had a lot of trouble getting started.
    I failed on a couple, 5d being one, but it was so very clever.
    My fave was 17a, but I must give honourable mention to 5d.
    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints, needed today!

  18. Tricky but doable and enjoyable today. NE and SW went in first, and the rest slowly came together. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf. Not sure why 26a is a British complaint, I think it’s pretty universal. Like some others I got held up at 5d, frustrating on a 4 letter word, but the penny eventually dropped. Unusual for a Sunday, finished over breakfast.

    1. I had the same problem with British in 26a, but Senf explained it and my thick brain eventually twigged. By removing the outside letters, it gives the last four letters of the answer.

    2. Perfect mis-direction from Virgilius, British is part of the source of the material for the answer, not a part of the definition.

  19. If there has been a better Sunday puzzle so far this year I must have missed it. Testing in places but that made the overall solve more satisfying.

    So many exquisite clues to savour, my double ticks went to 17a, 19a, 21a, 26a, 28a, 3d, 4d and 17d. Virtually everything else received a single tick.

    Huge thanks to Virgilius and our man in Winnipeg.

  20. This really was a stonking crossword from Virgilius. Even by his standards!
    26a was such a clever clue. A 5* puzzle if ever there was one.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints

  21. Most of this was pretty straightforward, but then there was the NE corner which most definitely wasn’t. Cracking 5d was the key to progress here, pushing me into ** and a bit time. Three clues alone accounting for all of that last *. Fun, though, throughout.

  22. What a cracker! Only just into 2* time, but a 5* pleasure from start to finish. My favourites were 3d and 21a. Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  23. A bit of a horses for courses day I think, and I wasn’t on the right one today. I got to it late after a day at the seaside and maybe I am trying to rush it.
    Already mentioned 17a and 26a stood out for me but even after extensive use of the hints I still have 4 in the NE and 4 in the SW to do. Tea countryfile and the antiques roadshow may restore my vitality and hopefully I will return refreshed.
    Thanks to Senf Virgilius et al.

  24. At my solving level, 10 minutes looking at this convinced me that the day was to be spent far more profitably doing the garden.
    Miles too difficult for me.

  25. There’s a division of opinion in the Sheffieldsy household on this one. Mrs Sheffieldsy didn’t enjoy it much, Mr Sheffieldsy thought it was a masterpiece.

    So, the choices from Mr Sheffieldsy are the marvellous 17a, the amazingly clever 26a and 3d and the supremely deceptive 5d.

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  26. Had to tackle this one a day late. Another phantasmagor. I did find parts of this one harder than last week’s. 3/5
    I have been busy with other projects recently but miss a Sunday I will not.
    Thanks V and S.

Comments are closed.