ST 2949 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2949 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2949 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg –  where most of the city (including me), and presumably most of the surrounding area, is energised by the success of The Jets, the city’s (ice) hockey team which is off to a good start in its quest to win Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time.

As always, the usual excellence from the Sunday Maestro – much lower on the trickiness scale than the last few weeks but not quite benevolent – more than the usual number of anagrams (less insertions?), one lurker, one homophone, and some double unches.

Standout favourites – 21a and 24d

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 Motivated some children thus educated (8)
The lurker (some) found in the rest of the clue.

9a Lawyer in a very old cape in court? (8)
A from the clue, followed by the single letters for very, old, and cape contained by (in) a synonym for court (as in woo).

11a Modify the histogram for final part of course (4,8)
An anagram (modify) of THE HISTOGRAM can apply to two or four legged runners (among others).

16a Louvre’s part with special art, being extremely selective (4)
The first and last letters (extremely selective) of two words in the clue.

18a Enthralled, hearing hit (4)
The homophone (hearing) of a synonym of hit.

21a Indication of quality in bird book (4,4)
A bird of prey and one of the NT books.

23a Signal delight about learner getting beating (12)
A type of signal, and a synonym of delight containing (about) the single letter for learner.

28a Artistic type‘s misplaced altruism (8)
An anagram (misplaced) of ALTRUISM.


2d One working late has arranged own light (5,3)
An anagram (has arranged) of OWN LIGHT.

(Another opportunity to use this cute picture.)

3d Like support for tightrope artist that’s very tense (6,6)
A double definition, the second is a two word synonymic phrase for very tense.

6d Capsize in open vessel (8)
The combination of a synonym of one use of open and a type of (non-sailing) vessel.

8d Safety equipment needing to be worn — that’s behind strike (4,4)
A supporting device that is behind and a synonym of strike.

12d Like orchestral music, in turn, is awfully cerebral (12)
An anagram (awfully) of TURN IS and a synonym for cerebral.

17d Not prepared for planting, up to the point of being directed (8)
The combination of single words for up to the point of and being directed.

24d Bark of golden retriever? (4)
The name of the (sailing) vessel of those who went in search of an item made from gold – and the first word of the clue is in the BRB.

25d Male entering before PM that’s said to be attention-seeking (4)
The male pronoun contained by (entering) the period before PM.

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.

It’s almost Eurovision time again; in 1967, it was held a month earlier, on April 8th, and Sandie Shaw was the UK’s first ever winner with Puppet on a String which went to Number One on April 27th for three weeks:



35 comments on “ST 2949 (Hints)

  1. I bought this was splendid – an easy stroll apart from a couple of penny-dropping moments which made me grin! Loved 17a so much that I read it out to my wife, who just gave me the ‘I don’t waste my time on such trivia’ look that only non- crypto solvers can give. Hey ho.
    2*/4* from me.

  2. Another great Sunday treat done a little earlier than is the norm for me and so nice to get in early before all is said and done. Thoroughly enjoyed the high standard of clueing throughout. 24d LOI and immediately became my favourite – lovely misdirection.

  3. 1.5* / 5*. Apart from 20a & 17d this was probably the easiest Sunday puzzle I can remember, but none the less enjoyable for that.

    Assuming I’ve got the right answer for 7d using the definition “a lot of criminals”, can someone please help me with the parsing without risking the naughty corner?

    As always on a Sunday choosing a favourite is quite a challenge but I’ll settle for the same as Senf and go for 21a & 24d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

        1. I thought I’d better get in quick with my suggestion as there’s a terrible temptation to start a sentence with something that would mean you’d end up spending time in the Naughty Corner

        1. Welcome to the blog

          this and the answer to many other Frequently Asked Questions can be found under the FAQ tab at the top of the page. In this case, it relates to the fact that Chambers Dictionary is a Big Red Book

  4. Of all the clues to get stuck on, I just couldn’t see 8d! Shame on me. 7D and 24D are my top spots. Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  5. Terrific fun as usual from Virgilius this morning. I didn’t find it as easy as some earlier commenters, mainly because I was looking for complexities that weren’t there, but overall this was 2.5* /5* for me, with the excellent 24d taking the accolades.

    Thanks very much for the challenge, Virgilius, and to Senf.

  6. More good stuff from the maestro with just a slight hesitation over 20a & 24d.

    3d caused a giggle but top honours went to the popular 21a & 24d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the blog. I remember the raised eyebrows over Miss Shaw appearing barefoot!

  7. Too many anagrams for my liking but otherwise a pleasant enough solve. No Fav. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  8. I think the larger number of anagrams than usual (8) definitely made the solve more straightforward, but it was no less enjoyable for that.

    My ticks went to 23a, 4d, 7d, and my overall favourite 24d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  9. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf for the hints. A super puzzle as usual from Virgilius. All done except 14d. Any further hints would be most welcome, but please don’t end up in naughty corner. Was 3*/3* for me.

      1. Not any more – I’ve altered my comment and spent a little while in the NC which I didn’t mind as we still had lots of lovely home made ginger cake left as our visitors yesterday didn’t manage to eat it all

  10. A shame as these are obviously good crosswords, but always the least enjoyable of the week as so many of my answers are bung-ins.
    It’s a pity as they are obviously well constructed, but the wordplay is often, sadly over my head.
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius

    1. Have you tried looking at the reviews when they appear on Thursday mornings and getting an idea of how Virgilius clues work? This might help you with the ‘wavelength’ and you might get better results on a Sunday. Worth a try anyway

      1. Yes Sue, I do go through your review, it’s just a shame that by the time i get round to reading your review that the whole solving experience has gone out of my mind somewhat.
        I always read all the reviews, including the Toughies and they are very instructive.
        I’m still rubbish though!!

        1. Completed ok.
          Still 7 I cannot parse in any way, shape or form, for which there are no hints.
          Fav (of the few I can parse) was 4d.
          Ta all.

  11. Got there after several interruptions. Garden gate fixed Toms bought and planted etc.
    I struggled with a few 13a 14d 17d 20a 3/4 of which were unhinted but came after a break.
    23a probably my fave 16a and 7d close behind for short words. [alternative clue redacted]
    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius. After this and the Radler and a load of jobs ticked off the to do list I think I will go and have a Nicecupofteaandasitdown.

  12. No one seems to have had a problem with 21a, that and 14d took as long as the rest of the puzzle. I’ve never heard of 21a, not sure it’s used here, though I do recognise the symbol.
    I see that the answer to 15a appearing elsewhere in a clue has not been commented on.
    My fave was 24d, loved it, 17a is also praiseworthy.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints, needed for 21a.

  13. I certainly did not find this as easy as most of you…and inevitably the hints were almost all for ones that I had entered…..bah!
    However, got it finished with some further thought and a little electronic help.

    Good puzzle, even if Virgilus is still a bit too difficult for me.

    Thanks to Senf and good luck to his ice warriors and thanks to Virgilus.

  14. I never find the Sunday crossword anything other than needing lots of thought and perseverance. And so it was today. 23a was my favourite clue and although I like anagrams I thought there were perhaps a few too many!
    Still 4* for pleasure though…
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

    1. Yes, 8 anagrams (including partials) out of 30 clues – approaching Rufus levels. Definitely on the high side for Virgilius who normally gives us around 4.

      However, I did not find my enjoyment was spoiled because of that.

  15. I too liked 17 across – though at the moment on this side of the Channel non-working group would be more accurate!

  16. Found this to be a little more difficult than par for a Sunday, but then again I’ve had to make do with four hours sleep. Oh well… Last in 24d which took an age and a half to spot.

  17. I’m being very thick about 14d. I’m away from home and my BRB. I have the alternate letters. Is letter 4 “n” ? I just don’t see it as “judge”. Otherwise I’ll have to bung in my mental state is as quoted at the beginning of this post!!

Comments are closed.