ST 2955 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2955 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2955 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg –  where we are enjoying late spring/early summer conditions, although the high for today is forecast to be 30 degrees.

After benevolence last week, Virgilius is back to trickiness, but nothing like the tussle that we had with Mr Ron yesterday.  Once again, less than the usual number of anagrams, only one lurker, no homophones, and one clue with a crickety element.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 21a, 3d, and 12d.

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 Some hard stuff leading journalist finished (8)
One of my favourite ‘hard stuffs’ followed by (leading) the usual two letters for a jounalist.

9a Refuse to include in charge one person with authority (8)
A type of refuse (as in rubbish) containing (to include) the abbreviation for in charge and the single letter for one.

11a Hint about a loner’s dreadfully without human feelings (12)
A synonym for hint containing (about) an anagram (dreadfully) of A LONER’S.

15a It’s behind pupil revealing some secret inadvertently (6)
The lurker (revealing some) found in the last words of the clue.

18a Dated chap — desire unconsummated (4)
An old slang term (Chambers) created by a synonym for desire with its last letter removed (unconsummated).

21a Like wayward youth and young woman, shut up (8)
An honorific term for a young woman and a single word for shut up.

27a Nothing I included in payment for letter from faraway region (8)
The letter that might indicate nothing and a payment to a letter (of a property?) containing (included in) I from the clue.

28a What’s stressful about a resistance producing delay? (8)
A single word for what’s stressful containing (about) A from the clue and the single letter for (electrical) resistance.


2d Care endlessly given to musical composition (8)
A synonym for care with its last letter removed (endlessly) followed by (given) TO from the clue.

3d Recorder of numbers gives magical lessons? (12)
Someone who might be an ‘anorak person’ but when written as (6,6) might be giving lessons to one particular magician – a Virgilius gem!

4d Take place as chaps spend without limits (66)
CHAPS and SPEND from the clue with first and last letters removed (without limits).

8d Make winning move for friend out of work? (8)
A double definition (I think) – the second may relate to a friend not old enough to work rather than being out of work.

12d Thinking ahead, snap up article dividing Labour? (12)
An abbreviated synonym for snap (as in photograph) reversed (up) and A from the clue contained by (dividing) a term (4-4) that might describe a supporter of the Labour party – another Virgilius gem!

17d Some money difficulty in plague (8)
A synonym for difficulty contained by (in) a synonym for plague.

24d Wartime alliance having a boundary set up (4)
A from the clue followed by a number of runs in cricket that does not require the batsmen to move reversed (set up).

26d List that is like this, initially (4)
The initial letters of four words in the clue.

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As Ol’ Blue Eyes appeared to be appreciated when pommers used a video of him on Thursday, here he is again with a song that was in the middle of a three week run at number one on June 10, 1966 (although the video is not as old as that):



34 comments on “ST 2955 (Hints)

  1. That was delightfully testing. The east was marginally more straightforward than the West. So many good clues but my Fav was probably 15a. Many thanks Virgilius for the fun and Senf for being there in case of need and for giving us more joy from that Ol’ (rogue!) Blue Eyes.

  2. A fun solve and definitely friendlier than yesterday’s puzzle. I particularly enjoyed 3d – perhaps it is the schoolchild in me.

    1. Almost exactly what I was going to write! I thought 3D was magical. On holiday, and travelled almost all day yesterday thanks to our friendly French Air Traffic Controllers and a few thunderstorms en route. This meant I had yesterday’s and today’s puzzles to complete today – no wonder I am exhausted! Great way to unwind, though.

  3. The usual 5* entertainment for a Sunday with the top half proving to be more challenging than the bottom half leading to 3* overall for difficulty.

    I thought 3d was the best of a very good bunch.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  4. Another ‘magical lesson’ from the maestro and – yes – that was my favourite clue.
    Had yet again to check on that spelling of 23a, it looks so wrong to me, and RD will be disappointed to learn that I almost fell at the boundary.
    17d was my last one in – a case of mentally putting a comma in the wrong place.

    Thanks to Virgilius for the fun and to Senf for the blog – a second helping of Ol’ Blue Eyes was fine by me.

    1. 23a is one of those words that I always look up before writing in, and it seems like we had it not so long ago.

      1. Yes, I think we did, Merusa. I’m rather relieved to discover that it’s acceptable to spell it either way so I shall stick to my preferred option – unless, of course, I need the alternative for a crossword answer!

        Just spotted your other post re: 1a. I don’t like whisky (more of a brandy girl) but always enjoy watching the new Famous Grouse adverts when they come out around Christmas-time.

  5. Another in the 3D camp as favourite . First run through left lots of blanks but then filled in OK without much head scratching . Rating ***/*** for me .
    Good win for Wales yesterday in Argentina, pity about England !
    Thanks to everyone .

  6. On a general note – I have previously bemoaned the fact that there is no indication that one has made an error, typo or solution-wise, before submitting prize crosswords in the on-line versions so it is easy to send in a faulty solution and not be aware until next week. On checking last weekend’s solutions I achieved a full house, with both solutions indicating one ‘error’ apiece, even though I am pretty sure I got the right answer in both cases. Has anyone else had similar experiences? Perhaps the techies might be able to build in an error warning to help me avoid a ‘fail’ mark, with the attendant disappointment?

    1. Anyone sending in a paper entry would not be aware of any errors until afterwards, either. Fair’s fair! :-)

      1. A very fair comment, but it is easier to commit a typo when one is typing, less likely when scribnig – whoops, there’s another one!

  7. Very tricky I thought but a very entertaining and enjoyable puzzle with lots of excellent clues. Top half went in more easily than the bottom with SE corner difficult to crack. Several answer I’m not familiar with, last in 8a still not absolutely certain that is right even after using the hint from the blog? 26a also not known to me but got that confirmed from the BRB. Don’t normally do the Sunday puzzle but well worth the effort today, a great puzzle from the setter.

    Clues of the day: 16a / 3d

    Rating: 3.5* / 4.5*

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius

      1. The answer is an old-fashioned word for a chap. If you add a letter at the end you get an old-fashioned (biblical even!) word for desire.

  8. I started off thinking that I was going to be in as much trouble today as I was yesterday but then started to get a few answers and, eventually, all went OK.
    17d took me ages but not as long as 24d – blasted cricket again.
    Just for once I found the lurker without too much difficulty.
    Not quite sure why 3d’s record numbers – is that all they do? Must be even more boring than I’d thought, had I ever bothered to think about it.
    Too many good clues to pick out any in particular so I’ll just say thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  9. Another delightful Sunday treat.
    I needed electronic help for my last one in at 17d.
    Fave was the clever 3d.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the fun, and to Senf for his hints and pics; wot, no pic of Famous Grouse at 1a?

    1. Senf is well known for his love of Balvenie and probably scoffs at less elevated Whisky such as Famous Grouse. I would go for something smoky and peaty such as Laphroigh or Lagavulin.

      1. The Famous Grouse 12-year-old is very smoky and peaty, not so much the peasant stuff..

        1. Very pleasant it is too and would be my choice if I found it available but if you want something really smoky and peaty look out for Laphroigh, Ardbeg or Lagavulin. They are all from Islay and renowned for their flavour. I believe the FG 12 yr old gets it smokyness from a blend with an Islay malt.

          1. Laphroaig tastes like drain cleaner to me…I remember the first time I tried it, having saved up the precious bottle given as a gift for a special occasion…..what a disappointment.
            Give me a Balvenie every time, or almost any of the other Speyside whiskies.

  10. Grr first comment vanished into the ether, here’s the gist.
    Found that tougher than other Sundays.
    A couple of dodgy synonyms (for me at least) in 12d and 17d held up the most.
    Agree with others that 3d was COTD.
    Thanks to Messrs Mustard and Vigilious.

    1. Lost my posts several times, I now copy the text and just paste it in again in the comments box and it always seems to go correctly then for some reason?

      1. Don’t think I have made it very clear what I do. Start again. Every post I make I copy the text before posting it, if I then lose it I just paste the copied text in the comments box and send it again. It always seems to go at the second attempt. At least I don’t have to write it all out again. Apologies for the first post hope this makes sense?

        1. I have done similar in the past but you can bet that the longer the post the less likely I am to remember to C/P and the more likely it is to vanish.

  11. Two days running my entry has disappeared into the ether. Trying again ….

    ***/*****. Another cracker from Virgilius (many thanks). Favourite has to be 3d. Thanks also to Senf.

  12. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf, such a relief after yesterday’s puzzle tied me up in knots. Although I am still stuck on 17a and 17d, perhaps they will come to me later. Had to verify 18a with Mr Google, never heard of that term before. 4d gets my vote for clue of the day. Need to get started on making some chicken and leek pies for dinner…

  13. Virgilius as good as he always is, and a little trickier perhaps in the NW corner? The rest went pretty quickly, but I thought I was in trouble until I twigged what sort of hard stuff I should be thinking of. Perhaps I could do with some. ;-)

  14. Needed a lot of help with this one, but found it much more enjoyable than yesterday’s.

    Thanks to the setter and big thanks to Senf.

  15. It would seem that 3d is COTD for most solvers although I had to wait until this morning to solve it together with 1a. Only 24d got me stumped largely because I did not know of this particular alliance. I too was worried about the spelling of 23a and thought I had the wrong instrument but now realise it is an alternative spelling. Thanks Virgilius and Senf, but eight 4 letter clues. Really?

  16. Well, I still can’t get 24d. I know nothing about cricket and, what little I thought I knew about wartime alliances, hasn’t been much help.
    I managed 8d and 17d but still don’t understand the parsing. Definite ‘bung-ins’.
    Thanks for the help.

    P.s. I prefer a Glenmorangie.
    P.p.s I’ve got it!! Suddenly remembered I know more than I thought about cricket. Doh!

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