ST 2957 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2957 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2957 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg –  where we welcomed Summer with a week of temperatures in the very high 20s and low 30s.

Another cranial workout but probably not as severe as last week.  Absolute gems as usual, less than the usual number of anagrams, no lurkers, two homophones (one not hinted), double unches, and an answer that was also in yesterday’s prize puzzle (but different clueing).

Candidates for favourite – 11a, 7d, and 24d.

I get another opportunity to solve and hint a complete puzzle on Friday when I am the final ‘stand-in’ for Deep Threat before he returns from his expedition to who knows where.

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 Like green area — reverse of awful desert (8)
OF from the clue reversed (reverse) followed by an anagram (awful) of DESERT.

11a Reckoned without precision as a quietly expert team won game (12)
A from the clue, the single (musical) letter for quietly, a three letter synonym for expert, the Roman numerals often used for a team, and a term for winning a board game – phew!

13a Violent criminal ousting many from Germany full of dread (8)
GERMANY from the clue with the MANY removed (ousted) containing (full of) a synonym of dread.

15a Desired weight I lost (6)
The single letter for weight, I from the clue, and a synonym for lost.

17a Repeatedly strike for hard cash these days (5)
A double definition, the second refers to the fact that ‘one’ of the answer is no longer available in paper form – thanks to Rod and Gazza – see Comment 1.

21a Tear down line in protest before I shut up (8)
The single letter for line contained by (in) an abbreviated type of protest, I from the clue, and two letters that are equivalent to shut up.

26a Namely, short day in Rome (4)
The ‘full’ Latin expression for namely with the last letter removed (short).

28a Listen in when broadcast is left-wing, in a way (8)
An anagram (when broadcast) of LISTEN IN.


2d Otherwise name is inserted in personal record, as usual (8)
A two letter synonym for otherwise followed by the single letter for name contained by (inserted in) a type of personal record.

3d Complication with people following magical symbol not starting on time (12)
A synonym for people after (following) the symbol illustrated below with its first letter removed (not starting) and ending with the single letter for time.

4d Cheap tea — said where it may be found (6)
The single letter that sounds the same as tea (said) and a two word phrase (2,3) for where tea may be found.

7d This kept same text, ultimately? (4)
An editorial instruction created by the last letters (ultimately) of the rest of the clue.

12d Kiwi, for example, unfortunately trapped by European (12)
Not the bird (or the fruit) – a synonym for unfortunately contained (trapped) by a native of a European country.

17d Weed, before spring, having no room to grow (8)
A synonym for weed (as the recreational pharmaceutical) followed by a synonym for spring.

24d String for one part of CD (4)
The contraction of a phrase (1,2,1) which describes one part of CD.

25d First person killed in confused situation after leader’s removed (4)
A confused situation (with biblical origins) with its first letter removed (leader’s removed).

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.

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Jeff Beck, one of the original Yardbirds, is 74 today.  Here he is at The Iridium Jazz Club in New York, 8 years ago, playing a pair of tunes that you might not immediately associate with him:



32 comments on “ST 2957 (Hints)

  1. Is there no end Mr Greer’s inventiveness? Absolutely wonderful stuff again today – nicely challenging and a joy from start to finish.

    I was puzzled by “these days” in 17a and Senf’s explanation that it is a third definition had not occurred to me. 17d was my last one in.

    I have too many favourites to list them all. I will just mention 10a, 11a (which is a beautiful charade), 26a, 4d, 14d & 24d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

        1. That’s what I thought. Senf’s explanation of the “third meaning” is ingenious but it seems somewhat of a stretch (and unlike Virgilius) to define it as just “these days”.

  2. Thought I was never going to get off the ground but finally managed to and gradually it all began to slot into place and I did enjoy the tussle. Liked droll simplicity of 14d. Surprising to have a repeat of 23a so soon. Thank you Mysteron and Senf. Temperatures in the UK are expected to continue this week in similar vein to those you have in Winnipeg – phew!

  3. Lots of fun – one where many clues needed to be thought through properly, but overall difficulty at the close perhaps */**. Last in, and the one that caused me the most difficulty, was 1ac. I know, I haven’t woken up yet.

  4. Yes , another thing of beauty .
    Cannot pick one favourite today as there are many to admire. Last in was 10a , the answer seemed obvious but the reason took a while to fathom!
    Scoring ***/*****.
    Regards to everyone .

  5. Excellent puzzle completed without my usual co-solver today during an al fresco breakfast.

    1. Welcome back to the blog. You used a different alias for your last posts (3 years ago!) – both should work from now on.

  6. Finished in *** time, but needed a couple of the hints to parse them.

    Not too sure about the first half of 23a, and the second half won’t work for the 2Ks despite being in 12d! (Is that TMI, do I have to watch the match from the naughty step?)

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    C’MON INGERLAAAAND!! (sorry)

    1. I agree that it might be a little bit of a stretch, but phrasing and the first half of 23a are in each others’ entries in the Small Red Book.

    2. We’re quite used to northern hemisphere people getting the seasons the wrong way around and just shrug it off. :smile:

      1. We’re experiencing very unusual hot sunny weather here in our visit to northern Ireland – usually we need Mac’s and jumpers but this time short sleeved t shirts etc are required.

        Not solved any crosswords since Thursday, mainly because we’ve been having fun with the grandchildren

  7. Sheer brilliance once again from Mr Greer, it’s easy to run out of superlatives for his puzzles.

    Amidst the numerous single-ticked clues, my double ticks went to 11a, 28a, 4d, 8d and 16d.

    Immense thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  8. I think the comment from KFB sums it up very well – a thing of beauty indeed.

    Very little reason not to award ticks to the entire list of clues but my personal favourites were 11a plus 4&12d.

    Many thanks to Virgilius for his brilliance and to Senf for carrying out the unenviable task of choosing clues for the hints. Lovely sound from Mr Becks although I kept expecting him to break into the Shadows ‘square dance’!

  9. Another fine puzzle started after an enormous bee in my bedroom got me out of bed early doors, completed after a trip to the sculpture park.
    3d my COTD. I did notice 23a was a recent repeat but fine by me.
    I also wonder wether Kiwi’s object to being lumped in with 2 big neighbours. The Brits seem to be split on where our loyalties should be #Brexit.

      1. Ha ha
        No this was a real bee. Enormous too I’ve seen smaller birds. I was just about to collect the paper from the mat when I saw it buzzing on the duvet. It must have been in my room all night. I had to trap it in the wastepaper bin and hoy it out the bathroom window. It buzzed off to the lavender bush to restore its energy and is probably regaling its hive mates with the story.

    1. We have no problem with this word being used for he geographic region where we are. Of course we have a feeling of superiority over the other places in the region. :smile:

  10. On looking up namely I have videlicet which is clearly wrong. Day in Italian is Giorno. Ah hang on a minute. I.e. for example that is. I’m also not sure about the three letter word of financial support in 22d. Still it’s all god fun. Slow but sure on this one, so thanks for the hints. I must say I don’t find this type of puzzle as engaging as some. I don’t dislike it, of course.

  11. I’m afraid that this crossword was well above my paygrade. I even found the hints pretty difficult to understand. In particular I cannot see 24d at all. I have an answer which meets the definition as underlined, but have no idea as to how the parsing works and I am afraid that Senf’s (usually magnificent) hint is not helping me today.
    Can anyone enlighten me without endangering themselves? Or will I have to wait for the review?

    Thanks to the setter (when I did work out the answers from the hints the clues were excellent) and to Senf.

  12. Started late in the day and took me longer than usual. Very enjoyable clues but I struggled to be on the right wavelength with some. Notably on 1a wasted a lot of time thinking of words for awful that I could reverse and on 3d I was exactly on track but with two other similar words for five pointed things.

  13. 1a held me up… I managed to include a simile for ‘green’ which did nothing to help matters. Anyway, a superb puzzle as usual with lots to enjoy. Too many candidates to select a favourite.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  14. This was a fight from start to finish, and I needed at least half of the hints to finish, but enjoyable nonetheless, especially as there were no sports or in depth GK needed, just time to fathom where the clues were going sometimes. Thanks to setter and Senf.

  15. Sat in the late sun with a nice Rioja and some light jazz billowing over me. Lovely. The bottom half went in with little resistance but the top took quite a bit of wrangling. I marvel at our Sunday Setter’s inventiveness and ability to compose such smooth word-music. Thank you again Mr Greer – I have not been doing many crosswords recently but I will always find time for yours.
    Thank you Senf also. ***/******

  16. Not too tricky today, though 17d needed the hint.
    As usual for Sunday lots I can’t parse
    Can’t parse 10a, 7d, 26a, 25d, with the last two I don’t know the words that is chopped.
    Thanks all.

    1. Oh dear, Hoofit – did you not determine whether the new Mrs Hoofit had credentials that equipped her for solving Virgilius puzzles before popping the question?

      1. She does not go for the cryptic crossword, Jane, she cannot get her head around the clues (a bit like me), however she likes a quickie…

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