ST 2961 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2961 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2961 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where our heatwave and occasional overnight storms continue to continue.

Virgilius, superlatives as usual, less tricky than the last few weeks assisted, I think, by some oldies but goodies, more than the usual number of anagrams, no lurkers or homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 4a, 21a, 6d, and 9d.

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 Right to vote, having abandoned his country (6)
A single word for right to vote with HIS removed (having abandoned).

4a Indian quickly protecting leader of Hindus (6)
A synonym of quickly containing (protecting) the first letter (leader) of Hindus.

8a No human is so sinful without guilt, ultimately (8)
A single word for so sinful containing (without) the last letter (ultimately) of guilT.

12a Aid for maritime safety easily carried by legislative body (10)
A word that indicates that an object can be carried easily followed by a single word for legislative body.

16a Over a short time, change discussion (12)
A synonym for a change containing (over) A from the clue and the single letter for time.

21a It may be up in the air pending 50/50 decision (4)
A metallic object that can be used in decision making.

23a Artist at home applied layer of paint that’s waterproof (8)
The usual two letters for artist, the usual short word for at home, and a single word for a layer of paint.

25a Bright and breezy, initially, then wet (6)
The first letter (initially) of Breezy followed by (then) a term for meteorologically wet.


1d Close friend‘s loud question about my veracity? (8)
The single letter for musically loud and a three word phrase (2,1,4) that is a question about my veracity.

3d With no end in view, can talk, and in European language (7)
Remove the last letters (with no end in view) of three words in the clue which are then combined.

6d Agreement producing new line in outerwear (9)
The single letter for new and a type of line contained by (in) a type of outerwear.

7d Sort of scan he or she can get ready for (6)
An anagram (sort of) SCAN HE or SHE CAN.

9d Money left — for example, change covering tip (5,6)
Lego time – the single letter for left, the abbreviation of the Latin of for example, and a synonym of change containing (covering) a synonym of tip.

17d New energy eclipsing old source of fossil fuel, as somebody proposed (7)
The single letters for new and energy containing (eclipsing) the single letter for old and a source of fossil fuel.

18d Join, in a way, including one enlisted man (7)
A method of joining metallic items containing the single letter used for one.

21d They grow prickly about start of play (5)
The single letter used for about and the beginning section (start) of a play.

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Another one from The Rolling Stones; their very first number one at the end of its only week at number one on this day in 1964 (Sir Michael Jagger before he acquired that ‘weathered’ look):



27 comments on “ST 2961 (Hints)

  1. 2.5* / 5*. Simply wonderful! They are all my favourites.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  2. The top left hand corner was my nemesis , it took as long as the rest of the puzzle . However , as soon as I guessed the language ( then the parsing ) it flowed .

    21a , flipping great but it was a toss up with a few others !

    Thanks again to everyone .

  3. Good Morning. Lovely puzzle. but I’m totally foxed by 2 down. Any help gratefully received.
    Thank you to all.

    1. Well, rule one is ignore all punctuation in a clue.

      However, if 2d was punctuated it might look like this:

      Often, how long a ruler is, being prepared

      1. The penny has dropped, thank you for making it clearer to me. I was going down a different ruler route! Thank you for that and for your hints today.

        1. I also started on a different ruler route. But, that is what the master of obfuscation does to us.

  4. Well, I have completed the grid….very unusual for me on a Sunday, though I always enjoy Virgilus’s puzzles.
    Unfortunately I am a little uncertain about my entry for 22a… it a double definition and nothing tricksier than that?
    Other than 22a, I also managed to parse them all too, which is even more unusual for me.
    Maybe a lottery ticket now?

    Thanks to Senf for his excellent blog and to Virgilus.

  5. WeI’ve been up in Northumberland for a weeks holiday and haven’t had my fix of the crossword for several days. It’s a beautiful place with plenty of things to see including Cragside. Generally good weather too.

    I liked this crossword but like KFB slowed considerably in the upper left corner. There were several lovely clues and few D’oh moments. Thanks to all as usual.

  6. Sunday, the maestro and a page covered in ticks yet again.
    He almost caught me out today with ‘no end in view’ – the answer went in long before the brain caught up!

    Have to single out 21a for favouritism – how devilishly simple.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the blog. Interesting to watch old rubber legs performing those strange gyrations on stage again – love the bemused expression on the face of one of the guys in the audience as he surveys the screaming mob of girls surrounding him!

  7. I, too, would have to single out 21a as my favourite. Lots of other contenders, mind you, from an absolutely wonderful Sunday crossword. I thought this was right up there amongst his very best.

    Thanks Virgilius for a sparkling challenge, and to Senf.

  8. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A fabulous puzzle, all great fun. Took me a while, as I was doing it during the adverts in the golf. Needed the hints to parse 16a. I liked 3d,but last in and my favourite was 1d. Was 3*/5* for me.

  9. Loved it all! I needed the hint for 21a, but it’s my fave, so clever.
    I can’t believe that we used to go ape over Mick! What fun we had.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints.

  10. Try again time…
    Yet another brill crossword from the maestro. 21a had me going so thanks Senf for pointing me in the right direction! Hence that has to be favourite…
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  11. A slow start, then suddenly got on the wavelength..
    Held up in NW corner. Needed help there.. Still dubious about 2d.
    Favourite 3D although I don’t think it exists officially.
    Thanks to both

  12. Hard work today, particularly nw corner. 6d was last in, never heard of that word, but it just had to be. Other hold up was 7d as I was not thinking of the right type of ready for simply ages. Enjoyable but not as much fun as yesterday IMHO. Thank you Virgilius and Senf, needed several of your hints, thank you.

  13. Very slow start but then most of it eventually fell into place except (in common with several other bloggers) the NW corner where I had to seek help including the parsing for 3d. IMHO 1a, 1d and 2d are a bit iffy. 21a not really cryptic. Thank you Virgilius and the keen one.

  14. Hard one for me with NE being my nemesis. After I got 12a the others came with 7d being last in. I then read hints and found I had 21a wrong (second letter). Too be honest I found it a bit of a slog but as we know we are not all the same. Thanks Virgilius and Senf

  15. Managed to do all the week’s crosswords but hardly had time to post.
    Always great to end it with a well polished Virgilius.
    Loved the double anagram.
    Thanks for the fun and to Senf for the hints.

  16. Really busy yesterday so sitting in bed before getting up to go to yoga and just finished it. Good puzzle, got 1a but couldn’t see why until the penny dropped. I needed the hints for a couple of clues but perhaps am just slightly over prosecco-ed still. 21a went in first. Many thanks.

  17. Had to come back to that NW corner on waking the next day. Even then I needed the hints. I have a problem with 1d and am less than ecstatic with 8a which, for this solver, was a shame. A fine symphony with a couple of bum notes (can’t believe I am saying this about our venerated setter) Other than that it was the usual Virgilius standard **/***.

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