ST 2962 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2962 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2962 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, unlike some areas of the country (and parts of the UK), we have cooled down a little even to the point of a high of only 16 degrees on Wednesday.

Virgilius, superlatives once again, back to full trickiness, the usual number of anagrams, two lurkers, and one homophone.

Joint favourites – 1a and 6d.

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 Held by police, promise to settle score in full (7)
An acronym for a promise to settle score contained (held) by a plural term for police.

9a Classes struggle to show this theory in practice (7)
A theory developed by an individual who now ‘resides’ in Highgate Cemetery.

11a Gross and outlandish style in serious fashion (9)
A synonym of gross followed by an anagram (outlandish) of STYLE.

15a Guy that’s made tipsy by an island drink (9)
A double definition created from a synonym of guy, an anagram (‘s made tipsy) of THAT, finishing with AN from the clue.

17a State in North or West is opposed to wickedness (9)
The single letter for West, IS from the clue, a synonym for opposed to, and a synonym of wickedness.

23a Shoot ringleader in gang, troublemaker (9)
A synonym of shoot, the first letter (leader) of Ring contained by (in) a synonym of gang.

26a Man that’s chosen the ring that could be her gift (7)
An anagram (that could be) of HER GIFT.

28a Hear about princess that produces kid, say (7)
A synonym of hear (in court) containing (about) the name of a princess.


1d Appear to have nobbled favourite in attempt to win (7)
A synonym for appear containing (to have nobbled) a synonym for favourite.

4d Admiring remark about runner’s feats, on occasion (9)
When written (4,5) how one might express admiration for a runner’s feats – thanks to Jane and Gazza.

6d Signal location for crosswords (9)
A double definition – the second is not the back page (occasionally) but the whole thing.

7d Embed minute drawing of building in it (7)
The single letter for minute and a type of drawing contained by (in) IT from the clue.

16d Amateur in good shape as mercenary? Just the opposite (3-6)
A (3-3) term for amateur and a single word for in good shape gives the opposite of mercenary – I think.

20d Make one’s home outside a city in US (7)
A single word for make one’s home containing (outside) A from the clue.

23d Place for discussing record you heard inside (5)
A (slang) synonym of record containing (inside) a single letter homophone of you.

24d Front of bow, say, in launch (5)
The first letter (front of) Bow, an abbreviation of the Latin expression that can be used for say, and IN from the clue.

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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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Apparently written by whatsisname – The Byrds in the middle of two weeks at number one on this day in 1965:



33 comments on “ST 2962 (Hints)

  1. Yeah, did it over breakfast AND before the hints came up on my phone. Much cooler here in Cambridge so maybe brain working again. Got stuck on 16d and 26a (off on totally the wrong track) but after another cup of coffee it came. Liked 28a a lot, thank you setter.

  2. What a fantastic and devious crossword . I am proud of myself , if that is of any merit , to have finished it before the hints appeared . Far to many brilliant clues to pick a favourite .
    Cannot parse 9a but the answer seems obvious from the cross checking entries .
    An outstanding cryptic crossword worthy of the gold medal in the crossword Olympics .

  3. Another excellent crossword up to the usual high standard from Virgilius. The only one that held me up was 4d, and I agree with with Senf’s parsing in his hints. It feels like a cop out not to pick a favourite, but there are so many superbly crafted clues it seems disingenuous to pick just one.

    Thanks to Virgilius for an entertaining alternative to watching the much needed rainfall, and to Senf.

    1. I think that 4d has to be split 4,5 to get, for example, “Those are **** ***** you’ve recorded in your event!”.

  4. 5a went straight in and then I worked steadily down the right and back up the left. Unusual way to proceed but it worked well today! I did check on the synonym in 1a – not the way I would instinctively define the answer.

    I saw 4d as a 4,5 split. One might say – ‘Wow, those were xxxx xxxxx!’

    Top places went to 15&28a with 16d leading the field.

    Thanks to Virgilius for another Sunday cracker and to Senf for the blog. Nice to hear The Byrds again – another blast from my past!

  5. I wasn’t entirely convinced by the first parts of 11a and 4d, but feel a bit cheeky saying that of a Virgilia puzzle. Another very enjoyable Sunday crossword though. Thanks to all (especially for fully explaining 4d).

  6. 3* / 5*. This would have been 2* for time for me except for the NW corner which put up quite a fight.

    As ever on a Sunday the hardest task is to choose a favourite from such a brilliant selection, but after some deliberation I’ll go for 15a closely followed by 28a.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  7. 1d was last in because I put the wrong word into 11a which seemed appropriate and fitted the checking letters. Glad of the rain this morning. It’s been 117 degrees out in Arizona. Many thanks Virgilius and Senf. Good puzzle to get the brain cells working again.

      1. We managed to escape up to the Grand Canyon for a couple of days where it was slightly cooler, but still too hot to do as much walking as we’d have liked. Now we’re back in England, it’s not that cold but we’re having to wear fleeces. Bit of a shock to the system.

  8. No offence, but does a request asking posters not to put up answers for a prize crossword sit comfortably with pictures of answers? Feels a bit odd to be honest, (though I’m quite ready to acknowledge that I’m being a bit pernickety).

    1. As in the FAQ that CS’s comment leads to, pictures are part of the hint that may or may not help.

      For example:

      I do not recognise the individual in 9a, but I accept that it is who I think it is because Wikipedia said so (possibly dangerous accepting Wikipedia at face value).

      As the map in 17a is not labelled, some further knowledge is required.

      OK, the picture for 6d is a complete giveaway.

      I think the ‘skyline’ in 20d might have been ‘manufactured’ although the iconic feature should be a giveaway for some solvers, but others may not recognise it.

        1. I vote for pics too Merusa. In any case, if you don’t understand the pic, you won’t understand the clue.

  9. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. Just needed the hints to parse 26a. What a fantastic puzzle, some very clever clues, with a high degree of subtlety. I liked 4&16d and 28a which was last in. My favourite was 19a, was baffled until the penny dropped. Was 3*/5* for me.

  10. Super puzzle, no problems until the NW corner where 9a and 11a held me up for far too long.
    I do not understand how the definition of 28a = the answer.
    Far too many excellent clues to single out a favourite.
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius.

    1. A visit to the dictionary should immediately help with your understanding of 28a

  11. Another super-duper offering from Virgilius, I loved it all.
    I’m always fooled by the “ultimately” in 13a, but it had to be that land in Africa, when will I ever learn.
    Hard to choose a fave, but 15a and 28a Are surely in the running.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints and pics.

    1. Me too re: ultimately. I actually thought I had checked all the usual ways of parsing but obviously not as in the end I put in without parsing at all

  12. A little trickier this week I thought, taking me into *** time. Last in 9ac where I really kicked myself when I eventually spotted it!

    1. My last one in too after I got all of the checkers but don’t think I properly understand the parsing.

  13. Couldn’t do this one for toffee.

    Needed almost all of the hints plus some elctronic help. Sigh……

    Thanks to Virgilus and to Senf.

    I vote for the pics too.

  14. A terrific crossword for my birthday. Thank you. Virgilius, superb as ever. There were many delightful clues and I could not pick a favourite. I managed without hints, but in three stints. Many thanks to Virgilius for such an enjoyable solve, and also to Senf for the column.

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