ST 2963 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2963 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2963 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, on Wednesday, Mother Nature thought it might be autumn with a start of the day temperature of 9 degrees then we returned to hot and humid with evening/overnight storms.

Virgilius, superlatives as usual, full trickiness, the usual number of anagrams, two lurkers, but no homophones.

Joint favourites – 26a 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 Coming from abroad, one left on board falls in sea (8)
The single letter for one followed by  the nautical (on board) term for left contained by (falls in) an abbreviated name for a sea.

10a Cut initial sources of needles (4)
A synonym of initial with its last letter removed (cut).

13a A pass from wing in the French game (8)
A from the clue and a single word for pass from wing (in football) contained by (in) French for the.

15a If a car is going astray, it has a horn (6)
An anagram (is going astray) of IF A CAR.

18a Belt, or other article of clothing or clobber (4)
A triple definition – see the illustration for the second.

23a Finding fault with service, enough to produce reaction (8,4)
Description of behaviour when finding fault and a church service.

26a What’s writ large for either Aphrodite or Artemis, or another Greek goddess (4)
The female possessive pronoun (for . . .) and the initial capital letter (what’s writ large) of either of the Greek goddesses.

28a Make little of sad tragedy, for instance (8)
A synonym of sad and what a tragedy can be a type of (for instance).


2d Animal is tangled up in large piece of canvas (8)
An anagram (tangled up in) of ANIMAL IS.

4d Name Gray had for Welsh poet (6)
The christian name of an English poet is the surname of a Welsh poet.

8d Part of French capital deposited with moneylender (4,4)
A synonym for deposited and an institutional moneylender.

12d Models act as crew that’s needed for shooting (12)
A synonym for models (for example, when applied to cars) and a two word (3,4) term for act as crew.

16d Job English medic set up that helps with deliveries (8)
A synonym for job followed by the reversal (set up) of the single letter for English and a three letter synonym for medic.

17d Like office trainees, perhaps, object over board’s conclusion (8)
A synonym for object (thing) followed by (over) the last letter (‘s conclusion) of boarD.

22d Follow performance with commercial break? (6)
A synonym of performance containing (with) an abbreviated synonym of commercial break.

25d Ruler producing line on circle — radius, then diameter (4)
The single letter for line, the letter that represents a circle, the single letter for radius, and the single letter for diameter.

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.

The Troggs on their second day of a two week run at number one (their only UK number one?) on this day in 1966:



48 comments on “ST 2963 (Hints)

  1. Needed the hint for 10A as I was trying to get a reason for an anagram of pins ( & needles) .

    1A favourite but only just as several others impressed as well .

    Missed out on yesterday’s but xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx .[Redacted for two reasons – (a) we aren’t supposed to discuss prize puzzle matters before the closing date and (b) you’ve given a wrong ‘answer’ and that is one of the things BD asks you not to do (see the paragraph in red under the hints – CS]

    Thanks to everyone for yet another excellent crossword .

  2. 3* / 4.5*. Another first class offering from Virgilius although I wasn’t too keen on 4d.

    I have lots of ticks all over my page with double ticks awarded to 9a, 23a, 26a, & 8d. Overall though 12d is my favourite.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  3. Had a spot of bother sorting out the correct order of letters in 3d and the 20a/17d combo were the last to fall.

    Top marks went to 23&26a.

    Thanks to Virgilius for another Sunday treat and to Senf for a good selection of hints. Don’t know of any other No.1 hits – The Troggs certainly didn’t seem to enjoy long-term popularity from what I can recall.

    1. Wild Thing was a Troggs “classic” – very basic but great fun.

      IMHO their version of Love Is All Around knocks spots off Wet Wet Wet’s wet version (used for the soundtrack of Four Weddings and a Funeral). When Reg Presley, who wrote it, was asked if he liked the WWW version, he replied, “Of course. It’s made me a lot of money”.

      1. Ah yes – I liked the harmonica in Wild Thing.
        Have to disagree over the best version of Love Is All Around but perhaps that’s the influence of the film!

        1. It’s not a(n) harmonica. I seem to remember Reg Presley playing a weird blowy thing more like a recorder or a penny whistle.

            1. Thanks for that, Jane. I don’t think I’ve heard that name before. I’ve just had a look at some pictures on Google and I think my “weird blowy thing” is not a bad description.

  4. Re 12d, isn’t the 2 word term for act as crew 3,4 (rather than 4,4)?
    This was quite hard for a hot day but enjoyable as ever on a Sunday. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  5. A splendid crossword with 23A my clear favourite. I have the right answer for 7D, but don’t understand the graves reference. I know a d’oh moment is coming, but please enlighten me.

        1. I know it is too hot to think straight, but please take note of the instructions in red at the end of the hints

  6. I found this one really tough, but I really don’t know why. 3d is a new word to me, so I needed most of the checkers before that went in. 26a is clever, I like that one.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  7. Another excellent puzzle from Virgilius on this sunny Sunday. I thought it was at the trickier end of his considerable setting spectrum, but all the more enjoyable for it. 12d was my runaway favourite of many finely-crafted clues.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and also to Senf.

  8. Our son has just arrived, having cycled from Bristol today – a journey of around 80 miles. Think I’ll stay in the cool, with the blind down.

  9. Much too hard for me, not understanding the wordplay renders sunday’s crosswords impossible. As ever, the least enjoyable of the week unfortunately.
    Thanks all

  10. Another tough but excellent puzzle from the Sunday Master. However, I would take exception with 16d, a model of a car is not a make. The make is a Ford and the model is the Focus.
    Thx for an great puzzle and for the hints.

    1. But, from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, the car company with the wildcat emblem/logo produced a range of cars for which the models were known as the first part of the 12d answer accompanied by a Roman numeral.

        1. I’m being very careful here (as you should be if you reply) as I don’t want to end up in the NC even though I’ve brought a delicious (if I say so myself) courgette cake into work today

          I’m not entirely sure why you keep on about ‘make’ as make isn’t in either the clue or the solution.

  11. Not finished yetm intermittent connection on the North Yorks Moors Railway. I am eating fish and chips in the Magpie when I find out of the passing of Barry Chuckle😣 Barry and his brother were fans of the crossword particularly lurkers and rekruls.

    To me, to you, to me.

  12. ***/****. Very enjoyable puzzle with a few head scratching moments but more penny drops. Thanks to Senf and Virgilius for a great workout. The hot weather continues and we’re now importing firefighters from Mexico and Australia as well as the rest of Canada.

  13. Phew that was a tough one with which to do battle on yet another torrid day however all’s well that ends well. The NW proved to be the most resilient.
    Needed help parsing 10a and 22d and also to solve 24d. Top of my list were 15a and 26a. Thank you Virgilius and Senf.

  14. As it’s a prize puzzle, I’ll just say thanks to Virgilius for another splendid offering; and many thanks Senf. I trust that the pic of 18a is your very own.

  15. I made the same mistake as KFB with 10a, so thanks Senf!
    Otherwise a smashing puzzle as always with for me, 23a as favourite after initially thinking about Andy Murray’s sport for ages.
    Thanks to Virgilius,and to Senf for helping things (and me) along.

  16. A most enjoyable crossword done over breakfast and before the hints were up and running. So I didn’t need you but still love your post and all the lovely crossword fans from, it seems, all round the world. For some reason 10a was the last to go in.

  17. Getting a late start on this lovely Sunday offering, particularly after my abysmal effort yesterday.
    As is usual with those pesky four-letter words, I got 10a wrong and took forever to parse 26a and 7d, much enjoyment when the pennies dropped. I’m not too sure we haven’t had 10a before and the needles fooled me then, I’m a slow learner.
    I’m not going to choose a fave, I loved it all.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints and pics.

  18. Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the hints. A super puzzle as usual from Virgilius, but quite tricky. I had a nightmare with 3d,and actually made up a 12 letter word that fitted all the checkers I had, eventually I corrected it and finished all except 10a, which I then got from the hints. Favourite was 21a. Was 4*/4* for me.

  19. Frustration abounds! No real probs with this one, but 5d eludes me (and it’s clearly too straightforward to deserve a hint). Can anyone give me one without falling foul of the rules?

    1. Ah. Just spotted it! It was indeed straightforward. VMTs to Virgilius, and to Senf.

  20. I thought I must be missing something in 4d, but disappointingly it seems I’m not.

    They’re fine of course (even Don Manley uses them), but I find definitions of the type in 12d and 16d do grate a bit.

    (Speaking of definitions, I thought 18a really has just two, though one of them is given on two ways.)

    As usual on a Sunday there are too many contenders for favourite to whittle down.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

    (P.S. 22d hint needs a tweak if you have time.)

  21. Hope it’s ok to share this with you. A cartoon appeared in the New Yorker on July 30 in which Trump is saying to the New York Times editor “I’ll stop calling you ‘the enemy of the people’ if you will start printing a crossword I can solve”. I accepted the implicit challenge of constructing a puzzle for the President. It’s a 3X3 grid with top left and bottom right squares blocked out, and the clues are: Across: 1. Greatest person in the history of civilization 3. What I avoid at all costs 4. One of Rudy’s predecessors Down: 1 Teresa with whom I have special relationship 2. Marla or Ivana 3. Logo on golden podium on 5th Avenue.
    Check out Guardian blog tomorrow, where it may be featured in the next couple of days.

    1. I said you were the most brilliant person in the world! I love it, love it, love it. Thank you for that. Trouble is, it’s all true and we are the ones having to suffer through it.

      1. I presume you mean 4d – with your answer, the hint, and some Googling you should be able to understand it.

        1. I was referring to Mr Greer’s alternative puzzle about the leader of the Western world.

  22. I get really frustrated when I look for a hint but the clue in question is omitted. They may seem easy for some, but please spate a thought for the less accomplished solvers.

    1. Welcome to the blog Dave. Unfortunately(?), for the weekend prize puzzles the site policy is that around half of the clues are hinted, including the first and last in each direction. The clues that are hinted are those that are deemed more difficult by the blogger, so that is subjective, and it is assumed that a solver will be able to generate enough of the checking letters to be able to complete the solve.

      As you may have seen, for the weekday puzzles every clue is hinted and ‘hidden’ answers are provided.

      1. Thanks for that. I knew that the daily puzzles were fully solved and I really appreciate the help provided.

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