ST 2965 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2965 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2965 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where it is Day 4 of the best 4 Days of the Year (see my intro to DT 28820 for a full explanation) so I might not be able to respond to many of your comments.

At last, after I have no idea of how many weeks of trickiness, benevolence has returned, not even the double unches could spoil it!  Virgilius has given us the usual number of anagrams, two lurkers, and one homophone, supported by a smattering of oldies but goodies.

Joint favourites – 9a and 14d.

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 Left on barge observed in city on canal (4,4)
The synonym of left on a barge (or any other nautical vessel) and a synonym of observed.

9a One large predator catching us? That’s not how it appears (8)
The single letters for one and large followed by a (feline) predator containing (catching) US from the clue.

13a Deem Tory right, perhaps? Right (8)
A three letter synonymic abbreviation for Tory, what right might be in terms of handedness, and the single letter for right.

16a Pronounced former PM sound as a bell (4)
The homophone (pronounced) of a former (19th century) prime minister.

17a Run into celebrity in film part (5)
The single letter for run contained by (into) a synonym of celebrity.

20a Wife in coat, or professional appearing in suit (6)
The single letter for wife contained by (in) a synonym of coat.

27a State manufactured articles after New Deal? (8)
An anagram (new) of DEAL and a single word for manufactured articles – you might think that the term for articles should be plural but the singular version is in the BRB.

28a Traitor imprisoned by brethren, e.g. a defector (8)
One of the lurkers (imprisoned by) found in the rest of the clue.


2d Finished twice? That’s not rare (8)
Two synonyms of finished.

3d Service provider who’s entitled to second chance in court (6,6)
A participant in a game that is hosted in SW19 for two weeks a year.

6d OK for shot, due about end of April (8)
A sporting term, a synonym of due containing (about) the last letter (end) of ApriL.

8d Reason name is on a line? Like hell it is! (8)
A synonym of reason (as a verb), the single letter for name, A from the clue, and the single letter for line.

14d Some bread? Yes (5)
The (very clever) second lurker, indicated by some, which is also a (slang) synonym of a slang usage of bread.

17d Dismiss carriage in dangerous situation (8)
A synonym of dismiss and a type of horse drawn two wheeled carriage.

19d Best possible example, or possibly worst, in boy’s grasp (4,4)
An anagram (possibly) of WORST contained by (in . . . ‘s grasp) of a synonym of boy.

25d A really incomplete claim (4)
A from the clue and a synonym of really with its last letter removed (incomplete).

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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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This is the best I can come up with as there are no decent birthdays or number ones this week – this one got to number two for Freddie and the Dreamers in 1963 (they never had a number one in UK):



39 comments on “ST 2965 (Hints)

  1. Completed quite quickly for me and very enjoyable .

    Last one in was 1A as needed to check its location before confirming

    Lots of good clues yet again with 23A COTD .

    Great start to a Sunday .

    Thanks to everyone .

  2. Following a slip of the iPad and putting 9a’s solution into 2d wasn’t the best start and probably wasted ten minutes of my life – it was quite early in the morning. Thereafter however it was the usual Sunday morning joy from Mr V.
    12d, 14d, 13a and 15a get mentioned in my dispatches today as smileworthy solutions.
    Thank you as always to Senf for the elucidation

  3. I logged on today just to see if this was a Virgilia puzzle – it just seemed to be over a bit more quickly than usual. I did like 14d and 23a though. Thanks to all.

  4. Comfortable 600 pointer, this one, completed in the bath (not too pruney…). Definitely not as witty and ingenious as yesterday’s, in my opinion, but a solid, fair, uncontroversial puzzle – perfect for a slightly sore-headed Sunday morning, in fact (the cheap red wine seemed a good idea at the time!).

    1. Now that’s an evaluation method for puzzle solving I’ve not heard before – how pruney you get whilst doing it in the bath!

  5. I found this relatively gentle but utterly brilliant from start to finish.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  6. Usual great puzzle from V. Thank you and Senf. A few ‘go away and think again’ moments. Great to hear the song again…….🤣!
    Is anyone else who uses an iPad having a problem with the type face/size etc.? The grid is very large and the clues are very small. Have tried settings but nothing works.

  7. Lovely stuff, and not terribly taxing except that I got hung up on 1A and ended up revealing the first letter. Oh, well. 2D was my favorite today. Thanks Virgilius.

  8. Comparing this to yesterday’s offering is really chalk and cheese. Just four of the across clues eluded me, all the downs went straight in, but I failed to parse 5d, then the four stragglers were obvious. Completed in * time, and a very welcome change it was too.

    Ia was last in, so is my COTD.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  9. Virgilius in a friendly mood this morning, with a straightforward but hugely enjoyable and rewarding Prize Puzzle. I particularly liked the two lurkers.

    Thanks to Mr Greer and Senf.

  10. Loved today’s puzzle, which I guess means everyone else will say it was easy. It was certainly quicker than normal but not a doddle IMO. Many great clues so thanks to the setter.

    1. Welcome to the blog Scott.

      Individual experiences and opinions will always vary; although, this was definitely one of Virgilius’ more gentle puzzles.

  11. What a relief after yesterday’s offering. A really decent puzzle that was great fun to finish. Just a couple of clues I can’t quite put to bed – 11a why cursory? And 16d where does the last three letters come from?
    Thx to Virgilius for a super puzzle. ***/****

    1. Seriously Brian – look at the second word of your solution for 11a and then at the first one and the answer to your question should be obvious

      16d is difficult to explain without ending up in the NC – don’t look at the last three letters on their own, look at the clue again and check synonyms for down

      1. I wonder why Brian does not reply to the people who so kindly try to help him. I wonder if he even looks which perhaps explains why he does not “get it”. What a shame,

  12. Brian

    11a – how does “cursory” relate to the first word of the answer?
    16d – start with a three lettered “friend” followed by the abbreviation for “that is” “holding” a word meaning “down”.

    1. Oh dear, on two counts. That was intended to be a reply to Brian, and I see CS and stanXYZ got in first while I was typing.

  13. Finished this last night after a rather good dinner party, where the hosts served some excellent wines. Rather than send me off to sleep, I felt extremely wide awake and sober. Many thanks Senf and Virgilius. 19d caused a bit of head scratching.

  14. After yesterday’s challenge this was uncharacteristically for a Sunday almost a walk in the park! 28a was my favourite
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints…. but maybe not the music…

  15. Huge thank you to Virgilius for a greatly enjoyed puzzle. So very much needed after the last week or more of struggling. This one I could finish with no electronic help (which defeats the point for me), and just a couple of Senf’s hints when I had taken the wrong fork in the road. This was definitely one for us lesser mortals who will never get much better at this, and for all the unseen newbies out there. 21a was COTD, very funny clue. A big sigh of relief here.

  16. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Much easier than yesterday’s. Not too many anagrams today. There seem to have been more anagrams than usual in recent weeks? The discussion the other day about solving anagrams, is there a word for being able to do it? I wonder if it is the opposite to dyslexia?
    Thanks to all

  17. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Greer, for reassuring me that my brain has not succumbed to old age. Wotta treat that was.
    My only problem was 2d, I had written an “o” like a “d” and could think of no word looking like that. I revisited 13a and found the sloppy handwriting and corrected it.
    I forgot pommer’s rule, if you can’t parse an answer, look for a lurker. I could not get 28a, though it had to be right. How silly was that?
    No fave today, I loved the whole lot and feel very self-satisfied.
    Thanks to Senf for his hints and pics.

  18. This was great fun but I have to say that I didn’t find it that easy however that always makes for a more satisfying solve. Got off to a good start in the North but then faltered a bit down South. Ashamed to admit that 11a was a bung-in as the significance of cursory didn’t dawn on me. Favs 3d and 14d. TVM Virgilius and Senf.

  19. Very enjoyable and one of Mr.V’s easier offerings.
    LOI was 17d for no particular reason. COTD was 1a.
    Off to the water-park with the grandchildren today.
    Thank Senf and Virgilius.

  20. Another super Sunday crossword.

    Whether by design or accident, there is another ‘valid’ answer for 13A which fits the clue and guess who put that it until he saw the error of his ways !

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