ST 2968 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2968 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2968 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where I started my day yesterday watching the two (tape delayed and then recorded) antipodean rugby internationals – one better than the other.

Virgilius provides us with a mildly tricky puzzle this week;  the high end of his typical number of anagrams, one double lurker, one lurker, and no homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 23a, 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:


7a Small animal and minute bird holding on (8)
The single letter for minute and a large member of the water fowl family containing (holding) ON from the clue.

10a Soft term of endearment is insincere (6)
The single letter for musically soft and a term of endearment (that is also produced by bees).

15a Section of final song, and original source, too (4)
The double lurker (section of) found in two pairs of words in the clue.

17a Avoid what’s hot and cold initially (5)
The source of hotness preceded (initially) by the single letter for cold.

20a Observed action of opponents in court, say, with appeal (9,5)
A generic term that describes, for example, what happens in SW19 for two weeks a year.

23a Old book favouring words like ‘doth’ and ‘hath’ (8)
A synonym of favouring and the part of speech that ‘doth’ and ‘hath’ are types of.

25a Support alternative to flights going in one direction (6)
Written as (2,4) a vertical direction and an alternative to stairs.

28a Metaphor is making, in part, for pithy pronouncement (8)
The lurker (in part) found in the rest of the clue.


1d Child raised on hotel food (4)
A male child reversed (raised) and the single letter for hotel.

3d Conclusions in hard case came from judge (4)
The last letters (conclusions) of four words in the clue.

6d Contributor of vital liquid assets deposited in bank (5,5)
A vital liquid and a type of contributor.

13d Provide with pictures from artist in US, little altered (10)
The usual artist contained by (in) an anagram (altered) of US LITTLE.

16d Summary covering struggle with weight (8)
Synonyms for covering and struggle followed by the single letter for weight.

21d In this way, husband is capturing rook or another bird (6)
A single word for in this way and the single letter for husband containing (is capturing) the single letter for rook.

24d Writer understood about his heroine’s character deficit? (4)
A synonym for understood containing (about) the letter that was not in Miss Doolittle’s alphabet.

26d Don’t eat convenient kind of food (4)
A double definition to finish which should be reasonably obvious.

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The Honeycombs, a bit of a one hit wonder, at the end of a two week run at number one at this time in 1964:


29 comments on “ST 2968 (Hints)

  1. I think the second letter of 24d is what was dropped in the writer’s main character’s speech before she was taught better.

      1. Still haven’t got this. Was hoping the answer would be updated after the closing date for competition.

  2. Straightforward apart from a couple of sticky ones towards the end, notably 24d and 18d. 23a my clear favourite although I also enjoyed 6d. Great fun, as always on a Sunday, with terrific clues throughout.

    Thanks Virgilius and Senf.

  3. Another fine Sunday crossword – I have multiple clues I really liked – 15a and 23a being just two of the Acrosses and 24d being just one of the Downs

  4. As always very tough but very enjoyable. Thx to Gazza for untangling 24d.
    Still don’t understand the use of ‘appeal’ in 20a, the clue makes perfect sense without it. Also why ‘major’ in 11a?
    Best clue for me was 6d.
    Thx to all

  5. So nice when clues fall into place – didn’t happen yesterday with the wretched ‘scent’. We don’t see many 21d’s in our garden any more- a pity because it is the meaning of my name! (No, I am not actually a daisy , is Senf hot mustard?)

  6. Went well over the first 3/4 but struggled a bit in the NE (appropriate as I was watching the Great North Run at the time).
    I thought I had 1d as first one in but although I had a really well argued answer it was wrong! The hint for7a put me right. 3d was LOI as the penny dropped late. 27a was my fave today but no hint means it is probably an oldie but goodie.
    Thanks Senf and Virgilius.

    1. The 27a answer may be an oldie but goodie but I am not so sure that today’s cluing is. In any event, no hint means that it was one of the less difficult ones to solve for me.

  7. An excellent Sunday puzzle as always, about average for a Virgilius in terms of difficulty I thought.

    My favourite clue was also one of our blogger’s picks, namely 9a.

    Many thanks to Mr Greer and to Senf.

  8. Thought this was slightly less difficult than yesterday and once again a splendid prize puzzle from Virgilius. Started rather slowly but eventually got on the radar with quite a few tricky clues particularly in SE corner, enjoyed the lurkers and fortunately spotted those early. Last in 3d and needed Senf’s hints to understand it simple but a good clue. Once again this was a great puzzle from my favourite setter I’m now a huge fan of the Sunday puzzle. A really good solve all very doable in my opinion.

    Clues of the day: 10a / 28a / 6d / 21d

    Rating 3.5* / 4*

    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  9. Good puzzle as always from Virgilius although a shame that the necessary mix of tenses in 2d produced a slightly odd surface read. I also dithered a bit over the pluralisation of ‘events’ in 8d yielding a singular answer but maybe there’s a case to be made for either.

    6d won my vote for the day with a nod to the surface of 10a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the blog. Watching them now, it’s no surprise that The Honeycombs were little more than a one hit wonder!

  10. I can’t remember when last I enjoyed a puzzle so much, just the right amount of difficulty and each solve was fun.
    I loved 23a, 27a, 6d and 24d in particular, but any one could have been my pick.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his hints and pics.

  11. I echo Merusa in that this was just the right amount of difficulty. Had to google for 24d though, my last in. I had looked at the hint before it was revised. Also got stumped for ages as 27a. Other than that, really enjoyed this one, much fun. Much more my cup of tea than yesterday. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  12. Yet another smashing Sunday crossword from the man! 23a was my out and out favourite.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.
    And Honey Langtree on drums….Yay!

  13. Very enjoyable, though at the tricky end of Virgilius’ range, I thought.
    Unlike others, I did not like 24d, too obscure for my taste.
    I thought 27a was excellent and made me chuckle.

  14. Senf I live in Wellington, and I hope the rugby test (we never seem to say international!) you enjoyed more (though rather error-ridden) was the one played here

    1. Yes it was. I thought the Pumas played well but the way the All Blacks struck back after a Pumas score was quite amazing. I was also impressed that in both games there was, I think, only one TMO call. Additionally I thought that both the NZ and Aussie TV commentators were better than their British counterparts.

      You will have to check the blog next Sunday as, some time on my Saturday, I will be watching a recording of NZ vs. SA. Canadian TV does not appear to showing the other game which is a pity as I think that the Pumas will have a good chance of getting their second win.

  15. TMOs have had really bad press and public reaction here and thankfully seemed to have pulled their collective heads in!

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