ST 2969 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2969 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2969 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where it is beginning to get quite autumnal and, yesterday, I started my day watching a very entertaining antipodean rugby international where it looked like the All Blacks were on another romp after two early tries but the Springboks were having nothing of it and hung on for a 36 – 34 victory with Nigel Owens at his very best in the middle (and no TMO calls).

Another mildly tricky puzzle from Virgilius this week;  the high end of his typical number of anagrams, two lurkers, two homophonic clues, and one triple definition all in 27 clues.

Joint favourites – 25a and 18d.

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 In ruling over nation, do this (6)
We start with one of the lurkers (in), the other is 2d, found in three words in the clue.

10a Some Londoners, chaps that pull strings or are involved in rows (6)
The triple definition – the middle one is illustrated below.

11a Fancy women’s objective for that man (4)
The single letter for women and the accusative or objective male pronoun.

13a Numerical superiority compared with nine, oddly (12)
Don’t try selecting letters (oddly), an anagram (oddly) of COMPARED and (with) NINE.

20a Political skill, say, with naval requirements (10)
A synonym of say and a single word for naval (vessel) requirements.

22a Good scope for adventurous opening (6)
The single letter for good and a synonym of scope.

23a Issue about elderly relative being someone in altered state (8)
A synonym of issue containing (about) the short form of an elderly (female) relative.

25a Ancient European cutting a metal (3-3)
A from the clue followed by the single letter for European contained by (cutting) a (precious) metal.


1d Caught her daughter hugging a farmworker (8)
A synonym of caught, HER from the clue, and the single letter for daughter containing (hugging) A from the clue.

3d Practical attitude is required in field of study (7)
IS from the clue contained by (required in) a single word for field of study (BRB verified).

5d Live in grip of strongman from part of Asia (7)
A synonym for live contained by (in grip of) an ancient Greek.

7d Person in charge of records put together initially (6)
The homophonic sounding of two letters normally used to identify this person.

9d Fiendish types are reportedly in gallery for show (11)
A single word for some fiendish types followed by the letter sounding like (reportedly) are contained by (in) the favourite crossword gallery.

17d Agog with Conservative splitting left (7)
The single letter for Conservative contained by (with . . . splitting) a synonym of left.

18d Faithfully donating — write article about it (7)
A synonym for article containing (write . . . about) IT from the clue.

21d What’s loaded aboard vehicle before journey (5)
A type of vehicle followed by a short synonym for journey.

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A new approach this week, instead of looking for ‘only today’ events, I am expanding my search to Monday to Sunday so here is José Feliciano born on September 10, 1945 with a (better version?) song written by members of The Doors:


28 comments on “ST 2969 (Hints)

  1. Duh, spent far too much time over 19d and 20a.
    Quite taxing on the whole.
    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for the review.

  2. Probably just me but this didn’t ‘feel’ like a Virgilius.
    I was slow to get both 8&20a and it took me a while to latch onto the third definition in 10a.

    3d took top honours here.

    Thanks to Virgilius (?) and to Senf for the blog. Nice to hear my favoured version of Light my Fire again.

    1. Didn’t feel like a Virgilius to me either Jane (it probably was though).

      Took me a little while to sort it out but no major solving hurdles were encountered.

      Thanks to setter and hinter.

    2. My setter detection radar has very low reliability but I am quite sure that this is our usual Sunday setter. All the ‘regular’ features are there especially the two homophonic clues, some of the anagram indicators, and the triple definition.

  3. Usual thought provoking Sunday puzzle that needed two minds and two cups of coffee. As always the clues are very clever. My only problem is parsing my answer to 19d. I can see that this would be what one would see from Gib and the usual artist but making it fit as a whole is currently defeating me.
    Very enjoyable. For us ***/****
    Thx to all

  4. Have made a very good start on this only ten more to do but simply MUST (sorry, shouting) get on with other stuff. Look forward to coming back to it. Nice day here in Cambridge.

  5. What were the odds of two away wins in those rugby games yesterday . Watched the highlights ( lowlights if from NZ/OZ ) this morning , great tries and near misses .
    Steady crossword , no big problems for me , lots of nice clues , no outstanding favourite .
    Thanks to everyone .

  6. A couple in the SW corner held me up for a fair while, otherwise a comfortable and steady solve. 18d my favourite of many, with an honourable mention for 3d and 10a. Fun and rewarding as ever on a Sunday.

    Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  7. For me this was a bit of a curate’s egg but definitely more good than bad. South beat North to it. 19d was a bung-in so thanks KFB for your response to Brian. My Fav was 9d.

  8. Did better than yesterday. I managed the top half at a steady canter but slowed to a trot in the south. The SW held out the longest and was with Brian in no understanding 19d but KFB cleared the misunderstanding. Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

        1. It’s not really an anagram indicator – to be that it should be spelt with a hyphen – but this kind of construct has become accepted.

  9. Took longer than usual to finish this but brain a bit befuddled with champagne after celebrating our diamond wedding anniversary yesterday. It was nice of Her Majesty to send us a card!

    1. Congratulations, that is definitely something worth celebrating.
      Didn’t know the Palace sent out for the anniversary. I was hoping to get a birthday card if I make it that long, but the Diamond will be in just 8 years so even better.

  10. ***/****. Solved this while listening to the rain pounding on the bedroom windows. Quite tricky in parts but very fair clues. Favourites were 16&25a. Thanks to all.

  11. I love our Sunday puzzles, just the right amount of difficulty and fun, so oodles of thanks to Virgilius.
    I completely missed the third definition at 10a, what on earth will it take for me to remember that meaning of row.
    No fave today, the whole puzzle was a fave.
    Thanks to Senf for his hints and tips, and the Jose Feliciano, I’d forgotten all about him.

  12. As a P.S.: Has anyone heard from ExpatChris? She must be in the thick of Florence, I hope she’s doing OK.

  13. Almost got there but had to throw in the towel after spending too long on 20a and 23a, which have totally eluded me. Had a break in the middle to go outside and lay mulch around the palm trees. Thought head down might improve the brain flow, but still stumped. Enjoyed a lot anyway. Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  14. I thought this was quite a playful corossword. Once I got going it all came together fairly easily with a few smiles along the way. 1d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  15. About middling difficulty, and as good as ever. I struggled over the parsing for 25ac and 7d, but elsewhere progress was steady if not particularly rapid.

  16. Did not find this as difficult as a usual Sunday. But had a few obvious bung-ins which I then had to think quite hard to explain. Thought 18d was a very nicely worded clue.
    After I enjoyed seeing Hamilton’s mastery this afternoon on TV from Singapore, this was a very pleasing evening’s end to a good day!!
    Thanks to all.

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