ST 2971 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2971 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2971 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where the last week of September has felt more like the last week of November with single digit temperatures and small amounts of the white fluffy variety of precipitation.  Yesterday was an ideal day for ‘staying in’ and watching another entertaining antipodean rugby international, although it did get a bit scrappy at the end, between the Springboks and the Wallabies which the Springboks won 23-12.  So, in the final round of ‘The Rugby Championship’ next week, the Wallabies will take on the Pumas, in Argentina, for the ‘Wooden Spoon’ while the All Blacks will probably finish up as Champions

Even with double unches, which I did not notice until I had completed solving, benevolence has returned;  Virgilius has given us the high end of his typical number of anagrams, two lurkers, some multiple definitions, but no homophones.

Joint favourites – 13a and 3d.

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 For each boy a large kind of computer (8)
Lego to start – a single word for for each, a synonym for boy, A from the clue, and the single letter for large to finish.

9a My off-putting statement for someone not in good faith? (8)
Written as (1,2,5) a slightly clunky phrase which can mean to put something off.

13a As herald of spring, wintry weather event? (8)
Written as (4,4) a wintry event although the second word is not typically used hence the ? at the end.


16a Daily fare from Tallahassee, Florida fell, finally (4)
The last letters (finally) from the rest of the clue placed in sequence.

20a Piece in game removed from board, ominously (6)
The first lurker, the other is 7d, (removed from) the end of the clue.

21a Biddable? Constrained by old inclination, pass (8)
A synonym of pass contained by (constrained by) the single letter for old and a synonym of inclination.

26a Landed, advanced, and fired (4)
Not the triple definition I thought it was – the single letter for advanced and a synonym for fired.

28a Preparing last piece of poetry in literary event (8)
The final letter (last piece of) poetry inserted into (in) a type of literary event.


2d Exhibits, for example, as central idea in show (8)
The central letters of iDEa contained by (in) a synonym of show.

3d Blocking or playing for time — nothing novel in that (12)
The letter that indicates nothing and a synonym of novel contained by (in that) a single word for playing for time.

5d Vehicle‘s fuel used up covering motorway (4)
A three letter fuel reversed (used up) containing (covering) the single letter for motorway.

8d Do some needlework over time, note (8)
A type of needlework containing (over) the single letter for time.

12d Account in personal record that’s distracting (12)
A synonym of account contained by (in) a type of personal record.

17d More than anything else, duck meat in lab going bad (5,3)
A crickety duck and a type of meat contained by (in) and anagram (going bad) of LAB.

22d Mystery in game, possibly, e.g. man I exchanged (6)
An anagram (possibly) of IN GAME which is also an anagram (exchanged) of E.G. MAN I.

25d A container that’s not closed (4)
A from the clue and a type of (glass) container.

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.

This week there is an abundance of artistes with birthdays between the 23rd and 30th so I asked my ‘video tester’ to make a selection.  As a result, I am not responsible for the fact that today we have an artiste born and raised in Winnipeg! 

And, to be fair, my ‘video tester’, was not aware of that fact when the selection was made.

Randy Bachman was born in Winnipeg on September 27, 1943, here he is with the other members of Bachman Turner Overdrive:


39 comments on “ST 2971 (Hints)

  1. No comment on the crossword yet. Dead tree just arrived. Any one else having trouble with the Mobile app? I cannot get todays paper as usual.

    1. I had trouble opening the app. The best thing to do in these situations is hand it to Saint Sharon whilst muttering expletives. Soon sorted. Possibly by witchcraft and sorcery

      1. A true genius is Saint Sharon the sorcery has worked here too. I managed to read the dead tree article about telegraph puzzles while I waited.
        Puzzle coming along too well up to Virgilius standard. Like Senf I too like 3d and hope our resident olive oil farmer sees it.

    2. Yes, they’ve fixed it now. Apparently the tech boys were “experiencing a high number of emails.” Just knew this would happen😂😤

  2. 2* / 4.5*. A joyous Sunday crossword as ever albeit at the easier end of Virgilius’ range.

    Worthy of mention are: 19d, one of those rare words which has two opposite meanings; 22d, a typical double anagram from our Sunday setter; and 15a, a very smooth four part charade leading to a six letter answer.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

  3. I think 26a is an abbreviation for advanced followed by a synonym for fired.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Senf.

    1. It is indeed – although you may want to read my review when it appears on 11th October to see my views on the abbreviation

    2. Silly me, I fell into the ‘punctuation trap’ and if there is a rule that has to be followed it is ignore punctuation in a clue – hint revised.

          1. In fact I only showed up after a hint from Jane that I might like one of the clues. When I did I broke the rules but BD dealt with it. I also liked 8dn … A favourite of mine and I have it here in Puglia. It came in very “handy” in Sep 2014 when I had guests from UK. We had a cyclone that lasted 3 days (not a moment without thunder) and dropped 60 inches of rain at our house. See I hope links are allowed!

            So the young ones and I drank the house dry and played a tournament😎

            1. You may all be perplexed by this comment but it seems I have mixed up the Sun with the Sat crossword. So apologies all round and maybe I should stop making wine🍾

  4. As one of our colleague says “ completed at a gallop “ .
    Plenty to please today with 9a lol and favourite but admire many others .
    I wonder if 15a could be applied to some US footballers who are prone to conning refs ?
    Thanks to everyone .

  5. The problem with the Edition App not downloading today’s issue is now resolved, I believe. As well as the crossword, I can recommend today’s cover feature in the Sunday section, which has contributions from many Telegraph puzzle contributors, including John Halpern.

    1. Thank for the heads up Chris. The Sunday section is never read here. Stella? What on earth is that about?

  6. A touch of the soft pedal from Virgilius this morning but none the worse for that. 15a took a modicum of thought as it’s not a word I hear used on a regular basis – no problems elsewhere.
    Nice to see a few old favourites getting another outing and that ‘sauce’ is certainly riding high at the moment!

    Like Jezza, I parsed 26a rather differently – triple definition didn’t really work for me.

    Top places went to 3d and the short but sweet 17a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for both the blog and the video clips. Bachman Turner Overdrive evokes great memories from the dancing days and the Elgar is one of the most sublime pieces of classical music I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to – that was a perfect rendition.

    1. I so agree with your comment about the Elgar clip. There are so many lovely pieces of music it’s impossible to choose a fave, but this one is certainly high up there as a candidate.

  7. Thanks to Senf for the blog … especially the musical accompaniment to 22d!

    Reminds me … must try the other cryptic crossword in the Sunday Telegraph.

    Maybe not today? The introductory instructions always leave me completely discombobulated.

  8. 9a and 15a co-favourites today from the usual high number of worthy contenders on a Sunday. This took me a tad longer than it should have, and, reviewing my answers, I cannot see why. As entertaining as ever, and rewarding to complete.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and Senf. Channel-hopping this afternoon between the golf and rugby Premiership.

  9. I love discombobulation, it is part of the puzzling experience. I raced through this very pleasantly although I did not like the word 15a – does anyone use it? I liked 6d , 9 and 8a. Missed doing yesterday’s pxw as we were at the wonderful Peterborough antiques fair then playing canasta until 1 am. We know how to live here in Cambridge. Many thanks to all for a nice workout.

  10. I managed to complete but having looked at the hints I’m now sure I have 2d wrong. I can’t see the “show”. Anyway I enjoyed it thanks for the hints.

    1. You may find you have the correct word if you remove the central letters of iDEa from your solution and look up the word that remains in the dictionary

  11. I do enjoy our Sunday treat, but I didn’t find it as benign as most did. I struggled a long time with some answers, e.g. 6d, but that was because I put the wrong letter in another answer.
    I had no problem with 15a, I think I’ve seen it used from time to time.
    No fave today, too much choice; maybe 3d?
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Senf for his unravelling of some clues for me.

  12. I struggled with this today and really didn’t enjoy the challenge at all. Only finished thanks to many helping hands (or heads rather). IMHO too many questionable clues and little light relief. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf. 😟

  13. Lots of interruptions today and I struggled most in the east. As I said after first pass 3d a fave for the nod to our olive oil farmer. 8d was a penny drop and key to finishing the east. 22d too was a nice double anagram too. 21a LOI and not 100% sure I am right. 26a works better now revised.
    Thanks to Senf and Virgilius.

  14. Sorry folks still not got 26a I have an answer but my answer doesn’t mean (in my view) landed. Can anyone give another clue please?

  15. A few of these had to be really teased out. I got 26a early on, but wasn’t happy enough to actually pen it in for ages. Not a fan of 9a or 15a. I got 3d but not quite sure how it fits the clue. Other than, pretty good sailing today IMHO. 11a was favourite. Thanks to Virgilius and Senf.

  16. Once I got going it was pretty much plain sailing. 3d was my fave although there were a few contenders in the running.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to Senf for the hints.

  17. Finished in quick time today, with quite a few on definition alone. Lots of enjoyment of course to be had along the way..

  18. Just finished after long effort on 26a. I have never come across that word before. It is not in my OED but eventually found it by Googling the possibilities. (Couldn’t wait till Friday)! Otherwise a quite quick, straightforward and very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks to all.

  19. In the Phonetic Alphabet, ‘J’ indicated by ‘Juliett’ with a double ‘t’

    1. I love ‘benign’ puzzles that I can’t do.
      Thanks for the hints, Senf and Virgilius.

Comments are closed.