ST 2982 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2982 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2982 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we have had another heatwave and reached plus one yesterday.

Well, others may not agree, but I thought that this was the gentlest Sunday Dada yet – with, dare I say it, a ‘Virgilius’ sprinkling of anagrams (including partials), a reverse lurker, and a homophone (not hinted, but it’s 7d).

Joint favourites – 15a and 2d.

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 Two animals — requirement for four or six, perhaps? (7,3)
A jumping insect followed by a flying mammal.

10a Singular instrument needing strings slackened? (5)
The abbreviation for singular and a type of stringed instrument.

11a Lovely job of a police officer (9)
A double definition – the second is one part of a police officer’s job description.

15a Tester of water temperature gulping drink, this food’s hot (7)
An extremity of one’s body that might be used to test water temperature containing (gulping) a type of (sparkling) wine.

21a Miss married to small man from Italy (7)
Mis-direction abounds – a synonym of miss after (married to) the single letter for small.

27a Country houses one’s making somewhere in Asia (9)
A country containing (houses) ONE’S (ignoring the apostrophe) from the clue.


28a Part of oven on, extra switches for gas (5)
The reverse lurker (part of . . . switches) found in three words in the clue.

30a A shift in roles leaving only odd characters in high spirits (10)
A from the clue, and a synonym of shift contained by (in) the odd letters of RoLeS.


1d Everything forgotten by diva with first of high notes, perhaps? (4)
Start with an American-born Greek diva, remove (forgotten by) a synonym for everything, and add on (with) the first letter of High.

3d Greek letter, a couple of pages in the spirit of an Egyptian (5)
A from the clue and the abbreviation for multiple pages inserted into (in) one of the spiritual elements of an Egyptian soul.

5d Close door at the end, blocking various aisles (7)
The last letter (at the end) of door contained by (blocking) an anagram (various) of AISLES.

8d Generous sack filled with rubbish I gather (3-7)
A word that sack is a slang synonym of containing (filled with) an anagram (rubbish) of I GATHER .

14d Merchandise as yet not shifting (5-5)
A synonym of merchandise and a single word for as yet

18d It, for example, starts to consume everything, say (9)
The part of speech that IT is an example of followed by the initial letters (starts) of Consume and Everything.

21d Following drive, a companion leaves (7)
A synonym for drive, A from the clue, and the two letters that indicate membership of a meritorious order.

26d Burden lies with you and me? (4)
The combination of two two-letter words – the first is a synonym of lies with and the second indicates you and me.

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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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Not a lot to choose from this week, so I have come all the way forward to 1985, number one for two weeks starting December 14th:


50 comments on “ST 2982 (Hints)

  1. I agree, not easy but a very reasonable level of difficulty with some clever clues that made me smile when I cracked them. Got stuck in the SW corner and had to resort to the hint for 21d but the rest then fell into place. Please keep the clueing at this level for Sundays

  2. 3* / 4*. That’s more like it! Nicely challenging and a lot of fun.

    There were so many good clues that picking a favourite is not easy; queuing up for final consideration are: 1a, 10a, 4d & 16d.

    Many thanks to Dada – please keep them coming like this on Sundays – and to Senf.

  3. 3*/4* for me as well for this delightful puzzle. Favourites were 11A, 15A, 9D & 16D. Thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable Sunday challenge

  4. Usual Sunday (at least these days), a mixture of incomprehensible complex clues interspersed with some anagrams. These is little fun to be had with these very tough crosswords at least for those of us who are less experienced.
    Thx for the hints which did at least enable me to solve some clues and even understand one or two of them.

    1. Ok I take it all back, I let my prejudices against his previous efforts colour my judgement of this one. After 3 visits and those peerless hints I have managed to finish this one albeit not fully understanding some of the the answers. Still think they are very difficult but this one is much more like Virgilus whose puzzles were tough but usually easier than Toughie level.

      1. Good on you for not giving up, and glad to hear your perseverance rewarded.

        Virgilius wearing his Brendan hat was in the Graun in the week, and it was a good deal tougher than his Sunday offerings in the DT.

  5. I agree, a very pleasant and fair challenge after the recent Sunday traumas. 1a took far to long to crack and 21d appealed. COD for me was 30a.
    Thank you, as usual, to all involved.

  6. Brilliant puzzle full of clever and amusing clues. Special mentions to 10a, 30a, 1d, 2d, 16d 18d and 21d. Difficult to pick a favourite but I think 15a just shades it for me.

  7. Definitely more approachable than has been the case recently although I still managed to wander down a couple of garden paths with the cold-blooded killer and different high spirits.

    Hard to play favourites – I liked the simple 25&26d but the widest smile came from 16d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf. Nice to hear Whitney but I find that I’m constantly looking for Kevin Costner in the background these days!

  8. I took quite a long time over this one – you’ll have to wait and see what difficulty rating I give when the review appears.

    Thinking about how you have to look at Dada Sunday crosswords slightly differently, I did at one point find I’d actually got my head tilted to one side, probably to see if looking at the clues sideways made a difference!

    Thanks to Dada and Senf. If anyone has the newspaper version of the crossword, can they please confirm whether the closing date is still 27 December (11 days after publication) or whether it is longer because of the Christmas period? Thank you

    1. Our dog used to tilt his head like that when I did something he didn’t understand. Maybe he was just thinking why hasn’t he finished that crossword yet and taken me for walkies.

  9. I found this far from straightforward, but a good sense of achievement on completion after wrestling with a few in the SW corner for longer than I would have wished. Thanks to Dada for the challenge.

    I was lucky enough to win my second fountain pen recently and wondered if the odds have reduced now that the prize puzzles seem a bit more difficult?

  10. After a fair tussle, I completed this excellent Dada puzzle with a great sense of achievement. I really enjoyed some of the misdirection and humour, and had 1a as my COTD. I don’t mind a tough challenge when the answers are gettable with a bit of lateral thinking, and this one was spot on.

    Many thanks to Dada, to whom I echo the closing comment of RD at #3, and to Senf.

  11. Umm, getting the hang of these Sunday puzzles, aided by the hints I actually filled the grid, but will have to wait for the review for parsing some of them.
    Mind you solving time overlapped the Archers Omnibus and have delayed the bread making, Sunday routine badly disrupted.

    Thanks for the hints Senf.
    Thanks to Dada.

  12. Most of this went in quite well until I got to the SE corner where 18dn, 24ac and 30ac held me up for a while. Favourites were 1ac, 2dn and 15ac. Having done this I then went back to last Sunday’s which has hung about on the clipboard all week (not a good crossword week!) with little progress and with a lot of help from Senf’s hints eventually cracked it.

    Thanks Senf and Dada

  13. This was a three sitting job but with only two hints I finished. There seemed to be just enough easier clues to give a hold so with head scratching things came crawling out. At least the time was spent solving the crossword not testing which of the tree light bulbs needed replacing.
    Satisfying in the end. Will I ever get there without Senf’s help?
    Thanks to DaDa & Senf (& the inventor of the LED).

  14. I do so enjoy Dada’s puzzles.
    Look forward to them.
    Perhaps, many are now getting rather used to the brilliant clueing.
    Hard work but satisfying.
    Thanks Dada and Senf for the review.

  15. I too really enjoy Dada’s crosswords.
    Great challenges, good fun.
    1a was my favourite in this one.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  16. I notice that Dada is the Toughie setter next Tuesday.

    It will be interesting to see how tough it is compared to his Sunday Toughies.

  17. ***/****. Obviously I’m getting on the right wavelength by some miracle. Solved with quite a bit of head scratching. My favourites were 15a&2,16&18d. Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints.

  18. Pleasantly surprised by doing a good chunk of this this morning. Then took mum out cheese shopping to get a nice Wensleydale to go with Betty’s Chrjstmas cake. Returned and a glance or 2 at the hints sorted the rest. Thanks to Senf whose theory that Dada was thrown in at the deep end and had to use a few toughies he had on hand before finding his own level for Sunday is seeming more likely. Thanks to Dada too for a tricky but solvable puzzle. My only other query is if we have had 3000 ST’s and only 2982 crosswords what happened to the missing 18? A miss rate of about 1 every 3 years!

  19. Utterly stuck on the last three. Any hints for 14d, 22a or 29a please? Struggled with this one and pleased I’ve got this far.

    1. GMY1965, I hope to avoid the N.C. by suggesting you concentrate on not shifting in 14d, on remedy with small change in 22d and on type of business in 29a.

      1. Thanks Angellov sorted now. I had the right first half of 14d but the wrong second half which was throwing me off. 29a the last one in – rather a good clue!

  20. I just can’t begin to warm to Dada’s way of thinking and really surprised myself by eventually managing to wrap this up without a need for assistance from Senf. The SE corner was the grittiest part. Fav was 2d with 15d in the frame too. Thank you Dada and indeed Senf for being there as per 2d. 😰

  21. Had a quick look this morning before a family visit and just finished off without requiring the hints .
    Not yet looked at any comments but do not expect many , if any , complaints.
    Excellent crossword in my opinion , plenty of variation . lots of smiles and satisfaction .
    Quite a few favourites, too many to list .
    Thanks to everyone .

  22. After only filling in about 10 answers over breakfast I did have another stab over lunch, and with some help almost finished, 9d and 18d are still eluding me. Dada puzzles are definitely above my pay grade, clearly on a different wavelength. Thanks for the hints Senf.

  23. The clues were 100% easier today. Although I found no joy in that. Yesterday was humorous a good solve.

  24. Hmmm – the rest of you seem to have found this easier than I did – I had real trouble again – I’m so badly on a different wave length to this setter.
    Maybe I need to go up the garden to count the marbles but it’s a bit too dark now.
    I thought that ‘requirement for four or six perhaps’ was jolly vague and spent a while scouring clues with numbers 4 and 6 – are they really animals – OK, they’re not plants but . . .
    I think the answer to 17a has to be what I think it is but I can’t see what it’s got to do with the last couple of words in the clue – a hint would be very welcome, please.
    There were so many clues that I struggled with – I won’t go on any more.
    I liked 11 and 28a and my favourite was 18d.
    With thanks for well and truly putting me back in my place to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

      1. It is described in BRB as being ‘stout and hairy bodied’ but maybe that doesn’t help much as it could apply to many of us. :smile:

    1. I have problems thinking of them as animals too. Either DaDa or someone else did it within the last couple of weeks. It fooled me then & sure enough I was caught again.

      1. If you have a look at the entry for taxonomy in Wikipedia you can see that insects are part of the kingdom animalia.

    2. I agree with your opening comment, Kath, and I still fail to parse 17a. Even Gazza’s above explanation passes me by.

    3. Thanks so much everyone – I did look it up, honestly, but didn’t go back far enough.
      Perhaps I could just take issue with KiwiColin and ask him what he’s implying and who he could be talking about? Hmmmm? :unsure: and :smile: to you

  25. More straightforward and enjoyable than the past couple of weeks, though perhaps still requiring a little more attention than I’m able to give on a Sunday. :-)

  26. If the smile quotient is an indicator, this one was brilliant. A few brain-stretchers for us, but the smiles were all the better for that. I hate to use hints or the big C before Wednesday, so there’s a hint as to my verdict. 3*/4*

  27. I found this puzzle trickier than the last couple on Sunday and it took me a fair while to sort it all out but I enjoyed the challenge.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada 4*/4*

  28. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Perhaps I’m getting a bit more used to Dada’s puzzles, but I still found this very difficult. Needed the hints for 1&12a. Also needed electronic help for 30a, but still can’t parse it,or 8d. Favourite was 25d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  29. Thanks Dada, this prize puzzle most certainly gets the ‘thumbs up’ from me. Easily as enjoyable as Sunday puzzles used to be as far as I’m concerned. I needed as couple of hints as a ‘jump start’, so to speak, but found it far simpler to continue with than I’d first led myself to believe. Most entertaining and absorbing too. Thanks both 😊

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