ST 2988 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2988 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2988 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, for most of the week, our daily high temperatures have been lower than the average seasonal low temperatures!

Today, Dada appears to be making no allowances for possible degraded brain function of anyone who might have over-indulged at BB10 yesterday, giving us a handful of anagrams (including partials), and one lurker in 29 clues for which I am providing 17 hints to assist in solving.

Candidates for favourite -16a, 27a, and 13d .

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:


9a Horn, I gathered — on this animal? (5)
A straightforward anagram to start (gathered) of HORN I.

11a Top deck on public transport? (7)
A synonym of deck after (on) a form of public transport.

13a Common political activist (5)
A double definition – the first relates to an area of open land.

16a Location of what divides us, not going any further (7,3,3,2)
A double definition(?) – the second relates to secret or private information.

21a Head of bank with responsibility for extra money (5)
The first letter (head) of Bank followed by (with) a synonym of responsibility.

25a In lexicographical reference, ‘hand’ forgotten (7)
A type of ‘hand’ in the abbreviation for a well known lexicographical reference.

27a Break last of massive optical devices covering half of vent (9)
The last letter of massivE, and some optical devices containing (covering) half of the word VENT from the clue.

28a Stringed instrument? No thanks: old Latin American instrument (5)
A stringed instrument with the informal term for thanks removed (no) and the single letter for old.


1d Whitewash edges of door, lid off container (4)
The ‘edge’ letters of DooR and a type of container with its first letter removed (lid off).

3d Still without a proposal? (10)
A single word that could mean being without a proposal (to vote on).

5d South opposed to past capital (8)
The single letter for South, a single word for opposed to, and a synonym of past.

8d Gracious, angelic quality of yours truly? (2,8)
An angelic quality belonging to our setter?

13d Amazed lip bleeding after this, perhaps(10)
When written as (3,7) the action that might cause lip bleeding.

15d Up-and-down opener in no-win situation, some fiddle (10)
A single word for a no-win situation and part of (some) a fiddle.

18d Western Asian states formerly in decline are as tempting (4,4)
The lurker (in) found in the rest of the clue.

22 One idiot or another from Belfast? (6)
Written as (2,4) this could be an idiot from Belfast.

26d A bit lower (4)
A reasonably straightforward double definition to finish.

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Today is the 263rd anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, to celebrate here is the first (allegro) movement of Eine Kleine Nactmusik:


37 comments on “ST 2988 (Hints)

  1. I found this to be reasonably straightforward, almost like his Monday puzzles of before, or maybe I was just on wavelength.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada **/****

  2. Very slow start but gradually got through with growing appreciation .
    11A had to be verified with my wife and 28A checked in dictionary .
    Quite a few favourites but will pick 22D as COTD .
    Any sore heads this morning ?
    Thanks to everyone from sunny South Wales .

  3. 3.5*/4*. I really enjoyed this challenging puzzle today with the NW corner holding out the longest. There were some clever disguises and nice touches of humour along the way.

    28a was a new word for me.

    Initially I put in the wrong part of a fiddle as the second syllable of 15d which caused a bit of a hold up in that corner until the penny dropped.

    My podium choices are 11a, 3d, 22d & 26d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    P.S. Great to see everyone at the BB yesterday. It was a lovely afternoon and a great way to celebrate the blog’s anniversary.

  4. Nice puzzle with some clever readings but stuck on the last two (no hints unfortunately for these) 6D and 12A. Any guidance would be much appreciated.
    Thx to all

  5. So many fine clues this windy Sunday morning. To pick just one is virtually impossible but I will go for 22d even though I think it may have been used quite recently. The whole puzzle was pleasantly challenging and rewarding to work through. Great stuff.

    Very many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  6. This was not so difficult as some of the other Sunday puzzles have been but challemging enough in places. I made the same mistake with 15d as Rabbit Dave, having chosen the wrong part for the second half of the answer, which held me up for a time it seemed quite a reasonable answer until I sorted out the checkers!

  7. Just right for me – stretching and fun. What more could I ask for? Thank to Dada.


    Back abroad again, hence two zeros for my prize submissions last weekend. I do wish someone could:
    A. Explain why this might be happening
    B. Confirm whether these scores make me ineligible for entry into the draw.

  8. 9a has appeared twice before recently. Never heard of 28a but the correct answer was clear. About the right level of difficulty for a Sunday. Thank you S and D.

    1. Presumably we can therefore use the collective noun for a group of 9as, which apparently is “crash”! Not one I’ve come across before.

    2. If this clue hadn’t been illustrated, I might have reminded certain gentlemen about the instructions in red at the bottom of the hints

      1. Your comment brings back a memory from my schooldays. As part of our O-Level Biology exam we were given Exhibit A (a strawberry) and we were instructed to cut it in half, draw the inside and label all the different parts. Having done that, I put up my hand and, when the invigilator arrived at my desk, I asked if I could eat the strawberry. His reply was, “Sh! You mustn’t tell everyone what it is”.

  9. Great to meet everyone at the Birthday bash yesterday. I’ve got 5 puzzles to look at, once the hangover clears !

  10. At the easier end of DaDa’s spectrum I thought, or perhaps the arctic wind just blew away some cobwebs this morning. To Senf our temperatues would seem sub-tropical I guess.
    Not come across 28a & not convinced of my answer to 2d.
    Thanks to setter & Senf

  11. Challenging but fair. I couldn’t get going so had to come to the blog for a few hints …. so thanks as always. New word 28ac and am not sure why the lot in 10ac are uncivilised (more likely revolting these days!), but that aside a good crossword. I liked 14ac.

    Now to Dada’s offering in another paper!

    Thanks Dada and Senf

  12. Yes, a nice challenge including some interesting clues of which I liked 5d which ultimately became my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  13. I found this quite challenging and harder than the usual Sunday offering. Managed in the end without having to use the hints but a lot of head scratching.

    Liked the obscure answer to 28a, never heard of it but enjoyable to work out.

    16a was amusing once the penny dropped!

    Thanks to all.

  14. A little trouble in the far NW and SE corners, but the rest went in at something approaching the old Sundayish average time.

  15. Just wrote lots and it’s vanished again so a shortened version this time.
    I thought this was at exactly the right level of difficulty for a Sunday crossword – not a doddle by any means but doable.
    Clues that I particularly enjoyed today were 16a and 8, 13 and 22d and my favourite is one of that lot. :unsure:
    With thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  16. What a good crossword – when I first looked I nearly gave up instantly but then it all sorted itself out – I just helped a bit!
    I thought it was at exactly the right level of difficulty for a Sunday – certainly not a doddle but ‘doable.
    Like others I’d never heard of 28a.
    I was terribly slow to get 23a – eventually managing to hit on the right definition helped.
    I don’t really quite understand my answer to 25a – in other words I think my general knowledge is letting me down again.
    Clues that I particularly enjoyed today were 16a and 8, 13 and 22d. My favourite was one of that lot. :unsure:
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

      1. Thanks – of course it is – how did I not see that? I thought the ‘reference’ was a quotation that I didn’t know! :roll:

  17. I’m afraid I am never going to gel with Dada’s offerings. Once again this simply wasn’t my scene – I found it unsubtle, verbose and sadly lacking in smooth surfaces. SE corner was least compromising. 8d was my elementary Fav. Thanks anyway Dada and particularly Senf.

  18. Great to see everyone on Friday and Saturday. Photos will be edited soon.
    Fantastic puzzle today which took quite a bit of thinking about but I got there
    in the end. Dulcie was modelling today so I had to do it on my own.

    3*/4* Thanks to Dada and Senf

  19. I forgot to comment yesterday, but I have to say how much I enjoyed this puzzle. It felt much more like the Sunday crossword puzzles of old. No serious hold-ups and one which was nice to keep popping in and out of whilst cooking Sunday lunch and sipping a crafty wee gin. Thanks Dada and Senf – nice one.

  20. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Hurrah, I’ve finally completed a Sunday Dada. Really enjoyed the solve. First in was 9a, which I’d seen before. Then I couldn’t get a single answer for ages. Eventually it all fell into place. Took a long time to get 12a and 6d, my last two. Favourite was 26d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  21. Jealous about Saturday but managed essential journey to Fleetwood and back and managed a bit of fun in Fleetwood while going about our business. Northern hospitality in hotel, on trams etc. Just tried Sunday’s today and needed hints for some of the clues. Had to scratch my head even with the hints. Some of the ones I had problems with were not hinted but got their in the end with the extra checkers so thanks Mr K.

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