ST 2992 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2992 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2992 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, on Wednesday and yesterday, it became warm (less cold) enough for snow so Mother Nature obliged!

Today Dada, for me, in a benevolent mood with some possible oldies but goodies, a handful of anagrams, one homophone, and one lurker in a slightly asymmetrical 29 clues.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, 2d, and 24d.

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 Lids removed when tipped over? Exactly (4,2)
A (2,4) expression equivalent to lids removed all reversed (when tipped over).

10a Dip one’s toe in Hampshire river (4)
A single word that can mean dip one’s toe in gives an oldie but goodie river famous for its fly fishing.

13a Sling your hook, overwhelmed by another’s hook (4)
The lurker (overwhelmed by) found in the rest of the clue.

15a Dangerous king enters in dynastic style? (8)
One of the abbreviations for king inserted into (enters) a (1,2) phrase borrowed from across the Channel to indicate in the style of and a Chinese dynasty.

19a Kind of light, really (4)
A double definition – the first is a type of signal.

21a You’ve been caught cold in superhero’s neighbourhood, no end (6)
The single letter for cold inserted into (in) the city where a superhero lives with the last letter removed (no end).

25a Mole good on queen (4)
The favourite two letter synonym of good and the regnal cipher of HM.

26a One space to the left, country marking numbers on documents (10)
The letter than can be used to represent one and a synonym of space all reversed (to the left) followed by a synonym of country.

28a Christmas dinner a miserable failure (6)
A double definition, and oldie but goodie; a picture is worth a thousand (or less) words.


2d Horse box (5)
Another double definition and another one where I will leave it to the illustration.

4d Article written up on artist in Japanese city (6)
One of the indefinite articles reversed (written up) followed by (on) a romantic (Spanish) artist.

5d Area of mystery in novel tangible with a murder (7,8)
A 15-letter anagram (novel) of TANGIBLE with A MURDER.

7d Reportedly, school taken down (5)
The homophone (reportedly) of the cruciverbalists’ favourite school.

14d Chairman Mao ultimately converted, blow it! (9)
An anagram (converted) of CHAIRMAN and the last letter (ultimately) of MaO.

20d Hat figure put on head, lifted up (6)
A figure (number) followed by (put on) a synonym of head all reversed (lifted up).

24d Free, small rooms empty initially (5)
The convenient small rooms and the first letter (initially) of Empty.

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  :smile: South Wales’ finest :smile: – Amen Corner with their only number one at the end of its two week run in that spot at this time in 1969:


49 comments on “ST 2992 (Hints)

  1. I thought it slightly trickier than last Sunday but still reasonably straightforward. Thoroughly enjoyed the solve too.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada 2*/4*

  2. Aaaah, looks like Sunday solving is back on the table.
    Thanks to Dada for an accessible and fun solve.
    Thanks Senf for hints.

  3. Really enjoyed this one, quite tricky but some clever clues such as 27a. Nice misdirection in 9a. My personal fav was 21a.
    I think Dada must be feeling a bit sorry for us less experienced solvers the last couple of weeks for which I thank him(?).
    Thx to all

  4. 3*/4*. That makes two weeks in a row I can write: “Excellent! Just right for a Sunday morning”. This was good fun and just tough enough to provide a challenge without a headache. From my point of view this puzzle was 1a.

    13a was my last one in and makes it to my podium along with 9a, 5d & 16d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. P.S. Thanks to whomever chose the music today. I like Amen Corner. Andy Fairweather-Low is a good singer and a better guitarist than he is often given credit for. I’ve seen him playing with Eric Clapton a few times at the Royal Albert Hall.

  5. A thoroughly enjoyable Sunday puzzle, with a few thought-provoking twists. I liked 15 a, 26a and 27a but was not so fond of 21a (in the same way that I disliked yesterday’s 19a). Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  6. A nice stroll in the park (Peak District National, in my case).

    Back to achieving zero scores on my two prize entries from last weekend, after a good run.. All my theories as to why are now exhausted. If the Crossword Editor reads this, please could he tell us why that might be? I say ‘we’ because I know I’m not alone!

    1. I’ve given up asking and trying to get to the bottom of it HJ. No fixes they suggest work satisfactorily- I don’t think they know why it happens, which is extremely annoying and frustrating

  7. No problems with the puzzle but I did get somewhat side-tracked by investigating the various countries/cities on offer today.

    21a made me smile so that went onto the podium along with 9&10a.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog. Have to comment that Andy FL didn’t look very comfortable in his own skin at that age!

  8. For those who TWITTER … Dada has posted a video discussing his role as the new Sunday Telegraph Cryptic setter.

    Search for @crosswordpaul #SundayTelegraph

  9. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s offering. Needed Senf to explain my answer to 19a as the dictionary didn’t help and the dictionary for 25a.

    Many thanks to all

    1. Always a good start to the day if I can finish it unaided, more so on a Sunday. Finished in **/*** time.

      Many thanks to all.

      Now, time for a bite of lunch before we get stuck into the Scousers.

    2. Margaret, 19a is in both Chambers and Collins but you need to look up the answer followed by the word light. I find one of the advantages of hard copy over electronic dictionaries is that you can look immediately at the adjacent entries.

      1. Thanks RD, it didn’t occur to me to put my answer followed by light, I was just looking up my answer AND light and in neither entry did I find enlightenment. I’ll try your tip in future – today I just took a leap of faith and turned to Senf for the enlightenment

  10. Got off to a slow start and was beginning to wonder if this was Dada Mark One when it suddenly clicked and fell into place. Pleasantly testing and enjoyable. 9a produced the biggest smile so I will nominate that as my favourite.

    Thanks very much Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  11. I was very surprised to be able to finish without any extra hints though admittedly having got 4d I did check that there is such a city.
    Favourites are 9a because I am pretty sure I am evolving into Terry Scott’s schoolboy ‘It says Bottom Ha!’ ahem sorry about that. Love 21a.

    Thanks to everyone.

  12. Yes an enjoyable offering today with 21A having to be my favourite following yesterday’s win for Wales ! No doubt there would have been comment if the result was vice versa !! However , it is only a game .
    Thanks to Dada & Senf .

    1. I had noticed the day after an England ******** (insert any synonym for defeat) the site becomes a rugby – free zone.
      Most be something in the Cardiff air this weekend as I found this to be the easiest Sunday puzzle since Dada took over. Still pleasing to solve though.
      Thanks to DaDa & Senf.

  13. Two solutions away from being that thing we aren’t allowed to mention. I do have to ask why the dog in 27a has been chosen as Crossword Setters’ Canine of the Month – it is turning up on daily or even twice daily basis.

    Thanks to Dada for the friendly fun and to Senf for the hints

  14. Done in fits and starts in various coffee stops around the North Yorkshire moors. It was 1a for a Sunday prize and only prob I have is parsing 25a.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada the lurker. Off to try the Twitter thing.

    Update. A glance at the thesaurus has clarified things re 25a

  15. No trouble here. Another nice walk in the park – South Downs for this solver. Learned something too at 25a. A petit-grumble might be that it was a bit easy for a Sunday and another might be I have an aversion to words like 21a. Okay, they are in the BRB, living language etc. but they shouldn’t be. Thanks setter and Senf for today’s work on our behalf. **/**
    Twitter? – the only things that should ‘tweet’ have feathers and build nests.

    I am having a Victor Meldrew day it seems.

  16. After my woeful attempt at Fridays toughie I was very pleased to have completed this. I concur with all the comments above. Just right. I knew 19a as my father used to have s pistol for firing them. Many thanks to Dada and Senf. I haven’t attempted yesterday’s as I like to do it in my local on a Sunday evening when there aren’t many people in.

  17. A very pleasant post Sunday lunch workout.
    26ac new to me, Favs 16d & said 26a.
    3*/3.5*, just the right tempo for Sunday cryptics.
    Thanks to Senf for handy assistance & DaDa .

  18. Really quite chestnutty , I thought , but at least solvable .
    I rather liked the Canine of the month .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  19. ***/****. Very well constructed puzzle with 21&24 my favourites. Both raised a smile. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. So glad to notice that Dada’s fan club is growing.
    Such a prolific and versatile setter and always enjoyable.
    Thanks for the super crossword and thanks to Senf for the hints.

  21. Well I really struggled yesterday and didn’t really enjoy it but today was completely different. A great puzzle and completed whilst tending to my sourdough! I think 27ac is my clue of the day! Thanks Dada and Senf (although I didn’t need your help today!j.

  22. Was a bit tougher than last week, but still a more gentler Dada puzzle today. I still needed too much help to reach a satisfaction level, but at least I feel I am getting there. Of course, if I hadn’t bunged in wrong answers for 23a and 26a I would have solved the down words a lot sooner. Didn’t know the light at 19a but Mr BL came to my rescue. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints,

  23. Looks like Dada’s in the swing of things on Sundays now. Thoroughly enjoyable, just the right level of difficulty, no complaints, much to praise. More please.

  24. Oh – well I thought this was jolly difficult but I’ve gardened all day and so am not only knackered but out of routine.
    I have no idea what 21a is all about – what superhero – what city – I do get the cold bit!
    I did eventually finish this but I found it a real battle and I haven’t yet decided whether or not I enjoyed it.
    I think I’m just being grumpy so apologies for that and thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I am sure CS would say that, for 21a, everything will be explained in the full review – so, tie a knot in that hanky.

    2. Think xxxxxxxx

      [To quote BD – if you are saying ‘think’ you are definitely in providing an alternative clue territory]

        1. Please feel free to try to help this damsel in distress any time you like – thank you for the attempt, thwarted or otherwise! :rose:

  25. I cannot believe this is the same Dada who set just a short while ago….This went in very quickly although only got round to it this morning. Interesting (for me) diversions. I was convinced that 5a was the same as an answer in Saturday’s (similar clue). Obviously it did not parse and was completely different but the ending is what I was trying to get in on Saturday. Other misdirection for me was that I first thought of a breed of dog for the answer to 27a. It fitted after the first two checkers but luckily I did not enter it. I have come across the mole before in crosswords I think but only thought of it when I had exhausted animals and spies. Favourites 15 21 and 27a and 14d. Had some trouble with the first word of 16d until I remembered a city I visited in 1970 and it was that first word which enabled me to get my final answer – 19a. Thanks all.

  26. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, had forgotten the horse in 2d. Couldn’t think of 9a for some reason. Had the wrong ending for 26a. Apart from those it was all plain sailing. Last in was 6d. My favourite was 11a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  27. 21a summed it all up for me in solving this crossword. An enjoyable challenge but I did make hard work of it.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

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