ST 2993 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2993 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2993 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, with springtime temperatures hopefully not too far away, thoughts are turning to assessing the risk of flooding as a result of the thawing of the accumulation of this winter’s snowfalls and 30 or more inches thickness of ice on the Red River (plus whatever North Dakota and Minnesota send downstream to Manitoba).

Today Dada, for me, still in a benevolent mood, but not quite as benevolent as last week, with a handful of anagrams, one lurker, but no homophones in a symmetrical 28 clues.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 27a, and 23d.

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 Thoroughly cook bitter dessert (8,4)
The combination of a (4,4) term that means the same as thoroughly cook (in an oven) and a synonym of bitter (perhaps, when applied to food).

8a Somewhat ashen, natural dye (5)
The lurker (somewhat) found in the rest of the clue.

11a I select new queen for English city (9)
An anagram (new) of I SELECT and the regnal cipher of HM.

13a Cake hits the floor before ice cream (4,5)
Written (5,4) a single word for hits the floor followed by a type of ice cream serving.

16a Line raised, structure spanning river perhaps not opening (5)
A structure that can perhaps span a river with its first letter removed (not opening).

22a Mark supports strike (9)
Synonyms of supports and strike.

25a An unenjoyable job bagging silver in US port (9)
AN from the clue, followed by a job or task that is not enjoyable containing (bagging) the chemical symbol for silver.

27a Brilliant journey down from Machu Picchu, say? (12)
A downward journey preceded by the South American people who built Machu Pichu.


1d Marsupial in group with one bird (9)
A synonym of group, the single letter that represents one, and a bird (and this one is a water bird).

4d Unreal ray spinning for some time on the moon (5,4)
An anagram (spinning) of UNREAL RAY which gives ‘some time’ which is approximately 354 earth days.

5d Old reptile’s tail found in the American reference book (9)
The end letters (tail) of an old (prehistoric) reptile contained by (found in) THE from the clue and the two letters that indicate American.

7d Boy, a Greek landmark supported by a US city (12)
The short form of a boy’s (or man’s) name, the first A from the clue, a Greek landmark (where the Oracle was to be found), and the second A from the clue.

10d Harry’s turn to get ceramicist’s machine (7,5)
The surname of the student wizard with the possessive S (but not the apostrophe) and a type of (military) turn.

Do you remember the days of B&W TV when the BBC occasionally had to fill gaps between programmes? Enjoy this one:

15d Where chairman presides in the main, unfortunately? (9)
When written as (4,5), this is a description of a chairman’s position.

21d Mother put on party — there’s wine! (5)
The two letter familiar term for mother put on a three letter term for a political party.

24d Crack swimmer claiming victory (5)
A fish (swimmer) frequently associated with a Channel Port containing (claiming) the single letter for victory.

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.

Roger Daltrey, of The Who, was 75 years young on Friday (and so was Mike d’Abo of Manfred Mann). Here are The Who at a 2015 Hyde Park Concert with Pinball Wizard which reached number 4 in 1969. I was a little surprised to find out that, according to Wikipedia, The Who never had a number one single in the UK:

37 comments on “ST 2993 (Hints)

  1. Sorry Senf but

    15d – I think you’ve underlined the wrong bit as the definition

    21d – not sure why the hint mentions a term for [alternative hint!!] – the put on in the clue refers to the mother going on top of a party!

  2. I agree that this was Dada in a very benevolent mood, but no less enjoyable as a result. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, with the excellent 27a as my clear favourite.

    Thanks very much to the aforementioned for cheering up a miserable Marches morning, and to Senf.

  3. 0.5*/3.5*. That was very light indeed and was a lot of fun. Shame about 7d, which might almost have made it to the podium. My favourite was 27a with 1a & 5d in close contention.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  4. This was quite approachable in terms of difficulty, although the south west part of the puzzle was more difficult than the north east. I enjoyed 13a and 27a particularly and was pleased to find some geographical clues, which I always enjoy. Thanks to Dada for an entertaining puzzle on this dreary, wet morning and to Senf for the hints.

  5. This was another stroll for me – in some ways a pity, for there is little attraction in going out on a morning like this. I could have done with a more testing challenge to keep me occupied. I did enjoy some of the clues, though, especially 1a which is made nearby! 27a was brilliant too.

  6. Probably at the easier end of Dada’s range (I could get there without too much head scratching). Lovely diversion from a miserable morning here in S. Wales.
    Like others COTD was 27a with 15d close behind for me.
    Thanks to Dada & Senf for hints.

  7. From my newbie perspective, this was my second finish without coming here, so I’d agree with the easy ratings mentioned. Pleased nevertheless, especially given the tough (to me) few days we’ve been presented with!

    Thanks to setter and Senf (even if I didn’t need the hints today!), for me, 13a and 27a made me smile once I had them.

  8. Another enjoyable Sunday puzzle from Dada and I had plenty of ticks on my paper. From amongst those I’d probably put 1&27a on the podium along with 20a & 23d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog. I’d like to be able to say that I don’t remember the BBC interludes but I do!

  9. Relatively gentle for Sunday. Agree with others that 27a is COTD, followed by the wonderfully brief 23d.

  10. Agree with you all. Benign but beautiful. I’m always worried that when the NW goes so well that the sting in the tail is lower down. This time it wasnt therefore very enjoyable. I liked 25a as it featured a location not automatically connected with th country named. 27a was as everyone said well sculptured.

  11. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite on the gentle side. All plain sailing until I reached the SE corner. Then I solved 22d and the rest fell into place. I liked 18a,but my favourite and last in was 27a.

  12. Lovely puzzle. It took me 4 separate attempts to get it completed which is just how I like it. Every clue I completed I thought ‘Ooooh that’s my favourite!’ and then I got another one. So I won’t/can’t pick just one.

  13. Very enjoyable post Sunday lunch over all too quick Crossword. Dada at his most benevolent
    1*/3* thanks to Senf & Dada

  14. There I was, ready for battle and what happens? Over almost before I’d got going. 1a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada who must feel he can’t win sometimes! And to Senf for the hints.

  15. 27ac seems to have been the clue of the day! Can’t agree more. I also liked 1ac. Having put in a “a now redacted wrong answer” at 12ac that held me up for a while. An enjoyable solve.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

    1. I’m not sure I get the necessity for redaction given that I didn’t give the answer and plenty of the hints above actually do give the answer. Just saying😎

        1. I think SW refers to the hints for 1a, 16a,1d and 10d, all of which not only illustrate the answers, they plainly give away the answer.

          A reasonable point to make in my view, but it’s your site and I’m not about to argue with you.

          1. I always thought that the hints were intended to help the less able get to some answers but not all in the prize puzzles. The illustrations may well make some blindingly obvious but I wouldn’t recognise a 1d if I tripped over one. I feel illustrations add interest, and often revive past memories, .like the video for 15d, They are an ingredient that the site would be poorer without in my view.
            I have always regarded comments as different to hints, and governed by different rules. No shame in being redacted either

          2. As a blogger, I am ‘allowed’ to do what I do with illustrations. FAQ 9.1 says – ‘Some hints for prize puzzles might be illustrated with an image and hovering over this image could reveal an answer. These “gimmes” are at the discretion of the author of the hints.’

              1. Hi LbR – not ‘aimed’ at you, just a general comment on what bloggers can do, even on a prize puzzle.

  16. Finished quite quickly this morning and enjoyed the journey through a fine set of clues with 10D & 27A joint favourites .

    Thanks to everyone .

  17. I’m up to date with my crosswords, well almost as I haven’t looked at yesterday’s yet. Completed in record time, for me anyway, and by a considerable distance for a Dada. Having said that I found it thoroughly enjoyable. Only problem is I might start to think I’m better than I am. Too many favourites to mention. I liked 11a, but I’m biased, pity they lost 2-1.

  18. */***. Isn’t it strange how a couple of months back Dada was regarded as toughie territory but now is seen as benign? This was an enjoyable puzzle nevertheless and I, like many others, thought 27a was very clever. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Like Gwizz above I was gearing up for a monumental battle, and then it wasn’t, and also like Gwizz I think Dada must feel that he can’t get it right!
    I agree with others that this was much more straightforward than recent Sunday crosswords – can’t remember last week – maybe I didn’t do it.
    I thought there were quite a few anagrams which always make things easier for me.
    At the risk of sounding as if I’m nit-picking – which I’m not, I’m just saying – I don’t think that the last word of 1a is the same as bitter and I wouldn’t call 13a a cake.
    The blasted ‘Harry’ in 10d got me again!
    I thought there were some brilliant clues and really enjoyed this very much.
    Among the ones that stood out for me today were 1a (despite my comment about it) and 27a and 15d (because it made me laugh)
    With thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  20. This had an unfamiliar feel to it so I relied on comments above to identify the setter. SE corner last to succumb. Had never heard of 1d. Thought 23d a bit simplistic. My Fav was 1a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  21. Late start and as others have said probably at the easier end of the spectrum. Dada has been lurking and listening again.
    I defer to Hathersage John re his local delicacy but didn’t recognise the image. Debate as to the precise name of said delicacy should be saved for the review. Handkerchief so knotted but I will have probably forgotten why by then.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. Yes John Bee I am surprised Hathersage John did not object to the illustration for 1a which could have been misleading. Certainly said delicacy does not have icing on top!

      1. A Google image search shows that the pic Senf used comes from the sainted Mary Berry’s version so I have to accept it as pukka but I agree only the Mr Kipling sort has icing on.

        1. Indeed, that was the Google Image I used and it is so long since I saw said dessert ‘in the flesh’ that I wasn’t able to remember what it actually looked like. But, I thought that if this is how Mary Berry makes it, it must be ‘golden.’

        2. I kind of knew somewhere in the dusty recesses of my brain that it is not supposed to be iced but LSH has very fond memories of Mr. Kipling so I do make it with icing. Not often, he is not supposed to have too much of the fun stuff even though he is not diabetic, so I try to replicate it the way he likes it. :)

  22. Another really enjoyable Sunday crossword. The two sweet offerings (1a and 13a) made me smile but clue of the day was 27a. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  23. Thoroughly enjoyable, and on the easier side as others have noted. Nicely judged for a Sunday. I did need to lookup Machu Picchu to make any sense of 27ac though.

  24. 27a definitely my favourite but I liked 15d and 24d also.

    Was I the only one who watched the BBC clip and wondered what the final object would be? Disappointingly you never find out. Thought it was a vase at first, then a bowl, but they couldn’t leave it alone; flattened out much more and it would have wound up as a plate…🤔

    Many thanks to the setter and Senf.

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