ST 2994 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2994 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2994 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we ‘sprang forward’ at 2:00am our time and for three weeks, I think, we are down to being 5 hours behind UK time.  So, hopefully the blog still ‘appeared’ at 10:00am UK time (while I was sleeping).

Today, for me, Dada’s recent benevolence has come to a grinding halt, with a handful of anagrams, one lurker, one homophone, and an awful lot of head scratching and special thanks to crypticsue for providing the hint for 14d.

Candidates for favourite – 15a, 22a, and 10d.

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 Boomerang champion let go (8)
A synonym of champion (as in support) and a single word for let go.

9a Odd pieces cut out, spam retains remarkably fresh flavor (9)
An anagram (remarkably) of sPaM (odd pieces cut out) and RETAINS.

11a Saved by superhero, delegates go to pieces! (5)
The lurker (saved by) found in two words in the clue.

15a Fool, regarding single mistake, shut up (6,4,3)
A four letter fool, a two letter synonym of regarding, a synonym of single, and a type of mistake all assembled together and then broken down per the enumeration.

18a Finally, how might an inclusively unique show be performed? (4,3,3,3)
How many times a unique show might be performed plus a term that indicates inclusivity.

22a Stylish woman making first appearance, broadcasting (8)
The abbreviated form of a (young) woman making a first appearance and a (2,3) term that is equivalent to broadcasting.

27a Exuberant testament written by endless online trolls? (9)
The short form of one of two testaments placed after (written by) a single letter that indicates ‘on line’ and a synonym of trolls with the last letter removed (endless).

29a Rare, one abroad on public land (8)
One in a foreign language (abroad) and the type of public land where these characters live.


1d Primate — shaggy hair own creation? (8)
A single word that might apply to shaggy hair and something that can be created by two people – and yes, this little guy is a primate.

3d A mess, newspaper in Algarve city (7)
A term used to describe a (red top) newspaper contained by (in) a city in the Algarve region (of Portugal).

7d New approach penning conclusion of story, text often excluded (9)
An anagram (new) of APPROACH including (penning) the last letter (conclusion) of storY.

10d In ancient city, last bits in pension fund suffering when going under? (3,5)
The last letters (last bits in) pensioN funD contained by (in) an ancient city (in Egypt).

14d Surrealist into an amazing mix of chemicals (4,4)
Insert one of the best known Surrealists into an (informal, especially ironic) adjective meaning amazing or remarkable. 

19d Report of defeats in game with strikers (7))
The homophone (report of) of defeats (as a verb).

20d Play the fool ultimately in middle of monologue (7)
THE from the clue and the last letter (ultimately) of fooL contained by (in) the middle letters of monOLOgue.

21d Cap discarded, steered a boat off (6)
A single word for steered a boat with the first letter removed (cap discarded).

25d Go for a spin? (4)
A simple double definition to finish.

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Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was 75 years young on Wednesday, March 6th, here she is singing the anthem for a certain quadrennial sporting event taking place this year in Japan (although you don’t actually get to see her):

37 comments on “ST 2994 (Hints)

  1. I didn’t have many problems with this one but I did think, when solving, that I could be on wavelength as some of the clues seemed quite tough.

    Thoroughly enjoyable solve today.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada 2.5*/4.5*

  2. Loved it eventually .
    First run through was not very productive but slowly all was revealed .
    Some excellent clues , my joint favourites 15a and 19d .
    Thanks to everyone .

  3. This was rather challenging and time consuming, especially when taken in contrasts to the more recent Dada offerings. It was a ***/* in terms of difficulty but **** for enjoyment, since it was satisfying to finish it after so many clever clues, although I had to use the Atlas and the Thesaurus. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for reassurance in parsing some clues. Favourites were 15a, 18a and 27a.

  4. I agree that this was Dada back to a more ungenerous and tough mood. I found this pretty difficult but all the more enjoyable and satisfying as a result. Unusually, a harder Sunday crossword has arrived at the same time as foul weather so plenty of time to solve it. From many choices I liked 20d the best.

    Many thanks to Dada for the considerable challenge and to Senf.

  5. As always pretty difficult although the bottom half went in much easier than the top.
    I thought both 14d and 2d were a bit of a stretch and failed to understand 6d but i think my answer is right.
    All was saved by the last one 5a which i thought was very clever.
    As usual for a DADA too tough to be really enjoyable.
    Thx for the invaluable hints.

    1. 5a looked familiar to me – same answer with similar cluing has been used previously.

  6. Certainly had to work hard with this one, particularly 14d which had to wait for all the checkers to fall into place.
    I have a slight issue with 10d where I feel that the direction suggested by the clue is incorrect, but everything else seemed to be fair enough.

    My favourite is 19d with 12a nosing into second place.

    Thanks to Dada for the workout and to Senf for his sterling efforts. Nice to hear Dame Kiri again, despite the subject matter!

  7. I found this puzzle very difficult and had to rely heavily on the hints. Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

  8. Couldn’t get out of the starting blocks on first run through but once I got on the right wavelength it started to make sense.

    Favourite was 22a and fortunately my geography was good enough to work out 3d which brought a smile to my face. Needed some digital assistance with a few of the anagrams especially 7d.

    LOI was 6d which was of course very easy to see once the penny dropped. Very enjoyable once finished, thanks to DADA and Senf

  9. 4*/4*. I started off thinking this was going to be a breeze but I ground to a halt after completing about two thirds when the real struggle started. I eventually finished with a sense of achievement and enjoyment – what more could you ask for from a puzzle?

    5a was my last one in. 7d was a new word for me, although I did know the adjective from the same root.

    My podium comprises 12a, 22a, 27a & 19d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  10. In common with others, I found this much more difficult than normal and probably doubled my average time. However it was very satisfying to finish.

    Some very clever clues, but I didn’t like 14d; although I solved it early on I didn’t write it in for ages because shouldn’t there be a middle word? Thanks to all

    1. Margaret, the answer to 14d is fine which is confirmed in the BRB or using Google.

      1. Thanks RD, I had a different sort of answer in mind, can’t say more on a Sunday. Now I understand

  11. Slow start, then quite a rapid finish and very enjoyable. I’m still not sure about 14d even after reading the hint. I had the surrealist all right, but where the surrounding letters come from still baffles me. I liked 1a and 22a, but joint tops to 10d and 19d.

    1. Try looking up the word formed from the ‘surrounding letters’ in the dictionary

  12. Unlike RD It took me ages to get off the mark and then it was a prolonged struggle to get to grips with this examination. As usual I was way off Dada’s wavelength. Made the mistake of wrongly bunging in a Surrealist product for 14d. Not keen on 2d, 16d or 24d. Simple Fav was 22a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  13. I am on the point of giving up on Sunday’s puzzle . I completed it , eventually , but I can’t say I got any satisfaction or pleasure from doing so .
    If there was one clue I did like it was 14 d but then I’m a chemistry teacher .
    Thanks to all concerned .

    1. I’m with you Una. Completed, but an unedifying slog. Full of bung ins. I shall not give up on Dada, but I hope this is a glitch and it returns to the previous few Sundays.
      Thanks all.

  14. As others that was more of a struggle than recent Sundays. I needed plenty of help from the hints, the BRB, the thesaurus and Mr Google. I would never have come up with 7d without and have doubts about 21d and 1d that I am not allowed to discuss. Lots of Lego clues that didn’t leap out at me. Satisfied to have completed tho and thank Dada and Senf for the excellent hints.

  15. I found this really difficult and had to use the thesaurus quite a bit. Unfortunately the ones I got really stuck on were not included in the hints so presumably they were thought to be easy! Anyway, huge sense of achievement when I finally finished it thanks to the photo of the hairy little fellow.
    Many thanks to all.

    1. I felt much the same. Thank goodness for the Thesaurus! Again, the two I’m stuck on aren’t included in the hints. Any ideas for 2d and 12a?

  16. Last one in 26a, ridiculous! Looking for a snow type of runner which is more common. Thanks to all.

  17. Funny thing. Saturday puzzle was the easiest I’ve ever completed, and today the most difficult. very pleasing though. last one in 2d – couldn’t get right name for prowler. Thanks to all concerned.

  18. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that I found very tricky. Managed the right hand side ok, but ground to a halt. Needed the hints for 1&9a,and 1,3,10,19&21d. Favourite was 17d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  19. A good challenge that eventually fell into place! Favourite was 18a.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  20. :phew: That was tough – it’s taken me ages.
    I needed the hint to understand 27a and would never have got 14d without the hint – thank you.
    (Oh – just looked out of the window and it’s snowing – what freaky weather!)
    Back to the very enjoyable crossword.
    I thought there was lots of clever misdirection – the ‘corner’ in 23a and the French runner in 24a – they certainly fooled me for a while.
    I particularly appreciated 5 and 15a and 6 and 17d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. How nice it is to see a hinty person admit to struggling. We all do from time to time

      1. I struggle quite often – particularly on Fridays and, more recently, on Sundays – I’m perfectly happy to admit it – not much wrong with being human!

  21. A little on the tricky side I thought, though accessible and certainly not impenetrable. Another one who was fooled into looking for an entirely different sort of French runner.

  22. Strangely, unlike some of the other commentators, 5a was my first in. It’s how you see it I suppose, 26a was last. I thought 22a was very clever even though I got straight away. Generally I found this difficult but the more answers I got the easier it became. As usual I’m always happy to finish a Dada puzzle many thanks and to Senf for confirming some of the parsings.

  23. Got there in the end but sadly back to the not so enjoyable Sunday solve. Last Two in 9a and 2d. Favourites 12 and 15a and 20d. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  24. Really quite tough we thought but we got there in the end. This puzzle could qualify as a slightly harder then average Toughie. Loved 10d and 22a.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  25. I’m afraid I gave up on this one! Struggled through the west and (shouldn’t admit this!) but couldn’t be bothered with the east….just not on the same wavelength. Thanks for the tips Senf but would have needed more help than that this week!

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