ST 2995 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2995 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2995 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, in the early hours of Thursday morning we reached plus one degree and celebrated with a (brief) blizzard (much worse South and East of Winnipeg, and in North Dakota and Minnesota, which will only add to the flooding risk when the thaw happens)!

Thankfully, after the oval ball TV marathon (well done Wales, and, oh dear, England will need constant reminders that a game of rugby lasts 80 minutes before going to Japan), Dada is in a remarkably benevolent frame of mind today with the usual handful of anagrams, one lurker, and no homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 26a, 2d, and 5d

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 Paris in tatters: end of mortal coil (6)
An anagram of (in tatters) of PARIS followed by the last (end) letter of mortaL.

9a Damage in weapons — are those offensive? (5-5)
A synonym of damage contained by (in) more than one type of (bladed) weapon.

11a Teas oddly unavailable, push zero for coffee (8)
What is left after deleting the odd letters (oddly unavailable) from tEaS, a synonym for push, and the letter that can be used to represent zero.

15a Imbibing last of alcohol, tea and cola sadly set aside (8)
An anagram (sadly) of TEA and COLA containing (imbibing) the last letter of alcohoL.

18a News reports finished in jail (8)
A synonym of finished contained by (in) a synonym of jail.

21a Making holes like watching paint dry? (6)
A double definition; the first is a method of making holes.

23a Up-end open container (8)
A synonym of open and a type of container.

26a Where landlord might stand in prison (6,4)
A double definition – see the illustration.

28a Too old really, Labour leader admitted (6)
The single letter for old, and a synonym of really containing (admitted) the first letter (leader) of Labour.


2d County part of Wales initially? Yes, not English! (5)
The first letters (initially) of the three words preceding that instruction followed by what remains when the single letter for English is removed (not) from YeS.

4d Smallest number oft departing English port (6)
Think of an East Coast port with the indicated three letters removed (departing).

5d Woman expecting to help another couple? (9,6)
A woman who increases the size of another couples family.

7d Principle that may come up just the same? (5)
A palindromic (that may come up just the same) synonym of the definition.

8d Wild maiden not selected (9)
An anagram (wild) of MAIDEN NOT

16d Copper racket unlikely to break? (9)
A type of racket and a single word for unlikely to break.

20d Slow to collect a shed (4-2)
The musical term for slow containing (to collect) A from the clue.

24d Country in Peru rallying (5)
We finish with the lurker (in) found in the rest of the clue.

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61 years ago, Perry Como was 2 weeks into an 8 week run at Number 1 with this (which was apparently truncated before being posted on YouTube):

35 comments on “ST 2995 (Hints)

  1. Following yesterday’ rugby I am duty bound to pick 2D as my COTD !

    Enjoyed the crossword just right for a lovely Sunday morning here in Wales .

    Thanks to everyone .

    1. Very gentle but good fun. Just as well as the day is too pleasant to be stuck indoors. Liked 25a and 2d the most. Thanks to all.

  2. 1.5*/4*. Sundays have settled into a pleasant choice between hard but fun and light but fun. Today the latter applies with 21a, 2d & 5d occupying my podium.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. Certainly not too taxing today with lots on offer to enjoy.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada */****

  4. I enjoyed this and tuning in to Dada’s wavelength very early on with 5d certainly helped. 28a was my COD and I’d comment further but I might infringe BD’s Rule 8 😂
    Thank you as usual to all involved.

  5. This was quite a gentle puzzle but quite enjoyable, nevertheless. So thanks to Dada. There were a few geographical down clues that I enjoyed an 9a and 15 a appealed to me too. Thanks to Senf for the hints and wrap up well, the Canadian spring still seems very far away. No gremlins today, thankfully.

  6. Nothing too taxing today and no particular favourite, I enjoyed it all.

    Many thanks to the setter and Senf.

    Thanks also to BD for all your extra effort to keep the club online, it must be very frustrating for you when the gremlins/morons attack

  7. Every Sunday’s a surprise since Dada took over the compiling – this was certainly a gentle day, rather like the weather here following the recent high winds and rain.
    Some good clues in this one but no particular favourite.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog. Watching that clip confirms my opinion that whistling is not a woman’s best look!

  8. Today’s offering from Dada was more user-friendly than is sometimes the case for me and I made it through on my Jack Jones without any real aggro. My Fav was 15d after initially having spent time on the wrong interpretation of the clue. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. Jane, have just noticed your comment and would add that vis-à-vis the Perry Como clip perhaps the proverbial quote “A whistling woman and a crowing hen are neither fit for God nor men” might be considered appropriate! (Sorry this comment is in wrong place).

  9. By the way, recent comments I have posted seem to appear in the wrong order on the blog. (Just for info BD).

  10. As this Young Salopian lives just across the border in 2d that had to this morning’s favourite. A pleasantly straightforward offering for a Sunday yet high in enjoyment. Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. It seems unanimous that today’s offering was quite mild but entertaining, except maybe a few too many anagrams. My joint favourites were 4d and 20d.

    1. I counted 6 anagrams; the high end of Dada’s range but not too excessive and some solvers rely on them as the ‘way in’ to a puzzle.

  12. Enjoyable puzzle and at the gentler end of the spectrum. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  13. Thanks to Dada and Senf

    I enjoy a good tussle on a Sunday (particularly when the weather is as it is today) and this wasn’t.

    Even as a relative novice, I find struggling to finish more enjoyable than a read and write, I’m therefore hoping that recent protests re the difficulty of Sunday crosswords aren’t going to lead to Monday difficulty levels on a Sunday.

    I’m not advocating a Friday toughie on a Sunday (they are beyond my pay grade), just something that is at least at the tougher end of a back pager, so you finish or get close to doing so with more of a sense of satisfaction.😊

    Having said all that I thought the clueing was excellent and the enjoyment factor high – it was just over far too quickly for a Sunday and I’m nowhere near the ability and experience of many of this Blog’s contributors.

    I’m sure it’s been said before, but maybe there could be both an entry level cryptic and a Virgilus standard test on a Sunday?

    PS This site remains invaluable to me and I’m sure many others in building our solving skills. Thank you so much to all who give up their time to entertain and educate👍

    1. Completely agree. This was just not taxing, the whole thing done in a few minutes. Mich too easy for my liking

  14. Hmm…. for me it was over way too soon. I feel sorry for Dada though; he can’t win it seems! Yeah, it was pleasant enough and 20d was my top clue and yet….
    Thanks anyway to Dada, and to Senf for the hints and weather report.

  15. I just love all of you who spend time composing and explaining these puzzles which give us so much enjoyment. Sometimes easy like today and sometimes so hard that you despair, but always entertaining. I salute you all!

  16. What a splendid post lunch puzzle. I found there to be really good clues & just taxing enough to feel happy & satisfied on completion.
    I enjoy solving & having composed small crosswords for my daughters school I doff my hat to you the setters.
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf.

  17. I enjoyed that. A bit of trouble with my policemen and publicans but soon sorted. Done early enough to merit a trip out with mum. The Lavender farm wasn’t open yet so we went to Helmsley for a cuppa and a trawl through the old fashioned sweet shop where I got a very nice email re the MPP😀
    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  18. No problems running through this today. Just held up slightly, not by the puzzle, but by my two ducks George and Mildred arriving from wherever they spent winter. I was happily sitting doing the crossword when they flew in, and strolled up to the kitchen French windows, a sign that they wanted feeding. Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. I started this earlier on this afternoon then had to go out, came back and finished it straight away. Having said that it was most enjoyable, no real favourites. We complain if they’re too easy and complain if they’re too hard, who’d be a setter? Many thanks to Dada and Senf for hosting the blog. p.s. has the pop-up issue been solved, I’m still blocking ads.

  20. I agree that this wasn’t as tricky as some Sunday crosswords have been – probably helped by quite a few anagrams as I’m one of those who uses them as a way in.
    I was a bit slow to catch on to the right kind of landlord in 26a and tried to make 9a an anagram.
    I liked 26 (eventually) and 28a and 2d.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  21. Dada was very kind today, clearly, as I actually managed to finish with just help on 5a (I’m not musically inclined) and 16a where I just couldn’t get it. Can’t see why now. Too many clever clues to pick a favourite. Very enjoyable, with thanks to Dada and Senf.

  22. Last week I gave up and didn’t enjoy at all….this week done in a relative trice and enjoyed it all. I quite like an anagram or two (or six!). Thanks Dada and Senf

  23. An enjoyable Sunday offering, about * for difficulty. Solved clockwise from the NW corner.

  24. Hard to believe this is a Dada production ! It was pleasant to solve, though I got stuck in the NW for a while, 4d actually, but had a chuckle when the penny dropped !


  25. Much easier than recent Sunday offerings – I was beginning to lose heart, but polished off today’s in xxxxxxxxx.

    1. I was looking forward to a leisurely lie-in today with yesterday’s crossword as an excuse. Sadly not to be. I would call it a disappointment in bed except that it was most enjoyable albeit brief! The rules prevent me from giving solving time although I see this was breached by another late contributor. For different reasons I have ticked 10 18 23 and 27a as favourites. 5a was my last one in which was odd as the checkers were consonants leaving the vowels to insert which should make it easier. Just not having musical thoughts. Despite being an anagram 8d was the penultimate. Got 9a in a flash but then could not parse as I was expecting an anagram. Thanks Dada and Senf. Always enjoying reading the hints and often spot something I missed.

  26. A tad later on parade than usual for this one…
    very entertaining puzzle I thought…2*/4*…
    liked 26A (where landlord might stand in prison).

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