ST 2997 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2997 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2997 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where Spring is trying to establish itself but not without the occasional wintry feature returning briefly.

Dada has given us benevolence in the East, not so much in the West, with more than a handful of anagrams, with some strange indicators, one lurker, and three homophones!

Candidates for favourite – 14a, 25a, 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 Understand downward measurement (6)
A double definition to start – the second relates to measurement at sea.

11a Dud and I came to tour old country (9)
An anagram (dud – I said there are some strange indicators) of AND I CAME containing (to tour) the single letter for old.

12a Cooking vessel disgusting, so in a tizzy (7)
A type of cooking vessel and an informal synonym of disgusting.

14a Dubious article between furniture items, face to face (9)
One of the indefinite articles inserted between two items of furniture, one of which has been reversed (face to face).

17a Adjoining rooms adorable, by the sound of it (5)
The first homophone (by the sound of it) of a synonym of adorable.

21a Assessment devoured, having the will (7)
Synonyms of assessment and devoured.

25a Hurtful, shade reflective having broken heart (9)
A type of shade, that is worn, reversed (reflective) inserted into (having broken) a synonym of heart.

26a Relative in Greece injured back (5)
The lurker (in) found reversed (back) in two words of the clue.

28a Perfect Europeans (6)
A double definition to finish the Acrosses which depends on the pronunciation of the first word of the clue and gives some of our favourite Europeans.


2d Seed in a load of old chestnuts? (5)
A from the clue and a single word that might describe one of the uses of chestnuts.

5d Method of torture alien and always criminal (9)
An implement used for torture, the favourite movie alien, and the contracted synonym of always.

6d Gold daubed on bottom of white stick (5)
An anagram (daubed) of GOLD followed by (on) the last letter (bottom) of whitE.

7d A new month occupying Chinese nation (3,6)
A from the clue, the single letter for new, and an abbreviated form of one of the twelve months all inserted into (occupying) a prefix used to denote Chinese.

9d Get a grip on composer, audibly (6)
The second homophone (audibly), the third is 23d (unclued), of the illustrated composer.

16d State in existence, working hard (9)
A favourite synonym of state in a synonym of existence.

18d Detect water as liquid or vapour, by deduction? (6)
Water can exist in three phases, if it is liquid or vapour it rules out the third phase expressed as (3,3).

22d Killer doctor after mix of blood types? (1-4)
One of the usual abbreviations for a doctor after the combination (mix) of two blood types.

22d Smooth journalists (5)
A straightforward double definition to finish the Downs and the puzzle.

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Starting on March 28, 1970, and for three weeks, Simon and Garfunkel had a number one hit with Bridge Over Troubled Water. It was recorded as a duet, although the original plan was for an Art Garfunkel solo and this is how it was performed at The Concert in Central Park in 1981:

24 comments on “ST 2997 (Hints)

  1. 2*/3*. I enjoyed this and the only real fight I had was with 25a. My favourite was 1a.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. Try again !

    Much to admire in today’s challenge. Biggest smile 4D , COTD 5D , hardest last in 25A .

    Thanks again to everyone .

  3. Enjoyable crossword taking the sort of time I’d like for a Sunday solve.

    The clues I really liked a lot were 1a, 23a (one of my dad’s words when you asked him how he was feeling), 27a and the, appropriate for today, 4d

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – I think you’ll find there are three blood types before the doctor in 22d

    Happy Mothering Sunday to all mums and grannies

    1. Yes and no, or no and yes on the blood types in 22d. There are four blood types, one of which has two letters as its designator, which is the combination of the letters of two of the others, and also ‘fits’ the answer.

  4. As is usual now for a Sunday, solving this puzzle is like pulling teeth!
    Having completed it with much electronic help and the invaluable hints I am left puzzled by the Greek character is 8d and can’t for the life of me fully parse 23d, ixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx As usual a real difficult challenge that is no great fun. I only do Sundays puzzle now as a matter of principle.
    Thx for the hints

    1. I’ve had to edit out your question – the solution you need is a homophone (did you say) of a tweet – which should help you decide which letter you need in fourth place. The Greek character in 8d is quite well known so have another look at your solution

      1. Well either i have the answer wrong which is eminently possible or its a greek that I don’t know. My problem with 23d is that i cant make either spelling mean contempt! Will just have to wait for the solution.Thanks for trying.

        1. Just realised that the character i am looking for is not a man or woman! Now i get it.

  5. Really enjoyed this one with its various nods to this particular Sunday.
    18a/d were the last to fall here and my favourite was 3d, closely followed by 4d and the definition of ‘disgusting’ in 12a.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog. Think I prefer the duet version of Bridge over Troubled Water but the music appeals whichever version is played.

  6. This took me a little longer than it should, and having completed it, I cannot see why. The awkward 25a was also my last entry, with 1a my favourite. Enjoyable challenge and a nice sense of achievement once completed.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  7. For me another corker from Dada , very enjoyable post Mothers Day workout. Comments written before sum it up, all clues worked well but 1ac & 16d stood out.
    Thanks to Dada & a helpful Senf

  8. A perfectly paced affair, taking just the right amount of time for me. Some clever stuff with a couple of ‘doh’ moments thrown in. Dada has found his level (for me, at least). Didn’t need the hints until the postmortem before submission, but thanks anyway.


  9. I found this a bit of a slog. NW held out longer than the rest of the puzzle. Didn’t suss 6d so just bunged in optimistically. Wrong solution for 5a caused problems to begin with. Liked topical 4d and also 3d and 5d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  10. 25a also last in for me too. Suddenly the penny dropped. Hadn’t come across the prefix for Chinese before. Nice puzzle, thanks to all.

  11. ***/***. The SW corner was my nemesis in what was otherwise a very doable puzzle. Last in 25a which eluded me for far too long. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  12. I must admit I’ve really struggled this weekend – just finished today’s, now back to try to finish yesterday’s, only because I’m compelled by my new year’s resolution to complete Telegraph cryptic every day. Why couldn’t I have dieted like everyone else?!!
    Today’s favourite was 5d.
    Thank you Dada and Senf.

  13. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky in places. Needed the hints for 25a. I liked 22d, but my favourite was 18d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  14. Very slow to get started, but once I did this fell in a pretty reasonable time for a Sunday. Enjoyed throughout.

  15. A lovely crossword that provided a real challenge. The right hand side went in fairly smoothly but the left hand side took a lot more thought. 5d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  16. Pleased to see I’m not the only one who came to a halt with 25a even with all the checkers but got there in the end without help (save for the parsing). I would go for 1 and 21a and 3 and 4d as favourites. Perhaps also 2d which was clever and elusive for a time.

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