ST 2998 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2998 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2998 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we have been having some April showers with mostly the fluffy white type of precipitation.

Thanks to Chris Lancaster for getting the web site clock fixed on Friday, greatly appreciated.

More benevolence from Dada, how long will it last?  It was quite a task to decide which clues not to hint on.  More than a handful of anagrams, one lurker (not hinted, but it’s 25d), and no homophones!

Candidates for favourite – 30a, 7d, and 8d – which you will notice are the non-anagram 13 letter clues.

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 Online helper seen reaching out (6,6)
An anagram (out) to start of SEEN REACHING.

10a Dreadful blow having split with a party (7)
A single word for split followed by (having . . . with) A from the clue and a synonym for party.

11a Kind of transport protest (4)
A double definition, the second is a synonym of protest.

13a Insect used to be heading for picnic (4)
A single word for used to be followed by the first letter (heading for) of Picnic.

17a God embraced by mostly fearful orchestra members (7)
A (Greek) god inserted into (embraced by) a synonym of fearful with its last letter removed (mostly).

21a Marvel seeing vehicle turning in distance (7)
A type of vehicle reversed (turning) contained by (seeing . . . in) a measure of distance.

24a Dread snakes — like this one? (5)
An anagram (snakes) of DREAD gives a snake.

29a Sample covering old kitchen appliance (7))
A type of sample containing (covering) the single letter for old.

30a Shiner one European’s given to another! (6,6)
The adjective that describes originating in a particular European country followed by another adjective that describes originating in another European country.


1d Wet nag is OK when swimming (7)
An anagram (when swimming) of NAG IS OK.

3d Comfort panel (7)
A double definition, the second refers to a control panel.

6d Monroe film a belter ultimately, repeatedly uplifting (7)
A from the clue, the last letter (ultimately) of belter, and a synonym of repeatedly all reversed (uplifting) gives a film starring the former Norma Jeane Mortenson.

7d Nation in fashion, conventional honestly (4,3,6)
A Middle Eastern nation contained by (in) a synonym of fashion followed by a synonym of conventional (old fashioned, perhaps).

8d Analysis about odd parts of poll is free (13)
A type of analysis containing (about) the odd letters (parts) of PoL Is.

15d Stylish vehicles turned up (5)
The plural of a type of rail vehicle reversed (turned up).

20d Come on wife, split the bill! (2,5)
A single word for come on and a Cockney slang synonym for wife.

22d Feline venom arising after hurt, head cut (7)
A synonym of venom (as in dislike) reversed (arising) after a synonym of hurt with its first letter removed (head cut).

27d Hired vehicle cheers all those in football team? (4)
An informal synonym of cheers and the number (all those), in Roman numerals, in an Association Football team.

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Gilbert O’Sullivan achieved the second of his two UK number ones on this day in 1973, and it was in the number one ‘slot’ for two weeks:

21 comments on “ST 2998 (Hints)

  1. 1.5*/3.5*. This was light and a lot of fun. It would have been a 1* for difficulty except that I really struggled with 7d, firstly to get the answer and then to parse it.

    17a, 18a & 30a are on my podium today.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. Apart from 6d, which was a mystery to me, a fairly gentle offering for a Sunday. I liked 13a and 17a. There were also some good down clues, including 4d and 22d. Many thanks to Senf for the hint to 6d and to the setter.

  3. Unlike RD, I found this one to be rather workmanlike but perhaps my grumps were due to it taking a fair while for the penny to drop over 12a and I hadn’t heard of the required film.

    30a did raise a smile so that gets my vote today.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog. I think Gilbert O’Sullivan has Marmite qualities!

  4. Must be quite easy today as I finished it with my early cuppa in bed (which Mr Manders kindly gets for me each day). 12a last in for me too. Although light a very enjoyable puzzle. I hadn’t heard of the film either. 30a my COTD. Thanks to all.

  5. Yes, friendly and enjoyable while it lasted . Will pick 7D as COTD as parsing held out for a while .
    Outdoor bowling season looming !
    Thanks to everyone .

  6. This was quite a relief after the last few Sundays. I can even say I enjoyed it!
    My only problem is fully parsing 9a, I can see the a ring part but can’t make the last two letters equal about. However, a small problem. Mind you it did help when I spelt 8d properly!!
    Thx to all

    1. If you look up the entry of the last two letters of 9a in the BRB, you will find about listed in that entry. Also, both words are in each other’s entry in the Small Red Book. And, it has become quite a common feature in DT/ST crosswords.

      1. So common, in fact, that Brian asked about it before, and I replied giving an example of its use in a sentence.

  7. I am with RD on this one. Not too tricky and with checkers 7d answer was easy to see but hard to parse. Thanks to Senf for the explanation. I had to do a bit of research into Ms Monroe’s films but I didn’t see the construction until Senf pointed it out. 13a amused and I liked the fact that the final letter came from the place where they are most problematic. 12a LOI and required a trip to the thesaurus.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  8. OK but for me not over-inspiring. West was an easier ride than that in the East. 6d had to be but I’m afraid my knowledge of Monroe films is shaky. 20d was probably Fav. Thank you Mysteron and Senf.

  9. I found this much less taxing than usual. However I’m another one that struggled with 12a. Took forever to see it.
    I went to see Gilbert O’Sullivan at the London Palladium in my youth… on reflection I can’t quite see why!
    Thanks to all.

  10. Delightful prelude to planting our window boxes now that the chance of frost has passed (hopefully).

    Thanks to Dead Fans as always.

    Mr & Mrs T

    1. “Dead Fans” ha I see what you did there! We have a new nickname for Sundays

  11. **/****. Enjoyable while it lasted with some standout clues – 25&30a and 6d. 7d took a while to fathom. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  12. Only slightly held up by my different answer to 15d which seemed to fit the clue. Working out 17a changed that. I liked too many clues to mention. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  13. I think you mean 26d for the lurker.

    I was briefly misled on 6d by xxx xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx, which caused some head scratching on 1a … but quickly sorted.

  14. Good puzzle, enjoyed, and nothing too difficult. Just what the doctor ordered on a pleasant Sunday evening.

  15. Good solve this morning. Only two held out 17a which I got when I corrected my spelling of 8d. Like so many I was fiord by 12a until I got the thesaurus out. I wondered why it caused the problems but think it was because the two checkers were vowels and potentially a lot of words would fit. Also it is quite an odd word and going through the alphabet did not help. Thanks Senf for the parsing if 7d which I couldn’t see. 30d must be the favourite.

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