ST 100003 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 100003 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 100003 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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This is an online-only Christmas Day special.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the more difficult clues and provide hints for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

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”.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions


7a           Platform at journey’s end for flower-girl (5)
A charade of a platform and the final letter (end) of journeY gives a flower that is also a girl’s name

9a           Willing to insert pages in stack, perhaps (5)
An adjective meaning willing is created when abbreviated pages are inserted inside some dried grass in a stack

16a         Enjoying it so far? Some across answers come before this, and the rest after (9)
A very topical time of year!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a         Deck on which something is likely to happen (5)
A deck used for games contains these and, when preceded by  “on the”, an expression meaning “likely to happen”

ARVE Error: need id and provider

31a         Bloodless coup hidden by geopolitical enemies (5)
A word meaning bloodless is created by putting a coup inside (hidden by) the points of the compass that represent the “geopolitical“ enemies


1d           Leg cane damaged is tender (7)
A slang word for a leg is followed by an anagram (damaged) of CANE gives a warship’s tender boat

4d           Investigates threats against king (6)
A double definition – investigates and threats against the king in the game of chess

13d         Grant, for example, initially cut — that’s horrible! (3)
Drop the initial H from the name of a famous film star to get an expression of horror

17d         Contents of bag she had producing surprised reaction (3)
Take the middle letters (contents) of three words in the clue to get a surprised reaction

ARVE Error: need id and provider

28d         Bird that has hairy skin and green flesh (4)
A sort of double definition – a bird that is native to New Zealand and a fruit with hairy skin and green flesh!

If you need further help then please ask and I will see what I can do.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Shane MacGowan of the Pogues (54) and Annie Lennox (57)

Which gives me an opportunity (not that I needed one) to play my all-time favourite Christmas song:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14 comments on “ST 100003 (Hints)

  1. I am glad this was not too tricky today! Thanks to setter for a fun puzzle, and to BD for the hints.
    Merry Christmas to everyone – thanks to BD for all the hard work.
    I am now going to spend the afternoon playing Super Mario Kart with my son, and show him it is possible to drive whilst 4 times over the limit (and legally, from the comfort of the sofa!) :)

  2. Superb thank you Virgilius. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

    Luckily this one didn’t take long as I have a feeling I shall still be looking at the Elgar Double Toughie come Twelfth Night!

    Perhaps joining Mr CS for a post lunch snooze might enliven the grey matter. I’ll give it a go :)

  3. An enjoyable accompaniment to my early morning tea – no surprises, just pleasure. As for the Double Toughie, I’m not even going to look at it today. :-)

    Best regards to all.

  4. Dave, Love the Pogues & Kirsty (very premature ending) but when it comes to watching them mime to FofNY the expression “please look away now” comes to mind!

  5. Christmas Day has always been a bit puzzle orientated here, so the post-meal dinner table saw my mum and dad and brother working on a 1000 piece jigsaw, and me consigned to a corner working on this cryptic.
    Lots of fun and very entertaining – I just have 3d missing, so any hints welcome!
    Merry Christmas to one and all!
    Tim :)

    1. You want a word for performing an action on an instrument on which key operations may be performed. It comes from a word meaning kind or sort followed by a homophone of a word that means appropriate or correct.

  6. Well have gone back to this as didn’t get chance to finish yesterday. Any chance of pointers for 2d, 18d & 19d? Have hit a brick wall. Hope all had a very Merry Christmas Day, I did which is maybe why can’t quite get brain in gear!

    1. 2d Rookie using two-way radio, being extremely selective (4)
      This rookie comes from the outside letters (being extremely selective) of Two-waY and RadiO

      18d Lack of clarity in article, in work referenced by unknown (7)
      This lack of clarity is created by putting the indefinite article inside a Latin abbreviation meaning “in the work already quoted” and then adding a mathematical unknown

      19d Beloved embracing knight all dressed up (7)
      Put an adjective meaning beloved or cherished around the chess notation for a knight to get a word meaning all dressed up

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