ST 3002 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3002 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3002 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where Mother Nature has been ‘ringing the changes’ – the car seat warmer has been turned back on and we had fog on Thursday morning!

Benevolence continues with an average number of anagrams, with some unusual indicators as usual, one lurker, and three, yes three, homophones, in a symmetric 28 clues – although that is not obvious when you look at the ‘length’ of the printed clue lists – all helped by some oldies but goodies!

Candidates for favourite – 12a, 20a, and 3d.

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:


8a Sweet mug (4)
A straightforward double definition to start – the first is a dessert (sweet) usually made with (soft) fruit.

11a Oxford accent (6)
Another double definition, there are several today, check the illustration for the first.

12a A can coated with dark red metal (8)
A from the clue and a synonym of can all contained by (coated with) a dark red colour.

17a Careless on foot? Just the opposite? (7)
The opposite of on and a different part of the body.

20a Happy as a polar bear, but not as a penguin? (2,3,2,3,5)
An expression that gives an indication of where a polar bear lives but not where a penguin lives.

23a Beauty drunk and I found in people (8)
An anagram (drunk) of AND I contained by (found in) a synonym of people.

27a Child star on the radio? (3)
A homophone (on the radio) of a star.

28a Basic unit in half the dictionary? (4)
Consider a dictionary alphabetically – a big groan when the penny dropped on this oldie but goodie.


1d Croaky animal, we hear? (6)
A homophone (we hear) of a type of animal.

3d Possible location of panic button, illegal (5-3-7)
A double definition, the first is where a panic button might be located in, for example, a bank.

5d SOS! A first mate in stormy waters off Italy (6,2,7)
An anagram (stormy) of SOS! A FIRST MATE IN.

7d Beloved possession of Robin Hood, did you say? (4)
A homophone (did you say) of a weapon owned by (possession of) Robin Hood.

16d Rising shortly, dub knight, perhaps? (3)
A synonym of dub with its last letter removed (shortly) and reversed (rising).

19d Finally grasping conclusion of debate, if nothing else (2,5)
A (2,4) synonymic phrase of finally containing the last letter (grasping conclusion) of debatE.

21d Extract of ‘Chicago’, live rehearsal for musical (6)
The lurker (extract of) found in the rest of the clue.

24d Mountain range spread endlessly upwards (4)
A synonym of spread with its last letter removed (endlessly) and reversed (upwards).

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Mary Hopkin, born on May 3, 1950, with her number one hit from 1968:



57 comments on “ST 3002 (Hints)

  1. I ound this puzzle went very easily, until i got hung up on a few odd clues. Part of this was because I misread a an f for an e, but 28a gave me pause fot thought until the penny dropped. It was just within** for difficulty and quite enjoyable (***). Favourite clues
    were 5d, 23a and 17a. Thanks to Senf and our setter.

    1. Very enjoyable 2*/3.5* couple of head scratchers but otherwise straight forward.
      Favourites…. all the long clues!
      Thanks to Dada & Senf for the review.

  2. Didn’t fancy doing this one today until I got the four long ones at the first look.

    Still don’t get the word play for 28a, even though the answer is obvious.

  3. A pleasant stroll in the park, without the need for hints. Thanks to compiler and Senf anyway.
    And a bonus ball, Margaret – achieved 100% scores for both last week’s submitted entries. I didn’t do anything different, so seems like a random gremlin! How are you faring?

    1. Hi HJ, well would you believe it?!! I also got a full house last weekend, it’s a long time since that happened. Let’s hope they’ve cracked it, but I’m not holding my breath.

    2. A pleasant puzzle today. Just had to share a clue from yesterday’s Times – ‘Escorted by an idiot, as Duke and duchess are? (6)!

  4. Nothing too taxing in today’s puzzle and, like others, enjoyed it a lot. Very many thanks to Senf and setter.

    Nearly pressed ‘send’ without particularly thanking Senf for the explanation of 28a which, now he explains it, I’m sure I’ve seen before but had forgotten.

  5. Another enjoyable romp with our Sunday setter. I particularly liked 11a (who cares how many times it’s been seen before!) and 20a.

    Thanks to Dada, who will doubtless be in a less benevolent frame of mind on Tuesday, and to Senf for the hints.

  6. Most accessible puzzle on a Sunday for a long time. Tricky grid but very enjoyable. Only one that I can’t parse is 8a, I’m sure my answer is right but why? What is the criteria for clueing on the prize puzzles? Is it just me or does anyone else find that the ones you need help with are seldom hinted?
    20a was my COTD.
    Thx to all

    1. The guidance given to me by BD is the first and last in each direction and enough of the ‘difficult’ ones from each list to provide hints for approximately half of the clues in each direction. Of course, difficulty is very subjective made worse with a puzzle like today’s because there were only half a dozen total clues that I considered difficult (you and others may not agree) so it becomes somewhat of a random selection to make up the number of hints.

      1. Thx very interesting. It wasn’t meant in any way as a criticism, like many others I am always grateful for whatever help when stuck. :-)

    2. Brian – try ‘rolling over’ your solution and looking the result up in the dictionary

      1. I think my answer is wrong. Not sure exactly what you mean by ‘rolling over’ but i have another answer that would perhaps fit with the double definition. Unfortunately if I try to hint at either, I suspect I will be severely castigated or made to be a ‘gooseberry’

        1. Gooseberries are very appropriate, Brian in this instance. Can’t say more or I will end up in the naughty corner.

        2. Apologies – I was looking at the wrong clue – but the dictionary would, once again, have been your friend!

          1. Dictionary wouldn’t have helped as i was on totally the wrong wavelength! The correct answer was of course confirmed by the BRB. Thx to you and Chriscross for your help.

  7. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite gentle overall, but I was beaten by 7d&28a, needed the hints for both. 17a made me laugh, but my favourite was 25a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  8. Thank you for the clues. I could not have completed it without them. I was particularly baffled by 28a.

  9. 23a was my final entry after a lot of pen chewing and became my co-favourite along with the chestnut that was 28a. I found this about average for difficulty but most enjoyable and a lot of fun to complete.

    Thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  10. Parsing 13a is still foxing us… But otherwise a delightful synaptic romp in cloudy 10c Boston. Wisteria still not out, hibiscus is still indoors – and we released our pack of labybirds (lady bugs) inside to feed on the aphids.

    Mustn’t grumble, in Winnipeg this would be a warm day.

    Thanks as ever to dead fans and BD

    Mr and Mrs T

  11. Enjoyable workout over a bowl of hot soup in jolly cold Cambridge. Just got stuck on 8a. I just wish we could have some rain……

  12. 8a has just dawned on me. Silly sweet mug that I am I was fixated on hot sticky toffee pudding and custard.

  13. I know it’s an old chestnut but every time it appears I forget it and spend far too long trying to solve it. 28a that is…. grrr.
    Once the four longuns were in the rest followed quite smoothly. Apart from 28a which is also my favourite… I think.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  14. **/***. There were a couple of head scratching moments but generally this went in smoothly. My favourites were 11&28a (even though I’ve seen them before) and 17&20a amused. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. Very enjoyable and doable, thanks for that Dada, no problems today.
    I do like multiple word, phrase answers, so one of those will be fave, maybe 20a? Though they were all good. I did like 17a and 7d as well, both giggle worthy.
    Thanks to Senf for his hints and pics. How on earth can you stand winter for nine months of the year!

  16. I seem to be in a minority today because I never got onto the right wavelength so didn’t enjoy this at all and can’t believe I actually finished it. 13a high is a new one on me. My Fav is 25a – another golden oldie probably. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  17. Got the long ones easily but silly little 16d held me up for ages.Last one in 26a. Great puzzle so thanks to all. I am definitely improving thanks to this site and everyone’s comments

  18. Even with all the checkers in place I struggled with 20a. Felt such a berk when I got it!
    Like Brian (above) I sometimes notice that, for the prize puzzles, hints are given for the clues I’ve solved and not for the ones I’m finding tricky. Clearly my “difficult“ is someone else’s “obvious” and vice versa. I’m still a novice and hoping to improve!
    Thanks to setter and Senf.

  19. The complete parsing of 16 down held me up the longest, but once the penny dropped it was blindingly obvious. Not a difficult puzzle by any means, which was largely quite a relief as there was lots to occupy myself with outside this bank holiday weekend. 20 across is my favourite today, with 3 down as my runner up. All good fun indeed. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for his efforts and who sadly, as far as I’m aware hasn’t been blessed with the powers of mind reading and who can hardly be expected pre-suppose which clue any particular solver might find tricky and which clue one might find easy to solve.

  20. As usual the ones that gave me the most trouble were the ones that shouldn’t have done.
    My first attempt at 9a was wrong which was stupid as the ‘head’ that I was thinking of has four letters – I know what I mean but it made 3d undoable.
    The small number of anagrams made it more difficult for me.
    16d took me ages as did 17a.
    My favourite was 6d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Funny how many found 16d difficult. I ended up with a three-letter word, the first and third letter solved, and for the life of me could not think what the answer was. How difficult could that be? Grrrr

  21. On the easy side, and thoroughly enjoyable, but was it just me or did this not feel at all like Dada?

  22. Have not done the DT back-pager for a while as too much going on. Settled down in a cafe to do both the w/e puzzles in a Chicago breakfast place. Enjoyed both. Nice to get back to it – and the blog – and hello to some new ‘faces’.
    In an increasingly nutty world the blog is an increasingly valuable oasis.

  23. I have no idea what 28a is all about and the hint makes no sense to me.
    The rest of this was very enjoyable and not too tricky, thanks Senf and Dada

    1. I cheated and got the answer but have no idea what the parsing is

        1. Thanks Senf, yes, bound to forget that next time, I could have stared at that for 100 years and never twigged

  24. I finished this over breakfast this morning whilst everyone else in the household was sleeping in. Now they’ve all gone to bed, and I really don’t know where the day has gone. Anyway, to the crossword. 28a was a bung in. I’ve just checked the review, and yes Senf, I groaned. Very good. Thank you setter and Senf.

  25. Thank you Dada for an enjoyable solve. Thanks to Senf for not the first time (and probably not the last) giving me the parsing for 28a which had been my last one in. Favourites 25 26 11 12a and 2d. I thought 2d may fox some solvers but apparently not.

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