ST 3003 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3003 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3003 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where seasonal temperatures have returned and the car seat warmer has been turned off again!

Two very entertaining European Rugby Cup Finals and an equally entertaining historic talk given by the Earl of Orkney (yes, there is one) provided a very good start to my weekend.

With this palandromically numbered puzzle Dada gives us an above average number of anagrams, with some unusual indicators as usual, one lurker, one reverse lurker, and no homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 15a, 3d, and 8d.

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 Skate on thin ice and feel the heat? (4,4,4)
A double definition (I think) – the first is a synonymic phrasal equivalent of skate on thin ice.

9a A desire to join team next door (9)
A from the clue and a synonym of desire followed by (to join) a synonym of team.

11a At last, coldish animal is less cold maybe (6)
The ultimate letter (at last) of coldisH and the illustrated animal.

15a Owner of trunk, black: large carrier going abroad (5,3)
A nickname for an animal with a trunk and a synonym of black.

18a Lighter trains, so going off the rails? (8)
An anagram (going off the rails) of TRAINS SO.

21a Top location of Welsh bay (8)
A double definition – the first is an article of clothing (with buttons).

23a Increase pace, winning (4,2)
Synonyms of pace and winning.

28a Sad OAP brings invalid travel document (8,4)
An anagram (invalid) of SAD OAP BRINGS.


1d Breakfast chef possibly criminal (7)
A double definition – the second steals game.

3d Potential winner, aga great and powerful (9)
An anagram (potential) of WINNER AGA.

5d Body exposed — better explain? (5,3)
A synonymic phrase for body exposed.

7d Winger‘s bedtime drink? (8)
The time of day usually associated with bedtime and an informal synonym of drink.

14d Corn: capacity for another vegetable? (8)
Synonyms of corn and capacity.

16d Seeing red fish, first of trawlers going in (9)
A type of (Scandinavian) fish containing (going in) the first letter of Trawlers.

18d Performance limiting company’s approach (6)
A synonym of performance containing (limiting) the abbreviated form of company’s (including the possessive S).

22d Musical opening embraced by consort, nicely uplifting (5)
The reverse lurker (embraced by . . . uplifting) found in the rest of the clue.

25d Wine in Rioja’s tiresome (4)
The lurker (in) found in the rest of the clue.

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Billy Joel – 70 on May 9th – from a music festival, somewhere in Tennessee, in 2015:


36 comments on “ST 3003 (Hints)

  1. This was enjoyable (****) and relatively relaxed for a Sunday (** for difficulty). It was a pleasant variation after the two rather challenging back page puzzles this week. I enjoyed 1a, 9a, 1d and 3d. 16d gave me pause for thought although the penny eventually dropped with an atonal clang. Thanks to Senf for the hints-glad the weather is improving- and to Dada for the puzzle.

  2. I found this fairly straightforward so I’m sure the experts will have found it not much of a challenge.
    After yesterday this was a welcome breeze.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  3. Well, compared to yesterday’s offering this was a doddle. An enjoyable doddle though so thanks to all. */***.

  4. I enjoyed this one. 1d made me laugh, and my pick of the bunch was 16a.

    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf.

  5. With 1a providing a great start, I enjoyed this a lot (4*). Most of it went in smoothly but the last few pushed my overall time up (3*). Much of the delay resulted from my own stupidity in ignoring the definition and putting in the wrong last three letters for 7d!

    1a, 9a & 8d made it to my podium.

    Many thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    1. I don’t often get stuck with Dada but after making the same mistake in 7d, I am struggling to see the bird. Can’t get 19a and the fish in 16d totally eludes me.

  6. I think 28a is the runaway winner in a very pleasant (on the easy side) Dada.

  7. That was so much more enjoyable than yesterdays travails. Learnt a new fish as well. Best clue for me was 15a. Not too sure i fully understand 2d, must be missing something obvious.
    Thx to the setter for an excellent puzzle (at least for me!). And to Senf for the hints.

    1. I am in concurrence with you today. I have an answer for 2d but don’t really understand why. But generally a bit easier than yesterday. Thanks to Senf and Dada. I needed a hint or two towards the end.

      1. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx That’s another thought although I like Jezza’s suggestion too.[so much of another thought that it has had to be redacted]

          1. N/m I liked your advice even if it got the red pencil from the boss. Enjoy the lemon drizzle in the norty corner.

    2. Definition is ‘In the area’ – the two letter designation of one of our favourite sailors (person sailing) and a synonym of away. Simple! But not the best clue of the day.

      1. Now i see it, got the area bit which gave me the answer, it was the person puzzling me. Many thanks.

  8. Easier when compared to yesterday with a few golden oldies thrown in .
    Thanks to everyone and good luck to Liverpool today .

  9. For absolutely no good reason, 1a eluded me for quite a while – penny finally dropping when I got 5d.
    Thought this was a fine middle-of-the-road Sunday puzzle and I dished out podium places to 1,9&28a plus 8d.

    Thanks to Dada for the entertainment and to Senf for the blog. Nice to sing along to Uptown Girl again!

  10. For no good reason at all, my last one in, 1d, took forever to see. Then, when I got it, I couldn’t understand my difficulty.

    Very enjoyable – many thanks to all.

    HJ, if you’re around, I got a full house last weekend again. Fingers crossed that the problems are sorted.

  11. I made heavy weather of this – and I don’t know why. Unlike yesterday when a very slow start finished at a gallop, this one raced away from the line and then ran out of steam.

    I didn’t know the fish at 16d and was confused further xxxxxxxxxxxxxx. I wouldn’t have got 3d without using a few electrons. I also confused myself by trying xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  12. After yesterday’s struggle, today’s fell into place very nicely with lots to make me smile. Thanks to setter and Senf.

  13. Another round of applause Dada,,, 4.5* for enjoyment , really enjoyed solving this perfect Post Sunday lunch puzzle.
    2.5* for difficulty, got thrown off course by an anagram indicator!
    Many thanks Dada & Senf for the review.

  14. Well, all I can say is that I’m becoming worried about the onset of senility, because I found this very challenging. I really couldn’t get on Dada’s wavelength at all today (& that is very unusual) I struggled with 1a, & 3d. To be fair I was also cooking Sunday lunch and f4?ing about with other stuff too, but that’s no real excuse. I did like 18a and 28a though. Thanks Dada and Senf. Hopefully my brain wakes up in the morning. ;-)

  15. **/****. Very pleasant puzzle with a couple of head scratching moments to extend the solve time. Really liked 18a&17d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. I always do the quick crossword first to get a “feel” for the setter.
    When I failed miserable to do much with it, I was almost dreading the cryptic thinking Dada had gone back to his old ways.
    However I found it relatively straight forward and did not need help today.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  17. Well, not easy but I enjoyed this, huge relief after yesterday. I started at the bottom and worked my way up.
    Fave was 1a, but there was much more to like; 8d deserves a shout out.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for his hints and tips, needed some to unravel a couple of bung ins.

  18. Late coming to this one today but well worth the wait. At first glance I thought it was going to be pretty tough, but the wordplay and accuracy of the clues made it reasonably straightforward. I, too, put the wrong last three letters in 7d which didn’t help matters. Great fun.

    Thanks Dada for a terrific puzzle and to Senf.

  19. Great puzzle, thanks Dada, much more enjoyable than yesterday.

    I hope this doesn’t break any rules but I think the answer to 14d is not strictly correct these days as they are now thought to be genetically closer to animals than vegetables. Although you’d definitely buy them on the veg counter!

    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  20. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, not too tricky. Was hampered by not getting 1a until the end. Not sure if I’ve got 26a correct. Favourite was 18a. Was 2 */4* for me. In the Lake District at the moment, amazingly, sunburn could be a problem!

  21. Came to this late in the day so was pleased to find it much more user-friendly than is usually the case for me with Dada. Joint Favs 15a and 18a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  22. Hmm, I found yesterday’s to be a sight easier than today’s. There’s no accounting for folk! Anyway, a reasonably pleasant solve with 1d and 2d being on the podium.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  23. Re: 2d. To come ‘about’ is a sailing term which is used when changing direction or tacking, I believe.

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