ST 3004 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3004 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3004 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we have a holiday weekend to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday!

A definite lack of benevolence from Dada today, with an above average number of anagrams (although two are partials), with some unusual indicators as usual, one lurker, and one homophone.

Candidates for favourite – 8a, 10a, and 9d

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:


7a Company working to split proportion of profit — that’s hairy and tough! (7)
The usual abbreviated form of company, and a short synonym of working inserted into (to split) a single word for proportion of profit.

8a Old chip halved inside cheese roll (7)
The single letter for old and half of the word CHIP from the clue inserted into (inside) a type of (soft) cheese.

10a Crazy reason one’s attached to the train (10)
Synonyms of crazy and reason.

12a Boy admitting defeat where terms are laid out (8)
A boy’s name containing (admitting) a synonym of defeat.

19a Eat, tongue-in-cheek by the sound of it? (6)
The homophone (by the sound of it) of a (2,4) phrase that can mean tongue-in-cheek.

22a Feature of Sicily has some cachet, naturally (4)
The lurker (has some) found in the rest of the clue.

23a Old playwright: is he afraid of Santa? (4,6)
A single word for the time when Santa visits and a term for someone who is afraid.

26a Possible reason for dropping it in juice (7)
IT from the clue contained by (in) a (savoury) type of juice(?).


1d No clarity initially in spy lens (7)
NO from the clue and the first letter (initially) of Clarity inserted into (in) a type of spy.

4d Having secured contract finally, author in need of a drink (5,3)
The surname of an English author containing (having secured) that last letter (finally) of contracT followed by (in need of) A from the clue.

5d Composer not me, unfortunately: another composer (10)
An anagram (unfortunately) of NOT ME followed by another composer.

9d Yellow bloom, as it happens, crimson (4-7)
A type of flower (bloom), a single word for as it happens (relating to a TV broadcast?), and what crimson is a type of.

16d Rhea, for example, bird on a headland (8)
A small three letter bird, A from the clue, and one of our favourite headlands, and it all goes back to ancient Greece.

18d Entering days of September, start of season dry (7)
The first letter (start) of Season inserted into (entering) the number of days in September.

21d Lead first of children into English class (6)
The first letter of Children Inserted into a combination of the single letter for English and a synonym of class.

25d Signal breaker, for example (4)
A double definition to finish – check the illustration.

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Boney M, as far as I recall, one of the ‘manufactured’ groups beating the Spice Girls by several years had a number one for 5 weeks starting May 13th, 1978:


29 comments on “ST 3004 (Hints)

  1. This was one of those puzzles that yields to dogged persistence and I finished it well into *** time eventually. There were some challenging clues and lots of penny drop moments. The synonym in 26a seemed over-stretched to me but I liked 19a, 23a, 25a, 9d (a real corker) and 5d. So thanks to Dada. Thanks to Senf for the hints, clear and helpful as usual.

  2. 3.5*/4*. This was very enjoyable but fairly tough today. In fact for me it was a tale of two sittings. After quite a struggle to start with, I was looking at a fairly empty grid so I left it alone for a while. When I came back to it, it all seemed to fall nicely into place.

    For me, the answer to 21d isn’t quite synonymous with “lead”, but I guess it’s near enough at a stretch. My only grumble is, of course, with the vague boy in 12a.

    On the plus side there were loads of excellent clues with 9d my runaway favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

      1. I was going to say something along those lines but wondered whether I might be straying into alternative hint territory ;)

  3. Definitely a game of two halves and a good Sunday morning workout. I am now obviously equipped with RD radar as it started twitching at 12a but 9d, 25a and especially 26a were very smileworthy.
    Thank you, as always, to all involved.

  4. Must have struck lucky today as this one flowed quite readily and was completed mainly in clue order.
    An enjoyable puzzle with several smiles along the way.

    9d takes the gold with 5d sliding into second place.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog. I know little about Boney M apart from this one hit but I understand that they were well worth seeing in concert.

    PS For anyone who has a bit more free time today, I can heartily recommend this week’s NTSPP from Silvanus. The review has been posted so you can check your answers straight away!

  5. On first read through this looked almost impossible but after getting a few markers in place I made steady headway.

    23a was my favourite and fell fairly early on, from there on I really enjoyed the solve. Had to resort to digital help for 5d as I could not recall the answer. 14a eluded me until later on when I finally read the clue properly.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for a good start to Sunday

  6. That was a real challenge, the first pass yielded only four answers and I very nearly threw in the towel. But with Senf’s expert guidance I got started, got some checkers in and quickly gathered pace. Some great smile-inducing clues here, 25a my favourite. Many thanks to all for the entertainment.

  7. Tricky little devil but very elegant. Needed persistence but always something in it for the solver. My favs were 23a and 26a.
    Only needed the hints for 1d.
    Thx to all

  8. ***/****. First read through yielded very little. When I returned to sit in the sunshine and sip a G&T it all fell into place. Thanks to Dada, Senf and Gordons.

  9. Really enjoyed this puzzle and it flowed quite easily. BUT I am completely stuck on 25a which many of you have enjoyed. I have the three letters of the down clues and have used an anagram solver which gives me 5 alternatives none of which seem to fit the clue. Am I looking for a boat or something else? I thought ‘to’ sat inside something. May I have a hint please. Thanks to all.

    1. Thanks Gaza, I was stuck too. Now to think of a mnemonic to remember THAT “low”, grrr.

      1. I was stuck too. Didn’t help that I have 17d incorrect. Now I can’t parse that?! Also can’t see 11a. Ah me.
        Thanks to all for the help. Couldn’t do half as much without your support.

  10. Well, I almost solved a Dada puzzle, just 25a unsolved.
    I was lucky with some coincidences, e.g., 5d, not a composer that readily springs to mind, but I had him in a puzzle not long ago, so when I had the middle letter, it rung a bell.
    I did get stuck along the way so used help to solve the anagram at 15a and that got me going again.
    Fave? Hard to choose, I liked 23a for the memories, 26a for the grin-worthiness, and lots of others.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for a fun start to the day.

  11. Well I think I have completed it. My last entry was 7d but I’m not convinced.
    Oh well. The rest of it was fine with 9d being my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  12. Twas a bit trickier than of late but still not in the fear inducing level that prevailed when Dada took over the Sunday slot. I needed Senf’s help to see me over the line. 19 and 25a come to mind.
    Thanks to both for the fun and help.

  13. I began this quite late in the day after a long session in the garden and maybe a couple of ‘beverages’ around our Sunday evening dinner. Solved approximately half and then totally lost both the plot and patience with the remainder. Thanks mainly to Dan Ward for a filled in grid I’m ashamed to admit :-(

  14. Apologies, late to the party again!
    What a cracker again from Dada, not as kind as the last few weeks but well worth the effort.
    So many clues that caused me to smile I cannot pick favourites tonight.
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf for a great review & a bit of direction when needed.

  15. I see I am in good company with experiencing a daunting first impression however after much aggro I did finally make it (apart from failing to fully parse 4d) but there wasn’t much fun en route. Dada continues to fox me. I expected RD to have reservation about 12a! 23a vied with 9d for Fav. I agree with Senf that several anagram indicators were indeed somewhat far-fetched. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. All the anagram indicators can be found in the list of anagram indictors in Chambers Dictionary

  16. Finished this morning as out yesterday. Cleverly crafted (and crafty) I thought. Needed no hints but thanks anyway Senf. Had to look up a synonym or too. Oddly enough last one in 21d which I only got following persisting with the troublesome 26a. I would query juice too Senf. Thanks Dada.

  17. Completed on my iPad on the plane to Crete yesterday at a snail’s pace due to no pen or paper or electronic help . Only just got wi fi link .
    Loved it as it , combined with reading the paper , code word & sudoku ,passed the time away on the 4 hour flight .
    COTD 23A but appreciated many others .
    Thanks to everyone .

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