ST 3012 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3012 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3012 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we had a good soaking Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning and a tornado watch on Thursday!

Dada less benevolent this week.  5 anagrams (one partial), two lurkers (one reversed and one not hinted), and no homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 20a 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:


1a Not much on the bird table? Stone the crows! (6)
What might be left on the bird table, or any other table, when the ‘eaters’ have left.

10a Couple of shockers, one’s a mistake (6)
A three letter word which can be used to shock someone which when repeated (couple of) and combined into a single word can be a mistake.

12a Voracious broadcasting of banalities (10)
An anagram (broadcasting of) of BANALITIES

13a Washington writer, capital US composer! (6,6)
A writer whose first name was Washington followed by a (European) capital.

20a Good story about a very old urn, abridged (10)
A type of story (often with a moral) containing (about) A from the clue, the abbreviations for very and old, and URn from the clue with the last letter deleted (abridged).

22a Band in detailed rug containing first of roses (6)
An item that rug is a ( mostly US) slang term for with its last letter removed (detailed) containing the first letter of Roses.

24a Not much to eat? This is sad to see (6)
Written as (3,3) a small edible item.

25a Journalist taking part in foxtrot I deliberately knocked over (6)
The reverse lurker (taking part in . . . knocked over) found in the rest of the clue.


1d Sailing boats, cutters (8)
A double definition – the first famous for transporting tea.

3d Very hot grease in house, finally wiped (7)
A synonym of grease inserted into (in) a synonym of house used to claim a prize in a game with its last letter removed (finally wiped).

6d Old man Morgan wrong to gatecrash party (3-6)
An anagram (wrong) of MORGAN inserted into (to gatecrash) an abbreviated form of a (political) party – and the answer is in the BRB.

9d Appalling — like an impossible tongue-twister? (11)
A single word that can be used to describe an impossible tongue twister.

17d Nationality in Ireland (and having gone abroad), as I organised (7)
An anagram (organised) of IRELand with and removed (and having gone abroad) and AS I.

18d Coverage of joint record in work at bakery (7)
A type of (vinyl) record inserted into (in) a type of work process at a bakery.

21d Boat trade (5)
A straightforward double definition to fininsh.

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This was the video originally planned for last Sunday but it is still appropriate for this week – The Kinks  half way through 2 weeks at Number One on this day in 1966:


25 comments on “ST 3012 (Hints)

  1. Wow , a real toughie for me today mainly due to SW corner .

    Will pick 24A as my favourite , obvious when grasped but …..

    Rushing off to a lively 80th birthday bash now .

    Thanks everyone

  2. This was quite a quirky crossword and quite amusing at times. It was not without its challenges and it took me a while to attune myself to the setter’s wavelength but things soon fell into place as time moved on (2/3 for difficulty and 3/4 for enjoyment). I particularly enjoyed 20a, 3d and 9d. Thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints. We could do with some rain too as watering the garden is beginning to be a bit wearing.

  3. Took me a while to register the answer for 22a and as for 6d – finally identified the possible fodder and then messed around with the letters until I arrived at something that looked feasible! Another obvious gap in my GK.

    9d made me smile so gets my vote for favourite.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the trip down memory lane with The Kinks.

  4. This took a lot of teasing out today and I really enjoyed it. Having played with the anagram at 6d for a while I looked up the result I arrived at and found it was correct! Love it when that happens and I hope it doesn’t fall out of my head before the next time it comes up, but I’m sure it will.

    Many thanks to Senf and setter

  5. I think that, after a roller-coaster ride, Dada has settled on the right level for the Sunday puzzle. Thanks to him and Senf for the hints.
    I had to drag 6d from the dark recesses and I spent some time wondering what an old UM might be for 20a (a visit to Specsavers must be necessary).
    Top clues for me were the amusing 24a and 18d.

  6. The bottom half went in considerably easier than the top half, with 6d being my last in after tinkering with the letters and getting something possible. Overall a pretty testing puzzle and much harder than recent Sundays, but a great sense of satisfaction upon completion. I liked 13a and 9d but my favourite was 3d.

    Thanks Dada for the considerable challenge and to Senf.

    Come on England. I need three TVs today to cover the cricket, Wimbledon and the GP at Silverstone.

  7. I enjoyed this (3.5*) but I can’t rate it for difficulty as I completed it while watching the cricket. However, I can say that some of the clues were quite tricky, especially 13a as I’ve never heard of that writer.

    On my podium are 10a, 24a & 9d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  8. Phew, that was hard work, but completed in the end, without external help, in *** time. As others have said, a couple in the NE corner were the last to go in.

    Mant thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. On wavelength today, and most of the clues went in quite smoothly. 13A (I knew of him), 22A (when it finally clicked) and 24A are my favorites, with 9D close behind. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  10. A bit of a slog but made it in the end with SW corner holding out the longest. Parsing for 22a and 3d eluded me and needed help with 6d. 24a raised a groan! Thank you Dada and Senf.

  11. Last in was The NE corner. Took a while to sort out my 7d thinking and doubts over how to spell the composer but I agree we have settled on a reasonable level for Sundays. Thanks to Senf and Dada. Time to flick between the numerous sporting offerings today.

  12. Pretty hard going for me, had to use all the hints. 22a last in, very clever clue. I’m afraid 15d defeated me – no hint sadly. Perhaps someone would oblige. Thanks Dada, merci bien Senf.

    1. Try splitting your answer 4,4 with the second word the oft used one for a row. Any more and I shall be on the naughty step.

    2. It’s a Lego or charade type of clue the answer to which is a comparitive adjective, made up of two synonyms. The first is a synonym for officially consider, the second is for row. Any biscuits in the n corner?

  13. To think there was a time when I wouldn’t even look at a Sunday puzzle! I seem to be getting on wavelength here, about time. It’s taken me a longish time to solve as I’ve been tennising here, fifth set and I’m going into cardiac arrest!
    I loved 9d and 22a, don’t know which is fave.
    I had 6d in a puzzle not long ago, the miracle is that I remembered it.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for his hints and tips.

  14. Thanks to Dada for an entertaining Sunday puzzle and to Senf for the hints – I completed it some while ago but forgot to comment as I was hypnotised by the cricket. Needed some help with 6d. 24a was my favourite as it raised a smile.
    Going back to biting my nails as the last 10 overs start.

  15. Apart from a couple that held me up for a long time (6d and 15d) I found this so much easier than yesterday. NW corner went straight in, making me over confident for the rest. Thanks to Dada and Senf for a very enjoyable Sunday puzzle. Lots to like in this one.

  16. Steady as you go with this one, I found answers came in bouts of brainstorming. Not easy but solvable with effort.
    All the clues worthy of mention.
    A very enjoyable puzzle, thanks to Dada & Senf for direction on a couple of occasions.

  17. I’m with OBJack on this one – several bouts of brainstorming. NE last to go. Got 4a quickly with a fresh pair of eyes after tea. I had to go on a synonym exercise for 19a. Not a word I use in everyday parlance. Last but not least- 6d. When going through the alphabet did not assist I realised it did not contain recognisable words. Did as others did with the checkers in place and the partial anagram. First guess was right although it’s a new one on me. Favourites 13 and 22a and 5 and 18d. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  18. Because of certain sports demanding my attention I left this until today. What an excellent crossword! Very enjoyable challenge with some lovely clues. My favourite was any one of 6 and 9d or 22a. Rather then upset Kath I’ll go with the latter.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

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