ST 3014 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3014 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3014 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg Glenboro, Manitoba, from where I have been exploring the Spirit Sands Desert, in the South-West of the province, which, according to legend, is the home of Niibin my avatar buddy.

Dada quite tricky this week, even with a sprinkling of oldies but goodies, but still quirky – 7 anagrams (including partials), one lurker, and no homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 5a, 16a, and 6d.

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 Edge cracking nut where chopper comes down (7)
A synonym of edge inserted into (cracking) the part of the body that is often informally called nut.

5a Broadcast features ‘ouse by any means possible (7)
Not a homophone! A synonym of broadcast containing a synonym of ‘ouse, that is with its first letter removed..

9a Baby feeder, light flat object (3,4)
The baby feeder item that provides the outlet from a bottle and a synonym of light.

12a One way to treat other nasty cut (5-4)
An anagram (to treat) of OTHER NASTy with its last letter removed (cut).

13a Power generator in Italian city charged with British energy (7))
An Italian city, the location of the first Italian Job, containing (charged with) the single letter for British, with the single letter for energy at the end.

19a Try and support inexperienced winger (7)
A two letter synonym for try followed by a type of (medical) support.

24a Some fault, a serious shocker! (5)
The lurker (some) found in the rest of the clue.

26a A number divided by six minus ten, stupid (7)
A from the clue and a cardinal number containing (divided by) SIx with the Roman numeral for ten removed (minus).

28a Colouring drink, first drops of green mint essence put in (7)
The initial letters (first drops) of Green Mint Essence inserted into (put in) a size or volume of a drink.


1d Area of potential conflict has son in a stew (3,4)
The single letter for son inserted into (has . . . in) a type of stew usually associated with red rose county.

2d Student council’s ultimate illicit scheme (7)
The last letter (‘s ultimate) of counciL followed by a term for what may an illicit scheme.

5d A quarter of poor people lose control over fight (4,3)
Lose control (of a vehicle?) followed by (over) a synonym of fight.

8d Battle worsens, Attlee having lost every other one (7)
Delete alternate letters (having lost every other one) from WORSENS, ATTLEE – 7 letters are needed for the answer so I will leave it to you to decide if you delete the odd or even letters.

16d Abbreviated symbol on page, very basic cover (3,4)
An abbreviated form of a synonym of symbol followed by a synonym of page.

17d Celestial phenomenon with flash in gas (3,4)
The single letter for with and a two word synonym of flash inserted into (in), dare I say it, one of the noble gases.

19d In space, hammer lighter (3,4)
A synonym of hammer inserted into (in) a type of space.

21d Laughable German leader in tight dress, for example (7)
An anagram (laughable) of GERMAN followed by the first letter (leader in) of Tight.

23d French river, one shrouded in mythology (5)
Dada’s favourite river? – The single letter for one contained by (shrouded in) a synonym of mythology.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

Chris Farlowe, number one for one week starting on this day in 1966, written by Mick Jagger and Keih Richards:

44 comments on “ST 3014 (Hints)

  1. Tantalisingly quite difficult, I found.
    Some real gems, eg 9a and 5d.
    Got there eventually, unaided.
    For me, **** for difficulty.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf for the review.

  2. No fun at all today. Not a single clue where I thought “oh yes that really is clever”. Sorry.

  3. Struggled to finish but got there in series of spurts as soon as one of the key corner clues was solved .
    Enjoyed the challenge .
    Quite a few “goodies” with 22A & 27A my joint winners .

    Thanks I to the 2 Ss

  4. I agree with you Senf, a little quirky in places – such as 10a, which if I have parsed it correctly, seems “odd” to me.

    But overall it was enjoyable and there were enough straightforward clues to help the progress. Some nice misdirections, like “flash” in 17d.

    Just about ***/**** for me.

    Top spots go to 5d, 26a and 27a any one of which could be a winner.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Just looked at a dictionary and see that nothing is really missing from 10a, so my apologies to Mr H for suggesting it was a bit “odd”!

  5. 2*/4.5*. I thought this was absolutely brilliant. My only (minor) qualm was the use of “laughable” in 21d as an anagram indicator.
    My joint favourites were 11a & 26a, both of which could have been part of Virgilius’ repertoire.
    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    P.S. I love the music choice which brought back some great memories. 1966 – a great year for so many reasons.

    1. I’ve never heard of Chris Farlowe and the 60s were my heyday as well! I must have been living under a rock.

      1. That makes us one all, Merusa. On Friday I’d never heard of Hawthorne and today you’d never heard of Farlowe, though I’ve little doubt that Hawthorne would be the more talented of the pair.

  6. Very enjoyable indeed – thanks to Dada and to Senf (also for the clip of the legendary Chris Farlowe).
    Top clues for me (I agree with Rabbit Dave that they could have come from Virgilius) were 11a and 27a.

  7. Definitely a bit more thought-provoking than recent Sunday puzzles but exceptionally enjoyable.
    Interesting that there are two possible ways of looking at the answer to 5a – the alternative would have done away with the necessity for the apostrophe in the clue.

    Couldn’t decide whether I loved or loathed 26a – in the end I went with the love and gave it top place on the pile.

    Many thanks to Dada for the entertainment and to Senf for finding an oasis in the desert in which to write the hints.
    Forgive me if I don’t add my name to the fan club for Chris Farlowe!

  8. Crikey! This took some teasing out. When 1a went straight in I was misled into thinking it was going to be an easy Sunday.

    10a was my last in and 11a was my favourite of a really exceptional crossword.

    Many thanks to Senf for explaining the appearance of the apostrophe and the word following it (which in the iPad version appear on separate lines) in 5a because I had parsed it differently with just the first letter and the last two signifying the ‘broadcast’ bit and then I was at a loss, but it had to be what I’d entered.

    Very many thanks to all

  9. Excellent.
    First read through brought a large ‘gulp’.
    Working through it SE, SW, NW, NE got me home.
    Lots of inventive clues, some oldies, according to Senf, but to quote ‘Back to the Future’, “It’s a new one where I come from”.
    I particularly liked 11a, LOI was 8d, stupidly I did not apply the wordplay to both words.
    Thanks Senf and Dada.

  10. Whilst I completed this puzzle, there were four answers, which were difficult to parse and one rather loose synonym. Thank you to Senf for the hints. It took longer than usual, partly due to the style of grid, which made it a bit tricky to get checkers. Thank you to Dada (***/**** from me). 1a and 12a were enjoyable clues.

  11. 11, 14 and 26a were on my podium in no particular order. In fairness I could have chosen virtually any three from the terrific clues on offer. Overall I found this quite challenging, with the LHS going in fairly quickly but the RHS taking considerably longer. Great fun and a rewarding solve.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  12. Good stuff today, with a number of clues taking me back to the ‘Virgilus’ days. Thanks to all involved.

  13. Surprised myself by finishing this almost unaided after a very laboured start. Last corner to fall was the SE with 19d holding out until the end. 5a was an unparsed bung-in. Agree with RD re dubious use of laughable in 21d. Not keen on 22a. No particular Fav. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  14. Found this a good challenge. Often found the answers before working out why. Not come across laughable as an anagram indicator.

  15. Is it just me or is this puzzle close to impossible to finish? Managed half with lots and lots of electronic help and understood about half of the answers. The hints are of little help being more cryptic in most cases than the clues. I appreciate that it is a prize puzzle which severely limits the help the hints give but really!!
    I suspect that for the majority of readers this is a total waste of newsprint/electronic space.
    Zero fun for me.

    1. I think it’s just you, Brian, and I really thought that you had turned a corner!
      OK – this wasn’t as benign as some recent Sunday puzzles have been but it was far from being impossible for most regular solvers.
      Senf’s hints (and illustrations) were as explicit as possible and I’m sure that if you need any further nudges someone will be only too willing to try to assist.

    2. Yes, it’s just you. While this puzzle was somewhat more challenging than recent Sunday puzzles it was not impossible.
      And, I find your comment that the hints are more cryptic than the clues baffling. I identify the definition and then break down the wordplay and I find your comment a little insulting.

      1. Senf, I didn’t need any clarification today so had no need to read your hints. Having just seen the above comment I thought I would take a look and I can assure you they are crystal clear.

        1. Thanks RD. On a different matter, you might like the music video selection in two weeks time.

      2. Perhaps the rule in Comment Etiquette should be amended to:

        3. Don’t blame the setter (or the reviewer) just because you are unable to solve a puzzle.

    3. Dear Brian,xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      [Redacted – whatever you feel about other commenters and their views on particular crosswords, there is no need to be as unpleasant as that! CS]

    4. I did it without hints, Brian, and I am certainly no expert, so it’s probably just a wavelength thing, I suspect. I know from previous blogs that you enjoy Giovanni’s puzzles, whereas I find them mostly baffling, so it’s horses for courses.
      Harsh comment about the hints, I imaging that BD has a duty to the DT not to provide all the answers on a prize puzzle, otherwise there would be no point in it being a prize puzzle.
      Move on to Monday.

  16. I thought this was a wonderfully constructed puzzle – 17d, for instance, in which not a singe word in the clue was wasted. I needed Senf’s review to realize how clever 5a was. What made this hard for me was the number of insertions with two word solutions. However, I found this enormously enjoyable obscurity-free solve . Many thanks to all.

  17. Wow, what a clever crossword! Took me a while to get going; I just wasn’t on wavelength, but once I started in the SE quadrant I was able to move clockwise round the grid finishing with 8d which was because I didn’t read the clue properly….. sigh….
    Favourite was 22a.
    Thanks to Dada for the challenge, and to Senf for the hints.

  18. I’m beginning to enjoy Dada’s Sunday offerings, but I still find some answers incomprehensible. Bung ins included 5a (with the checkers it just had to be), 28a and 8d, so particular thanks to Senf for unravelling those.
    I’m going to single out 11a and 26a as special, also 5a now that I understand it.
    Thanks to Dada, pretty tricky for me, and to Senf for his help.

  19. As an aside, how would this crossword for difficulty compare with Paul in the Graun??

    1. Hi Hoofit – It’s not so much the difficulty per se, but Paul in the Graun gets away with some outrageous liberties and, at times, bonkers clues that would never appear in this slot.

      Difficulty is 100% subjective. Good days, bad days – just wish one of our fellow posters could take that on board.

    2. The styles are completely different – Dada’s always take a lot less time than Paul’s.

    3. Hard to be precise due to difficulty being somewhat subjective, but certainly not as tough as Paul. I’d go out on a limb and say a Paul is probably a notch up on a Dada toughie – however, when he took over the Sunday slot last year I found the first couple trickier than a Dada toughie…

      1. In order of difficulty from ridiculously easy to difficult, I’d go for Dada in the middle of the paper on a Tuesday, Dada on a Sunday, Mudd (FT),Paul, Punk (Indy).

        I can sometimes tell when it is a “Paul” crossword in the Times and they’d fall between a Graun Paul and a Punk

    4. From my point of view the disappointing puzzles are the Dada Toughies. I think he’s now got the Sunday Prize Puzzles at just the right level but the Dada Toughies are some considerable way behind Paul in the Guardian, both in difficulty and humour.

  20. After breezing through yesterday’s puzzle, we turned to today’s: what a struggle but got there in the end, even though one or two of the clues struck us a bit far fetched.

  21. Thought that 9a was a real Paul clue.
    Really liked 10a and 14a in this wonderful crossword.
    Thanks to Dada for keeping such high standards and to Senf for the hints.

  22. Not my favourite grid, or should I say four grids, as each quarter seemed to need solving separately. Completed with some headscratching. Liked 14a, among others. Thanks to setter and Senf

  23. Far too late to comment really but after a busy day I did this tricky crossword in be last night with my mobile phone in another room. Surprisingly finished it with 2d as a bung in as I would never have thought of that as an illicit scheme. I lead a sheltered life obviously! Just had to read your analysis as it is always interesting as are all the comments. Thank you all so much for sharing your expertise and enthusiasm, so glad I discovered this site!

    1. I did have to think for a while about the illicit scheme in 2d and, as I was ‘on location,’ I could not look it up in my BRB (but a check on returning home showed it is there). However, I did convince myself by recalling a favourite phrase used by Arthur Daley who seemed to generate most of his income from illicit schemes.

  24. With far too many family interruptions on a Sunday morning, I now leave the Sunday puzzle to Monday morning when I can look at it in peace.

    Very enjoyable – many thanks to Dada, and to Senf.

  25. Finished this in two sittings. Enjoyed most of it. For the life of me I cannot get 27a. I have all the checking letters, which I am certain are correct. Any help would be appreciated. Just edited having got it. Not my favourite clue but good enough

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