ST 3017 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3017 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3017 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where it is Day 4 of the Best 4 Days of the Year as I am again volunteering at a professional golf tournament where the best golfers in the field will be rewarded this afternoon and, more importantly, funds are being raised to support worthy causes in the local area; however, this means I might not be able to respond to many of your comments.

Dada’s quirkiness continues – five anagrams (one partial), three lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone.

Candidates for favourite – 11a, 12a, and 13d.

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 Old relic is around fragments (8)
A straightforward anagram (fragments) to start of IS AROUND.

9a Aggravate player of forty-five, perhaps? (6)
A double definition – for the second think RPM.

11a Plant fake diamond, possibly? (8)
Written as (4,4) a synonym of fake and a slang term for a diamond.

12a Might one paint colours on flag? (8,6)
A painter who prefers to paint on the type of flag(s) that we can walk on.

20a Utter pro then, in developing driving skill (5-5,4)
An anagram (developing) of UTTER PRO THEN, IN.

25a Straight into touch one steps (6)
One of the lurkers (into) – the other is 15a – found in the rest of the clue.

27a Composer bringing cheer initially: fancy a lift? (6)
The initial letter (initially) of Cheer and (3,2) what one might say when offering a lift to someone.

28a Magic writing skill (8)
A straightforward double definition to finish the Acrosses.


1d Very popular old wine (4)
Join together the single letter for very, the two letter synonym for popular, and the single letter for old.

3d Bit of a looker, flower girl? (4)
A triple definition (I think) – the first relates to part of the eye (looker).

5d Car’s left in road, see, abandoned, nothing having been stolen (8)
An anagram (abandoned) of IN RoAD, SEE with the O removed (nothing having been stolen) – for overseas solvers the answer applies to cars in the UK and, for example, the Antipodean countries.

13d It’s marked up in butcher’s or baker’s, for example (10)
A frequently misused, but not in this clue, punctuation mark.

16d Two instruments for dance on deck? (8)
The combination of two four letter musical instruments.

21d Sovereign, foreign currency for job (6)
HM and an African coinage.

24d Record composer listened to (4)
The homophone (listened to) of a (Hungarian) composer.

26d Number involved in agnosticism on the rise (4)
We finish with the reverse lurker (involved in . . . on the rise) found in the rest of the clue.

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Finishing the second week of five at number 1 on this day in August 1989 – Jive Bunny and the Master Mixers:


36 comments on “ST 3017 (Hints)

  1. 12A and 27A were my favourites in today’s offering . Enjoyable and not too difficult or easy . Nice for a peaceful Sunday morning .

    Thanks to everyone especially Wales fo keeping English rugby’s feet on the ground .

  2. 3*/4*. This was nicely challenging and great fun, which brightened up a wet morning here in London.
    13d was my favourite.
    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. I found this one quite straight-forward, finished in an easy ** time with the NE corner the last to fall.

    I don’t think they teach 20a these days, and anyone trying to be a 12a would probably be dragged up before the beak on a charge of graffiti.

    Thanks to all.

  4. I didn’t quite see eye to eye with our setter on a couple of clues but overall it was enjoyable Sunday fare.
    12&27a took the top spots with a smile for 6d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – the Jive Bunny track was fun!

  5. I had a broad stripe filled in from top left to bottom right but the other corners required a bit of thought. Embarrassed to have missed 13d until the end as I am a bit of a stickler about pointing them out.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.
    I shall try and avoid clicking the link as I still have nightmares about little sister playing jive bunny on an endless loop.

  6. Enjoyable but I did find the bottom left challenging. My fav was def 9a (when I eventually understood the wordplay!). Still puzzled by the word for contract in 6d even though the answer was obvious, perhaps I am on the wrong track.
    Thx to all

    1. PS Thx to those who tried to help me with yesterdays NTSPP managed 3 answers. Way above my pay grade I’m afraid.

          1. Full house here – mumps, measles and chicken pox! Shingles jab booked for next week – funny how it seems that no matter what age one attains, there are always some things that you’re still considered to be too young to receive. I finally got a birthday card from my surgery a couple of weeks ago which said ‘Happy **th, book in for shingles jab’. Not a card that will be going into my ‘memory box’!

        1. My Mum sent me to play with every child she heard had measles, determined that I would get it as a child, but I never did get it. Alas, I managed to succumb when I was in my twenties in London and was extremely ill!

  7. Not my cup of tea at all and felt some clues were somewhat far-fetched e.g. 15a, 28a and 5d. Favs were 12a and 22d. Dreary/wet start to the day but now bathed in beautiful sunshine in West Sussex. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  8. Spot on for a sunny Sunday. Pleasantly challenging and very enjoyable, with the excellent 13d my pick of the crop. An honourable mention, too, for the rekrul.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  9. Heading south after a wonderful weekend at the Edinburgh Festival and Royal Military Tattoo. My husband just managed to grab the last DT on the shelf as he filled up with fuel at the garage. Many thanks to the setter , and to Senf for the review. I had lots of favourites. 9A, 12A, 27A and 13D. Better stop there.

  10. A very enjoyable puzzle today with a number of lovely challenges. Plenty of “lightbulb moments” to add to the fun. I loved 13d, which I thought quite clever, but 10a came a close second.

    Thank you to all concerned especially the setter for an entertaining puzzle.

  11. Pleasant challenge. Completed in between overs of the test match. Lunch time now. Do we go for the win or the draw? Joint favourites were 10a and 12a.

    1. Hopefully, we go for a win but weather may cause a draw. England need to win.

      I did the crossword while listening to TMS.

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle today which I managed without needing the hints. And so many good clues to heighten the pleasure on a Sunday lunchtime. 11a, 12a, 27a, 6d, 13d for instance. Thanks to setter and Senf.

  13. I wish bloggers would not tell me that something is ‘straightforward’, makes me feel even more stupid when I cant get it.

      1. I thought you were getting on Dada’s wavelength? It wasn’t easy but I thought doable.

    1. I wish today’s blogger-in-chief would expand upon his definition of “quirkiness” – it all seemed quite straightforward to me? :unsure:

      1. I think that Senf was referring to the fact that Dada has a rather different approach to clueing – a personality trait like the ones that we’ve become accustomed to with setters such as Ray T. Either you ‘get him’ or you don’t!

      2. For Dada Sunday puzzles, quirky is a level up from benevolent and is sort of related to my solving time (which I will never reveal) and, of course, is as subjective as ever.

  14. Found this quite difficult although having had a break of a few hours the rest succumbed. Sorry I took so long with 13d as have had these grammatical clues before. My last one in was 5d although I live in the right side of the world preceded by 9a although I was on the right lines. The long 20 a was straight in as opposed to 12am’s which was a long time coming. Favourites 9 11 and 12a and 2 3 and 4d. Thanks setter and Senf although managed to parse. Did wonder about the middle of 6d but the penny dropped at the moment I was reading Brian’s comment

  15. Needed a few hints and a bit of electronic help with this one, so not my finest hour.
    However, I think I am getting a little better at these Sunday ones now…..a little.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  16. I’m becoming a Dada convert! Yeah, I know, all of you who said “I told ya”.
    I see 11a has reappeared after a long absence. There was a lot to like, standouts include 12a, 28a and 13d, but the most giggle worthy was 27a, I’m still smiling.
    I think that 5d is used here as well, it originally referred to horses and, I believe, still does.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for his hints and tips.

  17. Another fun episode from Dada, that was a good way to finish off a very busy weekend entertaining family.
    Fav 23ac & 13 d
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf for review

  18. Couldn’t finish without help today, but thanks to Dada and Senf. Not having a good morning as my first attempt at marmalade does not appear to have been a resounding success, ending up with what looks like it will be 3 1/2 jars of treacly toffee instead, and one pan that is going to need hours of scrubbing if it is to be saved. Guess my recipe had a step missing. 🙁

    1. Very brave to attempt marmalade! I get Keilors Dundee Orange marmalade from Publix, good English marmalade, it’s excellent, thick and chewy.

  19. I love this site – thanks so much to all – good to see others have the same problems as I do! The hints – and comments, brighten my day considerably!
    12 and 20a my favourites today.
    Thanks to Senf and the setter!

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