ST 3019 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3019 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3019 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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Welcome to September and a very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we are enjoying a (soggy) holiday weekend often considered as the (unofficial?) end of summer, schools will be back in session this week and we can begin looking forward to the ‘brutal’ winter that Falcon mentioned on Thursday.  My ‘early Autumn’ jacket has already had several outings in the last few days.

It looks like there could be the remnants of a couple of hurricanes/tropical storms heading across the ‘pond’ in the next week or so!

Dada back to being quirky this week – four anagrams (three partials), one lurker, and one homophone.

Candidates for favourite – 27a, 3d, and 7d.

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 Snub polar bear (4-8)
An adjective that can describe polar conditions and a synonym of bear.

9a Cheese, part eaten by pet perhaps? (9)
A synonym of part inserted into (eaten by) an animal that can be a pet (perhaps).

13a Offence clear, passing backwards in game (6)
A type of (moral) offence and a synonym of clear (in reference to revenue for example) all reversed (passing backwards).

18a Eternal youth in parent brought about by exercise (5,3)
The abbreviation for (school) exercise followed by an anagram (brought about) of PARENT.

21a Leader minding language with posh element (8)
The two letter abbreviation for leader (of a government) containing (minding) an ancient language and (with) the single letter for posh.

23a Neighbouring characters, one that’s a civil rights leader (6)
Take two neighbouring characters from the alphabet, insert the ‘combining’ conjunction between them, and end with the single letter for one.

27a Item for the breakfast table in oven, hunt sandwiches (5,4)
A type of oven (used to be) prevalent in the ‘home’ county of Cryptic Sue contained by (sandwiches) a synonym of hunt.

28a Race arduous, Chelsea given thrashing (12)
A synonym of arduous followed by an anagram (given thrashing) of CHELSEA.


1d Space in plane, male flier on mine (7)
A male flier followed by (on) a synonym of mine.

3d Story ending in disaster after battle — one should never spill the claret! (9)
A (fake) story and the last letter (ending in) of disasteR placed after a WW1 battle (actually, there were two battles of this name).

6d Captured by painter, a topless muse (5)
The lurker (captured by) found in the rest of the clue.

7d This person swallowed by large tiger maybe means to survive (8)
The perpendicular pronoun (this person) inserted into (swallowed by) the single letter for large and a descriptive term for what a tiger is a type of (maybe).

8d Wooden pin Margaret left as an example (3,3)
The short form of the childish form of Margaret (and it doesn’t begin with M), the single letter for left, and the (Latin) abbreviation for as an example.

17d Lengthy pain in France? (8)
A lengthy example of what pain is French for.

20d Flash starter in tasty seafood (7)
The initial letter (starter in) of Tasty and a type of seafood.

24d Play in the morning, a way to get up (5)
The (Latin) abbreviation for in the morning, A from the clue, and the abbreviated form of a type of way all reversed (to get up).

24d Post man reported (4)
The homophone (reported) of a synonym of man.


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.

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Barry Gibb is 73 today; apparently he and his brothers are all Manxmen by birth.  This was the first real world wide success for the Bee Gees, in September 1967, with a perhaps dubious claim to fame of being the second record ever played on Radio One when it was ‘turned on’ on September 30, 1967:


68 comments on “ST 3019 (Hints)

  1. This was a game of two halves. The North West went in very swiftly but I really struggled with the South East and ended up in **** time for difficulty. It was by no means as enjoyable as yesterday’s puzzle either (**). Some of the synonyms were over-stretched but I cannot really fathom why I found it so difficult to complete. 21a and 28a were quite good clues. Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

  2. Likewise to Chrisx the SE corner caused a problem but 23A appreciated although second favourite to 17D .

    Some clever clues although some over complicated in my opinion . Pleased to finish and , looking back , enjoyed the challenge.

    Thanks to everyone .

  3. I don’t always cotton to JH but I did thoroughly enjoy deciphering this. South was more testing than the North. 17d was definitely Fav with 8d running (?) up. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  4. Not too difficult but great fun. My favs include 18a and 27a but my COTD goes to 1a.
    For me at least the best Sunday for a long time probably since DADA took over.
    Thx to all

  5. I started quickly but definitely slowed the further South I got.
    I too will join the 17d fan club. A true LOL moment when the penny dropped.
    Thank you to all involved as usual.

  6. 2*/4*. Light and good fun. My only problem came from 12a. There are a couple of small smudges of ink on my page which are masking the top and bottom of the last letter of the first word which I assumed must be “boat”. That in turn caused me to spend ages fruitlessly trying to make an anagram of boat. In the end I applied some electronic help to the checking letters to find there is only one word which fits and that doesn’t include a T! All is now clear – apart from the ink smudges.

    1a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. FYI – the puzzles.telegraph web site today had the cryptic as FREE-TO-PLAY.

      So, on this occasion, you could have checked what the ink smudges were meant to be … without paying the subscription.

  7. 1a went in straight away, which is always a good start, and despite several other clues coming close, this proved to be my favourite. Pleasantly challenging and very enjoyable, a perfect Sunday puzzle.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  8. Another one here who found the SE the most testing, in fact I think it probably took me twice the time of the whole of the rest.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the tussle and I’m another 17d fan.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. Yes as I feared, a full house of zeros last weekend. Are we the only ones who are victims of this conundrum? Perhaps we should explore what we do in common? I always use my iPad, usually submit mid- morning, quite often from overseas but not been able to establish a correlation there, as the past two weeks at home have shown. New Members of the ‘Zero Club’ would be very welcome – please introduce yourselves upon joining!

      1. Last weekend I was zero for Sunday but ok for the Saturday . Normally , I am ok but I do get the occasional zero for no reason I can think of . Funny business .

        1. Welcome to this elite Club, anyway. We have asked for explanations, particularly if a Zero prevents us from having an entry into the prize draw, but no response from the Telegraph ( or Chris Lancaster) to date. We live in hope ( well, Hathersage, actually, for those who are familiar with the Peak District).

      2. Full house for me both Saturday and Sunday of last week HJ. No, I cannot see any pattern whatsoever. I solve on an iPad which very rarely leaves my house. I can’t say I submit at any particular regular time as it depends what is happening over the weekend.

        A couple of years ago I was getting so incensed by it that I was sending a screenshot to the Telegraph Digital Services of my ‘nil point’ grid every week. I thought if I drove them completely mad, they might deal with it. No such luck. They gave me all sorts of instructions for what to do, but none of it worked. I really don’t think they know how to fix it.

        I was, at that time, having chats on here about it with someone else. From memory I think it was Faraday. Faraday was it you, and if so how are you getting on with it now?

        Welcome to the club from me, too, KFB and MsGlad

        1. Sorry to report Margaret that I’m fine now and have been (touching wood) for over a year now. I seem to remember that I phoned the DT and played the old technophobe card. They talked me through deleting the App from my iPad and reinstalling it and all is fine. I’ve got a subscription to the DT app, which allows me to read the news stories as well as the accessing the puzzles. It does not, frustratingly, allow me access to the Toughie – I have to rely on Mr Waitrose giving me a “free” newspaper for that. I think the words free and Waitrose cannot be used in the same sentence 😂

      3. I’m a zero for last Sunday’s puzzle but as I don’t comment on the weekends I cannot let you know

  9. I really enjoyed this, some clever and amusing clues. I particularly liked 23a, if it has appeared before then I had forgotten it. 17d was my last one in, so obvious once you’ve got it!
    Thanks to Senf and setter.

  10. I never pay much attention to my solving time but was aware that this one took me longer than usual. Never really got a firm foothold so was darting about the grid filling in the odd ones along the way. Maybe it was the late night taking it’s toll!

    Great sense of satisfaction when the last answer slotted into place and I awarded the gold star to 1a.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – those Bee Gees were an odd-looking bunch in their younger days, they definitely improved with age!

    1. Sorry Jane, I have moving house, so I have had no opportunity to thank you for your kind comment last week.

  11. Top half went in speedily and then spent far too long on the bottom half. Finally saw 17d which is my COTD. 19a last in and needed a bit of electronic help to get it.
    I’ve just this week joined the ‘Zero Club’. I’ve not had a problem for months but I think it may be that I deleted and reloaded the app on my iPad as the pages had been freezing. Will see if it resolves itself next week.

  12. Like many others first half went in quickly, but spent ages in SE corner. initially defeated by 7d -very clever clue. Of course tried to insert the wrong pronoun. Got it eventually. 9a favourite. Thanks to Dada and Senf for excellent hints.

  13. Splendid puzzle from a compiler I used not to comprehend. Thank you. Hints not needed but thanks Senf for help with a couple of parsings. 3d was straight in but failed to properly parse everything after the battle. Interesting how we differ 17d is a fun clue but did not need thinking about. Others found different clues easier. I agree (with the addition of 7d) the SE was the region which took longer to conquer.. 7 and 14 the favourite down clues. Long list of favourites across from which I will select 18 for simplicity and 23 for ingenuity. I had an idea of what I was looking for and got the 2nd to 4th letters. My first choice was a no go as he had one letter too many. Thanks again.

  14. The only time I have been zeroed is when I have deleted and reinstalled The app at sometime during he week, usually because the paper is playing up.i haven’t finished this yet but thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. My last one too. Impossible when only two checkers which were vowels but easier when the last letter in. Just start going through the alphabet. The answer can mean a failing and is also a short way of saying the rest of the clue.

      1. Still stuck on 19a. Think I have the answer but I cannot parse it even with the help. Thanks anyway will have to wait for the full explanation

      1. When she wished to express a matter of little concern Grandma Bee used to say something I heard as “San Fairy Anne” which I always assumed was some wierd Geordie/Scottish expression beyond my ken. seeing your comment makes me realise she was probably speaking French rather than some northern dialect.

        1. I’m afraid we Brits have rather bastardised the phrase over the years. Definitely ‘san fairy anne’ in our house!

  15. A very excellent crossword today – maybe I’m getting to grips with Dada at last.
    I interpreted 23a slightly differently to Senf – I thought the definition was, “One that’s a civil rights leader” – the neighbouring characters being the first letter and the last two with the conjunction bunged in after the first letter.
    I found the right hand side much trickier than t’other one.
    My last two answers were 19a and 7d.
    Loads of good clues so spoilt for choice but my favourite was either 23a or 17d.
    With thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  16. Needed help for my last two in (15a-electronic aid and 19a-Weekend Wanda above)…..but this is a good result for me on a Sunday.
    Liked 8d best.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  17. I think I am in Dada’s groove now. But like others top half went in a lot easier than the bottom. I will join those who elected 17d as COTD. Thanks to Senf and Dada.
    Finish was delayed by a trip out to Salts Mill and Shipley Glen in sunshine and showers. Thankfully showers when we were indoors or driving, sunshine and breeze elsewhen.

  18. A ***/** for me today. Would have been ****/** except the hint for 19a was provided by Weekend Wanda not Senf. So thanks to Dada, Senf and WW for the puzzle and the enjoyment.

    1. No thanks necessary but a pleasure. On prize days only a selection of hints are provided for the more difficult clues but, of course, we all have different ideas as to what is difficult and what is not.

  19. I liked this crossword big time! Some lovely clues with 19a being my last entry and also favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  20. I do enjoy these Sunday challenges, testing but not arduous, entertaining & good clue construction.
    3*/4*, no favourites as they are all worthy of mention,… did take another coffee pot though!
    Grateful thanks to Dada & Senf for review & direction on a couple I got lost on!

  21. Good fun. Got stuck on 17d until the penny dropped. Favorite 23a.

    We also sometimes have problems on the iPad where one or two correct answers are not registered. We put this down to using a German keyboard but I’m not sure this is the answer.

  22. To think I used to refuse to print off a Dada puzzle, I just love them now.
    North went in smoothly but south caused a struggle.
    There was so much to like here, but I’m going to choose 17d since it took so long for the penny to drop, but 23a needs to be mentioned for cleverness.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for his hints and pics.

    1. Ditto of my comment to Jane thanking you for your comment last week. Glad you made it through the bad weather.

      1. Not at all, I’d really miss you if you left, so just come back.
        Hurricane not here yet, imagine, winds are up to 185 mph! BusyLizzy a little north of me and a bit iffy, I’m now supposedly just out of range.

  23. Like many, a puzzle of two halves, north fell very easily but south required a bit more Sunday brainpower! 17d made me chuckle. Thanks to Dada for another excellent puzzle and Senf.

  24. As we sit here in the gloom (have 2 sets the hurricane shutters still to close, leaving them until later today), surrounded by our patio furniture (can’t leave it outside), one bathroom full of orchids sheltering from outdoors (plus one little chirpy cricket who came in with them), another bathroom full of bottled and buckets of water, a large box of batteries, the crossword was a welcome distraction. And we are just on the fringes of this Hurricane, and now under a Watch. The people in the Bahamas are going through hell as I write this, and I feel very bad for them.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf. After rapidly filling in the north west corner I thought I was on a roll, but after that it was a struggle, and needed too many hints to fall in the enjoyment category. Probably won’t have power by the morning, but I have a stack of unsolved puzzles as back up if we cannot access Monday’s. And we will have to demolish the ice cream before it melts, so it’s not all bad news…

    1. Late in the day – guests round all day today – so just did the crossword tonight to unwind. Thanks JH it was fun, but frankly it’s not important as I see what Dorian is doing. I’m sorry BL and M that I don’t have your personal contacts. I don’t want to bore people here who don’t live in the Hurricane belts, so I’ll just say to you two that I’m praying! The little thing that passed the islands is now as big, if not bigger, than Irma and Maria.

      Sorry BD to use your site for this message.

  25. So happy to see that so many of you guys really appreciate Dada now.
    Don’t want to brag but I did warn you.
    The Saturday prize Guardian is one of his too. Really worth a look.
    Spent ages on 17d. D’oh.
    Made me laugh.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

    1. You, of all people, got taken in by 17d – now I don’t feel so stupid! Yes, you did warn us about Dada.

  26. I found this lots of fun. Maybe 11a put me in a good mood, because I’ve just returned from a trip to Oxford which included … well, I can’t say more because it’s a prize crossword. I think I can reassure you that I didn’t lose my shirt though. :)

    Anyway, I found plenty of humour elsewhere in the puzzle to give it two paws up irrespective of irrelevant coincidences.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  27. I think Dada is pitching these about dead right these days, well done him. Lots to like and smile about. I agree with most of the comments above. 19a also my last in. Favourite? 17d because I knew what type of thing the answer was going to be straight away, I just couldn’t thing of the name of it until I’d got checkers. Many thanks to Dada and Senf for hosting the blog. I think I’ll try the toughie for a week last Wednesday!

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