ST 3021 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3021 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3021 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we have had a cool (temperatures in the  low teens) and wet week with a forecast of a mini-heatwave starting today with expected temperatures in the upper twenties – go figure!

Benevolence has returned, with a touch of quirkiness and some oldies but goodies – five anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one a possible lurker), and one homophone.

Candidates for favourite – 2d, 3d, and 23d.

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 Sale I find, after negotiation, agreed upon (9)
What better than an anagram (after negotiation) to start of SALE I FIND.

10a Quiet moment for comedy routine (6)
The two letter interjection to request quiet and a synonym of moment.

11a Touring America, rebel surprisingly OK for further employment (8)
An anagram (surprisingly) of REBEL containing (touring) the three letter abbreviation for America.

16a Heart perhaps in rogue broken by lover, finally (4)
A three letter type of rogue containing (broken by) the last letter (finally) of loveR.

19a Just so optimal, every second in paradise (6)
Is this a lurker? Every second (letter) in the rest of the clue – a real lurker can be found at 27a.

21a Sluggish swim, rubbish doing the backstroke? (6)
A term for a (recreational) swim followed by a synonym of rubbish (as an interjection?) all reversed (doing the backstroke).

26a Drinker maybe rudely allowed to bring glass (6)
A slang term (maybe rudely) for the part of the face we drink through followed by a single word for allowed to bring.

28a Device on tree with pin broken (3-6)
An anagram (broken) of ON TREE and (with) PIN .


1d Fine political leaning (5)
A double definition – the second is not represented by the colour red.

3d Very bad, like a candle? (6)
Another double definition, which, unlike 1d, depends on different pronunciations of the same word.

6d Red alert activated about posh chap messing around? (9)
An anagram (activated) of RED ALERT containing (about) the letter used to represent posh.

15d Hesitant female changing (9)
The single letter for female followed by a synonym of changing.

17d Pass, then stretch out to go round a keeper (6)
A synonym of pass followed by (then) a three letter term for stretch out (as in expressing a terminological inexactitude) containing (to go round) A from the clue.

This is Tim Krul who played a key role in the Canaries win over Manchester City yesterday.

20d By the sound of it, ancient Briton chosen (6)
The homophone (by the sound of it) of an ancient Briton.

23d Women only saving me — those chaps are macho! (2-3)
A single word associated with women only functions containing (saving) ME from the clue.

25d Catch slow-mover that hasn’t started (4)
A slow moving gastropod mollusc with its first letter removed (that hasn’t started).

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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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Small Faces, only one week at number one (probably thankfully) starting on this day in 1966:


57 comments on “ST 3021 (Hints)

  1. A very gentle mental exercise session today (** for difficulty *** for enjoyment). I liked 3d, 21a and 25a. Thanks to Senf for the review and to the setter .

  2. More of a Monday puzzle today rather than a prize one but enjoyable nevertheless .

    Biggest smile goes to 9D and 10A makes a lovely sound .

    Yet another sunny day in South Wales as the outdoor bowls season draws to the end .

    Thanks Senf and to theSetter .

  3. No hold ups today with the bottom half going straight in and the top half following not far behind. For some reason I always start at the bottom on a Sunday, I think it’s because in the past I’ve always found it easier down there.

    Nothing particularly stood out as good or bad, it was just a steady solve.

    Many thanks to Senf and setter

  4. Nice easy start to a lazy Sunday. Only problem is 10a was a new word to me but easily clued.
    Best clue for me was def 9d, anyone who hasn’t should take a trip to the Farne Islands and see these comical birds before they die out.
    Thx to all

    1. Hi Brian,
      Pleased to report that numbers of 9d’s are slowly but surely recovering on ‘their’ island in the Menai Strait. The rat eradication programme at the end of the 1980’s is finally bearing fruit.

      1. Last time I saw some Jane they were doing very well in a couple of the uninhabited islands of the Inner Hebrides as well. I took some rather nice close-up photos whilst they were pretty much under my feet.

        1. That’s one of the amazing things about them – they don’t seem to be at all bothered by the proximity of humans.

          1. Yes, absolutely, they seemed to be quite happy to have so many humans on their island. They seemed to be as curious about us as we were aboug them. Sadly they couldn’t phogograph us, lol.

  5. Had to do a ‘guess and then check’ with 10a – new word for me – but no other problems to report.
    Think I’ll put 13d at the top of the pile for its surface read.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the Sunday hints.
    PS Does Steve Marriott get the award for ‘first head-banger’?!!

  6. Something very strange is happening here. When I logged on at silly o’clock in the early morning, clicking View showed me the completed grid with all the answers ! When I came here to see what others were saying, surprised to see no comment about this. So I assumed that they’d fixed it. But I’ve just gone into the Telegraph site (at 11.37am) and it’s still showing me the answer grid. That’s using Safari on a Mac. Trying Firefox also shows the answers !

    1. Using a different email address has sent your comment off for moderation.

      You will need to be more explicit about how you are accessing the puzzles as there are at least two ways.

          1. Apologies…no idea how site got in there. Just checked and the link is the same as yours. But even if someone had compromised my login, that would simply mean that they could access the crosswords…not hack the Telegraph site to display the answers !

            What happens when you access the site via the link ?

            1. But, if someone has compromised your login and solved and submitted a puzzle then it would only show as ‘View’ next time there is a login.
              Do all the puzzles, even the ones you have not tackled (Toughies perhaps) show as ‘View’ when you go to the site?

                    1. That’s basically the same link. I asked about it because in the past Telegraph Puzzles have by mistake reused an id number from a previous puzzle. If a subscriber has already solved that previous puzzle, the current one will load with the grid completed. That’s not the case here. The only explanantion I can think of is that somebody else has submitted it using your credentials, so I support BD’s advice to change your password.

        1. Mystery solved!

          I was away for the weekend and my insomniac wife had decided that she’d see what all ‘this crossword lark’ was all about. My login details are stored on the Mac. She’s never done a cryptic crossword in her life but she did this one….

          Thanks for all your help which was spot on !

  7. Just right amount of challenge combined with a lot of fun. 10a new one on me but presumed and bunged in. East got there first then needed a couple of nudges in the SW. Re 2d – I’m getting on but hopefully not worn out! I’m obviously not alone in nominating 9d as my ingenuous Fav. Thank you JH for a very pleasant start to a lazy Sunday.

    1. 9d nearly made my candidates for favourite until I confirmed that said bird appeared with similar cluing just over two weeks ago so it got a ‘recent repeat’ tag.

  8. An enjoyable solve today despite taking time for my mind to get into it. Like others, 10a was a bung in because I had not heard of this word and the BRB was upstairs. 13d was my favourite of the day. Pleased to see 9d gave a mention to preservation.

    Thanks to all involved.

  9. Pleasant Sunday puzzle. 4d has to be on my list of faves together with a few anagrams with well disguised oops can’t say that word it’s another answer!. Has anyone other than Anthony Buckeridge/Jennings used 5d as a synonym of smashing since my childhood?
    I have been to the Farne Islands and love the wildlife there. Best view of 9d was the Treshinish Islands in Scotland. They would come right up to you to get into their burrows.
    17d and 23d bunged in and only really parsed by Senf.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

      1. All back together and washing normally. I guess we weren’t doing enough hot washes as it was a bit bunged up with grease etc. A flush out and a hot wash with one of those bottles of dishwasher scourers has done the trick. No leftover parts but I need a new filter thingy to stop it happening again.

  10. Having successfully moved house, unpacked a goodly number of boxes and got the internet up and running, I feel a day off is in order to catch up on crosswords. This was a pretty straightforward one with plenty to enjoy. I thought 3d and 9d were both very good and get my COTD nominations.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

    1. Pleased to hear that the move has been completed – strange (and somewhat sad) that the priority these days is to sort out the internet connection! Remember when it was ‘dustbin day’ and milk/paper deliveries that were our first thoughts?
      Whereabouts in Shropshire have you homed in on – lovely county.

      1. Thanks for your kind thoughts Jane. We have moved from just over the border in Wales to a small village on the Shropshire plain, equidistant between Shrewsbury and Wellington, to the north of the A5. No internet – no Big Dave website as mobile signal not consistent.

        1. Just got a gist of your location from a Google earth thingy – looks as though you’re not a million miles away from Ironbridge which I thought was a lovely spot. Mobile signal is something of a joke here but Internet not bad although I think that could be down to my specific location on the coast.

  11. I can at last say I am in tune with a setters wavelength… another gem from Dada for me, although as others have commented on the benevolent side.
    2*/4* best favourites of many are 10& 19ac with 2& 5 down.
    Grateful to Dada for another Sunday workout & Senf for his review.

  12. I just thought that I should tell everyone that we could all spare some thoughts and send good wishes to pommers and pommette. I had an email from him yesterday. I didn’t know anything about the awful weather and floods in Eastern Spain but apparently large areas where they live have been evacuated and their house is about three feet deep in water so will be uninhabitable for some time. How horrid for them.

    1. Oh that is horrible news. I was pleased to meet them at the last BDay Bash. They have my deepest sympathy. Makes my problems with a smelly dishwasher fade into nothing.

      1. Nice simple one today. Enjoyed bigly. Nice to see you brits dumming things down nicely for my takeover next month.


    2. Oh no, I’ve not heard a thing about that! I’ll have to google. It’s bad enough having your house underwater and having to evacuate, but it’s the aftermath, having to get it habitable again. My best wishes to them.

    3. Thanks for passing that on, Kath
      It must be awful. Best wishes and good luck to Pommers & Pommette from me too,

    4. Just had a look on Google and it looks dreadful. As Merusa said, it will be the clearing up afterwards that will be such a nightmare. Thank goodness that they’re both safe – I guess we have to be grateful for small mercies.

    5. Oh my goodness, so sorry to hear that. Being flooded must be one of the most awful things to experience. Will be thinking of them, and hope they can get it all sorted.

      1. So sorry to hear about Pommers and Pommette being flooded.
        Hope they can get back into their house and start the dreadful job of clearing up soon.
        Glad they’re safe at least.

  13. Now on to the crossword which I thought was a really good one.
    I didn’t find Dada in a totally benevolent mood today but he wasn’t as devilish as he can be.
    My first attempt at 12a was wrong but 3d sorted that out for me.
    I was ridiculously slow to ‘see’ 8 and 21a.
    Must have met 10a somewhere – a crossword probably – as once I stopped trying to make it start with a ‘P’ it came to me.
    I don’t think that I’d call 19a a lurker.
    I particularly liked 21 and 26a and 3d. My favourite was 9d – there used to be lots of them on Skomer but I haven’t been there for ages.
    With thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  14. I started at the bottom of the grid and worked upwards. My last entry was 9a. My favourite was 3d. A pleasant challenge indeed.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.
    Thinking of pommers and pommette….

  15. A nice easy ride today – just as well as I have had a week away from crosswords and thought
    I might be rusty! As always, enjoy reading the analysis and the comments so thanks to all.

  16. A gentle ride on a Sunday afternoon. 10a was new to me. I was confused by the parsing of 19a until the meaning of second kicked in.

    Sorry to hear about the “rain in Spain”. How horrid for our bloggers.

  17. Not an easy ride for me in the SW today but most enjoyable.
    My only holdup was 11a but only because I made an “l” look like an “e”, don’t ask, so I needed the hint. To compound the idiocy, I knew it was an anagram, all I had to do was look it up.
    I’m tossing a coin for fave between 3d and 9d, the former is giggle worthy and the latter such lovely creatures.
    Not sure I like 10a, what an awful word, ugh.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for his help. Temps in the teens and it’s only the start to September? You are truly hardy folk!

  18. Steady progress until the NE. It took a while to realize we had 4d wrong. Then everything fell into place.

  19. I thought that was a top notch puzzle, the best we’ve had in a while, with quality clues throughout. More like this please.

  20. What a relief, after struggling for the last 4 days I thought my brain had given up the ghost. But thank you setter (Dada?) and Senf, lots of enjoyment with this one, as only one hold out today, (8a), which I had to get help for. 3d and 6d tied for favourite. Such a joy to see all the boxes filled in. Again, so sorry to read about Pommers flooding.

  21. I certainly did not find this one easy…but probably easier for me than previous Sunday crosswords.
    Eventually managed to solve it with quite a lot of electronic help, then checked with the hints .

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  22. What a lovely couple of weekend puzzles. I managed to complete Saturday’s and today I just have 3 left to figure out. I admit though that I have several from during the week that I am still working on.
    I am getting stronger and walking more and more though only in the house and little ways into the garden.

    We have an election coming up. The robocalls are getting ridiculous and I deliberate give wrong answers simply to confuse the polls because I hate robocalls. Add to that, we have gone very much down the attack advertisement road. I loathe that. I don’t want to hear how bad the other lot are, I want to hear what you are planning to do. So each robocall I block that number on my phone and I mute the ads. It all seems so childish, like they are all involved in some kind of scrap in the playground in junior school.

    Well enough of all that! I won’t let it distract me from the important things in life. Like the crossword. The lovely tips and hints on here and the sense of community.

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