ST 3023 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3023 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3023 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where the mercury is falling; we started out yesterday at 0 degrees and have a forecast high of 7 degrees for today.

Dada is very quirky today – six anagrams (two partials), one lurker, but no homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 6d, and 20d.

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 Volume better to the west of a large town (8)
A synonym of better before (to the west of) A from the clue and a single word for large town.

5a Grow thinner when knocked back, eating nothing (6)
The short name of a liquid used for thinning other types of liquid reversed and containing (when knocked back, eating) the letter that can represent nothing.

12a French port cold I’m afraid to say: one wrapped up (6)
The single letter for cold followed by the single word which can mean I’m afraid to say containing (wrapped up) the letter used to represent one as a numeral.

13a Italian name lies in tatters (8)
An anagram (in tatters) of NAME LIES gives, for example, a resident of an Italian city.

22a Spread European butter the wrong way on end of baguette (8)
A resident of a European (Scandinavian) country and a small amount of butter all reversed (the wrong way) followed by the last letter (on end) of baguettE.

23a Supplier of punch packed with booze finally joining a party (6)
How the hand is presented to supply a punch containing the last letter (packed with . . . finally) of booze followed by (joining) A from the clue.

28a Amount multiplied by ten invested in film (6)
The letter used as a symbol for multiplied by and TEN from the clue all inserted into (invested in) one of cruciverbalists’ favourite films (personally, I have never seen it).

29a Trouble in North Yorkshire town, peacekeepers sent ahead (8)
The two letters used for peacekeepers placed before (sent ahead) of a North Yorkshire town (at the Southern end of a famous railway line).


1d Note bird talking (8)
A type of note and a type of bird (family).

3d Female garment requiring some fabric, hem is extended (7)
The lurker (requiring some) found in the rest of the clue.

6d Tongue injection, one beyond a joke (7)
An informal synonym for injection and the letter used to represent one as a numeral (for the second time today) all placed after (beyond) a type of joke.

10d Sweet thing the writer put in message (8)
The perpendicular pronoun that may be used by the writer and a synonym of put all inserted into (in) a type of message.

14d Brandy very appealing initially, as cold unfortunately outside (8)
An anagram (unfortunately) of AS COLD containing (outside) the first letters (initially) of Very and Appealing.

17d Hundred cuts say distributed over extra wood (8)
The letter used to indicate hundred Inserted into (cuts) an anagram (distributed) of SAY all placed before (over) a synonym of extra.

20d Those people briefly, I reckon, in Muslim kingdom (7)
The informal version (briefly) of a pronoun that indicates those people, I from the clue, and a synonym of reckon.

24d Quick writer (5)
Double definition – the second was an Anglo-Irish satirist and essayist in the 17th and 18th centuries.

25d Privy to information, nobody of note initially (2,2)
The initial letters of four words in the clue.

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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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Helen Shapiro, 73 years young yesterday, with her second number one from October 1961; this is apparently from a compilation programme called ‘Pop Go The Sixties’ first broadcast on December 31, 1969 but with the BBC Four logo in the top LH corner repeated at least once:


59 comments on “ST 3023 (Hints)

  1. I’m afraid I was beaten by this one. I hadn’t heard of the spread in 22a, and having googled it, I don’t think I want to hear of it again.

    I also couldn’t see the pair in the SE 17d & 29a. I had parsed the clue correctly in both cases, just couldn’t see the answers.

    Many thanks to both Dada and Senf

    1. As long as you like the individual ingredients of 22a it’s wonderful – if you don’t then I’d probably give it a miss.

    2. Well, I sat in the golf club (not Trump Turnberry) doing this with a friend. This does not mean there was any COLLUSION. NO COLLUSION!
      Also, as even though I love burning anything we can either dig up out of the ground or chop down in a forest, I cannot obtain the paper copy in Mar a Lago. Therefore doing it on my iPad and was struck way the democrats have put a different clue in there on 23a just to trick me. Losers. Their clue didn’t even work.
      I did not like this one bit.
      15a, seriously. Nancy Pelosi must have written that.
      18a I feel is a personal dig at me, and I’m not happy about it. I have three cheeseburgers with Fox News that’s all. Trying to associate that with Fat Tuesday is FAKE NEWS. I do not limit myself to Tuesdays

      As you were


  2. I enjoyed this fairly relaxed offering from Dada, It had lots of anagrams but I usually like those and find them preferable to GK based clues like the ones about foreign businessmen and footballers in yesterday’s puzzle. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, so they say. It was ** for difficulty but was, nevertheless, **** for enjoyment. Favourites were 18a, 22a,16d and 17d. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for a fine puzzle.

  3. My iPad 23A clue differs from the hint , guessed the correct answer but ….
    Can Wales hold out ?
    Enjoyable and good challenge .
    Thanks Dada & Senf .

    1. I had the iPad clue, too: ” Supplier of punch inspiring one to join a party”. I had the right answer but could not parse the clue fully. The paper version seems better.

  4. A bit trickier again this week from Dada. I started out quickly in the top half but slowed up quite a bit as I solved the lower half.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada 2.5*/4*

  5. 2*/4*. This was very good fun as we have come to expect on Sundays. There were plenty of possibilities which came into consideration as my favourite but 6d gets the nod, even though it made me wince.
    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  6. What a cracking puzzle to start a Sunday. Like many I suspect, I was watching the Wales game perched on the edge of the sofa whilst trying to concentrate on the crossword. Apart from the incomprehensible iPad version of 23a, this was a hugely enjoyable challenge with 6d the pick from some excellent and sharp clueing.

    Thanks very much Dada and Senf.

  7. Dada’s certainly got the hang of pitching Sunday puzzles at just the right level, another very enjoyable offering this morning with only the piecing together of 1d causing any real pause for thought here.

    Can’t see beyond 6d for favourite even though the clue did make me shudder. No matter how hard I try, I still find myself drawn to stare in horrid fascination at those misguided souls who choose to indulge in tongue-piercing. Years ago, I thought nose-piercing was as bad as it could get!

    Thanks to Dada and also to Senf for the blog. Quite enjoyed bopping along to Ms. Shapiro.

        1. I agree with you and Daisygirl,
          Yuk – a very beautiful girl who’s a friend of the younger Lamb’s has the most unspeakable one that I’ve ever seen.

  8. Really didn’t like this puzzle, very difficult with some clumsy clues in 11a and 26a. Still can’t fully parse 15a and 7d.
    Can’t see the word for better in 1a, my answer i am sure is right but my 1st 3 letters don’t seem to mean better even in the BRB.
    Definitely not my favourite Sunday puzzle.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Did you read the vt section of definition 1 of the first three letters of 1a in the BRB? It fits the bill for me.
      Also, better and the start of 1a are in each others entries in the Small Red Book.

  9. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A super puzzle today from Dada, too many to mention them all, but I particularly liked 1,21d&25a, such economy of words and all very clever. 25d was last in. My favourite was 5a. Amazingly I’d just bought some frozen 5a’s. Was 2*/4.5* for me.

  10. Pleasant workout which I solved in a disorderly fashion. Not sure 10d is a sweet thing as such. Fav was 7d when cricket side finally dawned on me. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  11. Nice and straightforward and a very pleasant start to the day. No favorites. Thanks Dada and Senf. Summer is still hanging around down here, with a couple of 90+F days this past week.

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering. Lots of head scratching and wonderful “light bulb” moments. Because of my profession I really liked 6d but my COTD has to be 7d.

    The week is off to a good start! It will probably be all downhill from now on for me.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints and tips.

      1. I am not a piercer of tongues but neither am I a linguist or a comic. There is a clue in the answer to my profession – more I will not say! :smile:

            1. OK – it’s been pointed out to me that all I needed to do was to click on your avatar!
              So – you’re one of those dentists with an impressive qualification who charges an arm and a leg but who, in return, offers an escape route to blissful ignorance whilst he works on one’s cavities and canals!

                1. Thank you, Steve, knew I’d worm the truth out of you one way or another!
                  You have my deepest respect – keep up the good work, people like you are sorely needed.

                  1. I care for my patients. Working in the community dental service I can give my best without thought of making money.
                    I am salaried and I like it that way.
                    I thoroughly enjoyed your probing of my profession, Jane. I knew I would not hide it from you for long. However, I am slightly disappointed that you had to be told to click on my profile.
                    You almost had it without that.
                    So, what part of the answer was the clue to my profession?
                    You have not yet said.

                    1. Umm – well it could be something as simple as the 4th to 6th letters but with my luck there are some initials in there that relate to your work but probably mean nothing to me.

  13. 10d & 23a had me struggling for while – the iPad version has slightly different wording to the version in the hints! Got there but wasn’t comfortable until I checked on the blog – thanks. I don’t think this has happened before but it may have as I sometimes struggle to understand the clues in the weekday version but almost always eventually succeed and I only come to the blog at weekends.

    1. Welcome to the blog.
      If you are referring to differences in clues on different platforms, as with 23a today, that happens more frequently than you might imagine as last minute editorial changes are made that do not get carried across to all platforms.
      As I said in Comment 3 above, It would appear that today the ‘iPad clue’ does not ‘generate’ the correct third letter of the answer.

  14. Another lovely challenge. I really liked 5a and 6d. My only hold up was on 18a as today was our harvest festival and harvest was possibly part of the anagram. However, I was in the wrong part of the ecclesiastical calendar! Thanks to setter and Senf.

  15. Another absolute stunner from Dada today which I thoroughly enjoyed. For me the quirkinesses was a passage to some great clues.
    2.5*/4.5* fav 18ac, 10d.
    Gratitude to Dada for Sunday entertainment & Senf for his review

  16. Another stunner from Dada. A couple of bung ins but not being able to justify was my being dim and a spelling error; I just couldn’t “get” 23a, and at 22a I had a wrong letter, so failed to see the European.
    At 29a I remembered the town but googled to be sure, I learned a lot but can’t say as it’s Sunday and I’d risk excommunication.
    I thought 18a was an Americanism, is it called that in UK?
    I’m going to choose 6d as fave, but I thought the whole puzzle was a treat.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and Senf for his hints and tips. Zero degrees, in September? Blimey, it’s only autumn!

    1. I don’t think 18a is an Americanism, that’s it’s ‘official’ name. However, we do have a rather more familiar alternative which is perhaps what you are thinking about.

      1. Yes, I thought that was the name in UK, at least what my Mum called it. I didn’t know the “fat” name until I came here.

  17. Good sunday fare. Some trouble parsing. but more with my internet conn. Thanks to Senf and Dada .

    May be offline for a bit

  18. Enjoyable but did need most of hints. 5a was a clever one as was 18a – which is in the C of E calendar. Last one in was 20d, couldn’t think of suitable synonym for those people. Great hints thanks to Senf and setter. Think the profession you need may be dentist.

    1. Yes, as someone else pointed out to me – if I’d clicked on the relevant avatar all would have been revealed!

  19. I always wonder how you chaps manage to survive a working day, bent over like that, your backs must ache at the end of a day.

  20. Well I got it done, but did need answers to four to finish, so not my best result today. Thanks to Dada and Senf, even though I did find this somewhat of a strange puzzle, missing the usual sparkle.

  21. . . . then please spare a thought too for the radiographers and the nurses (like me) who did all the ‘bendy over stuff’ all day with lead aprons on so that they were protected from the radiation! They added an extra stone to ones body weight.

    1. Damn – that was meant to be a reply to Merusa and others but I obviously hit the wrong thingy. Oh dear – too tired . . .

      1. There was something funny about that post. I THINK I replied to Steve, but I landed way to the south and took Jane’s post with me, so it probably wasn’t your error. Now, if I had wanted to do that, I would never have been able.

  22. A lovely crossword.
    Too tired to rabbit on for long now – husband is starving so I’m feeling a bit ‘hounded’.
    Had the wrong second word for 18a for too long – all the right letters in the ‘fodder’ were there but . . .
    22a took ages to untangle as did 29a – wrong town and didn’t even know it was in Yorkshire.
    I think we’ve seen 7d in various shapes and forms in the last couple of weeks or so.
    I can’t just pick my one favourite so one of the following would fit the bill – 5 and 11a and 2 and 6d.
    With thanks to Dada and too Senf.

  23. I’m late to join the party …..
    Definitely a quirky crossword for me! I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge although it did take a while. I’ll go with 6d as favourite clue.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun, and to Senf for the hints.

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