ST 3024 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 3024 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3024 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, after near record rainfall of over three times the monthly average in September and continuing rainfall in this first week of October, plus the result of storms in North Dakota and Minnesota, the Red River looks like it is at Spring thaw flood levels, except there aren’t any mini-icebergs floating downsteam.

Dada at his quirkiest today, which is what I didn’t need after waking up early to watch a particular oval ball game being played in Japan and attending an all day Diocesan Conference which resulted in me being somewhat cream crackered at puzzle time – I counted five anagrams (one a partial), two lurkers, and one homophone.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 18a, 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 Level throw (5)
A double definition to start.

9a Very little cutting, calculating nicks (9)
A three letter synonym of calculating contains (nicks) a synonym of cutting.

11a Currently hot, flex burning (7)
A single word for currently hot followed by a synonym of flex – unless I have got this totally wrong, I am not convinced that flex and the required synonym are totally synonymous.

13a Sort of car, say, behind back of bike (6)
A synonym of say placed after (behind) the last letter (back) of bikE.

18a Actor, this person featuring in ‘The Bridge’ (8)
The perpendicular pronoun representing this person inserted into (featuring in) THE from the clue a synonym of bridge.

20a Last of owls has best hoot! (6)
The last letter of owlS followed by (has) a synonym of best.

24a Welcomed by minstrel, earnings pick up again (7)
The second lurker, the first is 10a, (welcomed by) found in the rest of the clue.

28a More fashionable than the rest, stop in northern Italian city briefly (9)
A synonym of stop inserted into (in) a Northern (actually more North-Eastern) Italian City with its last letter removed (briefly).

29a Cute daughter in woollen material (5)
A synonym of cute followed by the single letter for daughter.


1d Deadly piste negotiated: fast time? (9)
An anagram (negotiated) of PISTE followed the time of fasting in the Christian Calendar.

3d Musical number coming up — might that go over one’s head? (7)
A late 1960s rock musical (I saw it twice) followed by a three letter number reversed (coming up).

4d Band‘s ‘Ugly Duckling’ on the radio (6)
The homophone (on the radio) of what the ‘Ugly Duckling’ really was when it was young.

7d Nation in hole: upset about that! (9)
A synonym of upset containing (about that) IN from the clue and a synonym of hole.

14d Consequently the judge rushed, having doffed cap (9)
Lego at the ready! THE from the clue, an abbreviated form of a type of judge, and a synonym of rushed with its first letter removed (having doffed cap).

19d Surprisingly deep, a cloth evenly folded (7)
An anagram (surprisingly) of DEEP, A and the even letters of cLoTh.

21d Player needing room is first to tackle (7)
More Lego.  A small, probably sparsely furnished, room, IS from the clue, and the initial letter (first to) of Tackle.

23d Stake keeps one in place (5)
A synonym of stake contains (keeps) the single letter used for one – I have amended the hint per the discussions so far – while ‘put in place’ may be first in the BRB listing of the answer it is not a definition I am familiar with based on my usage of the word – oh well..

25d A gorgeous woman appeared (5)
A from the clue and a single (floral) word for gorgeous woman.

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.

Bob Geldof, KBE celebrated his 68th birthday yesterday.  Here he is with an impromptu performance of a number one hit for The Boomtown Rats in July/August 1979 at the Live 8 Concert; in Hyde Park on July 2, 2005:


55 comments on “ST 3024 (Hints)

  1. 23d the definition is ‘place’ and you need a synonym for ‘stake’ into which ….

    1. That’s what I was forced to conclude but , IMHO, it does seem a bit of a stretch as the definition surely does not have the implicit characteristic of the answer.

            1. Not come across this word myself but went along with the BRB. If this is the word to “set in place: why is a different one – two letters longer – in common usage?

              1. Probably too much of a ‘discussion’ for a Sunday – you’ll have to remember to ask the question again on Thursday 17th

                1. You probably won’t see this but I checked online dictionary yesterday and the two meanings seem to have a different Latin root. No doubt you will clarify on the full review.

            2. There is a part of your brain that carries on working out crossword clues while you are doing other things, even things that require brain activity. .

    2. Thanks everyone, I have amended the hint and as I have now said it is not a usage of the answer that I am familiar with.

  2. Very tricky (**** for difficulty) and not as satisfying as usual to complete (**/***) for enjoyment. I had pencilled question marks next to a few clues because I was unsure about the answers and, interestingly, Senf seems to have had reservations about some clues. Thanks to Senf for confirmation that I have parsed the clues correctly. I shared your reservations about 11a and 23d. Thanks to Dada; 14d was my favourite.

    1. It will be interesting to see how many people ‘misread’ 23d – see my comment above

  3. I enjoy Dada’s quirkiness although I thought this was at the gentler end of his scale and not quite as enjoyable as usual. Overall **/*** for me. 4a, 7d and 16d competing for pole position. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  4. Is the above first set of comments over 23D or 25D ? Both seem ok to me .
    My COTD , biggest smile , 4D . SE corner held out the longest .
    Pleased to finish but some clues did not give satisfaction .
    Thanks to everyone .

    1. Senf originally numbered 23d as 25d – we are all discussing 23d. I’ve amended his post and will try and amend the references in the comments too

    2. Apologies on the ‘double numbering’ at the end of the hints – an effect of being ‘cream crackered.’ Thanks to CS for her edit of the same.

  5. Not sure I would describe this as quirky, more pretty awful. Didn’t help that the paper and electronic versions have different clues for 4d, the one in the paper being far easier.
    Puzzled by 25d in the hints as there seem to be 2 25downs. In the electronic version the Stake clue (which is incomprehensible) is 23d.
    Very difficult with almost no enjoyment as far as I am concerned. I have never taken to DADA puzzles, they are just too weird for my linking.
    Thx for the hints.

      1. Well I have to say that I prefer the paper/puzzle web site clue; although I did have minor concerns about the use of band, an Americanism perhaps, but there is no indication of that in the BRB.

  6. I’ve no wish to start off that particular debate again but I did tut over 16d!
    A few blank moments that gave pause for thought – maybe my brain’s still exhausted from the battle with Mr Radler in the MPP……

    Medals given out to 4a & 22d for the smile factor with one reserved for the delightful ugly duckling.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Sir Geldof looking his usual scruffy self – I trust that he smartened up a little to meet Her Majesty!

  7. A bit of a curate’s egg which was somewhat enjoyed but certainly isn’t among my favourites. Where does ugly come into 4d? 11a is dubious IMHO. Three bung-ins for me – 7d,19d and 23d. Fav was 18a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. From the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that the song in the video is based on since the ‘Ugly Duckling’ is not a duckling at all.

  8. 3*/4*. This was nicely challenging and good fun. My podium comprises 4a, 18a, 4d & 14d.

    Senf, I think the synonym of flex in 11a is OK in relation to muscles.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. RD – I sort of agree with your comment on 11a, however, to me flex suggests freedom of movement while the synonym in the answer suggests the opposite.

  9. Way beyond me. I got four answers in the first read through and another four on the second, now I’m stuck.

    I could pick through all the hints above, but I can’t be bothered because I won’t learn anything.

    Days like this are best left to the experts.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  10. A thoroughly enjoyable workout from Dada this morning, with the NW corner holding out the longest. I liked 18a as my pick of the clues, with 9a and 4d (iPad version) being the final two to fall. Quirky or teasingly difficult? Either works for me as perseverance usually pays off once you get on to his wavelength.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. Took ages with top right corner and suddenly John MacEnroe sprang into my mind! Four remaining then flew in. Really weird. Rest of puzzle ok so thanks to all.

  12. Quite a poser today and the NE corner held out the longest with my ending up not sure I have it right. So, not being convinced it is correct, I am refraining from submitting it.

    This puzzle had to be subjected to the “leave it alone” principal. I often find, if I am struggling, that to walk away from it for a while then return after an hour or so – the clues start to click. I am sure the brain works on clues subconsciously while we do something else.

    MY COTD are18a and 17d. As for 23d I did not know this word but obeyed the BRB. If this means what it does why is a word that is two letters longer in common usage? Just a thought.

    Many thanks to the setter and Senf.

  13. Could never have finished this without the excellent hints. Took ages for the penny to drop for 23d, in spite of all the discussion. COTD 4d – great hint! Thanks to Senf and Dada

  14. Obtuse, testing, quirky & difficult today, but nonetheless entertaining & enjoyable for me from Dada… & on occasions a tad frustrating!
    3.5*/4* favs 28ac & 12ac.
    Thanks to Dada for a true post lunch workout & Senf for his review & direction… whilst in a state of recovery 👏

  15. With Brian again *****/minus **. A complete and utter stinker. Thanks to Senf for doing the hard work I couldn’t possibly manage.

  16. Needed a bit of electronic help but quite enjoyed this puzzle.

    Agree the style of this setter is a bit different but that is what helps to stretch the boundaries.

    Not sure why the debate for 23d, it fell for me straight away as I have seen it used in quite a few legal documents over the years.

    Would agree with Senf and others about 11a, the clue of “flex” and the required synonym seem more like antonyms to me.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada!

    1. According to Wiktionary, to flex one’s muscles is to – ***** and bend one’s flexor muscles. Works for me!

  17. Disappointed with this rather tough puzzle from Dada today, didn’t enjoy it at all over breakfast, with only 11 answers filled in. Not sure if I will waste any more of the day on it later. Thanks for hints Senf.

  18. Blimey, I finished without help.
    But, a very big but, it took ages, so ***** for difficulty.
    Dada is a quirky setter IMHO, and certainly challenging.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. *****/*. Too many quite obscure synonyms needed to finish this which I didn’t without a lot of electronic help and the hints. Therefore the enjoyment factor was very low. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Well, that was hard!
    Needed Senf’s help with 23d which I could not see at all until I read the hint.
    Also needed Senf for confirmation of one or two bung ins.

    As it is bucketing down outside I did not mind at all that this took me ages to complete.

    Thanks to Senf and to the setter.

  21. Blimey that was hard, got stuck in the NW corner and needed some hints to get going again. I have been getting on Dada’s wavelength recently, so I think that helped. Thank goodness for electronic help. I had to look up a lot; 1a in the thesaurus, could not think of that, 23d in the dictionary, etc., don’t think I’ve ever looked up so much.
    Thanks to Dada, hope you’ve not permanently returned to your tricky ways, and to Senf for his much-needed halo today.

  22. Just when I thought Dada was mellowing! As Brian pointed out, the clue for 4d was different on the IPad but the hint worked the same.

  23. Another crossword that needed unpicking to solve. Again a long time spent but I did finally complete it. I don’t know whether I enjoyed it or not!
    Ah well, not to worry. 20a was my fave.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.
    PS. I’m still struggling with the iPad response to the cryptic. Reloading the app does not appear to sort it.
    Any suggestions please?

  24. Phew! Thank goodness that one’s finally completed. Two puzzles in one for me – bottom half a stroll in the park compared with the top half. As for 7 down – well I had to rely on “Dan Ward” for the answer. I couldn’t have completed without the hints and some electronic help, which kind of takes the gloss off the solve. Thank to Dada and Senf, but this cryptic was definitely not my idea of fun.

  25. Very late due to step-daugher’s dressage competition.
    Got there unaided, but no enjoyment. Far too many bung-ins, needing reverse engineering of the wordplay, I don’t enjoy that.
    I’m with Brian that I am not particularly taken with Dada’s puzzles, like Paul in the Graun, they are a bit too clever for me.
    Thanks for the hints Senf and Dada for the challenge.
    RIP Ginger Baker.

    1. Ditto. On Mr Manley’s advice, I don’t bother with Friday back pagers, or the Dada ‘that’ll do’ on Sundays
      I used to love the Sunday Virgilius
      Oh well

  26. I really struggled with the NE corner – spelling 4d as the duckling didn’t help at all – thank goodness for the hints! My favourite was 18a, closely followed by 1d. Thanks to Senf, and the setter (I think). I do enjoy the comments, it’s good to see others have the same difficulties!

  27. I appear to be repeating myself in my comments – apologies! I’m a simple creature, and not nearly as young as I once was. ;-p

  28. I found this a bit of a struggle as well.

    The right hand side went in without too many issues, but I found the left hand side hard to get started with. More me than the puzzle as the clues are reasonable.

    I’ve written in an answer for 17d (last one in), which seems to match what I believe is the definition, but I’ve no idea how to parse that clue.

    1. The definition is jot, the wordplay is ‘some writing’ after (at bottom of) crosswordland’s usual ‘page’.
      Hope this is ok, BD?

Comments are closed.