ST 3025 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3025 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3025 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, after enjoying a balmy 19 degrees on Tuesday, we topped out at 6 degrees on Wednesday and, starting on Thursday, with the mercury falling even further, the wet stuff turned to two and a bit days of white stuff, courtesy of a ‘Colorado Low‘, and the Red River Floodway has been ‘activated’ for the first time ever in the Autumn since it was completed in 1968.  This was my car on Friday morning.

Dada still quirky but not so much as last week – I counted six anagrams, and two each of lurkers and homophones – but only one of each is hinted.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, the 21a/11d combo, and 25a.

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 Book anything but easy going? (8)
A term for a type of book that includes an antonym of easy.

10a Unseated, seat discussed (6)
One of the homophones (discussed), the other is 30a, of a (formal) type of seat.

13a Try to restrain flightless bird, certainly! (4,4)
A (legal) synonym of try containing (to restrain) the illustrated bird.

15a Silly error entering US state, forgetting capital (7)
A type of error inserted into (entering) a US state with its capital letter removed (forgetting).

21a Box containing old humorous sketch (7)
A box, made from a paper based product, containing the single letter for old.

25a Beds etc in use, cot needs tidying (8)
An anagram (needs tidying) of IN USE, COT (and not necessarily associated with sleeping).

26a Italian city in Milano revered after revolution? (6)
The first lurker which is reversed (in . . . after revolution), the second is 4d, found in the rest of the clue.

29a Top horse I backed, Jack perhaps on it (8)
An informal synonym of horse and I from the clue all reversed (backed) preceded by (on it) what Jack may be a type of (perhaps).

30a Fish: it’s angry when provoked (8)
An anagram (when provoked) of IT’S ANGRY – and yes, I know from personal experience it’s angry when it’s provoked.


1d Cheerful call from attention-seeker stealing paintings, say (6)
An interjection used to attract attention containing (stealing) the descriptive noun for paintings.

3d Foundation inspiring family from Indonesia (8)
A type of foundation containing (inspiring) a term for family (ancestry).

6d Pakistani city I see in mythology (6)
A two letter interjection that can be used for I see inserted into (in) a synonym of mythology.

7d Dog beginning to bark: further note about that in book (8)
The two letter abbreviation for a further note containing (about that) a synonym of or a name for a dog and the first letter (beginning to) of Bark gives an OT book – I had to include this one for Brian.

11d Minimal amount of funding as 21 strip? (7)
A quantity of 21a combined into a famous ‘strip’.

17d Container of soup somewhere in Greater Manchester has run out (8)
A town, formerly in Cheshire, now part of Greater Manchester with the single letter for run removed (has . . . out).

18d Mixture thus I found in airport (8)
A two letter synonym of thus followed by an airport that was Lorraine Chase’s alternative to paradise containing I from the clue (found in) .

22d Heading off fight, English prime minister once (6)
A type of fight (between armies?) with the first letter removed (heading off) and the single letter for English.

27d Don’t eat like a sprinter! (4)
A descriptive term that can be applied to a sprinter.

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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After last week’s Geldof, some culture this week – yesterday was the 84th anniversary of Luciano Pavarotti’s birth – this is from a Three Tenors concert in Los Angeles in 1994:


61 comments on “ST 3025 (Hints)

  1. Rather gentler than the usual Dada on Sunday, I thought – thanks to him and Senf.
    I think that 1a is saying that if the outward journey is easy the return one may be anything but.

    1. That makes sense – I did wonder about the significance of the word ‘going’ in the wordplay and the definition.

      Thanks to Dada, and to Senf.

      1. Dada has certainly exercised my brain cells with this offering. I thoroughly enjoyed it and completed without the hints. I particularly liked 25A such a well engineered clue with smile factor thrown in for good measure.
        Thank you to Dada and Senf.

  2. There were some really wily clues in this puzzle and it took me a long time to find the right wavelength. Some of the anagrams were particularly difficult to pick up. On the whole it was a very enjoyable exercise, which brightened a miserably wet Sunday morning, although i would cavil at the synonym in 9a. So its *** for difficulty and **** for enjoyment, with the favourites being 15a, 17a and 7d. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Your weather actually looks even worse than ours.

  3. Is any else experiencing difficulties with the DT crossword completion this weekend? Even after painstakingly slow insertion of letters, it is impossible to submit a completed crossword. So frustrating.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Judging by some comments yesterday, I think it depends on what ‘device’ you are using to submit the crossword. I had no problems using my PC

      1. Join the Frustrated Club. I wrote to DT last Monday about slow, jerky letters and also about getting zero scores for correctly submitted solutions. Received the usual auto reply/ acknowledgements for both, but nothing since. Wrote again this morning following two more zeros for last Sat & Sun – I won’t give up, even though I feel I am morphing into a Meldrew. My wife says I have been there for several years!

        Enjoyed today’s offering, albeit at a stretch. ***/***.

  4. Very enjoyable as usual even if a little easier, perhaps because of the number of anagrams. Dada seems to be on a bit of a geography trip today. Candidates for favourite (mostly because of the surfaces) 5a, 13a, 15a, 25a, 11d and 17d. I’ll make 13a the winner. Overall **/**** so thanks to Dada and to Senf. I don’t know how you survive that weather Senf. I’m just finishing a four week trip to France where it has been warm, dry and sunny all the time!

    1. One gets used to Canadian weather although this round was somewhat early but the snow on the ground will be gone in a few days. Unfortunately, because high winds were involved there is a significant aftermath of downed trees and power lines with the resultant effects of power outages and blocked roads.

  5. What a terrific puzzle to cheer up a drab Sunday morning. Of all the excellent clues on offer, I have to agree with Wahoo and pick 13a for my COTD. Quite brilliant. Dada may have been a little more benign than usual, but this was right up there in terms of enjoyment, so many thanks to him for the challenge and to Senf.

  6. I found this to be on a Toughie level. Not helped at all by the grid which essentially consisted of four corners and a centre, only linked by one clue at a time.

    I had the NW and centre completed in ** time, but then things got very sluggish. I got there in the end without aid, so I am a happy bunny, but it took me a full **** time.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  7. 2*/4*. I thought this was a gentle but very enjoyable puzzle for a Sunday morning with many excellent clues from which to try to select a favourite. I’ll settle for a podium of four: 1a, 10a, 25a & 23d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  8. I enjoyed it more when solving than I did when subsequently drafting the review – it is only then that you realise how many of the same clue types appear one after another…. were Dada a member of my ‘creche’ I’d certainly have flagged it up when test solving

    Thanks to him and Senf

  9. The hints for 7d was much appreciated as I didn’t know the book but did know the word.
    Enjoyable Sunday that was quite challenging in parts but very fair.
    Did like 11d and appreciated the cartoon, always one of my favourites.
    Thx to all

  10. An enjoyable diversion on a wet Sunday morning – although not ‘wet’ in the same sense as our blogger is experiencing!
    No particular favourite although I have to admit that, like Senf, I did smile at the thought of Ms. Chase when it came to 18d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – loved the ‘piggyback’ – you should try it with a couple of Deerhounds!

    1. I did look for a YouTube video of Ms Chase but what I found were poor quality – one was even a video of the famous commercial playing on a TV.

  11. For once no sports, garden plants and science maybe made it fairer for some (non sporting artists that don’t garden)….best surface reading 19D, best ‘clue of clues’ 18D, thanks Senf, it made my Sunday to recall those wonderful Lorraine adverts

  12. Perhaps someone from the DT could come on and tell us iPad readers how we submit the completed solutions in the prize draw because the link does not work either yesterday or today.

  13. A quick question … does anyone know why comments on the blog (not replies) sometimes appear out of chronological order? Also, I often have to refresh the page to see all the latest comments. (All this applies when using an Android phone).

    1. Possible answers:
      If a comment goes into moderation for any reason, such as a de-lurker being ‘seen’ for the first time, once it is approved it retains the ‘time stamp’ of when it was submitted not when it was approved.
      I always have to refresh to see the latest comments, I am not aware that the blog automatically refreshes but I am prepared to be proved wrong.

      1. Many thanks Senf, I will keep an eye on it in the future. And apologies for the late reply.

  14. I solved this most enjoyable puzzle in four distinct corners clockwise from bottom left and then ended in the middle with my last one in- 11d, I’m sure everyone heard my penny drop moment.

    I caused myself a problem with 29a by very confidently putting a wrong answer in 27d, but once I realised the correct answer to 29a, that was put right.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf and thanks, also, to Senf for the sublime Pavarotti .

    I’m another with iPad problems, but I think they are mostly due to the recent iOS update

    1. I did the same thing – the name of a well known athlete? As you say caused huge problems with 29a until I realised what it had to be.

    2. Margaret, you’re right. All was well DT-wise until this month’s IOS update after which the problems began.
      Just for once we can’t blame the DT! Well, we could….
      Come on CL, sort it out!

  15. An enjoyable puzzle today although I did have a lot of head scratching. The SE corner was the last to go in after I got 17d, which I thought to be a good clue. Like others, I thought 13a a slick clue but it evaded me for ages because I tried to use the wrong bird. It was the same for 20a as I tried to persist with another ancient city. My COTD is 10a.

    My grateful thanks to Senf and the setter.

  16. That was stressful. Not the crossword, but listening to the rugby on Radio 5 Live whilst reading the clues. I thought that the commentators were terrific. I thought that the crossword was terrific too and really liked 25a and 29a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  17. Most enjoyable crossword today and I loved 18d, laugh out loud moment. Thanks to all of you who put such a lot into this site.

  18. Neither Kindle 10 or Kindle HDX will submit the completed grids for yesterday or today. I never win anyway!!

  19. Another Dada that runs true to form, slightly quirky, intelligent clueing & a Post Sunday lunch treat.
    Very enjoyable in every sense
    To many good clues to mention but 13ac is a tops.
    Grateful thanks to Dada & Senf for review

  20. I liked this crossword very much. Although it required a bit of thought it was fun to solve. 15a was a case in point, and so it is my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.
    Now, I wonder whether I can enter it into the Prize Draw……

  21. ***/****. Very enjoyable puzzle. Favourites were 7,17&18d. Thanks to Dada and Senf – where I live doesn’t generally experience the weather you get. I trust the 50k homes without power will be back on line quickly.

  22. These are at the very limit of my ability, Dada is a bit too clever for me.
    I got there in the end, but I did need a nudge or two along the way.
    Perseverance is needed, another 20 years maybe…
    Thanks Senf for unravelling and Dada for the challenge.

  23. Quite enjoyed unravelling this brainteaser with the NE coming in last due mainly to my stupidity in having put in the seat for 10a. Not sure I can parse 7d. In company with several other bloggers my Fav was 13a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  24. I can’t say I found this gentle but enjoyable it certainly was. I needed to get a hint when I was stuck in the SW corner.
    There was a lot to like here, I thought 13a, 6d and 19d were pretty slick. Whew, 22d was almost antediluvian, 1940s wasn’t he?
    Thanks to Dada for the fun, and to Senf for unravelling some for me. Keep warm and dry!

      1. Love it! I am a huge Churchill fan, read most of his books. Have the whole series of History of the English Speaking Peoples.

  25. I found this very much on the gentle side of Dada’s range of difficulty.
    Quite a few anagrams and all, for once in our house, is reasonably calm and quiet so it was easier to concentrate than it is sometimes.
    1a was obvious but it took Gazza’s comment for me to understand it properly.
    2d took a while – I always forget that family.
    11d was my last answer which was silly as I used to love it.
    I’m never quite sure if clues like 17d are fair to non UK residents.
    Lots of good clues including 13a and 11, 24 and 27d. I think my favourite was 29a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  26. Steady progress until the NE corner – needed one or two hints for the first time in ages. Thanks for that. Favorite 18d.

  27. Really enjoyed today’s offering , lots of excellent clues .
    Like yesterday and , as experienced by others , cannot submit entry from iPad and typing is dodgy .
    Thanks to everyone particularly to Dada and Senf .

  28. Thanks to Dada and Senf, Dada for the challenge and Senf for helping me finish. 13a was last in, still not sure which bird was in the clue, and it is not a phrase I would use instead of “Certainly”. Also question 28a as meaning in the proper manner. But I am sure both are in the thesaurus etc. Also spent too long trying to think of another name for a spinning toy in 29a before the penny dropped. So pretty enjoyable overall.

    1. OK – the clue tells us it is a flightless bird and I can tell you that it has 4 letters, so that rules out two very obvious ones.

  29. A bit of a curates egg for me, mostly good Sunday standard clues but with a number of toughie standard ones thrown in. Still I did it so I can’t complain. Favourite 10 across. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  30. Thank you to Senf — I used around my normal number of hints, but managed to complete this in one go, and without revealing any letters, so found this easier than a typical Sunday Dada.

    My favourites are 1a, 25a, and 29a. Thank you, Dada.

    And thank you to all the commenters for the community here. Sometimes I buy a Guardian and see it has a Paul crossword in it; as somebody who enjoys Dada’s puzzles, I occasionally consider solving it — but it wouldn’t be the same without you lot.

    1. You can check out and solve The Guardian puzzles online for free. The blog fifteensquared has answers and explanations and comments.

      1. Thanks; those are indeed all useful. For the stage of solving I’m at, I often get stuck at around a quarter of the clues solved, and what I really appreciate on Big Dave’s is being able to use a few hints to get me going again, then trying the rest by myself.

        It’s great that it’s possible to see a hint/explanation without the answer — and without answers to other nearby clues also being also visible, in a hard-not-to-see way.

    1. 19D . I assume that if you have the correct checking letters , there are not many words that fit so , in theory , the answer should be fairly obvious . Consequently , as you are struggling , the checking letters may be wrong .

      23D . Like above , not many words fit the correct checks , so , I guess , 26 or 29A may be wrong .

      I was in the naughty corner yesterday so cannot be more precise except to say that the 2 clues are at the easier end of the difficulty scale of today’s crossword .

  31. 19d: I hope I’m safe in suggesting that you think about what the last two words might indicate in a crossword clue.

    23d is too hard to nudge you in the right direction without nearly running a serious risk of transgression … and I hope that isn’t one.

  32. The submission problem does not appear to be associated with the last iOS update; I can’t submit from an iPad running the previous version or one running the current version, and note a report above that some Kindle platforms (which do not run under iOS) have the same issue.

  33. Very late and I doubt anyone is still interested but just to say I abandoned this on Sunday leaving nine unanswered and went on to other things! I looked again this morning and finished without hints or other aids. Great crossword but very much on the harder side of Dada for me. Last two in were 19d (which would have been easier if I had spotted the anagram earlier but solved with the checkers) and 23d into which I was trying to enter a fast cat (in more ways than one). 25a and 17d were my favourites. I do not have a problem with English place names as the DT is an English paper and we are expected to have general knowledge of other countries e.g. US states. The same goes for the Bible – you do not have to be Christian to have knowledge of the books and the same goes for clues related to other faiths.

    1. I’m still interested, Wanda! It’s interesting to hear different solver’s experiences, and especially not just those who finish a crossword straight away.

  34. Even later than Wanda!

    Needed help from Senf’s excellent hints to get this one finished. I thought it was maybe in the middle of Dada’s difficulty range for me…but everyone is different.
    I did enjoy solving the bits I could do.

    Thanks to Dad and to Senf.

  35. I support John H’s. comments. My results tally exactly with his. Apparently there is as yet no fix for this problem. A weekend ruined!

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