ST 3026 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3026 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3026 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where this is my 150th overall blog – 142 STs and 8 DTs – so, perhaps, I have only solved and hinted on the equivalent of 79 puzzles plus or minus a few.

Dada has returned to benevolence this week, thank goodness, but there were a couple of Hmms – I counted four anagrams (one partial), two lurkers (one reversed), and no homophones – with 28 clues and 16 hints you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, 1d, and 9d.

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 Setter unhappy when all becoming dimmer? (7)
An object in the heavens which is a setter on a regular basis combined with a synonym of unhappy.

10a Ebbing and flowing tempo that’s out of this world! (4,5)
Find a 5 letter synonym of tempo and reverse it (ebbing) and follow it with a 4 letter synonym of tempo not reversed (flowing) and divide per the enumeration.

11a For example, king or lord might live here (5)
What a king is an example of in a board game and OR from the clue.

13a Can of worms on which butter would melt? (3,6)
An edible two word synonymic phrase for can of worms.

17a West Street Providence, say, for brilliant performers (7)
The first name of the famous actress with the surname West, the abbreviated form of Street, and the abbreviated form of the US state that Providence is the capital of (say) – this one generated a Hmm.

18a Chicken on range fills container, however (4,5)
A female chicken followed by (on) the brand name of a type of (cooking) range all inserted into (fills) a type of (metallic) container.

23a Decent restaurant rejected sack containing rotten sprout (9)
A type of sack reversed (rejected) containing an anagram (rotten) of SPROUT.

25a Look at setting off a bomb with old flame (7)
A from the clue and a type of bomb all preceded by (setting off . . . with) the two letters that can indicate an old flame.


1d Emphasise it’s nineteen or fewer? (10)
Written (5,5) it describes nineteen and lesser numbers.

2d Little growth in Nairobi, as no businesses set up (6)
The reversed lurker (in . . . set up) found in the rest of the clue – the regular lurker is 21a.

5d Proper wine a shade of yellow (8)
A synonym of proper and a type of wine.

6d Always the most superior of swimmers, with arched neck? (4)
The first letters (always the most superior of) four words in the clue.

9d He is number two here (8,5)
This all depends on the interpretation of He in the clue, once you have realised that it represents the first of the noble gases and applied your GCE O-Level Chemistry knowledge you should be home and dry – another Hmm here.

17d Politician is introduced to someone making money, quite possibly? (8)
IS from the clue inserted into (introduced to) a term (quite possibly) for someone making money, not earning it.

20d Insult party and 17 Down upset (6)
The short form of a (political) party and the short form of address for a 17 Down in the church all reversed (upset).

22d A grate, not quite shut (4)
A from the clue and a synonym of grate.

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This is the Dutch group Pussycat, number one for four weeks starting October 16, 1976 (although the video says 1975, it must have been a ‘sleeper’):


55 comments on “ST 3026 (Hints)

  1. This was quite straightforward, apart from a few in the SE corner. I, too, gave a little hmm to 9d. I gave it *** for difficulty and enjoyment. Thanks to Senf for assistance with parsing and to Giovanni.

  2. Gentle but very enjoyable. I agree with a slight “Hmm” on part of 17a, but not on 9d which was my favourite and a laugh out loud moment. Thanks to Senf and Mr H.

    Well done the Boys from the Valleys. Now let’s see what those from the Emerald Isle can do.

    1. You probably need to check yesterday’s results to see what to see what the ‘those from the Emerald Isle’ didn’t do.

      1. Oops. Sorry. I’m getting too excited, or too old!! I should remember to watch the telly rather than doing crosswords.

  3. This was much more like it! Very enjoyable. I only solved 9d when all the checkers were in and then I quite liked the penny drop moment. However I do agree with Senf’s hmm on 17a and needed his parsing, although I was sure of my answer.

    Many thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. Hi Margaret. The whizz kids at the DT have solved my zero results problem at last. Like several others I am no longer able to submit my solutions, so I can expect nil points from now On, which is what I am getting! My written feedback complaints have all been referenced and acknowledged but not resolved. Pity I have just renewed my digital annual subscription, at £150 after a hard bargaining session.

      1. Hi HJ, it’s very much hit and miss for me. For example yesterday my score was 28/28 for the previous Saturday, but today I’m told I got one wrong last Sunday. I checked with Gnomethang because I couldn’t see how my answer was wrong and it wasn’t! It was 6d (answer “outcome” which is what I put) but it had the u, the c and the m highlighted as incorrect.

        It’s all very baffling.

  4. 3*/4*. Good fun, with the SE corner taking my time up to 3* overall.

    I had three “hmms”: the answer to 7a is an Americanism; “Providence” in 17a is extremely obscure; and personally I wouldn’t consider 23a to be a “decent restaurant”.

    On the plus side, there was much to like with my podium comprising 13a, 1d & 9d, the latter seemingly a marmite clue but I loved it.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle that needs a bit of thinking about but not too tricky. Having said that i cannot fully parse 3d or 24a.
    My favourites were 1d and the best clue for a long time for me 9d, brilliant!
    Thx to all

    1. Brian, 3d is a synonym of single as a bachelor or a spinster might be described around a synonym for remains and 24a is an anagram of one of the words in the clue round the end of pie(R)

  6. Obviously a bad hair day here – I didn’t find this anything like as benign as our blogger did! If it weren’t a prize day, I’d confess to the avenue I went down with 9d which, believe me, had nothing to do with the right answer, and as for 23a – I can think of plenty that wouldn’t match the definition.

    Tops here were 8a, 10a once I’d twigged the wordplay and 1d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. The audience on that video clip look really excited to be there!

  7. Much harder work than yesterday’s but I got there in the end with the help of Senf’s excellent hints. Like one of yesterday’s posters I am also finding that the iPad App won’t submit the completed answer although it worked last weekend after I had upgraded(?) to IOS 13 so not sure what is causing it.

    1. Me too. But it submitted yesterday.
      Also the jumpy caterpillar behaviour goes away (but temporarily) if I put it down & come back to it. I have found that the DT Programmers response is often silence. They will sometimes send the trite “have you tried reinstalling“ answer, but to most bugs they appear not to want to admit they are in fact bugs.

  8. An enjoyable puzzle with some nice clues. I loved 9D as I got it straight away and made me feel cleverer than I actually am (example, i have filled in 24A but still can’t see it – yes – I’m that clever 😳). Also got 17A but did not like the surface reading, surely some punctuation missing at the front of the clue? Congrats to Senf on reaching a very respectable cricket score – let’s hope you achieve a double century…
    Best clue and best hint, 10A – got it but didn’t get why – thanks for clarifying

  9. I did not get the significance of the last two letters of 17 across. As an ex-Chemistry teacher it took me some time to solve 9d!

  10. I will have to admit defeat with about 5 to go, mostly in the SE.

    As others have said, 17a is a bit of a stretch, and I don’t think 23a is necessarily decent. 9d was my stumbling block, but when I got it, it became my COTD.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. Still struggling manfully through today’s offering, but dropped by to say that in my opinion, 9D is one of the best clues I’ve seen since this wonderful blog taught me how to do these crosswords…

  12. A refreshingly simple solve for a Sunday. Loved 9 down & 20 across. Not overly keen on 20 down, but anything goes, (or sometimes it seems so in crosswordland) No serious complaint from me for a very pleasant afternoon solve. Thanks to Dada and Senf, whose notes I’ve yet to check out.

    1. Thanks for the Pussycat vid . . . . brings back some happy memories of my early married years.

  13. A complete stunner that is right up my street, with interesting clues some of which really do make you go Doh!
    Whilst all the clues are worthy of mention, 2d, 9d & 18ac really tickled me. Like many SE corner pushed me.
    Many thanks to Dada for Sunday treat & Senf for the review.

  14. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. I enjoyed this, but got so far, and was completely stuck. Needed electronic help for 18a and 9,16,19d. Favourite was 9d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  15. Read out the 9d clue and the solution to my better half ( a chemistry graduate) who didn’t find it particularly clever – I thought it was sensational!
    I refuse to buy a more modern iPad, just because the recent software changes have made my puzzle-solving life a misery. See comments above to Margaret.

    A bit tough for me, this one, but managed it with a bit of electronic help, without recourse to the hints. Plenty of Doh! moments, so have to give it ***/****.

    1. I finally managed to solve my crossword issues with the Telegraph, at least I thought I had, by reinstalling the newspaper again on my iPad. On Saturday, there were no crosswords nor the code word. I phoned them that morning only to be told the offices although ostensibly open from 9 to 1 were closed. Now I find I cannot submit the Sunday solution. I know this is a first world problem but it is very vexing indeed. Any advice will be warmly welcomed.

      1. I have exactly the same issues. I also reinstalled the app to no avail.
        I’ve sent 2 messages to them via the app and only received acknowledgements. Like you I also rang on Saturday and was received by silence when I selected option 1 on several attempts. I’ve also messaged them via the Telegraph Facebook page. Having enjoyed months of submitting solutions (and even winning the £50 with Telegraph pen once) it’s rather frustrating.

      2. This appeared just now on the Telegraph Puzzles Facebook site

        Apologies to solvers who are currently unable to submit entries to the Saturday and Sunday Prize Cryptic Crosswords via the Telegraph Edition App. Our technical team is working to resolve the problem, which does not affect puzzles played on the Telegraph Puzzles website.
        Whilst this is being worked on, completed prize puzzles on the Edition App can be submitted to the main prize draw for these two crosswords by taking a screenshot of the completed puzzle on the mobile device on which you have completed it and emailing it to, where it will be entered into the main draw for that prize crossword, along with postal entries and other email entries. The prizes for these draws are as follows:
        Saturday cryptic crossword: three first prizes of a boxed Telegraph fountain pen, and twelve consolation prizes of crossword companion notebooks
        Sunday cryptic crossword: one first prize of a boxed Telegraph fountain pen
        If submitting into these prize draws, please ensure that the email subject field is either “DT NN,NNN” (where NN,NNN is the puzzle number) for the Saturday crossword, or “Sunday Cryptic NNNN” (where NNNN is the puzzle number) for the Sunday crossword. In both cases, the body of the email should also include your name and postal address.

  16. A fairly straightforward solve today although the SE corner held me up a bit as others have remarked.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf – congrats on the 150.

  17. I didn’t find this as straightforward as others seem to have done but there have been far trickier Sunday crosswords.
    My last two answers were 23a and 9d – one of the many things that I’m not is a chemist.
    I liked 20a and 7 and 16d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  18. I’m in the very tricky camp too, Kath, along with some others. I had the wrong answer in 9d and had to visit the hints to get going again, that opened it up nicely. I also needed the hints to unravel some answers, e.g., 17a, I’d forgotten her.
    Hard as this was, I really enjoyed it, lots of smile worthy stuff, hard to choose a fave. I think that 18a might be the winner, but 9d earns a prize for cleverness.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf, really needed the hints today.

  19. Got home from an afternoon concert in Birmingham to find this delightful surprise waiting for me. I am very much in the camp that loved 9d so will have that as my favourite.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  20. What a great crossword, unlike yesterday’s which I found hard work and not that enjoyable. Today’s had some really clever clues…1d and 13a made me chuckle but 9d goes on my list of all time favourite crossword clues! Thanks to Dada for another entertaining Sunday puzzle and Senf.

  21. I will definitely join the very tricky camp but with no answers to check on this got *** for difficulty. Liked 10a, 13a, 7d, and 9d when I finally worked it out. *** for pleasure. An unusual weekend where I finally managed to finish both. Can’t begin to think of what horrors await me next week. Thanks to the setter and to Senf for some very helpful hints.

  22. What a relief after my abysmal attempts at the extremely tough Saturday cryptic. Thoroughly enjoyed this. There were a couple I couldn’t quite parse, 3d and 24a, but not losing any sleep over that. Truly don’t understand how 20d = insult? My last in, and then only with electronic help. Rather high on the enjoyment chart. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Now can we please have a gentle Monday to start the week, as I think paint fumes are fogging my thinking processes 😊

    1. I made heavy weather of this. Tried to justify 20a using different 2nd and 3rd letters prior to solving 14d. IMHO 17a is too clever by half and not sure about 19d. 7a referred to as “setter”? 20d was a bung-in. 1d was Fav. Thank you Dada and Senf (congrats on your 150th).👏.

    2. Perhaps you are overthinking the parsing? 3d is a synonym of single atrium a synonym of remains, and in 24a fancy is an anagram indicator.

  23. Glad to see that I am not alone in finding this one difficult…..almost more difficult than yesterday’s for me.

    Thanks to Senf and the setter.

  24. I’m in the “this was fairly straight forward right up to the point it wasn’t” camp with the last half a dozen or so clues taking as long as the rest. I don’t think you need to be a chemist to get 9d, I’m not. I put my slowness down to having had a very tiring week, or maybe I’m just getting old. Still getting old is better than the alternative! Cotd 9d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  25. This one took me quite a long time but I thoroughly enjoyed the struggle, which was a great relief after yesterday. I needed Senf’s hint for 10a, which was my last one in. 18a was my favourite followed by 9d when the penny eventually dropped (not having done chemistry O level, I had to check it online). Thanks to Dada – I now look forward to Sundays again, having thought at first that I would never get the hang of his puzzles. Thanks to Senf too.

  26. Oh dear, my comment disappeared. I said something like …. I made heavy weather of this. “Setter” in 7a? IMHO 17a is too clever by half and not sure about 19d. 9d and 20d were unparsed bung-ins. Fav was 1d. Thank you Dada and Senf (congrats on your 150th 👏).

  27. A morning solve for me today. Thanks Dada and Senf. Just needed the hint for 9d which I would not have solved without it. Favourites 17 and 20a and 1d

    1. 19d Person often sitting quietly, one suspended having blown top (6)
      Take the first letter off someone suspended (on the end of a rope perhaps).

  28. Nice yesterday, Dada in more benign mode. A lovely challenge after Saturday’s horror.
    9d was superb the solution hit the floor with a loud clang.
    Still clearing up after the five year old’s party.
    Thanks all.

  29. Late getting round to this but a quick romp home. V mellow for Dada. Favorite 9d, brilliant.

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