ST 3027 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3027 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3027 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg from where I am hoping that all UK (and EU) participants remembered to turn their clocks back one hour last night, over here, we don’t have to do that until next weekend, I think.  However, in the blogging world, I don’t have to worry about GMT and BST, I just tell WordPress to publish at 10:00am and it does the rest.

Apart from some quirkiness in the SE, Dada continues with benevolence this week – I counted four anagrams, one lurker, and no homophones.

Candidates for favourite – 12a, 24a, and 22d.

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 Where one type of varnish may be applied, at once (2,3,4)
Provide an expression that describes a ‘location’ for a type of varnish.

10a Running backwards, easily beat old racehorse (3,3)
An informal 6 letter synonym of easily beat reversed (running backwards).

12a Stop! Revolution won’t change that (4,2)
The answer is palindromic (revolution won’t change that).

16a Upmarket pound shop! (4)
An anagram (pound) of SHOP.

19a Relative wants us to invest in currency (6)
A synonym of currency containing (wants . . . to invest in) US from the clue.

24a Get on horse at the start, it repeatedly getting away (3,2,3)
The first (at the start) letter of Horse, IT from the clue repeated, and a single word for getting away.

27a Soaked up by escalope, stonking sauce (5)
The lurker (soaked up by) found in the rest of the clue.

28a Turn hand, getting fly off the handle (2,7)
A synonym of turn (as in participation) and the fruit which is collectively known as a hand.


1d Join in the main event before over, all ending (5)
The last letters (all ending) of five words in the clue.

3d Help at the centre, tackling call — tough stuff (6)
The centre letters of hELp containing (tackling) a synonym of call.

4d Get a grip with this immoral activity (4)
A double definition.

6d Get girl to imbibe say — from this? (9)
Synonyms of get and girl (not a girl’s name RD) containing (to imbibe) the Latin based abbreviation for say.

15d Range so old, time for a change (9)
An anagram (for a change) of SO OLD, TIME.

18d Caribbean breakfast food: a tin one has opened (8)
A type of (spreadable) breakfast food, A from the clue and a synonym of tin containing (has opened) the single letter for one – Hmm.

22d Fine, light touch, heavy weight being lifted (3,3)
A type of light touch and a heavy weight all reversed (being lifted) – a groan when the penny dropped on this one.

25d Sell game that’s on the up (4)
A game that is sometimes referred to as ‘a good walk spoiled’ reversed (that’s on the up)..

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A random selection this week – some enjoyable Bill Bailey ‘nonsense’ from his Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra performed at the RAH in 2008:


45 comments on “ST 3027 (Hints)

  1. This was yet another crossword, where I bunged in several clues without having any idea how to parse the clue (thank you Senf for your assistance with some of them). I would agree that 18d is worth a ‘hmm’ and 22d a groan but would add another ‘hmm for 10a. So*** for difficulty and ** for enjoyment overall, with no real favourites. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  2. And there I was thinking xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Redacted – Please read the instructions in red at the bottom of the hints

  3. 3*/4*. Unusually for me with Dada’s Sunday puzzles, it took me quite a while to get onto the right wavelength today. However when I did, it all came together quite smoothly and was very enjoyable.

    I actually quite liked 18d and 10a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Given your comment of yesterday, perhaps it was the state of your head that made you slow to get onto the right wavelength this morning :wink:

  4. I can’t agree with Senf on this, I thought this was much harder than recent weeks, this took considerable brain strain to complete, and like other comments, a few unparsed, so looking forward to perusing the hints.
    As ever, very clever from Dada, and always a pleasure to solve, thanks also to Senf.

  5. A trickier Sunday than for a while with some clever clues (23a & 10a) mixed in with a couple of dreadful ones (22d is the worst followed by 28a – who knew a collection of this was called a hand).
    Took a while to start as I was still shell shocked after yesterdays horror (well it was for me!)
    Thx for the much needed hints.
    Too much of a slog to be really enjoyable.

    1. I did, but then some years ago I had a ‘Saturday job’ in a greengrocers, and so does the BRB (know about it)!

    2. When I was a child living in Cheam the local papers often mentioned workers being bitten by poisonous spiders at the Fyffe’s Depot. Many decades on, I still approach this forbidden -to -mention article cautiously!

  6. I’m sure we’ve debated it before but I wouldn’t use 7a to describe ‘at once’ – maybe it’s a regional thing?
    I see that the old racehorse is getting quite a few outings recently, nice to see him remembered.

    Got a bit held up by 22d but otherwise a fairly clear run. Can’t see beyond the glamour model for my favourite today.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – I could listen to Bill Bailey all day, clever man.

    1. The old race horse (3,3), its difficult to name another old horse, especially one that is (3,3)!!

      1. Well, the BRB considers ‘at once’ and ‘without delay’ to be synonymous although it is only ‘without delay’ that appears in the entry for the 7a answer.

        1. I believe the term was used ( if not originated) at the docks at Bristol, where goods had to be paid for before they were released to the importer or his agent. The articles in question are still there.

          1. That’s not what it says in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. We can’t discuss it now but hopefully someone will have a look at my review in eleven days time

  7. All done in **/*** time, without frightening anyone.

    16a and 6d get my votes for COTD.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  8. My least favorite shape for a crossword, depriving us of 17 starting letters from 30 clues. No problem with 7D Jane as this is regularly in use here in Essex. No real difficulty a 2/3 for me. No sporting or botanical clues. I did cheat on the anagrams to save time (because of the rugby), so I can’t really count today’s as being successfully completed.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada as usual.

  9. I found this a little harder than recent Sunday offerings with, for me, the NW corner the last to give up its secrets. Good challenge though, with the Marmite clue, 28a, my favourite. Watching the rugby yet again slowed up my solving time. Bad luck Wales………..

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  10. It seems I can no longer submit my crossword from my tablet. Does anyone else have this problem and can it be rectified ?

    1. Yep – one of several bugs – see yesterday’s comments for a possible solution. I am still getting freezing/ jumping on all four puzzles available on my ( ancient) iPad but the techies don’t seem to be able to fix it.

      I quite enjoyed today’s offering but found it hard and needed electronic help.
      ***/** is the best I can give it. Feel a bit like Craig R-H from Strictly.

  11. I thought this was great, although I’d still be floundering without a little help from Senf. Several groans, when I realised I’d been barking up the wrong tree – 9d and 14a especially. I rather liked 18d and 23d.
    Thank you, Dada and Senf.

    1. Aha thank you. I too was completely stuck on 9d and 13a although everything else went in smoothly. And of course neither of these two clues feature in the blog. Just reading that I was thinking on the wrong lines made both answers spring to mind. Luvverly jubbly.

      1. We also struggled with 13a…

        But thanks as always to BD and the Dead Fans for a delightful acetylcholine injection.

        Mr and (still can’t find search in new blog) Mrs T

  12. Funny thing but in the weekend puzzles I’ve usually solved the hints, but am struggling with the rest. Liked 10a although he has featured a lot lately. 24a clever took a while. Last one in 18d, should have looked at the hint earlier. Thanks to Senf and Dada

  13. Steady progress to the end but it took a while to parse 6d – thanks for the confirmatory hint. Favorite 12a.

  14. I agree that this was on the benevolent side of Dada’s setting spectrum. Maybe the extra hour in bed helped a bit…

    Thanks to Dada for an enjoyable puzzle and to Senf – I enjoyed the Bill Bailey clip :)

  15. Yes, a very friendly Dada, loved it all. Very late today, the older I get, the slower I am
    I missed one, 6d, but cannot think why – maybe just sod’s law.
    Nice to see 10a again, and lots to like, but, natch, fave is 18d.
    Thank you Dada for the fun, and Senf for helping with 6d and unravelling 1d – damn, I always miss those.

  16. Not too much trouble – I agree it was a fairly gentle Sunday crossword compared to some.
    Like several others of you I was slow with 14a and 9d and then came to a bit of a sticky end in the bottom right corner.
    26a and 23d took me longer than the whole of the rest of the crossword – very dim as they were probably two of the easier clues.
    The second word of 22d was my last one.
    I liked 16a and 6d and my favourite was 24a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    Very nice to see some sun after all the wet and grey that we’ve had recently but it’s pretty nippy all of a sudden.

  17. Solved the bottom half first then struggled with the top, but xxxxxxxxxxxxx so **/***. 7A not in our vocabulary.

  18. I didn’t find it quite as easy as Dadas offerings of late, there was half a dozen clues that really held me up, so not as much benevolence!
    A lot of hmm & doh moments when managing to get the clues solved.
    Gratitude to Dada & Senf for his review & guidance

  19. Thanks to Dada and Senf for a fun puzzle. This was one of those where I got 2/3 through at breakfast and stalled. But then the empty slots filled in rapidly over lunch. Perhaps it was the bending down digging in the garden (more blood to the brain) that did it. So puzzle solved, and nasty, vicious agave and offshoots now dug up. Just a few stab wounds. Agree with those who question 7a. Other beef was 18a, having never eaten the three letter word for breakfast, but I suppose somebody, somewhere does. Now if the clue had mentioned afternoon tea or scones I would have got there so much faster. Loved 14a, a great cryptic.

  20. Finished without needing hints but used any other aid to hand. Not enjoyable but liked 13d and 12a. Weekend only brightened by England’s superb win yesterday. Thanks to Dada and Send.

  21. Another great weekend with two Dada crosswords.
    The NE caused the most resistance but eventually got there.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  22. Just how one sees it I suppose but 7a was my first in and nothing else seemed that hard. So perversely I’m going to name 7a as my favourite just because others found it difficult. Many thanks to Dada and Senf for hosting the blog. I didn’t get an extra hour in bed because I stupidly forgot to reset my alarm.

  23. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. An enjoyable puzzle, that I found quite tricky. Was left with 9d & 14a to solve, looked at the blog, but no hints for these two. After reading the comments about barking up the wrong tree, I went back and solved them both. That’s what’s so good about this blog! Favourite was 21a, was 3*/3* for me.

  24. 7a my first in, I got all the top half fairly quickly (for me), but needed Senf’s excellent hints for some of the bottom. Favourite is 6d. Thanks to all.

  25. My last one in was 15d by about one day! I was looking for a synonym and tried every arrangement of the letters before the penny dropped. 18d was another problem as I had a type of food in my head but African rather than Caribbean. Last four letters were in but fortunately solving 18a revealed the answer. I don’t consider 9d a cake but that may be a regional thing. Favourites 12 14 21 24a and 4d for its simplicity. Thanks Dada and Senf particularly for reminding me about hand in 28a, although everyone should know this. It’s obvious.

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