ST 3030 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3030 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3030 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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Let’s start with a poll today. Hands up all those who remember ST 2978. Hands up all those who prefer to not remember ST 2978.

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg on the first anniversary of Dada as our Sunday setter (strictly speaking it’s tomorrow) when his first puzzle was that rather tricky ST 2978.

For the most part, Dada in a benevolent mood this week, or perhaps it was the Mouton Cadet assistance – I counted five anagrams, one lurker (reversed), and one homophone – with an asymmetric 29 clues and 16 hints you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 11a, 3d, 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 Drink in brother’s bar, after cutting back (6)
The reversal (back) of all of a three letter abbreviation of brother, the possessive S from the clue, and BAr from the clue after the removal of the last letter (cutting).

9a Study poem rejected by poet, trusted friend (10)
A three letter synonym of study, a famous Kipling poem reversed (rejected), followed by an Italian poet.

11a Again transfer rule-breaking fool (8)
A type of fool inserted into (breaking) a term for a monarch’s rule.

15a Remains hanging around auberge in France, perhaps (8)
Historical remains containing (hanging around) a synonym of auberge – I did start thinking that France was doing double duty, but I don’t think it is.

19a Red stains by one’s ears? (4)
The homophone (by one’s ears) of stains, the illustration should help.

23a Over bit of fish I cast (8)
A bit (appendage) of (a) fish, I from the clue, and a synonym of cast (thinking of snakes might help).

26a Long canine used, sago roughly cut by fang, regularly (7,3)
An anagram (roughly) of USED, SAGO containing (cut by) alternate letters (regularly) of fang.

28a During attack, foreign article put down again (6)
A foreign (definite, not French for a change) article inserted into (during) a synonym of attack.


2d Taking lid off bottle, pour forth drink (5)
The first letter (taking lid off) of Bottle and a single word for pour forth (gently).

3d Blur face, but so grotesquely (9)
An anagram (grotesquely) of FACE, BUT SO – what a magnificent word!

5d Digger initially going in faster, as annual repairs concerning underground line? (3,7,5)
The first letter (initially) of Digger contained by (going in) an anagram (repairs concerning) of FASTER, AS ANNUAL.

7d Musician and cake decorator? (5)
A double definition – see the illustration for the first, the second is a little tongue in cheek hence the ‘?’.

14d A fine period at hospital — result! (9)
Lego at the ready – A from the clue, the single letter for fine, a synonym of period, AT from the clue, and the single letter for hospital to finish.

16d Lovely, nasty surprise (9)
A double definition, the first is probably no longer PC, the BRB says that it is informal and is a stunningly attractive young woman.

17d Throw black rock like that into container (8)
A black rock (or gemstone), followed by a single two letter word for like that inserted into a type of container.

24d Bug turning up in silo, certainly (1,4)
The reverse lurker (turning up in) found in the rest of the clue.

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A random selection this week, Judy Collins and Leonard Cohen, apparently they collaborated quite a lot. This is from a PBS TV (US Public Television) concert performance January 1976. They perform Leonard Cohen’s song, “Suzanne,” which Judy Collins had first recorded in 1966:


48 comments on “ST 3030 (Hints)

  1. 5*/3*. I think I must having been solving a different puzzle to Senf. I found parts of this really very tough and some of the surfaces were very clunky, although overall it was an enjoyable solve.

    On my podium are 10a, 15a & 19a.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Perhaps it was my Mouton Cadet assistance but I found this on a par with Thursday’s ProXimal and Friday’s Giovanni for difficulty.
      This being the fifty-third set of Dada hints I have written, not just parsing the clues, may also have helped.

  2. I agree with Rabbit Dave about some of the surfaces. I thought 20d might have read better as ‘Where entertainment is had…’.

    3*/3*. Thanks to Dada, and to Senf.

    1. Agree with 20D comment, also can’t see the reasoning for the 3rd and 4th words in 10A, maybe just one word, ‘for’ would be better?

  3. A worthy and clever challenge today and pleased to finish in a reasonable time . Getting 5 down proved the key and so will pick as my favourite . On the whole a good selection of clues but some needed clarification in retrospect .
    The clues in the iPad edition still move in mysterious ways , entries have to be made by screen shots , “nil points” for last weekend again but , apart from that ………!
    Thanks to Dada & Senf .

  4. A tough start to the week with a ****\**** . I liked 5D and 18A. 9A I found very difficult for some reason. Hope the rest of the week is a bit gentler. Thanks to Senf.

  5. ST2978 – ‘Yes I remember it well’! It was a definite shock to the system, not what I was used to on a Sunday! I think he’s moderated things a bit since then, though still a challenge!
    I haven’t even bought today’s ST yet so I’ll come back later if I have any further comments to make. Have a nice day everyone, a perfect Autumnal start here in South Hampshire, a major distraction to doing the crossword! 😄

  6. Took a little while to get into this one and agree with RD about some of the surfaces.
    I did wonder whether our setter was gearing us up for the festive season with his references to food, drink and ‘old cracks’!

    No particular favourite but quite an enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – though I do find Mr Cohen very depressing.

  7. Very tough for me, but all fair play – thank you Dada for another very enjoyable puzzle, full of intriguing twists and turns!

  8. Didn’t get on with this one at all. Struggled with a lot of the clues and hence didn’t enjoy it.
    Looking forward to Monday.

    Thanks to setter and Senf.

  9. Tough one today. Needed a modicum of electronic help with this one and a couple of the excellent hints.
    My favs were 19a and esp 26a. Not too sure about 2d, doesn’t sit very comfortably with me.
    Too hard to be really enjoyable.
    Thx to all

  10. Well this was certainly a few grades above yesterday’s prize offering. I got all bar one, 19a. Don’t you just hate it when you are a mere two letters short?

    ***/**** from me today. My only criticism would be that the second half of 2d isn’t ‘pour forth’, I would say it was a lot slower.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. As per RD, I found this difficult. I thought 5d was a bit convoluted. Thanks to all as usual, and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  12. I’m with the other folk, who foynd this very tricky (****/**). The clunky nature of the clues made it a less enjoyable tussle than is usual. I had the same problem with 2d as some others and the synonym in 16d wasover stretched. 14d was my favourite clue. Thank you to Senf and to Dada.

  13. Got off to a flying start with 5D then soon came to a shuddering halt. I too got the last letter of 19A wrong. 18A often catches me out thinking single word. Great puzzle, too many fab clues to pick a favourite. Ta very much to Dada and Senf. 5*-4*

  14. I agree with RD’s first paragraph. It took me ages to get on wavelength with this one, with the right hand side completed before the left.

    I enjoyed it on the whole. Thanks to Senf for the blog and the setter for the tussle.

  15. Agree that this is in the difficult category. Thanks for the hints as needed to unblock my stagnation. NE corner last but not sure why now.
    Is the online competition working yet?

  16. Needed a hint or two to get me going but then the rest followed a bit easier than ST2978 did a year ago.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  17. A very tough one and I needed a deal of help. Even so, 21a eluded me so I will have to await the review for this clue. (I might look at it again later to see if the little grey cells have done any further work on it). I managed all of the rest in the end and, though difficult, I had to admit that some clues were very clever and I loved 8d.

    As ever, grateful thanks to Dada and Senf.

  18. I liked this one. Started off quickly, slowed in the middle, then accelerated towards the end. A nice challenge. 18a across my favourite.

  19. Very few clues filled in during a quick run through before lunch, but nourishment did the trick and all became clear afterwards. I always love a rekrul, but my favourite today was, unusually, an anagram at 5d. Tricky but rewarding overall.

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada. Hard to believe it has been a year since the transition from Virgilius to Dada.

  20. I remember all the adverse comments on ST 2978
    … but congratulations to Dada for accepting the challenge of filling the shoes of the much admired Virgilius.

    1. Indeed, well said Stan. Did the year soften Dada, or are we all getting better calibrated? But we all now seem to love Dada’s approach, let’s hope we are forgiven for some of those early observations. My favorite comments were from the following week – and I suspect it was the postiest blog ever – BD?

      Grateful, Dead Fans

      Mr & Mrs T

      Link to 2979 below:

      ST 2979 (Hints)

  21. I had to adjust my quirky button today to get going on this puzzle.
    Hard work at times but very rewarding to solve.
    3.5*/4.5* some very good clues & the odd one a bit clunky!
    Many thanks to Dada & congratulations for a year of super puzzles. A huge thanks to Senf also for guidance & review on these Sundays.

  22. Am I alone in being irritated by four letter clues especially when the checkers are vowels? I managed most of this with some satisfaction without aids including the ones which merited a hint. Favourites 9 15 23 and 26a and 2 4 6 and 20d. Hit the buffers with 19a having chosen a three letter synonym for stain rather than the four letter one. Therefore got the last letter wrong. 13a and 25a gettable by going through the alphabet but a lot of effort. Agree much has improved in 12 months – thanks Dada – and thanks Senf for putting me right with 19a.

  23. ****/****. Quite a challenge but enjoyable. My favourites were 5d and 19a. 18a seems to have made several appearances in recent weeks. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  24. Well I enjoyed this and made pretty steady progress. Then got held up on the NE corner and was grateful for he 1a hint to unblock and race to completion thanks to setter and hinter.

  25. I think that Dada has regressed to a year ago. Really, Senf, benevolent? It’s pretty chilly today in Miami and I’m moving as slowly as molasses in winter, maybe the brain has also slowed down.
    I had to use copious techie help which prevented any enjoyment. The NE corner was last in.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for helping me along, how you unravel that stuff is a mystery! Clever man.

  26. Agree, found nothing benevolent about this puzzle. High on tricky, low on enjoyment. Thought a second cup of coffee might work wonders, but just managed to get two more, and still only half done. Thought I had got the hang of Dada’s puzzles, but obviously not.

  27. Well, I enjoyed today’s challenge, but then I enjoyed the battle of the first! 5d unlocked everything really, so that was my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the unraveling.

  28. Not much fun to be had today and I agree with comments above re some clunky surfaces. West was more friendly to me than the East which was not helped by my wrongly plumping for an anagram in 10a and 5d holding out until the end whilst I worked on the subway. Recently visited Bateman’s (Kipling’s home) so 9a came readily to mind. 6d seems to mix a present participle in the clue with the simple present tense in the answer. Liked 8d but not necessarily for the surface. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  29. Too tough for me, I have never been on the same wavelength as Dada, and I got only 1 answer on my first read through. Even the hints didn’t help! Oh well. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. Your comment went into moderation because when you last commented some time (7 years) ago you were Chris in Milton Keynes.
      It would be wise to return to that name or something similar to create a unique username.

  30. I thought this was difficult – probably because that’s what I was expecting it to be – the same reason that I can’t do Toughies.
    I enjoyed it but was only just getting onto the right wave-length as I finished it.
    I don’t remember anything specific about the first Dada Sunday other than that I couldn’t do it!
    I was generally pretty slow with this and the top left corner was the last to be finished.
    Is the middle (ish) bit of 15a really an ‘auberge’? I wouldn’t say so but what do I know? Reminds me of Chris Rea.
    Lots of good clues including 12 and 27a and 2 and 7d. My favourite, PC or otherwise, was 16d.
    Thanks to Dada, for the crossword today and all the ones in the last year, and to Senf for a year’s worth of hints.
    I’m never sure about Leonard Cohen – I like lots of his ‘stuff’ but it does remind me so much of my slightly younger sister doing lots of door slamming at home!

  31. Well I’m with the “Well done Dada you’ve fitted into the role perfectly” camp. Difficult but doable. An auberge is an inn, hark at me with my French, actually I looked it up. Favourite 8d. Many thanks to Dada and Senf. I’ll go back and watch the clip now, I would like to point out that rumours of a relationship between Judy Collins and myself have been greatly exaggerated.

    1. I think an auberge, in France, is more equivalent to our B and B or an inn but not what it is in 15a. Probably not worth bickering about though – I was just nit-picking!

  32. Once 5d went in it became easier, but it certainly wasn’t benevolent. Much easier than a year ago.
    An enjoyable challenge, though.
    Thank to Dada and Senf for the past year.

  33. Definitely out of my comfort zone with this one – but persistence paid off and returning to it afresh this morning led to successful completion – a great brain stretch. Maybe the first rays of sunshine we’ve seen in the Peaks for a while helped me along! Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf for the hints and tips.

    1. Your comment went into moderation. Previously, you had a space between Peaky and C in your name – both should work from now on.

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