ST 3033 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3033 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3033 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we have been enjoying seasonal, or better than seasonal, temperatures for the last week or so – that all comes to an end in a few days time when we will have at least two days with a high temperature of minus 21 degrees.

After yesterday’s challenge, thankfully we have a somewhat benevolent Dada today – I counted three anagrams, one lurker, and one homophone (not hinted, but it’s 25a) – all in a symmetric 26 clues, with 14 hints you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 12a, 20a, and 3d.

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 View old shackle (7)
The single letter for old and a synonym of shackle.

8a Cunning gags aren’t very good (7)
A three letter synonym of cunning contains (gags) an informal version of aren’t.

11a Excerpt from audiotape, little bit (4)
The lurker (excerpt from) found in the middle word of the clue.

15a Spilt leaving tram, sour condiment (4,7)
An anagram (spilt) of LEAVING TRAM.

20a Wind bringing flower into small city (8)
A type of flower inserted in (bringing . . . into) cruciverabalists’ favourite small (Fenland) city.

23a Lively Greek character caught by superior (3-7)
A synonym(?) of superior containing (caught by) a Greek letter (character) – the seventh in the Greek alphabet.

26a Dog ending in shower, one with blackened face? (7)
A breed of dog followed by the last letter (ending in) of showeR.


1d Decent over, yes? (7)
A two letter synonym of over (as in finished) followed by an interjection that can be a synonym of yes.

3d A large friendly bear standing up, fair game? (4-2)
A from the clue, the single letter for large, and a (fictional) friendly bear, which had its origins in Canada, all reversed (standing up).

5d Hint about something like passport scare (10)
A verbal synonym of hint containing (about) the two letter abbreviation for what a passport can be an example of (something like).

9d Weak girl as it happens on burgundy! (4-7)
A four letter girl’s name (oh dear), a single word for as it happens (when applied to a sporting event?), and what burgundy is a type of (other than being a wine).

16d Scores progressed during games (8)
A synonym of progressed (as applied to travel?) contained by (during) types of games, particularly those in knock-out competitions.

21d Opposition had to interrupt broadcast (6)
HAD from the clue inserted into (to interrupt) a synonym of broadcast (as applied to planting).

24d Person initially sick — what might one take? (4)
The first letter (initially) of Person and a synonym of sick.

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Jim Morrison, of The Doors, was born on this day in 1943. Here he is with the rest of the group singing Light My Fire, although I think some of the cover versions were better:


38 comments on “ST 3033 (Hints)

  1. Far better than yesterday’s , a good steady enjoyable challenge with some good clues . Difficult to single out a favourite but will plump for 23A which was also my last entry .

    Thanks Dada and Senf once again .

  2. What a relief for my aching brain to have this pleasant and appealing puzzle (**/****). Thank you to Dada, this was one of your better ones. I particularly liked 9d, despite the ‘girl’ inthe clue. Thank you, Senf, for the hints. Although I finished it today, there are always a few that I need to confirm. It sounds very chilly where you are. It’s sunny but with a stiff breeze in the Vale of White Horse today.

  3. 2*/3.5* (I’ve docked 0.5* for 9d :negative: ). This was good fun and I particularly enjoyed the brevity of the cluing (none over the eight!) Joint favourites: 23a & 3d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  4. I struggled to get going on this, for me, unfavourable grid (18 clues have no confirmed starter letter). But once going picked up some pace. A 3/3. No real favourites – thanks to Senf and Dada.

  5. The easiest Sunday puzzle of the Dada era so far, I thought. Still enjoyable though. Nice to be reminded of The Doors too. And a high of minus 21 – the mind boggles!

  6. I could not look beyond 23a for my COTD with an honourable mention for 3d. A comfortable and enjoyable solve for a blustery Sunday morning. Great fun.

    Thanks Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  7. What a welcome change from yesterday’s prize puzzle. Lots of clever clues that gave satisfaction on the solving. I was stymied for a while after putting the answer to 8a into 7a. Careless! Quite a number of favourites for me today, which are 8a, 20a, 23a. However, my COTD is 5d, which had me trying to put other words into it before it finally clicked.

    My grateful thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle and to Senf for the great hints.

    Also, many thanks for the video of the Doors, which brought back so many memories of University.

  8. Today’s newly learned fact for me – a favourite bear was named after one at London Zoo who’s owner came from Canada.

    Please redact if this puts me in the naughty corner.

  9. Slow start then considerable effort called for particularly in the SE. Failed to suss gags in 8a. IMHO 23a is rather broad. Spent ages working on dog ending in 26a. Liked the simplicity of 3d so will nominate that as Fav. Thank you Dada and Senf for yet more helpful hinting.

    1. Not quite sure what you mean by ‘rather broad’ for 23a, but I wasn’t very impressed by the synonym for superior and then there are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet to ‘throw darts’ at. Of course, a few checkers ‘narrow it down’ a bit.

  10. I was three short today, missing the meaning of ‘gags’ as did Angellov.

    I also spent far too long trying to fit a visitors permit into 5d. 1d was just too clever by half.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. Very enjoyable although I made heavy weather of some of it – picking the wrong bear for 3d didn’t help. Favourite was 16d.
    Thanks all round.

  12. Slightly shell-shocked after spending 2 hours on Skype to my 2-year old grandson who appears to be hell-bent on self-destruction. His poor Mum has her work cut out to keep up with his shenanigans!

    Nice puzzle today with just a couple of sticky moments in the SE corner.
    Favourite was 3d.

    Thanks to Dada for using the soft pedal and thanks to Senf for his second stint of the weekend. Enjoyed the video clip although, like you, I think there were superior cover versions.

      1. Neither can I, but it’s true! Kath’s grandson was born the day before my young madcap and we do exchange notes from time to time so I know they’re growing up at the same rate – they’ll both be having their 3rd birthdays next June.

  13. I gained a toehold here via the downs , first pass at the across gave me only two,,, oh oh!
    A couple of clues in the South held me up & pushed it into 3* time.
    23ac outright favourite.
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf for his review.

  14. What a nice crossword. Such a relief after the horror that was yesterdays. I do hope we never see the like of that again.
    Todays was very enjoyable.
    Thx to all

  15. Yes it was a relief after yesterday. A **/*** from me. No hints needed but thank you for them Senf and thanks to Dada for taking pity on us today. 9d my favourite today.

  16. A delightful romp after too much wine and last night’s festival chorus in Marblehead (glad to be Bach)… the impromptu bacon sammy at 3am helped soak the fluids. Please pass the paracetamol !

    Mr & Mrs Bleary-Eyed
    Always grateful Dead Fans

  17. Different Strokes… I am still struggling with this particularly SW unhinted bits. I have managed the rest with help from the hints. Thanks, Senf.
    I had trouble with seeing many of the synonyms but I blame my education rather than Dada.
    I think I have just got 22a but lost the will to trawl through any more synonyms.

  18. What a difference a day makes! This was hugely enjoyable, not easy, just fun.
    I got 8a incorrect, it fitted so bunged it in.
    I had to utilize electronic help in the SE, that got me going again.
    Top of the pops was 3d, my fave bear, with 23a rapidly gaining on him.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for his hints and tips. Keep warm!

  19. I thought this was very difficult. Much harder than yesterday. Could not get my head around this one. Have just finished. ****/*

  20. Spent too long on 6d, 8a and 23a.
    Pushed me into **** time for difficulty.
    Great puzzle.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  21. Struggled in the SE and needed a third sitting to finish.
    Not keen when there are 4 distinct corners in a grid.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  22. A pleasant solve with no holdups encountered. 8a was my last entry and also my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.
    Now for yesterday’s… oo-er….

  23. Not as difficult as I thought it was going to be on first quick glance and very enjoyable.
    I didn’t get many answers to begin with but then it all sorted itself out apart from a few.
    My favourite was10a.
    With thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  24. Much harder than yesterday. I always struggle with the Sunday puzzle, I find the wordplay too clever for me, lots of bung-ins and work back to the wordplay, not so enjoyable that way.
    Thanks all.

  25. Late into today’s puzzle after a nice day on a steam train with our younger grand-daughter to visit Father Christmas. A very pleasant and not too demanding Sunday puzzle, but with lots to enjoy. Too many lovely clues to list all the ones that stood out, but I’m stuck between 12a & 23a for my particular favourite. Thanks to Dada and Senf :-)

  26. An all dayer for me, needed hint for 8a
    but managed the rest. Very satisfying,
    not surprised it took me ages, as I had a general anaesthetic yesterday for removal of a 1.6 cm kidney stone.
    Sadly it was a failure, so have to try again. Very disappointing.

    On a lighter note, I went to the record store, I said “what have you got by The Doors”? The guy said “a bucket of sand and a fire extinguisher “.

    Thanks to all. ****/***.

  27. Slow start but accelerated to the end. Favorite 10a. I thought Saturday’s was easier, so I don’t understand Brian’s beef.

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