ST 3035 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3035 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3035 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we are forecast to have tee-shirt and shorts weather this afternoon with a temperature of plus 4 degrees.

Today, Dada is back to quirky with a sprinkling of seasonal clues – I counted five anagrams (including partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone – all in an almost symmetric 30 clues, with 17 hints you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 28a, 7d, and 8d.

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 Burnt offering, plain outrage (12)
Synonyms of plain and outrage.

11a Cake: nearly all covered in cereal, flipped over (6)
ALl from the clue with the last letter removed (nearly) contained by (covered in) a type of cereal all reversed (flipped over).

13a Follower, revolutionary in Vietnam’s eyes (3-3)
The reverse lurker (revolutionary in) found in the last two words of the clue.

15a Generous first dash of soda: without spirit? (8)
The initial letter (first dash) of Soda and a (3,4) expression that could be the same as without (minus a) spirit.

19a Agreement during Whitsun is ongoing (6)
The lurker (during) found in the rest of the clue.

21a Denying tiger fun proves foolish (8)
An anagram (proves foolish) of TIGER FUN.

26a Fluff English, reading, writing and arithmetic, bagging zero (5)
The single letter for English and how reading, writing, and arithmetic are sometimes referred to containing (bagging) the single letter that can represent zero.

28a Tree certainly not tidy around end of December (6,6)
A (2,3) interjection equivalent to certainly not and a synonym of tidy containing (around) the last letter (end) of DecembeR.


1d She and I fry fresh salmon etc, caught here (7)
An anagram (fresh) of SHE and I FRY.

3d Bird I come to after Manx cat (9)
I from the clue and a single word for come to, all placed after a synonym for cat with its last latter (tail) removed (Manx).

4d By all conclusions, when to raise hell — party season? (4)
The last letters (by all conclusions) of four words in the clue.

6d Generous type, devil with tail up somewhat? (5)
The name of the biblical devil with its last letter ‘moved up’ a number of positions (tail up somewhat).

8d Where ancient giant stood in more than one street, it’s said? (6)
The homophone (it’s said) of more than one (type of) street.

16d Touch on clue one’s nailed! (9)
Synonyms of touch and clue.

17d Prepare to catch with opener for Northants just out? (5,3)
A synonym of prepare (perhaps when applied to a hot drink) containing (to catch) a synonym of with plus the first letter (opener) of Northants.

20d Celebrity lacking in skill? (7)
Written as (3,4) a synonymic phrase of lacking in skill.

25d Lug rocks, ending on Salisbury Plain (4)
An anagram (rocks) of LUG followed by the last letter (ending on) of SalisburY.

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Kenny Lynch, consummate singer, songwriter, entertainer, and actor, passed away on Wednesday the 18th aged 81. Here is one of his top ten hits from 1962:


45 comments on “ST 3035 (Hints)

  1. Can someone with the newspaper please confirm that the closing date is Thursday 2nd January as normal

    Thank you

  2. 2*/3*. Although this was pleasant I thought it suffered a bit in comparison with what has now become the standard for Sunday puzzles as a result of the theme which tends to cramp any setter’s style.

    16d was my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. Very many thanks to Senf for the parsing of 17d. I knew my answer had to be correct, but I couldn’t explain the rest of it.

    I enjoyed this on the whole and it didn’t hold me up for too long.

    Many thanks to all and, if I don’t get an opportunity to call in again, season’s greetings to everyone

  4. Excellent puzzle, that’s more like it after yesterdays horror. Some nice Christmassy clues amongst the clever ones. My fav was 14d simply because it reminded of one of the most beautiful pieces of engineering ever built followed closely by the Aston Martin DB9 (not meant for driving just as a work of art to be admired!).
    Thx to all

    1. I’d set the Mosquito fractionally ahead of the ********, but I’m biased because that’s what my father flew in WW2.

      1. Many do not realise that the Mosquito was constructed of wood. Try building a commercial airliner in such a fashion today.

        1. That was why it was so fast, so much so that many were unarmed as the ME109s couldn’t catch them! I agree a beautiful aircraft.

  5. Enjoyable with some nice surface reading. Favourite was probably 8D. A 2*\3.5* for me. Hmm’d on spelling of 23A, and 9A seemed clumsy – but overall great fun, coming off the back of a Liverpool World Championship, makes for a happy Sunday. Thanks to all.

  6. There were a few convoluted ones here, notably 17d. I too would like to thank Senf for his help with that one. Merry Christmas, Senf. It sounds like it might be a white one. I would give this *** for difficulty but that was largely because I spent so long on a couple of clues. I liked the Christmassy clues so ***/**** for enjoyment. Thabks and Merry Christmas to Dada.

  7. I had to write out the answer to 17d and stare at it for a while before the penny dropped over the wordplay and was a little slow on the uptake where 18a was concerned – dim day again!
    A couple of the themed entries that made me smile – 1&28a – so they share top honours today.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – such a sadness to lose another of the greats in the form of Kenny Lynch but I enjoyed hearing him sing again.

  8. Cruised, smiling ( also something to do with last night’s footy) until I hit 18a and 18d, both worthy of a hint, I felt. Even a brisk walk and another coffee didn’t crack them. Had to resort to electronic help. Both were in the Toughie class, I felt, but no doubt others will have written them straight in! So that leads me to a ****/**** rating, which is fine for a pre- festivity Sunday with all my jobs done.

  9. 18a last in and favourite (wish I’d be quicker remembering cotton types).

    Re 10a why the question mark?

    Best wishes to all

    1. Re 10a – I took the ? to be because he is a ‘very’ old PM but there is probably no real justification for it.

  10. The penny eventually dropped for 18a but only after as long as it had taken to complete the remainder of the grid. I’d lost patience and succumbed to seeking Senf’s help but as it was not hinted I eventually had the satisfaction of an unaided finish in **** time.
    28a was my favourite.

  11. Several rather vague yuletide clues spoiled for me the overall appeal of this otherwise likeable puzzle. Now back to yuletide tasks! Thanks and Happy Christmas Dada and Senf.

    1. On reflection, I think my preamble should have said ‘a sprinkling of seasonal answers (with non-seasonal clues).’

  12. This took a tad longer than it should have done as I insisted on trying to make it more difficult than it actually was. Once the (yawn) seasonal theme had been established, it became a lot easier. I particularly enjoyed 28a, 16d and 3d.

    Thanks and Merry Christmas to Dada and Senf.

  13. It took me a long while to understand why 17d was what it was (confirmed by Senf,thank you). I’m unable to parse 18a, assuming I have it right, can anyone help please? Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle.

  14. For once, the sun shines in Shropshire!

    A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle with just the right amount of head scratching and lightbulb moments. I loved 1a, 22a and 26a but 3d has to be my COTD as it is for others. I did go down the wrong path for this clue at first because I tried to use another form of Manx cat.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints.

    Also, many thanks for the video of Kenny Lynch. He was a true professional.

    1. From me too, and welcome in advance!
      I sometimes wonder just how many lurkers there are from all over the world.

  15. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A nice puzzle, very seasonal. Needed electronic help for 12&18a, would never have thought of either. Also needed the hints for 8d, I had another place that was clearly wrong. Favourite was 6d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  16. Completed ok, but took an age. Much easier than last week.
    I admire Dada’s puzzles, just as I admire Paul in the Guardian, unfortunately they are not for me. I find the wordplay beyond me, and I find them an exercise in bunging in the answer then trying to work out why it’s correct. That’s not how I like to solve crosswords. They are definitely for those with more experience than me, maybe one day in the future.
    Thanks all.
    PS, isn’t the cereal in 11a actually a grass?

    1. Re your PS – I would say yes and no. The plant is a grass but the grain (seed) it produces is a cereal (straight out of the BRB), and I consider that can be applied to all cereal crops.

  17. Well, I did finish and enjoyed this, but it was hard. I was stuck on a few, so went to Senf’s hints to get me going again. I was eventually left with two in the NE and was about to give up when I had a flash of brilliance. First in was the PM, last in was 12a.
    Fave was 3d, but I also liked 8d and 6d. Special thanks for unravelling 17d, Senf, I had no idea why, it just had to be.
    Thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf for his hints and tips. Merry Christmas to all.

  18. It took me a long time to tune in to the right wave-length today – head full of other stuff which is my latest excuse for everything!
    Lots of good clues which I’m appreciating more as I read through them all again.
    I don’t ‘get’ my answer to 23a although I think it’s probably right.
    I liked 1, 15 and 28a and 7d. I think my favourite was probably the simple 25d.
    With thanks to Dada and too Senf.
    Off for a ‘Solstice Party’ for drinks now.

  19. I found the bottom half was quite a difficult slog after a totally problem free top half solve. Possibly stopping halfway through to socialise with visitors caused a loss of concentration, but for me it was the more difficult of the two weekend prize puzzles. 3 down is my fave today, but little else stood out. Thanks to Dada and Senf :-)

  20. I thought that I would drop in today after a longish absence for no good reason that I can offer. It is great to see so many new faces and reminds me of the dynamic nature of BD44.
    I liked this one with both 18s being the last in and think it’s in **/*** territory. Unlike the mood here, I quite like the theme especially with clues like 1a.

    Thanks to setter and sorter.

    Happy and Peaceful Christmas to you all

  21. Too busy yesterday preparing for our annual bash after the Carol Service but had to pop in and say what a brilliant clue 18a was. I was completely stuck on it until I read your comments although in the textile trade the word is mostly used for a sample garment pattern. Happy Christmas to all – I am so pleased to have found you!

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