ST 3036 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 3036 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3036 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where the Boxing Day (or is it Week) Sales are in full swing – I am surprised that people still have funds available, or is it all on plastic?

Today, Dada is still in a quirky frame of mind – I counted four anagrams, one lurker, and three, yes three, homophones – all in an almost symmetric 27 clues, with 16 hints you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, 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 Flashing light set or not, beep occurring intermittently (6)
Select alternate (occurring intermittently) letters from four words in the clue.

10a Copper symbolically said farewell (3,3)
The first homophone (said) using the phonetic pronunciation of the letters of the chemical symbol for copper.

12a Superstar finally getting involved, some roles shifted about (4,2,4)
The last letter (finally) of superstaR inserted into (getting involved) in an anagram (shifted) of SOME ROLES.

13a PM and Queen talk, in series of minor knocks (6-6)
The surname of a Prime Minister (well father and son PMs actually), HM’s regnal cypher, and a synonym of talk.

20a Roman Catholic in small boat off the Sussex coast? Speedy vessel (10)
A small ‘boat’ placed after (off) a Sussex coastal town containing the abbreviation for Roman Catholic.

21a Servant forced to dictate? (4)
The second homophone (to dictate) of a synonym of forced.

24a Twenty to eleven — confirmed the later showing ends there (6)
The selection of the last letters (showing ends) of the first six words of the clue.

25a Tool sellers dropping drink at the front (6))
A synonym of sellers with a ‘leading’ (at the front) synonym of drink removed (dropping).


1d When jiggled about, pin set to move! (4,2,2)
An anagram (when jiggled about) of PIN SET TO.

3d Baker’s mistake? (7)
A synonym of mistake which could be attributed to a baker.

6d Horse fed large alcoholic drink, one of those beaten (5,4)
A synonym of horse containing (fed) the single letter for large followed by a type of alcoholic drink.

7d Six out of nine go, I stay — one considers no one else (6)
The lurker found by selecting six consecutive letters out of four words in the clue.

14d Player saw red, one wearing bronze (9)
A single word for saw red (as in displaying anger) and the letter used to represent one all inserted into (wearing) a synonym of bronze.

17d Solitary type referring to sign welcoming son (7)
The two letters that can be used for referring to, and a type of sign containing (welcoming) the single letter for son.

19d Down perhaps, reckon needing holiday finally (6)
A synonym of reckon followed (needing) by the last letter (finally) of holidaY.

21d So-called fundamental state (5)
The third homophone (so-called) of a synonym of fundamental.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

Marianne Faithfull is 73 years young today, here she is with a Jagger/Richards composition from 1964 which reached number 9 in the charts:


45 comments on “ST 3036 (Hints)

  1. Typical Dada puzzle, fiendishly difficult and hard to understand even when you have the answer. Def not my favourite setter.
    Needed most of todays hints to complete this one.
    Thx for the hints.

  2. 3*/3*. Some thorny patches to negotiate today but good fun overall despite a few iffy surfaces.

    Podium positions for 10a, 22a & 19d.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  3. The top half was a steady solve but the bottom proved a good deal more problematic. 19d held out for long enough for me to lose patience & check the hints to confirm what I was thinking was correct. Even then I had to resort to the Thesaurus for the synonym at which point the penny dropped and realised I was down a blind alley with the wrong sort of down.
    10a was clever & is my COTD.Thanks to Senf for the hints.

  4. Difficult to get started, but ultimately a satisfying puzzle coming in as a 3*\4* for me. 10A and 7D were beautiful in their simplicity. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  5. Hard going and not totally enjoyable. Even when I found the answer I could not always understand the relevance to the clue.

    Still, all good for the little grey cells!

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  6. Dada not usually my scene so not much fun to be had today but pressed on regardless and got there in the end however have to admit to having sought help with parsing for 24a and 6d. Fav was 10a with 13a running up. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  7. Think I must have left my brain in bed this morning – this one certainly gave me the run around!
    Favourite was the musical accompaniment to 6d, reminded me of some wonderful holidays.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog.

    1. Hmm, I have to ask, reminded by the type of music or the type of liquid that is the subject of the tune? :smile: :wink:

  8. I was very surprised to see that this had taken me **** time, it didn’t seem like it at the time. Three quarters fell slowly into place, but the SW remained almost empty.

    A little electronic help brought me 14d which allowed the rest to fall into place.

    COTD has to be 10a. I think we have had it before, but it held me up for a while.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. I found this a little more difficult than recent Sunday puzzles but enjoyable and rewarding to complete. In 10a and 7d there were two excellent examples of our setter’s craft. Great stuff.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  10. The last of my offspring has just left and the house feels very, very empty so it has done me good to sit and tackle this puzzle which was quite a tussle. However I enjoyed it thoroughly and finished with no need for hints or electronics, but it took me far longer than normal. Thanks to all involved. Happy New Year to everyone.

  11. I understand that as this is a prize puzzle we should not put any answers in the blog but I don’t see why the reviewer is allowed to put answers in pictorial form. There are four today, one of which has the answer in written form.
    Perhaps someone could enlighten me?
    This has been “puzzling” me for some time

    1. FAQ 9.1 should ‘unpuzzle’ you. I have stopped using the ‘hover’ feature for ‘still’ pictures. There was a code that could be included in the URL for a YouTube video that would ‘block’ title information, et cetera, but YouTube has now disabled it. Just consider it as ‘visible hovering.’

  12. Solved without recourse to the hints, but Sunday true to form.
    A) Find the definition
    B) Work out the answer
    C) Try and fathom out the wordplay

    The wordplay is just too obscure for someone of my solving ability. I admire the thought that goes into setting such a clever crossword, unfortunately I am not clever enough to use the wordplay to solve the clues. Hopefully one day.
    My thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. Me too I agree, he’s on another level way above my solving ability. Most Sunday Ts puzzles are aimed at the higher level of solver mostly. :-(

  13. I needed plenty of hints today for this. Quite a struggle for me and this reduced my enjoyment slightly. There were, however, a number of gems such as 8a,10a and 6d. I could not parse at all 15d but the answer was the only one that fitted. I will have to wait for the review to have this one explained.

    Overall, not one I enjoyed that much.

    Grateful thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. If you have the correct mythical hero in 15d, you should have a word meaning cool inside a reversal (rising) of some water

      1. The answer is correct but I still can’t see it. I have tried looking up the word on line (in reverse, of course) but can find no reference to water – either the liquid or a body of water. I don’t think my brain is in gear today! :scratch:

        Just looked hard at it again and the penny has dropped!! I see where I was going wrong – it was to do with “cold”. What a great misdirection.

        Thanks for the signpost, Sue! :good:

    2. re: 15 across in Cryptic 3036. Obviously you did not do the dreaded Greek at school. This is pretty straightforward – xxxxxxcc. can’t get 19 down though. happy new year, Lala.

      1. Welcome

        Please read the instructions in red below the hints. As this is a prize puzzle, I’ve had to edit out your full explanation of the clue

  14. A fiendishly clever puzzle today that stumped me several times, but stepping away & coffee seemed to do the trick.
    3.5*/4* favs 13ac & 23ac.
    Many thanks to Senf for review & guidance… also to Dada for an end of year tester.
    Best wishes to both!

    1. An all day effort for me, just completed. Last one in 14d. Too difficult to be overjoyed with the puzzle, but delighted to have finished it. 5* and 3*. Thanks to Dada and Senf

  15. Like Angellov, dogged persistence was the order of the day for me in finishing this rather awkward puzzle. So it’s 4/5* for difficulty and 1/2* for enjoyment. I cannot even pick out a favourite clue. Thanks to Senf for help with parsing and to Dada

  16. I needed quite a few goes at this but got a few more every time. I turned to the hints for the final few – 13a 14d last ones in and a bit of a stretch for this bear of little brain. Thanks to Senf for the help and Dada for the puzzle. More coffee required me thinks.

  17. A really good puzzle, lots to like. 19d was last to fall as, like Huntsman, I was on the wrong track. Thanks to all and happy New Year to everyone, I am certainly glad to see the back of 2019.

  18. Oh my, that was a tough one. I solved 1a and thought that was a good omen, alas, not so. I only had eight solved and decided to go for the hints, all of them, then went back to the puzzle. Thank you, Senf, I needed the help. I think Dada is getting harder!
    My fave, of the ones I solved, was 10a, 19d was hot on its heels. I like 13a but I didn’t solve that.
    Thanks to Dada, and endless gratefulness to Senf for unravelling that lot.

  19. Really good puzzle so thanks to all. 10a held me up for ages as I was trying to start the first word with the chemical symbol which meant I couldn’t get 5d. So I took those two letters out, solved 5d and then 10a was obvious. Very clever.

  20. Took a good while to tease out all the answers, but I did get there without hints or e-help in the end. Thinking I might be getting the hang of Dada, but no doubt will be taken down a few pegs next week!

  21. This was a really tough workout, which when I eventually finished it, gave me a lot of satisfaction. Solving time today was meaningless, having to fit itself in between cricket from South Africa and an absorbing, exciting rugby match from Exeter.
    Very best wishes to BD, setters and bloggers of this site from which I get a huge amount of enjoyment, even if I don’t contribute very often. Happy New Year to you all.

  22. A great crossword.
    I found it really, really difficult while I was doing it but in the end I don’t think it took me very long – how can that be – maybe I went to sleep in the middle.
    I got well and truly stuck in the top right corner and 10a was my last answer.
    16a was a tricky anagram and took ages to untangle, and anyway I can’t spell it. :sad:
    I enjoyed this a lot but have been to London today with my sister to see the Elder Lamb, her partner and our little grandson and then we all went up the road to a ‘drinky-do’ so have just about had it now.
    Thanks so much to Dada and to Senf and night night all. :yawn:

  23. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very tricky. Needed the hints for 10,21,25a and 19&21d. Really struggled with the homophones. For 19d, I also needed electronic help to make sense of the hint, then I suddenly got the meaning of the definition. Strange thing was, that I understood how the clue worked, but couldn’t think of the synonym. Favourite was 20a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  24. Just a polite request – now that the festivities are over, May we please have the cascading snowflakes removed. They distract me, and I’m not sure whether my eye ‘floaters’ are getting worse!

    Enjoyed this immensely, just my level. ***/****

  25. Late getting round to this one. Slow start but perseverance got us through to the end. Good challenge from Dada. Favorite 10a.

  26. Solved after returning from holiday festivities by the sea. Some brilliant clues including 10 and 13a and 17 and 19d. Real d’oh moment when penny dropped on the latter. Holdups were 14d and 24a. Getting the first letter of 24a helped but this led me to a type of bet which involves eleven selections. Completely missed the last letters. 14d easy once I had the answer. Thanks Dada and Senf. Happy New Year all and hope to see many of you on 25th Jan.

  27. Was Sale shopping like mad on that day. Oxford Street was totally packed. Even saw some people with supermarket caddies full of clothes.
    Needed two sittings for that one.
    Excellent Dada puzzle.
    A joy from start to finish.
    7d favourite favourite.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

Comments are closed.