ST 3038 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3038 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3038 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in red at the bottom of the hints!

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 Pack things (5)
A double definition to start – the first may relate to packing in a haphazard manner.

4a Sweet, country’s borders? (5)
Groan freely at this one – the first and last letters (borders) of CountrY surrounding the connective conjunction.

13a White lies disseminated in gang (8)
An anagram (disseminated) of LIES inserted into (in) a synonym of gang.

14a Track alongside sign in quiet location? (7)
The two letter abbreviation of a track used for transportation after (alongside) an astrological sign.

16a A number dry, waters finally drained out (6)
A synonym of dry with the last letter (finally) of waterS removed (drained out).

19a Good prices for freebooters (7)
The two letter short form of a synonym of good and a synonym of prices.

22a Ruined, as are three-wheelers and go-karts? (6)
Another groan might be appropriate here – how the construction of the terms three-wheelers and go-karts might be described.

23a Walk quietly — possible instruction to reader in formal attire (6)
An abbreviated form of a possible instruction, for continuation, to a reader (of a book?) inserted into (in) an item of formal attire.

26a United team is ahead, by the sound of it (5)
A homophone of a word that describes being ahead.



2d Plate I ate, no mixed grill ultimately (7)
An anagram (mixed) of I ATE, NO and the last letter (ultimately) of grilL, and, yes, the answer can be described as a plate.

5d Missing round hard receptacle designed for powdery residue (7)
A synonym of missing containing (round) the single letter for hard.

7d European eaten by wolf in Newfoundland (4)
A lurker (eaten by) found in the rest of the clue.

8d Lentils and meats in different food processor (5,9)
An anagram (different) LENTILS and MEATS IN.

18d A teacher is someone beautiful (6)
A from the clue, a type of (university) teacher, and IS from the clue.

20d Drug otherwise used in eating regimens rejected (7)
A two letter synonym of otherwise inserted into (used in) a single word for eating regimens all reversed (rejected).

22d Secure nothing in political party (2,2)
The letter that can represent nothing inserted into (in) the abbreviated form of a UK, but not GB, political party.

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Number 1 on January 8, 1972 for 4 weeks, it includes karaoke type lyrics so that you can join in if you want to, developed from the song in a ‘famous’ 1971 soft drink commercial, also shown below so that you can decide which is the better one.  At least the commercial only lasts for a minute:


60 comments on “ST 3038 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyable Sunday puzzle with some pleasing clues (4A,23A for example). A 2*\4* for me. I filled in 24A but can’t yet see the reasoning. Thanks to Senf and setter.

  2. Definitely not my cup of tea. I really struggled to finish this (***** time!) I groaned over quite a few clues and did not really have a favourite, although some clues were quite unusual/ original in a strange kind of way. Thanks to Senf and the setter.

      1. 2d was very unusual. I don’t think I’ve seen that meaning before. 23a was a bit quirky too.

  3. This took a lot of teasing out for me today and I was way over my normal times. It was a bit of a mixed bag and I enjoyed some of it, but groaned a little at others.

    I needed Senf’s explanation for 22a and 5d. I’ll take his word for it that 2d is correct but I looked it up in the BRB and couldn’t find the word ‘plate’ there.

    I’m assuming my answer to 24a is correct, but I think I’m missing something. Small parts?

    Many thanks to all.

      1. Thanks Wahoo. I’m afraid your hint didn’t enlighten me at all, but I’ve just sat and stared at my answer for ages. I’ve got it now.

  4. Very enjoyable **/****. Some nice misdirections (e.g. 13a and 26a). Thought 2d was a bit of a stretch but I guess, why not. Hard to pick a favourite but i’ll go for 20d just ahead of 13a and 23a.

    By the way, the girl who starts the singing in the Coke advert subsequently married one of England’s best rugby wing forwards, not that that’s got anything do do with crosswords!

    Thanks to Senf and Dada for the usual fun.

    1. She’s also mum to Kelly – one of the girls who shared swimming lessons with my eldest daughter!

  5. Definitely some of our setter’s quirkiness on display in this one with several answers requiring penny-drop moments – 13,22&23a spring to mind.
    No particular favourite today but I very much enjoyed the ride.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog and video clips. That’s always been one of my favourite adverts!

  6. I did not enjoy this at all. I managed to solve a number of clues, based on the letters in the crosslights but couldn’t understand how the answers were achieved. I’m glad that Senf explained 14a. I don’t understand 24a and am kicking myself for not working out 6d sooner.

    I guess I wasn’t on the right wavelength this morning.

    1. 24a – start with a (2,5) expression that can be used for marriage, then ‘part (split) it’ by inserting the single letter for small at a location which creates an expression that means together.

  7. I needed a bit of electronic help with this one but got there in the end.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf. I did like 26a and the pic that goes with it. I am not a huge footy fan but 26a are one of the teams I keep an eye on in the results. I even managed to score a penalty against Rod Harvey at our local village fete once (I think he deliberately missed it)

      1. Oops, of course, it was – in my defence was only eight years old and at least Gary Sprake had retired by then (anyone could score past Gary)

  8. This seemed to be fairly standard Sunday fare, until I got to the SE corner. I got it completed in *** time, but with 22a still unfilled. Even Senf’s hint didn’t help at first, but now, Doh!

    Many thanks to all.

  9. I don’t think Dada has been in a14ac lately.
    Mine cannot be described as a quiet location these days

    1. A bit of a stretch, but enjoyable. 4a reminded me of Virgilus, and there were some stretched synonyms worthy of a Ray T. Ta to all.

  10. I managed today’s offering but it was a hard slog with electronic help being required. I have never thought of 2d as a plate. Being a dentist it means something else to me. I simply could not get on the correct wavelength. Mind you, I did like a couple of clues such as the “groaners” 4a and 22a plus an honourable mention for 3d.

    Mixture of sun, torrential rain and wind in Shropshire today!

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

  11. Dada comes up with some superb clues, very inventive, but I do find him a struggle with a lot of bung-in’s then trying to reverse engineer the wordplay.
    This was on the limit of my ability, however very satisfying to finish unaided.
    I guessed 4a, as my last one, but could not see the wordplay at all, so many thanks to Dada for the hint.
    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  12. Not sure if this was on the tricky side for a Sunday or my brain wasn’t in gear. Either way it was a bit of a struggle but toiled to an unaided finish in ***** time. It seemed to take an age to get properly started but once 3d & 8d were filled in things got easier. 16a & 18d were among my favourite clues today. I assume I’ve got the right answer to 22a but like MalcolmR Senf’s doesn’t enlighten me as to why however I’m still waiting for my ‘doh’ moment……

  13. Phew, that was a tussle as is often my case with Dada but it was satisfying to finally complete. N W was last corner to fall. Like MalcolmR and Huntsman my 22a bung-in baffles me even with Senf’s hint. Have joint Favs – 23a, 24a and 3d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  14. I agree about 22a I am stumped at the moment despite consulting the mustard. Maybe if I come back to it after a break the penny will drop. It doesn’t help that I have never owned or been on or near either of the conveyances!

    1. You don’t need to have used the conveyances – if you have the correct solution, you will, after you’ve looked at the words in the clue relating to said conveyances, eventually need a shin pad to protect your leg when you kick yourself

      1. lol, yes I concur, one of those that makes you want to chew the carpet when the penny drops.

    2. D’oh my 22a penny has finally dropped but I would contend that the marks in the clue don’t accurately fit the solution because they are in fact a shorter mark. 🤨.

      1. Can it really be? Am I right in thinking that a word containing yph might better describe it? I have drunk rather a lot of Prosecco this afternoon and don’t want to spend the evening on the naughty step, but really ……!

  15. ****/**. Quite a slog but got there in the end. 4a was easily my favourite and 22a was, as Senf says, groan worthy.. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  16. Did not really get on the setter’s wavelength this morning although the anagrams were a help in addition to some of the easier clues. Needed electronic help then in the SE corner to get all but 22a but put in the right answer and found Senf’s hint explained it. 11a and 21a my favourites today but the anagram at 8d was well clued. Thanks to all for their help and to the posters for interesting comments.

  17. Another tricky puzzle from Dada but worth the perseverance. I had ticks against 6 clues on my sheet (I print the puzzle as I think the app is about as useful as the proverbial chocolate kettle!). My favourite was 13a. Like others, I had doubts about 2d but it does check out in Collins if not the BRB.
    Thanks to Senf (no clerihew yet!) and to Dada.

  18. Only 11 solved over breakfast, too tough to be enjoyable today. Might have another go later.

  19. 3*/4*. Quirky, quite tough in parts but good fun. 22a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Phew! That was a tough cookie from Dada! I eventually completed it and actually I have to admit it was good fun. 4a was my favorite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for the hints.

  21. This was way beyond my solving capabilities. I only had about half when I came to Senf for help and I still can’t get the NE corner.
    I have no complaints at all, this week has been treats all the way, so I can’t beef.
    The ones I liked best were 4a and 22a, neither of which I solved, but they were smile worthy.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf who helped fill in a few blank spots, I’ll leave the rest for CrypticSue’s review.

  22. Late to the table today : as is usual for Dada I had to explore the wavelength spectrum… extensively in this case… I agree there was more doh & “oh no really “ moments, but as is usual I found it enjoyable & entertaining.
    Quite a few good clues so won’t pick any favourites today.
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf for review & direction

  23. Jolly tricky – there were times, quite a few of them, when I didn’t think I’d finish this one – took ages to even get started.
    I didn’t know what ‘freebooters’ were and spent too long trying to make the answer begin with a ‘G’.
    I think I’m enjoying it more now that I’ve finally finished and realising that there were lots of really good clues including 22a and 3 and 7d. My favourite was 1a which is how I always ‘pack’.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  24. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very tricky for me. Managed to whittle it down with five clues unsolved in the NE corner. Needed hints or electronic help for 4&16a and 5&9d. I would never have got 5d in a month of Sundays. Favourite was 23a, was 4*/3* for me.

  25. Brilliant! Some very clever clues which my wife quickly tuned into. Not one for Brian I suspect.

  26. Late crossword start for me today following early start for an away bowls match followed by earning some much needed brownie points doing a few over due household tasks .
    Enjoyed the somewhat unusual offering today but needed the hints to verify the grudgingly admirable “groaners” .All of which are my joint favourites for their cheekiness .
    I have been offered a trial run of the new Telegraph App!
    Thanks Dada & Senf .

    1. I’ve also been offered a trial run (technically, “end user testing”) of the new Telegraph App next week. Should be interesting.

  27. Super crossword. Thanks to Dada.
    Loved all the penny drop moments while solving.
    Thanks to Senf for the hints.

  28. As usual with Dada, and in keeping with most others, I struggled to get on his wavelength. Then a miracle happened! Suddenly, without warning, I was there and I wrote all the ones I’d been struggling on almost one after the other. Well obviously it was one after the other but with precious few gaps, you know what I mean. In the end I enjoyed it. Favourite 3d. Many thanks to Dada and Senf. Now for the videos. P.s. I don’t know either of the ladies involved, I wouldn’t have minded though.

  29. After a fairly reasonable week, Dada brought me down to earth today. I did manage to fill in several more over a late lunch. Had to get help for 22d, and agree with Senf, big groan here. On reflection, this wasn’t particularly tough today, I just wasn’t on wavelength. I did break my own rules and go for help on empty boxes, and they weren’t obscure or odd, just not something that would spring to mind. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  30. Needed a lot of electronic help with this one, so not so enjoyable for me.

    Thanks to Senf and to the setter.

  31. 8d and 22a were my joint favourites in this moderately challenging but very enjoyable and rewarding puzzle. I only got round to doing this on Monday morning but it was well worth the wait.

    Belated thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf.

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