ST 3040 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3040 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3040 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, in my area of the city, there was a temporary parking ban from 7:00pm on Wednesday to 7:00am on Thursday to allow for clearing of compacted snow from the roads, with threats of tickets and being towed for those who ignored the ban.  The only problem was that the snow clearing team didn’t show up until 10:00am on Thursday, three hours after the ban finished!

Similar to last year, Dada appears to be making no allowances for possible degraded brain function of anyone who might have over-indulged at BB11 yesterday – I counted four anagrams (including partials), one lurker, three homophones, with some stretched synonyms – all in a symmetric 32 clues, with 18 hints you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 17a, 31a, and 2d.

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 In establishment serving drinks, another empty bottle (6))
The first and last letters (empty) of AnotheR inserted into (in) an establishment serving (mostly non-alcoholic) drinks.

4a Happy and rich – as may be image from computer? (8)
A two letter informal synonym of happy and a slang synonym of rich.

9a Moneya nicker? (6)
A double definition – the second could be an informal name for the individual shown in the illustration.

13a Greenish-brown mist by lake (5)
A type of mist followed by the single letter for lake.

14a Opening oven, tray’s grabbed (4)
The lurker (grabbed) found in the rest of the clue.

20a Gathering container, go off to collect first of gooseberries (12)
An anagram (off) of CONTAINER GO containing (to collect) the initial letter (first) of Gooseberries.

25a Food market, we hear? (4)
The first homophone (we hear) of a type of market.

28a On drinking limit, cardinal plastered (8)
A two letter synonym for on containing (drinking) a synonym of limit followed by the colour that cardinal is a type of.

31a Dire situation adding pressure to match? (6)
The single letter for pressure added to (preceding) an informal synonym of match.


1d Before last part, raise drink (8)
A synonym(?) of raise placed before a single word that can be used for last part.

3d On the radio, channel ran well (4)
The second homophone (on the radio) of a synonym(?) of channel.

5d Offering figure solace after stuffing knocked out, might this be simple? (7,5)
A type of offering (there were a lot around a month ago), a three letter figure (number), and what is left after the ‘internal’ letters have been removed (after stuffing knocked out) from SolacE.

8d Water down funnel you invert, all ends in sink (6)
The last letters (all ends) of funneL yoU inverT inserted into (in) a synonym(?) of sink.

11d Old film: cinema gold that’s funny in every case? (6,6)
An anagram (that’s funny) of CINEMA GOLD contained by (in) the first and last letters (case) of EverY – and the answer is a genre rather than a specific film.

18d Like to claim language is expanding (8)
A slang synonym of like containing (to claim) an (ancient) language.

19d Stake put underground, set to rot (8)
A single word synonym of put underground followed by an anagram (to rot) of SET.

22d Some old capital in African country (6)
A double definition – the first is a form of money (capital) that was used to price luxury items until the introduction of decimal currency.

27d By the sound of it, white container for liquid (4)
The third homophone (by the sound of it) of a synonym of white.

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Number one on his day in 1974 for 4 weeks and, heaven help us, apparently the best selling record of 1974. I am not sure if the 4 guys(?) in T-shirts (two at each end) are part of the group or are there for decorative purposes:


62 comments on “ST 3040 (Hints)

  1. I found this one was very hard work, not helped by the fact that I was doing my RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the sa.e time. I would rate it **** for difficulty and **/*** for enjoyment . Enjoyment was affected by a few over-stretched synonyms. Thanks to Senf (no snow here but it’s been foggy and dull). Thanks to Dada.

  2. :phew: 4*/4*. Crikey, that was tough but well worth the challenge. I didn’t imbibe that much at the BB yesterday so I assume the difficulty was due to the puzzle and not to my fuzzy brain.

    21d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. Great challenge and very pleased to complete in a reasonable time for me .COTD 21D .
    The snow team were probably snow bound !
    Trust the bash went well .
    Thanks Dada & Senf .

  4. As I haven’t looked at a Sunday puzzle for a while I thought I would have a peek. As I thought only for the masochists amongst us.
    I was going to make a slightly rude comment but good manners won out.

  5. I found this most definitely at the tougher end of Dada’s setting spectrum, but with a great sense of achievement upon its completion. Perseverance and lots of lateral thinking won the day, and I particularly appreciated 2 and 11d. Great stuff.

    Thanks to the aforementioned for the considerable challenge and to Senf.

  6. My first thoughts were ‘another Dada horror’, but it gradually fell into place and I actually quite enjoyed the challenge! Like the previous comments, 21d raised a smile, so that’s clue of this wet and windy Lancashire day! Thanks to Dada for the challenge and Senf for the hints.

      1. Many thanks. The answer to my query dawned on me when I was doing something completely different. Thanks also to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  7. Found solving this to be rather like wading through treacle and can’t honestly say that I scored it very highly for enjoyment.
    My top three came from amongst the easier ones – 17a plus 16 & 21d.

    Thanks to our Sunday setter and to Senf, whose task I didn’t envy today. The Mud track takes me back further than I probably want to go – that ‘dance’ could become somewhat difficult to follow after a few drinks at the Saturday disco!

  8. I’m afraid Dada doesn’t grow on me so this was another grind. The East caved in first. Not sure about 11d clue. 21d, oh no not that revolutionary yet again! Favs 17a and 2d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  9. Agree with others that this was a Toughie today, a 4/4. Thanks Dada and Senf. Anyone going to let us know how the ‘bash’ went yesterday?

    1. I commented on the bash post, Rabbit Dave on the NTSPP post and Puzzler Dave added a link to his photos on the bash post

  10. Love Sundays, love Dada. Always a challenge, ***/**** for me, keep ‘em coming! Fave today was 18d, LOI 25a.

  11. Bit of a plod and was glad to finish this one, can’t really say any of the clues were inspiring.

    Maybe it’s down to this horrible dark wet weather we are getting day after day here in Central Scotland!

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

    1. My friend in Inverness tells me she’s having brilliant sunshine every day, but I thought she just doesn’t want me to gloat!

      1. Our son lives in Inverness and it seems to have its own microclimate with more sunshine. Much windier there though, it gets the cold wind straight off the North Sea, not a good place for wearing the kilt on a windy day!

  12. Remarkably I managed to get about half the answers but didn’t enjoy any of it. Am I wrong in thinking that these puzzles are set as entertainment? If so this missed the mark by a country mile. Thanks to Senf especially for the pictorial clues which were much appreciated.

  13. That was hard, surely a Toughie (Friday at that), in disguise. Having put an “ING” on the end of 20a, 19d was impossible, but finally got it and altered the “ING”. My clue of the day is 30a. ****/*****. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  14. I’m a fan.
    I like Dada.
    Thanks for this very fair and enjoyable crossword.
    Thanks to Senf for the hints.
    Dull and grey down here but reasonable temperature.

  15. Oh, very satisfying to complete that ‘all by my own’. Just passed a happy hour with a cup of coffee and a slice of Bara Brith brought back from Llandudno. Pleased to hear the party went well.

  16. I needed some help with this – thank you, Senf – but I did manage to solve well over half of it with no problems. I was quite surprised at the comments declaring it to be difficult but then maybe those declaring it so refrained from using the hints. I would not have finished without them. My COTD is 17a with 11d a close second.

    Grateful thanks to Dada and Senf.

    While speaking to our daughter and son-in-law today, who live in Melbourne, I asked how the weather was. She replied it was “Biblical” and that they were awaiting a plague of locusts. I refrained from telling them that a swarm of locusts 30 miles wide is currently ravaging East Africa!

    Hope the Birthday Bash went well.

    1. I read about the locusts in the paper today. What a scourge for people who have a hard enough time trying to farm.

  17. Completed, without the hints, but was much comforted by others’ expression of its difficulty. As always, when I had finished and parsed all the answers, I wondered why it had taken so long. But that is the sign of a fine crossword. Favourite was 5d. Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  18. Thanks but no thanks Dada. Sunday is meant to be a day of rest not torture. Thanks to Senf for loosening the rack a little. It would be an understatement to say this was difficult or in any way enjoyable.

  19. Crikey! It’s a long time since my iPad timer showed this long to finish a crossword. Got there in the end but what a grind. I made fairly liberal use of the Thesaurus and had to resort to pen and paper in places. I agree with others about the stretched synonyms.

    Many thanks to Senf whose explanations I needed for a couple of answers and to Dada for the brain workout.

    It’s nice to hear, Senf, that it’s not just our public institutions who display breathtaking incompetence.

    1. Pen and paper… gadzooks!

      And we too have breathtaking incompetence in Boston especially around snow removal. Surprisingly it is the private sector that is incompetent- the town and city staff are always the saviors.

      Grateful, Dead Fans

      Mr & Mrs T

  20. I agreed with comments that that was a little tricky, but with Senf’s help, I got there in the end. SE held out the longest and I was aware of a few stretched synonyms but more to do with my failings. My brain feels as grey and miserable as the weather.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  21. After starting with a really foggy brain it suddenly started to fall into place for me, which is not my usual experience. I just got out of hospital yet again yesterday so I think I was just so happy to be doing crosswords again that helped. I pleaded my way out of yet another operation and they went easy on me for now and will try medicine for a while. I am beginning to think my tummy is channeling the ghost of Kenneth Williams “Infamy! Infamy! My tummy’s got it infamy!’ Meanwhile I can only have plain rice, apple sauce, mashed bananas and scrambled egg. Presumably not all at the same time. Also definitely not allowed to wash it down with a nice glass of wine. Oh the humanity!

    Journey home took some time too, weather really bad, A driving and me trying not to whimper at some idiots driving way too fast for the conditions. We were diverted to back roads because there was a terrible collision on Hwy 7. Head on or T-bone, I think, Att a set of traffic lights. One woman not too badly hurt once they had her out with the jaws of life but the other car, young mother in local hospital but two little children helicoptered to Toronto, one serious and one critical. So sad.

    So back to the crossword, thanks to everyone as always. Favourites….10a, 25d….. and a few others very very clever too.

  22. For Dada relatively straightforward- just a bit of perseverance required towards the end. Favorite 16d.

  23. Well this was Dada in a slightly unforgiving Sunday stance. Tricky awkward lots of lateral thinking,,, I loved it! I regard this as one of the hardest Sunday puzzles since Dada took over.
    There are so many good clues, but 18 &11down takes the podium .
    Many thanks to Dada for Sunday synapse stretcher & Senf for review & guidance.

  24. I found this almost impossible and I didn’t have anything alcoholic at the ‘do’ yesterday so can’t blame that.
    It’s taken me ages.
    I still don’t understand 30a even with stanXYZ’s hint – I can see the ‘crickety’ extra (even I’m wise to that one now!) and I can see the synonym for ‘needed’ but I’ve still got a spare ‘E’ – well, I think I have. :unsure: and dim, too.
    I’ve never heard of 11d.
    Oh too bad, not my day but thanks anyway to Dada and too Senf.

    1. I have the same extra ‘e’. I bunged in the correct answer but am still no wiser. As to the whole puzzle it was a joyless grind. Nothing at all to encourage the solver. Thanks to all.

    2. Your synonym for needed should have the same ending and that’s the letter you remove so there isn’t a spare E at all

    3. Aha – thanks very much to CS and to Jimbob – NOW I get it.
      At least I was right about something and that was that I was being dim! :roll:

  25. I’m with the” tricky and hard work camp”. I also agree with the stretched synonyms comments. I got there eventually so I shouldn’t complain. I suppose I should chose a favourite so 17a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  26. I decided not to do Sunday’s crossword any more as I’m sorry I just don’t enjoy them.
    I started to look at today’s as I was at a loose end, and there isn’t an i one on Sunday.
    I slogged through it and finished it but I haven’t changed my mind.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  27. I was swanning along, thinking maybe I’ve got Dada’s wavelength, until I got halfway and stopped. I agree with Jane, some easy peasy answers along the way, but I could only finish with the hints. I would have given up long ago but I’m watching the tennis, firmly glued in front of the TV. when RD and CS find it tricky, I know I’m in trouble.
    Fave was 17a, but others amused, 2d and 21d for example.
    Thanks to Dada, I think this maybe goodbye, and to Senf for helping me across the finish line.

  28. Glad it’s not just me struggling. Not done 25a, 29a, 18d and 19d. Can anyone help before the roast is done? Hope the bash went well yesterday.

    1. Well, there are hints for 25a, 18d, and 19d so you should be able to solve those, and then 29a should follow.

  29. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. I thought I was feeling slightly jaded from yesterday’s birthday bash, but reading comments above I’m rather pleased that I can’t blame yesterday totally. Needed lots of hints. Was 5*/3*for me. I’ll bet Shropshire Lad is very proud of his team today.

  30. I definitely have my contrary hat on today, as I was very pleased to solve this one at a steady pace, despite not being as smart as a lot of commenters above. Must have been on Dada’s wavelength today, and those I needed hints for really weren’t hard, just my own foggy brain. Last in was 18d, and COTD shared with 18d and 17a. Thanks to Dada and to Senf as always.

  31. Thank you Senf for clearing my mind on 8d. The three missing letters match something you sink, transitive verb. There are ???sinking machines.

    1. Your comment went into moderation as you added your surname to your alias – both should work from now on.
      Thanks for your input. I must admit my brain was a little addled by the time I got to developing that hint.

  32. Blimey I found this fairly straightforward, needed a few hints but all quickly fell into place, completed in my normal time. Had not realised it was ‘hard’ until I read the comments… Maybe because I had been doing the NTSSP I came away with yesterday (already 80% finished with some lovely clues) so my mind was in the mood.

  33. I gave up with three to go as I was in danger of going into a coma, I could not even be bothered to find the answers out to the ones I could not get.
    A relentless grind which now appears to be the pattern on a Sunday.
    Thanks Senf and Dada.

  34. 6 clues in the SE corner eluded me yesterday so revisited this morning. Having succumbed to impatience and sneaking a peek at Senf’s hint to 19d (obvious really) the remaining 5 fell like dominoes and I was left a tad disappointed that I’d failed to finish yesterday. I don’t subscribe to the view that these Dada offerings are not an enjoyable challenge. They are at least doable albeit difficult/quirky which is more than can be said for Elgar’s Friday Toughie offerings which are strictly for the expert solvers….
    Thanks to all.

  35. This type of challenge appeals to certain types, of which I am not one. A very tedious slog caused by overly obtuse clueing, e.g 4a image could have been any one of tens of things. This is rather like a jigsaw with a wide expanse of blue sky with no clouds or objects in view.

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