ST 3042 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3042 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3042 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, starting on Friday morning with a temperature of minus 26 degrees, we have another blast of winter!  And, there is another storm about to leave the Eastern Maritime Provinces heading for . . . 

Dada just about benevolent this week, even with a sprinkling of oldies but goodies he still caused some Hmms – I counted five anagrams (two partials), one lurker, and two almost adjacent homophones – all in an asymmetric 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, 19a, and 5d.

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 Instrument that may be vital? (5)
A sometimes large musical instrument.

4a VIPs cover undergarments with cardigans, for example (3,5)
Cruciverbalists’ favourite (supporting) undergarments inserted into (cover . . . with) a word that might include cardigans (perhaps).

11a Threesome employed as computer technicians in test (7)
A (2,2) expression that can mean employed as computer technicians inserted into (in) a synonym of test.

14a Slight hiccup over exercise initially for trainer, perhaps? (4)
Stop looking for another word for hiccup and select the first letters (initially) of four words in the clue.

17a Don’t panic — and don’t shave! (4,4,4,2)
A double definition – the first is an expression for staying calm

19a One stirring up cream, say, added to fish a little squirt! (14)
A single word for someone stirring up cream vigorously placed before (added to) a type of fish related to the bass family.

23a A Brit somewhere in the Home Counties (5)
A from the clue and a native of one of the countries that make up GB.

28a Escape eagle circling around a kid’s head (7)
An anagram (circling) of EAGLE containing (around) A from the clue and the first letter (head) of Kid.

30a Exist alongside tree, perhaps (5)
A two letter synonym of exist placed after (alongside) a three letter tree.


1d Beat after working out (2,6)
A synonym of beat placed after a two letter synonym of working.

2d In change of gear, metal switched for stone (7)
A three letter metal reversed (switched) and inserted into (in) an anagram (change of) of GEAR.

5d Phenomenal in deep space, perhaps? (3,2,4,5)
An expression that can describe being in deep space.

7d Sound of mild explosion: a shot, I gathered, ending in salvo (7)
An anagram (gathered) of A SHOT I followed by the last letter (ending in) of salvO – I think this should have had a ‘?’ at the end.

8d Approach step that’s pronounced (5)
One of the homophones (that’s pronounced) of a type of step – the other unhinted homophone is 6d.

18d Piano with two notes before first performance (8)
The single letter for piano and two successive notes from the Solfège musical scale placed before a synonym of before.

21d Dominance shown, quick to maintain edge (7)
A synonym of quick containing (to maintain) a synonym of edge.

22d Met up for coffee (5)
A synonym of met reversed (up).

26d Oil found in herbal medicine (4)
The lurker (found in) is a type of oil.

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John Williams, composer and conductor – not the classical guitarist, was 88 on the 8th (yesterday). This is part of a studio session (with Spanish subtitles!) for a Star Wars film – Phantom Menace.  I have no idea where the film comes in the sequence as I have not seen any of them:


44 comments on “ST 3042 (Hints)

  1. A very entertaining crossword of moderate difficulty for me (***/****). There were lots of great clues but I liked 10a, 29a and 8d best. Many thanks to Senf for the hints. It sounds awfully chilly where you are. We are just getting blown to bits by the gale here in rural Oxfordshire. Thanks to Dada.

  2. I thought this was Dada at close to his Sunday best. Enjoyable, thoughtful, fun and rewarding to complete. 19a is a lovely word, but my favourite of many was 27a.

    Thanks to Dada for cheering up a miserable day here in Shropshire, and to Senf.

  3. The combination of 11a and 5d held me up and probably came close to doubling my time. I needed Senf to parse 11a for me as I looked at it for ages trying to see why it was correct.

    Thoroughly enjoyable workout this morning, many thanks to Senf and Dada.

    Just waiting for the fence man to come and replace the two fence panels which were across the street when we got up this morning. Living on a corner has its downside!

    1. Living in a house, which has wall tiles onthe upper storey has its downside too. We already have one smashed ootsidethe front door. Commiserations.

      1. To you too, Chris. I suppose we shouldn’t complain though, when we see what other countries have to endure.

  4. Please don’t send us another storm just yet, Senf, some of us need a little while to repair the damage wreaked by last night’s little monster!
    Finally managed to hold onto the electricity supply for long enough to print off this morning’s puzzle and then solved it in the gloom after clearing up the broken ridge tiles that were artfully arranged across the driveway this morning – goodness, they’re huge and shatter into a million pieces. Today’s 17a was extremely apposite as I battled in the driving rain to clear enough space through the debris to drive the car out of the garage.
    I did fall into the trap of trying to fit the usual abbreviation for Home Counties into 23a but no problems to report elsewhere.
    19a makes my leader board just for the sound of it and 29a has a definite appeal, particularly at the moment.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the review.

    1. I’m amazed at your weather, the DT reports winds up to 100 mph, we, in the tropics, call that a hurricane! Please stay safe all.

  5. Agree with others that this was an enjoyable solve, foolishly spent too long on the (now obvious) 14A. Slightly distracted by the 70mph winds up here on the cliffs at Westcliff, already seen a flying trampoline – I hope no one gets hurt today in the UK. A 2/4*. Thanks to Senf and Setter.

  6. 2*/4.5*. Not too tricky but very enjoyable. Dada at his Sunday best!

    My list of candidates for favourite is very long: 4a, 11a, 19a, 22a, 27a, 29a, 30a & 5d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  7. Very enjoyable although a little tricky for me. I also spent far too long on 14a until I saw the obvious signpost. Just goes to show what a good compiler can do with misdirection. I loved 17a and 5d but my personal favourite was 29a, which is where I will be soon.

    Grateful thanks to the setter, whom I believe to be Dada, and to Senf for the excellent hints.

    Hope everyone stays safe as Ciara batters us. They should never have started naming storms. It only encourages them.

  8. very nice doable crossword. Lovely day will get the stunt kites out!!
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  9. 13a Blunder boss detailed (5)

    I was surprised when puzzles.telegraph flagged my answer as incorrect.

    Any comments?

    1. As far as I am concerned, there is only one possible answer to this clue, it is an oldie but goodie, but like you, and I presume others, I was ‘told’ that it was incorrect. How and why it happened – who knows?

        1. Perhaps, I should have included ‘at 01:00 GMT’ in my comment. Seems that a correction has been made.

  10. Enjoyably straightforward with completion in ** time greatly helped by the fact that for a change the 3 long ones went straight in. COTD for me was 11a which I thought was very clever.
    Thanks to all.

  11. The only thing that’s totally identical with the two crossword puzzles as far as I see them are the two grid patterns.
    Nice gentle puzzle from Dada today. Very friendly indeed. Thanks Dada and Senf 😊

    1. Ooops. My comment was intended for addition to Steve’s at 11. Ah well, too late to change it now.

      1. No worries Steve, I know which answer you refer to, but in its own way very different ;-)

  12. Definitely Dada in a friendly mood, in fact, I doubted a Dada at all, but I suppose it must be.
    The four long ‘urns went in first, spit spot, last in was 14a. I was about to concede when I had my eureka moment and remembered Britspeak for trainer.
    I’m still not convinced this is Dada, there are so many outstanding candidates for fave, but I’m picking top spot as 19a, delightful word, runner up 27a.
    Thanks to Dada for a most enjoyable puzzle, and to Senf for his hints and pics. People aren’t supposed to live in weather as cold as that, please keep warm!

  13. **/****. Benign for a Dada puzzle. 4a was my favourite. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Our weather is damp but improving and rarely starts with the phrase “and a high of minus…” 😂

  14. Great weekend for puzzles.
    Friday to Sunday without exceptions in both the DT and the Graun.
    Brain working on overdrive.
    Ticked 19a also.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  15. Enjoyable with some good clues but still have three in SW corner that no amount of headscratching will reveal. Better get the dunce’s cap from yesterday to wear.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  16. I agree that this was definitely very benign for Dada.
    I was a bit on the dozy side with a few of the four letter answers – no excuse – just was.
    11a took ages which was silly and dim – apart from that little lot I didn’t have too much trouble for once.
    I loved the 27a squiggle which is what I always call them anyway – only spotted that it was an anagram after I’d put the answer in.
    I liked the four long answers and 10a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    What a day – don’t remember a storm like this one since the 1987 one and I can’t say that I remember that as I was about the only person in the UK who slept through it.

    1. You have just pointed out that 27a is an anagram, which I totally missed! Now I know I realise it is a very clever and precise clue.

      1. Brilliant ‘innit’! In view of recent discussions here I’ll duck and put on a hard hat now. :smile:

  17. Took me roughly the same time I’d usually take for a Dada on a Sunday so I was either off wavelength a bit or distracted by Mrs P’s morning playlist belting out in the background.

    Whatever the reason, I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada 2.5*/4*

  18. This was a pleasant challenge to enjoy by the 29a while trying to ignore the hooley outside. No real problems although 10a hung fire for a while as I had sea in mind. Fav was probably 27a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  19. An enjoyable puzzle from Dada today, which I finished with Senf’s help, thanks to both. Those I couldn’t do on my own were just because of my own stupidity, not because they were difficult. Except for 15d, which I solved, but still can’t see how it fits.

    1. Meant to say good luck to everyone with Storm Ciara. Over here, we would all be home with shutters closed tight. And there would definitely be no trains or buses etc. running. Seeing people standing quayside with huge breaking waves is really scary. Hope you all keep your fences, chimney pots and don’t have too much damage. Hang on to your hats 😊

  20. My commiserations to all those affected by the storm, it sounds dreadful.
    I managed today’s puzzle with lots of smiles, in full sunshine with a light breeze!
    There has to be some compensation for living in the Antipodes 🙃
    Thanks to Dada and Senf! Favourites 5d, and 17 and 19 across. 😀

  21. I’m a fan of Dada’s clues, even when they’re too hard for me. I particularly enjoy Dada puzzles when, like with this one, I’m actually able to solve it myself! I think this is the most I’ve enjoyed a crossword in months.

    Lots of clues I admired — basically all the ones mentioned by anybody else above. My favourite was 30a, perhaps, because of its definition: so straightforward, but a word that typically means something different in crosswords.

    Thanks Dada, and Senf.

    Today in Ilkley (as featured twice in Telegraph crossword clues so far this year!), some members of the household got stuck on t’other side of the stream that had appeared down Brook Street, cutting the town in half with all the rain flowing off the moor — I had to dash out, bringing wellies for my spouse, and carrying the 5-year-old across it. No trains, the road to Leeds closed, and the playground’s underwater, but people seem fine. I’ll find out in the morning if I’m able to get to work …

  22. This was a quickie for me with no help required. I say that as a Dada normally gives me some grief. Last three in 19a and 15 and 8d. Also paused on 11a and 8d. Problem with the latter was that I had another step in mind but the homophone did not fit. Favourites 4 13 19 and 29a. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  23. Sunday one always gives us grief! Takes longer than the Saturday. Usually do it on the Sunday following. Couldn’t do it last week anyway as Ciara made EasyJet cancel flight. Put us up in a five star hotel in Val do Lobo, Algarve.
    Always have a sense of trepidation before starting. Very enjoyable though. Crossword and Hotel!

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