ST 3044 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3044 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3044 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we have been having a roller coaster ride with temperatures ending up with a T-Shirts and Shorts plus 2 degrees on Friday.

Unexpected benevolence from Dada this week but still with a few Hmms (one to raise the ire of RD) – I counted five anagrams, one lurker, and no homophones – all in an asymmetric 29 clues, with 17 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 11a, 16a, 18d, and 26d.

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:


9a Gold rings fade for so long (5)
The chemical symbol for gold contains (rings) a synonym of fade.

11a Fair arrests with miscreant (2-3-2)
A (2-2) synonym of fair contains (arrests) a synonym for with.

12a Church community breaking code is transgressive, ultimately (7)
An anagram (breaking) of CODE IS followed by the last letter (ultimately) of transgressivE.

14a Country welcoming that man’s right to vote (9)
The illustrated country containing (welcoming) a single word for that man’s – Hmm, very familiar!

16a Sporting smasher, big noise in the world of equestrianism? (9,6)
A well known location in the world of equestrianism followed by a type of big noise.

23a Looking back, trade in bric-a-brac most unlikely (7)
A synonym of trade reversed (looking back) inserted into (in) a three letter term for bric-a-brac – an unlikely synonym for the definition!

25a Perilous remit as hunter (7)
An anagram (perilous) of REMIT AS.

28a Clean some water in sewer (5)
The lurker (some) found in the rest of the clue.


1d Girl in form blowing top (4)
A (scholastic) synonym of form with the first letter removed (blowing top).

3d Brilliant child organised run with new kid and daughter (10)
An anagram (organised) of RUN with NEW KID and the single letter abbreviation for daughter –the BRB only indicates the foreign origination of the answer in the etymology.

5d Sharp fall in pollution? (4,4)
A synonym of sharp (as in taste) and a type of (liquid) fall.

7d Face laid on boot, loyal subordinate (8)
A synonym of face placed before (laid on) a verbal synonym of boot.

8d Newspaper worker, sort superior to crossword writer (10)
A synonym of sort placed before (superior to) a single word for crossword writer – I wonder if newspapers have this type of worker any more?

17d Journo’s back in capital before end of evening, producing copy (8)
The last latter (back) of journO inserted into (in) a capital city followed by (before) the last letter (end) of eveninG.

18d Left trapped in relationships for years in early adulthood (8)
A verbal synonym of left inserted into (trapped in) a synonym of relationships.

22d Heading for ditch, pal knocked from top of horse — faller in effect? (6)
The initial letter (heading for) of Ditch and a type of horse with PAL removed from its beginning (knocked from top of).

28d Pip one of the favourites at Wimbledon? (4)
A double definition – the illustration should help.

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.

For all those, including me, who would have preferred to see and hear Enya rather than see a Womble on Friday:


47 comments on “ST 3044 (Hints)

  1. A very enjoyable and mildly challenging puzzle from Dada (**/****). I particularly liked 16a and 22d, although there were lots of good clues. Thanks to Dada and
    also to Senf for the hints. The weather in rural Oxfordshire has been cool, wet and windy for a few weeks now.

  2. Finished and parsed all but 22d and still smirking from the image imprinted in my brain after solving 2d decided to come to the blog for assistance. Thanks for the excellent, instant doh moment inducing hint Senf and thanks of course to Dada as ever.

  3. 23a had me reaching for the stretchiest of synonyms, while the simple yet too obvious 2d was my final entry. I think I have to give my COTD accolade to 22d. Overall a fairly comfortable yet tricky-in-places Sunday morning puzzle. Good fun.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf. Something round and orange has just appeared in the sky over Shropshire, an object rarely seen recently.

  4. Just wanted to say how much I liked 13d – though I suspect it might have been seen before? And as Senf says we have seen 24a very recently. Anyway, thanks to all involved as usual.

  5. I don’t normally go anywhere near a DADA puzzle but as the iPad puzzle today allows you to check answers i thought I would have a go. Pretty difficult as expected but i have got there with help. I wont be submitting it though as it seems unfair.
    Thx to all

  6. 2*/4*. Once again, in my opinion, Dada has got this just right for a Sunday (apart from 2d :negative: ) – it was reasonably light and a lot of fun.

    14a produced a very recent déjà vu moment and I can’t see anything at all wrong with the synonym for 23a which is one of the meanings given in the BRB.

    My favourite was 22d, with 16a, 6d & 13d jostling for podium positions.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Curious to know what you have against 2d which I thought not too bad a clue – and after stupidly bunging in piracy initially.

        1. Merusa, the answer is a 3-letter word meaning “serious” followed by a 3-letter girl’s name (“girl seen after”).

          Huntsman, the reason I don’t like this clue is that I don’t think using “girl”, “boy”, “woman”, “man”, etc. as part of the wordplay is fair on the solver, even in cases like this where you can easily work it out once you have the checking letters in place. Some folk (including setters!) agree with me, others don’t, but this site wouldn’t be so much fun if everyone agreed with everyone else, would it?

      1. I went for piracy for 2d as well. Even though that answer has nothing to with ‘girl’ and ‘big’. Thanks to my crossword pal (Bangalore King) for setting me straight. My COTD, 19a. Still scratching my head re 23a but the answer works. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  7. A very entertaining puzzle and not especially difficult. Top spot to 22d with 13d, 17d and 19a, amongst others, worthy of mention.

  8. I’m always happy to finish a Sunday puzzle without assistance, and did so today in *** time.

    I didn’t know 25a was a hunter, I thought he was one of the Three Musketeers, sorry.

    Speaking of looking familiar, the answer to 5d in the GK is also in today’s Pub Quiz!

    22d has to be COTD as so many others have mentioned.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. We (maybe for that reason) found it enjoyable but a bit lightweight. Especially if it was Dada the terrible. Agree on the cotd 22d. It’s always a bit of a disappointment on Sunday if the coffee outlasts the puzzle. Even if I don’t mind it cold.

  10. A light delight today with a couple of crosswordland’s current words of the month and the reappearance of the very recent 14a.I did write ‘RD!’ alongside 2d but it still raised a smile here.
    Favourite was either 16a or 13d.

    Thanks to Dada and also to Senf for the blog and for giving Enya the opportunity that she was denied on Friday!

  11. Another enjoyable solve and finished without resorting to too many hints. I am still not sure whether I have 20d correct because I cannot see how social security fits in. I liked 13d and 22d but my COTD is 17d because of its construction.

    I wonder if I were the only one finding myself in totally different years for 18d and not understanding where “left” came in?

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints and Enya. :good:

    1. Just realised why I could not figure out 20d. I had it starting with the wrong letter. I really must write more carefully!

  12. Whilst I agree that for a Dada crossword it was easier than usual I still made heavy weather of it & completed in **** time only to be told that by the iPad that all was not correct. Closer inspection revealed 2d to be the culprit.
    Enjoyable as always – liked 16a but agree that 22d was COTD.
    Thanks to all.

  13. Definitely a benevolent Dada today. I struggled a bit with 23a and was working with a different synonym for trade, 18d took a bit of digging too. I did have a little titter at 2d but 8d was my fave today.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf. The man behind The Wombles (Mike Batt) was on Pointless Celebs yesterday.
    I am off to prepare some rhubarb I got from the rhubarb festival yesterday. Views from the high ground seem to show that this corner of Yorkshire is more Island than Shire!

  14. 13d was my favourite and 22d the last to tumble , so to speak.
    A nice puzzle , thanks to Senf and Dada.
    PS funny that 14a appeared yesterday as well

  15. I found the west side complete in a good time , then pushed my way to finish with SE holding out… 20d being last one in. An example of just answer the question & solve the clue!!
    Favs 2d & 16ac
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf for review

  16. Another one hits the dust. What would we do without our daily fix and the excellent accompanying blog? Thanks to all concerned for another hour pleasantly spent.

  17. Going along fine until I got to the SW corner. 13d in particular. I thought the first five letters was the American version of the word?
    As ever, thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. HIYD, it’s just the first three letters being used as an abbreviation. The next two letters relate to the “choice”.

  18. This was a friendly Dada and I started off swanning along, until getting to south of 16a and got bogged down. I’m just not on his wavelength and needed e-help to finish with three or four. I also have no idea why 23a means anything at all, like 2d it’s probably not correct.
    I liked 13d and 22d, but fave has to be 16a.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for bailing me out.

  19. Yet again – 14a appeared in the Times prize yesterday (or was it SPP, can’t remember) almost word for word

  20. V disappointed that the weekend puzzles no longer count as prize ones at weekends on the iPad! In fact, the puzzle wasn’t operable until we downloaded the latest version of the app – no warning from DT this was available notwithstanding we have automatic updates. To cap it all, 14a was 10a in yesterday’s puzzle.

    Not a very happy weekend here in Austria.

  21. Unlike most previous commenters I didn’t enjoy this at all but I don’t know if that’s due to the dreaded lurgy from which I am suffering or the fact that I have yet to find Dada’s wavelength. Cryptic it certainly was but IMHO with far too many convoluted clues. The top eventually acquiesced but the lower half was a different story and took ages to complete – phew! 19a was Fav although of course it’s not necessarily where it might be found. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. Yes, his clues are very convoluted and I’m never sure if I’ve got the right answer! In fact, the reason I can’t unravel them probably means they’re dead wrong.

      Feel better soon!

  22. I enjoyed this a lot. BUT what is wrong with the app? If I press the wrong button by mistake all the answers are filled in. Can’t DT fix this? Presumably I can’t submit this in case I’ve cheated. PLEASE DT, GET THIS SORTED BEFORE WE ALL DIE OF THIS PANDEMIC VIRUS.

  23. A not too tricky Sunday crossword which I enjoyed very much.
    My favourite, by a long way, was 13d which I thought was utter brilliance.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  24. Starting my solving quite late in the day I’d begun to wonder if I had left it too late to attempt a Dada puzzle, as I stared at the page for ages after filling in only five answers. All of a sudden 13 down dawned and several other clues surrendered in quick succession. Coincidentally, as I was reading 19 across, there on TV was a guy wearing a bandana. On balance a very fair and enjoyable solve with 13 and 22 down as my favourite clues. Thanks to both Dada and Senf.

  25. I’m in the “I think Dada got this about right” camp. Not to much else to comment on and I’ll go with the rest for 13d as favourite. Many thanks to Dada and Senf. Now for Enya.

  26. 14a very familiar, but so many excellent clues – although 23a was an hmmmm. 16a and 19a favourites – thanks to Senf, and the setter!

  27. Late on parade today. Huge thanks to Dada for a very enjoyable puzzle. Almost finished over breakfast and planned to complete over lunch. But then too busy for lunch today, just only now returned to it before lights out. So satisfying to complete without help. Thanks also to Senf and fingers crossed for tomorrow.

  28. Out yesterday. Completed in the evening apart from 23a. Filled in the latter upon waking. Interestingly there is a consensus amongst us as to the good (and not so good) clues. My favourites are 16 19 and 27a and 13 18 and 22d. Luckily for me piracy never came to my mind for 2d. Once I had the last letter this was easy to solve as there are limited 3 letter girls’ names ending in Y. I remember an 8d at a printing works by the name of Sam Gunn. I doubt there are any of them left nowadays. Thanks Dada and to Senf for confirming my parsing.

  29. A very enjoyable Dada puzzle, thanks to him and Senf for the blog. My Grandfather would never have forgiven me if I’d not got 8d, he worked for the Torquay Times as one, so that’ll be my clue of the day.

  30. I’ve had a young house guest for the half term (niece) so haven’t been on for a while. However I did yesterday’s crossword after she was picked up by her parents and taken home, so many thanks to Senf and the setter.

    The reason I’ve come on so late is to say that, having done this crossword, I did what I always do and looked up my solution for last week on the iPad. Of course I didn’t need to do that as I got the “all correct” message last week which was the subject of discussion between us all.

    Anyway, the DT techies obviously chose to punish me for calling them utterly useless in my comment for last Sunday because they changed my answer “gaffe” to “daffy”.


    1. Ditto!

      And a horse laugh because this week the advertisement immediately following the crossword on my iPad was for 25a Fund Management!

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