ST 3053 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3053

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3053

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Until the Telegraph resumes the award of prizes for the Weekend puzzles, this post, and all other Weekend posts, will be just like the Monday to Friday posts, with hints for every clue and revealable answers. BD


A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, starting on Wednesday, we have had four days of plus double digit high temperatures and, on Thursday, the warmest day of the year so far at 17.4 degrees (can’t forget the 0.4).

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Dada is benevolent with a few Hmms this week – four anagrams (one Partial), one lurker, and two homophones – all in an almost symmetric 30 clues.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 28a, 6d, and 25d.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a Navel-gazing cover of early music? (12)
INTROVERSION: The early part of a piece of music followed by a musical term for cover, and don’t forget the ‘?’.

9a Rush to pocket daily tax (9)
SURCHARGE: A synonym of rush containing (to pocket) a type of daily (cleaner).

10a Close match, winning (3,2)
TIE UP: A sports match in a knockout competition and a two letter synonym of winning.

11a Brilliance in manipulation of result (6)
LUSTRE: An anagram (in manipulation of) RESULT.

12a Animal circling trap, one with dark locks (8)
BRUNETTE: A generic (lower) animal containing (circling) a synonym of trap.

13a Neighbouring houses cold, time for something sweet (6)
NECTAR: A possible synonym for neighbouring containing (houses) the single letters for cold and time.

15a Wearing attitude, for example (8)
INSTANCE: A two letter word that can be a synonym for wearing and a synonym of attitude.

18a Fault-finder securing a very strong, raised platform (8)
SCAFFOLD: A person, usually a woman, who constantly finds fault in a strident or clamorous manner containing (securing) all of A from the clue and how very strong is indicated musically.

19a Each unfilled cake is behind a pastry dish (6)
APIECE: CakE with the ‘interior’ letters removed (unfilled) placed after (is behind) A from the clue and a type of pastry dish.

21a Refuse drink after dizzy spell? (4,4)
TURN DOWN: A verbal synonym of drink (rapidly) placed after a single word for dizzy spell.

23a Hot air baked breakfast item (6)
WAFFLE: A double definition – the second is illustrated below.

26a Pick up king literarily before knight (5)
LEARN: Literarily, or perhaps a literary, king placed before the chess designation for knight.

27a Try charm to impress very old university (9)
ENDEAVOUR: A synonym of charm containing (to impress) the single letters for very, old, and university – but we didn’t know it was one of this chap’s fictional first names until the prequel series came out.

28a Home visitor in fight to break up domestic argument? (5,7)
HOUSE SPARROW: A synonym of (practice) fight inserted into (to break up) a synonymic phrase for domestic argument.

Down

1d Slight cut in hormone (7)
INSULIN: A synonym of slight with the last letter removed (cut) and IN from the clue.

2d Initially tubby uncle, rather podgy, slightly thinner (5)
TURPS: The initial letters of Tubby Uncle, Rather Podgy, Slightly.

3d Husband, perhaps, bad for health! (5,4)
OTHER HALF: An anagram (bad) of FOR HEALTH.

4d Rank thirtieth among wedding celebrations, not first (4)
PEARL: The precious stone that is used to indicate the thirtieth wedding anniversary with its first letter removed (not first) gives a rank in the peerage.

5d That woman has a piece of jewellery for cutting (8)
SHEARING: The third person pronoun for that woman, A from the clue, and a (circular) piece of jewelry.

6d A great deal, decimal? (5)
OFTEN: Written as (2,3) this could mean decimal.

7d Literary unit one’s passed (8)
SENTENCE: A double definition – the second is passed in court.

8d Ball requiring bowling skill, not batting at this point (6)
SPHERE: A (crickety) bowling skill with the two letter word for (crickety) batting removed (not) and a single word for at this point.

14d In march, a revolutionary leader like Mao? (8)
CHAIRMAN: An anagram (revolutionary) of IN MARCH, A.

16d Chief relative going after first degree (3,6)
TOP B*N*N*: An informal term for an older relative placed after (going after) a synonym of first and two letters for an academic degree.

17d Immaculate level not there, by the sound of it? (8)
FLAWLESS: The first homophone (by the sound of it) of a two word term that could indicate a level (in a building) is not there.

18d Take up residence somewhere in North Yorkshire (6)
SETTLE: A double definition – the second is the Southern end of a famous railway line – we have had this, or something very similar before.

20d Wee boy confused about religion at first, one raised by sceptic? (7)
EYEBROW: An anagram (confused) of WEE BOY containing (about) the initial letter (at first) of Religion.

22d A little diamond in gold canine (5)
DINGO: The lurker (a little) found in three words in the clue.

24d This is ground where plant reported (5)
FLOUR: The second homophone (where . . . reported) of a type of plant.

25d Chances those in court are cut (4)
ODDS: The ‘designation’ of the letters (those) in COURT that are selected to make CUT.


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Something that I hope some of you will find uplifting or just plain enjoyable – The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performed at the Proms in 2009, this was a ‘Late Night’ Prom after the ‘regular’ Prom for that day had been completed, and they had a ‘mass’ performance, by 1008 ukuleles, of Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony:


 

98 comments on “ST 3053
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  1. A very enjoyable Sunday puzzle, with the south proving more of a challenge than the north (**/****). There were lots of great clues but I particularly liked 17d, 20d, 18a and 27a. I found 8d and 25d difficult to parse so thanks to Senf for the explanations. Thanks to Dada for an intriguing puzzle. Stay safe and well everyone.

    1. While 8d had to be what it is, it took quite a while for the penny to drop on the parsing of it for me. Both it and 25d are typical Dada clues, if there is such a thing as a typical Dada clue.

  2. I don’t get a paper until late in the day but in the meantime I continue to stay positive about the future. I would like to suggest that as many of us as possible resolve to get together next January for Big Dave’s Birthday Bash. In the past certain among us have proved that distance is no object. Worthy of a Save the Date entry?

      1. Millwall?? You’ve picked a fine time to let that cat out of the bag. Now understand your name!

        I thought this was very difficult btw, but got there in the end

    1. Would really love to be there, but doubt we will be ready to make an international flight by then. But hopefully lots of you will be able to attend.

  3. 3.5*/4*. I found this a bit trickier than usual for a Dada Sunday puzzle but still very enjoyable.

    I stupidly didn’t write down the anagram fodder for 18d and rushed to put in “Chinaman” as my answer. That then held me up with 18a particularly as I didn’t know that “scold” could be used as a noun until I checked my BRB.

    My favourite was the excellent 25d, with 1a & 4d joining it on the podium.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  4. Very enjoyable and not too taxing for a Sunday.

    1a was my last one in, mainly because my mind wouldn’t get past introspection (it feels very rebellious putting alternative answers in on a Sunday) even though I knew it wouldn’t fit. Once I had given myself a good talking to I finished the puzzle.

    It took me far too long to get the second word of 16d and it had to wait until I had all the checkers – stupid of me I went through all the possible relatives and left myself out! My excuse is that I don’t spell it like that, I have a double n in the middle.

    Very many thanks to Senf – I loved the ukuleles – and Dada

  5. Lovely crossword for a lovely morning in darkest Kent.
    It seems like a distant memory, opening the crossword an a Sunday post Virgilius’ departure. Today they are very approachable and enjoyable. Odd that I still get barely one answer to Paul in the Guardian.
    Loved 1a, very clever.
    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  6. Very friendly and enjoyable – just like the weather outside this morning. Solved to the sound of two 28as having a chat on the telephone wires outside the ‘office’ window

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  7. Seeing ‘hot air’ ‘baked’ I got sidetracked into believing it was an anagram. Failing to solve I began to imagine exotic Asian breakfast dishes (rhotia?!). Then after solving 24d the breakfast item suddenly became clear. What a twerp!
    Thanks to Senf for explaining 8d and 25d and thanks to the setter for an enjoyable challenge.

      1. Probably best you stay away Pinkie. Served with maple syrup, it’s like heroin.

        I say that, having never had any of the latter……..

      2. I agree – toast (made with homemade bread) and home made marmalade is the only thing for breakfast as far as I’m concerned.

        1. Oh yummy. I had one try at making marmalade (can’t get Seville oranges over here) and I think I overcooked it, came out almost like toffee. But getting Chivers Olde English on line, so much better than the oversweetend American marmalades.

    1. Sainsbury’s have “ not available-ed” my flour, yet again. So, to get my hit of maple syrup, I will be making pancakes from buckwheat flour, homemade oat flour and homemade flaxseed flour.
      It may be healthy, but it is a bit sad, both literally and metaphorically.

  8. Like Chriscross, it was the parsing of 8&25d that held me up – I did think the latter was a clever clue when the penny finally dropped.
    Found this a little trickier than usual for a Sunday but perhaps my brain’s still reeling from its encounter with Radler in the NTSPP!

    Top two here were 28a & 20d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the words and music – can’t say that I’m tempted to take up the ukulele even for the chance of appearing at the Proms!

  9. Dear me, I did poke an ants nest yesterday! Nice to prompt such a long and reasoned response. Just to put the record straight I do not just like ‘easy’ puzzles but I do appreciate well constructed ones that allow setters of all levels a variety of clues. I am sure you all know what gets my goat so I will not elaborate further. However, I am glad that many disagree with me, it would be boring if we all thought the same.
    As for todays puzzle I found it challenging in places but well constructed and enjoyed it even though it did take two visits.
    Thx to the setter and for the hints.
    ***/****

    1. Just read it, stone the crows!! Perhaps we are all getting a bit stir crazy. Sometimes when I can’t finish a crossword, I blame the ‘stupid clues’, then take a reality check and realise a) it’s only a crossword and b) it’s just my small brain that is the issue. Then everything feels fine.

        1. I agree that variety is the spice of life. Even if I fond the puzzle really hard or the clues seem irritating, I always learn something from the experience. Someone else, meanwhile, is thoroughly enjoying the same puzzle and good luck to them

  10. Perhaps I was just on the right wavelength very early this morning but I found this so straightforward I began to almost doubt it was Dada. Enjoyable nonetheless – all done & dusted in under ** time though the parsing of 8d eluded me.
    A beautiful morning in Harpenden & am sat on a bench at the far end of the golf course posting this comment.
    Thanks to Dada & to Senf for the review.
    Ps Anyone else struggling with the left hand side of yesterday’s Graun prize crossword – numerous revisits but the lightbulb won’t come on…..,

      1. Me too, I am starting have dreams about birdeing the 17th at St Andrews.
        250 yard drive
        5 iron to 20 feet
        Hole long right to left putt
        Job done

        Then I wake up

        1. 250 yard drive, that is the stuff of dreams :-)
          Just noticed your avatar, do the crowd at Millwall still have their backs to the pitch?

            1. You will be able to tell the golfers who have decent sized garden as their game from 20 yards in will be honed to perfection. The lack of play / practice may well wreak havoc with scores methinks.
              Many years ago my eldest when he was 17 playing the Old Course for the first time went round the in 75, finishing birdie, par, par. Can still see the pleasure it gave him.
              Hope Millwall will be OK can’t see all the lower Division teams surviving though (Oldham Athletic may be one)

          1. 17. St Andrews Old Course – 17th, par 4, 495 yards. The Road Hole is the most famous in the Open rotation with a reputation as the toughest par 4 in championship golf. Drives should carry 260 yards over the replica railway sheds to reach the right edge of the fairway.

            1. A glorious anachronism it is too. In contrast to modern architects’ “necessities” it nas no fairway bunkers, one greenside, no trees nor water and the putting green has no dead elephants buried under it to trick it up. It is not linoleum fast either
              It is followed by what is probably the easiest finishing hole to be fair.

      2. It was probably a wind up, but a photo was published on our local facebook page of someone in a deckchair at the Bridgnorth Golf Cub with bucket and spade close-by, sitting in the sandy rough (or whatever you golf types call it) seemingly sunbathing. Oooh the abuse it it caused. Some folks have no sense of humour! More to the point, what a pleasant solve today’s puzzle was – nothing too challenging, but lots of fun – the GK, from my point of view may well be a different story, as I have my VERY weak GK spots. Not wishing to fuel a recent debate, I have or rather I had no grumbles with last Friday’s back pager, in fact it was a joy to solve and it gave me something more than the usual to stretch my aging brain. It certainly never entered ‘Toughie time’ to solve, maybe an extra pint or cup of tea, but it wasnae that hard to solve. Thanks to Dada and indeed to all our setters, life would be much the poorer without you guys – for me at least. And thanks to all you who explain so eloquently.

      1. My good mate has a wonderful story about the road hole. A solid drive then duffed his 2nd & put his 3rd into the Nakajima bunker. Ignoring the caddy’s firm advice to come out sideways he predictably caught the lip & the ball landed more centrally in the bunker. With a distinctly sarcastic tone the caddy said “you’ve got it where you want it now sir”. He then holed it from the bunker.
        Bogey 5, 2pts thank you very much.
        Mind you he 4 putted the 18th with loads watching.

        1. Reminds me of the story our Pro tells of a pro circuit caddy giving an enthusiastic but incompetent golfer a lesson when after yet another appalling shot the golfer announced he felt like jumping into the water and drowning himself to which the caddy replied “I doubt you will keep your head down for long enough’

          1. One of our players renown for throwing his clubs in temper, threw one & it disappeared up a tree: prompting his partner to say, ” You had better throw a provisional – you won’t find that one”.

              1. I was advised to cut three inches off my woods and two inches off my irons.
                “Will that help my game” I asked hopefully.

                “No, but they should now fit perfectly in the dustbin.”

      2. Don’t know about a nudge Hoofit – a hefty shove more like….
        I think I’ve finally finished it actually- albeit with a number of bung ins & not entirely confident with 1d, 10, 11 & 14a.
        The P L Travers clue didn’t come easy to me…..
        No doubt CS would have found this fluffy

      1. I finished the ‘prize’ but a couple of parsings needed. Shame no 225 because it is not a prize puzzle at the moment.

      2. p for penny, up for excited, o for love, insert the last letter of partner, finish with sex without the last letter (endless) and you get a synonym of Drive.

        1. Thank you, HYD, Huntsman, and Jean-Luc! Got them! ‘Shot’ yes (like a wee drink) and “I have a xxxxxxx in life” –to solve cryptic clues like these. It’s 23.30 on America’s East Coast and about 0430 in UK and 0530 in France. Hope you’re all sleeping well and are safe.

  11. Credit where credit is due for this week’s offering. No reference to “Quirky” in Senf’s preface says a lot, which is great progress. Really good with no dodgy definitions/tenses.

  12. At first glance I thought this was going to be seriously difficult. It wasn’t the easiest for me but it gradually fell into place. Like Jane, my initial thought for 1a was introspection which clearly didn’t fit. I too struggled with the waffle until the penny dropped for 24d. The Americans and Canadians do eat these things for breakfast. I can’t think why! I’m only joking before everyone gets upset. A well constructed puzzle.

    1. At the risk of upsetting anybody I’m not surprised by anything Americans eat. (I think it was Expat Chris who noticed that I once referred to The Useless States of America and upbraided me in the comments. Never again. I only need to be told once children.

  13. The free online puzzle today, which was nice – don’t think I’ve done a Sunday cryptic before. A steady solve with just a bit of a struggle to get 15a and 7d to finish (always tougher when no first letter to prompt the little grey cells) and didn’t get the parsing of 25d so thanks to blog for that. I liked 3d (very topical lockdown experience?!) and 20d. 24d was a bit of a hmm – surely it’s the grain that’s ground? 6d so clever I thought it must be a bit of an old chestnut? Thanks to all, keep well

  14. Like HIYD I almost gave up on Sunday mornings ( well I actually did for a bit) but I felt if others can .. Another fairly gentle one for most today although the bottom half did slow my progress but completing without hints was satisfying.
    Thank you for the ukulele clip. The daughter has just added the instrument to her “collection” (violin, viola, classical guitar, two types of lute, plus piano) I was quite surprised by the sound having previously only associated it with George Formby.
    No sign of any 24d up here.
    Thanks to DaDa & Senf.

  15. Trickier than recent Sundays, with the bulk of the LHS going in before the right. Some excellent clues, of which 1a and 25d were my favourites. A good challenge and highly enjoyable. Such a shame that President Chump is going to cease doing the daily press briefings; there are so few good comedy shows around.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  16. Very enjoyable fare from Dada with some really good clues. I liked 23a and 28a but my COTD is 17d. Mind you, like others, I tried to get a breakfast dish out of “hot air” in 23a. I agree with Ezfer that grain is ground. Flour is milled – well that has always been my understanding.

    Many thanks to Dada for the enjoyment and to Senf for the hints.

  17. I took a bit of a scattergun approach to begin with, but eventually, it came to me in a more conventional order. The SE holding out the longest.
    The cruciverbal detective and house visitor were the last as I was arguing in my head as to how ground = floor and plant = flower were homophones. I saw the light eventually.
    19d was my fave and I will visit there in a heartbeat as soon as the lockdown ends.
    16d would have earned a tut from Grandma Bee she was only ever to be referred to as Grandmother or at a push, Grandma. Anything less formal would have earned her scorn and a ban on grandchildren visiting her barley sugar stash
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. Yes I was stuck on that one, never heard the phrase before- I have led a sheltered life. Grandmother Angus
      would NEVER have answered to nana!

  18. A very pleasant solve today, with lots to like, especially 27a (I think of Kath when I see his name), 14d, 19a, 6d, and 20d, my COTD because it made me chuckle. Struggled a bit with both the Prize and Everyman puzzles in the Guardian last night; haven’t yet finished either. They both make me appreciate the smoothness and unalloyed pleasure of a Dada puzzle. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / ****

  19. Mmmm. I was quite clearly the only one to scribble down “corgi” for 22d, having read “gold” then “canine”. I missed the lurker. Many thanks setter for the enjoyable puzzle and Senf for the review.

    1. For some reason, whenever I see “dog” I think “corgi” or “Boxer”. I think of these before I even try parsing the clue.

  20. My iPad ran out of charge after the Codeword and halfway through the cryptic puzzle this morning so I got up at 6.45am and got on with stuff. Got lots of stuff done had a couple of cups of tea and solved the puzzle on the way to our new house. Glad of the banana, the cake and the pastry but passed on the breakfast stodge at 23ac. All good for me today. A nice mental workout. See you all tomorrow. Play nicely children

    1. 6:45am, that’s the middle of the night. Well it was until we started going to the old folks shopping time at the supermarket (7:00am) 😊🤪

  21. An enjoyable puzzle. I thought Lily The Pink might make an appearance today, and the ukulele clip was pleasantly uplifting.

  22. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, the top half went straight in, but I struggled to complete it, got there in the end. Needed the hints to parse 4&9d. Last in was 17d.Favourite was 1d, so clever. Was 3*/4* for me.

  23. This was by no means a walk in the park but the effort required particularly in the SE was very worthwhile and entertaining. Rank for 4d is hardly appropriate after all Mr./Mrs. are not referred to as such. My Fav was 9a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  24. I found this quite tricky, much more so than those of late for some reason, not helped by me putting two wrong answers in.. Doh!!
    3.5*/4.5*
    But a really enjoyable puzzle that kept me in the garden for longer than I should have been.
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf for review.
    Have a safe week everyone.

  25. Stupidity put Floor in 24d as in ground floor, thinking to myself that it was a very poor homophone. D’oh.
    Needed to check the 30th wedding anniversary in 4d, the only time Googled was called on to the rescue.
    Loved 20d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  26. Always enjoyed this site and the DT cryptic crossword, daily. Lockdown brings my head above the parapet. 27a – As a Morse fan – his name was first revealed in the original series, season 7 episode 6 – Death is Now My Neighbour with John Thaw, not the prequel.
    Hope this doesn’t offend and I will be allowed to post again.
    Best wishes to all.

    1. Welcome to the blog, The Sands Barber.
      Now that you’ve ventured above the parapet I hope that you’ll continue to comment.

    2. Welcome from me also. I was unaware of the earlier reveal of 27a partly because I understand that the episode in question was broadcast a little over 5 years after I departed from the UK for Canada.
      Off course you will be allowed to post again, now that you have raised your head above the parapet you are not allowed to lower it down! :wink:

    3. I found the Morse episode in question on YouTube. I liked the way he introduced his name as a crossword clue – My whole life’s effort has revolved around Eve (9).

  27. ***/****. I found this quite tricky but very enjoyable. My favourites were 13a and 4,6,16&20d with 16d edging it by a nose. Thanks to Senf and Dada. One of many very worrying outcomes from the virus is the impact on Vancouver Aquarium, one of the best in the world. It needs $1m each month to maintain the inhabitants and as a non-profit is now facing bankruptcy.

  28. I had a gin and tonic at lunchtime, well, two actually, as it was Christmas then settled down in the garden to do the crossword.
    That is my excuse for only now clocking in – I didn’t know top banana ( top dog yes) and I put in atheist for 20d. It seemed quite
    reasonable, AT to begin, wee boy HE and then first IST but the right answer was delicious and my very favourite. 8 was a
    bung in so thanks Dada for the crickety parsing. Thanks also for the tips yesterday, by the way, I have cleared my backlog and
    as horrified to see I had stuff on my phone from way, way back, all now deleted.
    What a lovely day it has been.

    1. Well done, glad it’s sorted
      You can also now count yourself as about as tech-savvy as the average tech support guy on the phone, too :smile:

  29. A pleasing Sunday puzzle today with not so many quirky clues as per the normal Dada offering. SW & NE were the last areas to go in with 8d (parsing issue) last in. Clues at 6d, 18d, 27a & 28a were my favourites.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints

  30. A bit late here – done stuff in the garden and lots of overdue cleaning and tidying up.
    I agree this wasn’t as tricky as Dada can be.
    I confess to needing the hint to understand what 25d had to be but did manage to understand 8D so feeling smug.
    Tried to put the wrong word into 1a but ran out of space. :roll: that’ll teach me.
    I also spent too long trying to make 23a an anagram – breakfast, yuk . . .
    Clues marked out as particularly good included 21 and 28a and 2 and 24d. My favourite is either 27a (obviously) or 20d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  31. Not as easy as some found it but enjoyable. 20d my favourite. As for the waffle I was quite put off my breakfast when travelling across the to of the states and in Canada by the waffles and syrup eaten in quantities by people who clearly should have been on porridge at every meal, every day for at least a year. Thanks to Dada for the puzzle and to Senf for unlocking how I got some clues right.

  32. Well I suppose it wasn’t as tough as some Dada puzzles, but I didn’t find it as easy as a lot of you. 8d totally eluded me (as does all things cricket). Started late, and then spent a long time chatting via Messenger with our dear friends in Chesterfield, so only now finishing. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  33. Struggled with a few clues, but I usually do with Dada. Couldn’t for the life of me parse 4d even though I got the answer so thanks Senf. My excuse is that in my only excursion into married life I got nowhere near that anniversary, a country mile away, all I can say is never again. Couldn’t parse 25d either far to clever for me. Got to go now as my phone is about to shut down. Favourite 1a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

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