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ST 3054

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3054

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 most of Canada is starting to re-open for business.  In Manitoba, as from tomorrow, some, what have been deemed to be non-essential, businesses and important facilities like golf courses are being allowed to open albeit with restrictions and, if needed, they will be shut back down faster than they were re-opened!

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Fortunately as I used my weekend ‘quirky’ yesterday, Dada is again benevolent this week – four anagrams (three partials), one lurker, and no homophones – all in an asymmetric 28 clues.

Candidates for favourite – 4a, 11a, 23a, and 15d.

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.


1a Throw what remains of tree (5)
STUMP: A double definition to start – the second is more obvious than the first.

4a Beastly disease caught by popular playwright (5)
IBSEN: The acronym for the formal name for mad cow disease inserted into (caught by) the two letter synonym for popular.

10a Written in past, one agenda ancient (5-3)
STONE-AGE: The lurker (written in) found in three words in the clue.

11a Cash for release charged, a bit short (6)
RANSOM: A synonym of charged (as in movement) and a single word for a bit with the last letter removed (short).

12a Batting partner, one who’s gone down (6)
INMATE: The two letter word that can indicate (crickety) batting and a synonym of partner.

13a Couple of drinks taken before my game (3,5)
GIN RUMMY: Two alcoholic drinks placed in front of (taken before) MY from the clue.

14a Sport for a chirpy high jumper? (7)
CRICKET: A double definition – need I say more.

16a Working team OK to receive ball (6)
ON SIDE: The two letter synonym for working and another term for team.

17a Decorative style in gold backed by Chanel (6)
ROCOCO: The heraldic term for gold reversed (backed) placed before (by) the soubriquet of Mme Chanel.

19a Transport leader playing on the Underground, perhaps? (7)
BUSKING: A form of (motor) transport and a type of (regal) leader.

21a Criminal: villain online nailing two consecutive characters (8)
HIJACKER: An online villain containing (nailing) two consecutive characters (letters) one a vowel, one a cosonant.

22a Insignificant moment (6)
MINUTE: Another double definition which depends on pronunciation.

23a Movement: a good one to gatecrash a party (6)
ADAGIO: The first A from the clue, the single letter for good, and the letter that represents one all contained by (to gatecrash) the second A from the clue and the two letter synonym for party.

24a Chef outlining base for rewriting journal (8)
CASEBOOK: A synonym of chef, which some chefs might raise an eyebrow at, containing (outlining) and anagram (for rewriting) of BASE.

25a Marry fool in duke, ignoring odd bits (5)
UNITE: A type of fool inserted into (in) the even letters (ignoring the odd bits) of dUkE.

26a Layer not applicable in hair dye (5)
HENNA: A layer as illustrated below and the two letters used for not applicable.


2d Huge flap, heading off after bird (7)
TITANIC: A synonym of flap with the first letter removed (heading off) placed after a type of bird.

3d Person ordering an assortment scoffs a fruit (8,6)
MANDARIN ORANGE: A synonym of person, followed by an anagram (assortment) of ORDERING AN containing (scoffs) A from the clue.

5d Corporation worker beginning to get into routine (4,3)
BEER GUT: A busy (insect) worker followed by the initial letter (beginning to) Get contained by (into) a type of (humdrum) routine.

6d Flawed sovereign, awfully sour one (9)
ERRONEOUS:Our sovereign’s regnal cypher followed by an anagram (awfully) of SOUR ONE.

7d People go quickly (4)
RACE: Another reasonably straightforward double definition.

8d Certain ablutions queen abandoned (14)
UNQUESTIONABLE: An anagram (abandoned) of ABLUTIONS QUEEN.

9d Over sea, collection of animals sped (6)
ZOOMED: The short form of a collection of animals placed before (over) the short form of a large sea.

15d Demolish village and county in two parts of Ireland (5,4)
KNOCK DOWN: A village in County Mayo in the Republic of Ireland, and the county in Northern Ireland in which the largest town is Bangor.

18d Spanish city competed in two complete circuits (6)
OVIEDO: A synonym of competed inserted between (in) two of the letter that can represent a complete circuit – not a Spanish city I have heard of, it is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain.

19d Soup bowls on rather snazzy coasters here, tremendous for starters (7)
BORSCHT: The first letters (for starters) of seven words in the clue.

20d Dance alight (3,4)
GET DOWN: Another double definition – the first is a slang term which the BRB defines as ‘to disport oneself with abandon’ I suppose that can include dance.

22d Fail to catch girl (4)
MISS: Yet another double definition to finish – which is probably the most straightforward in the puzzle.

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Amazingly, this was a number one for Mud, their third and last, starting on this day in 1975 and lasting for two weeks.  I much prefer the Buddy Holly version from 1957 with grateful thanks to my older sister for making me listen to it:


92 comments on “ST 3054

  1. A really enjoyable puzzle with just enough challenge to make it interesting (**/****). There were lots of great clues so thank you to Dada. I liked 5d, 9d, 19a and 21a. Thanks to Senf for the hints and stay safe and well everyone.

  2. I am sure this was a very interesting crossword. However, having woken at 05:00 and decided to go first for a 11 mile walk, I then fell asleep whilst solving the puzzle, and the paper fell into my bath water.

    I shall provide a full commentary when it has dried out after hanging on my radiators.

      1. It’s only blokes who can’t, wimmin seem to have the skill in-born.

        Eventually finished, only needed a few electrons to check the spelling of 17a, as I was convinced it had a double-letter in it.

        21a gets my COTD.

        Thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. That happens to me so often with the toughie. I like to have my bath with Badedas, the
      crossword, and a chocolate. Sadly only the first item should go in the water.

    2. PMSL – been there, worn that Tee shirt :-) :-)
      A super puzzle – one of those where I felt sorry when it was all completed. Much to like today; especially 15 down and 19 down, but 5 down appealed most to my sense of humour, especially as mine was threatening to grow again after being incapacitated for a while having fallen off my cycle whilst trying to ‘social distance’ from other cyclists on our local length of Sustrans owned disused railway track. Thanks to Dada for a most enjoyable puzzle and also to Senf for your efforts too.

  3. I sailed through this until I got to that pesky bottom right corner again (it was that corner that got me yesterday).

    Today it was the two 19s, 20d and 24a. Once I realised what the definition was for 19d the answer became obvious, though I needed Senf for the parsing – completely missed the initial letters. Once that was in the other two fell straight away.

    I thought early on that we were heading for a pangram, but there seem to be two letters missing.

    Really enjoyable, many thanks to Senf and Dada.

  4. 3*/4*. Quite challenging and a lot of fun. My favourite was 21a.

    I was rather surprised when I first looked to find Senf had referred to Mud and Buddy Holly both having hits with The Four Seasons, but that was either a temporary glitch on the web page or an error which has now been corrected. In any event Buddy Holly beats Mud comprehensively.

    Kool and the Gang eloquently (?) and repetitively explain the first meaning of 20d:

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Thanks, RD, I’m definitely a fan of Kool & the Gang. Remember having a front row seat for one of their concerts at the Manchester Apollo – oh, what a night!

      1. I’m so in a different world, I’ve never heard of most of these bands/singers here! Apart from Elvis, Beatles, the Stones, and a couple others, I have to google all of these! I’ve never even been to a concert! I feel like I’ve missed something.

        1. You have. I have been to several including The Moody Blues, Mike Oldfield, Fleetwood Mac and Status Quo. Then there are all the classical concerts, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart.
          Yes there recordings but nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to being at a live performance.

          1. Oh I’ve been to concerts, just not rock. I loved the proms when living in London, and used to go to classical concerts here, too old now.

    2. RD – I am slightly mystified by your ‘glitch’ comment. Everything looked fine in WordPress ‘Preview’ when I put the blog, and me, to bed last night.

      1. Who knows how these things happen? When I first opened your review the Four Seasons video appeared twice, once under 23a and again under your comment about Mud v. Buddy Holly. When I came back later to post my comment, the Mud video had appeared replacing the second of these.

    3. Agree with you regarding Buddy Holly. He had more of an influence on modern music than E. Presley. Even The Beatles acknowledged their debt to Buddy.

        1. Hi Merisa

          You commented yesterday that you liked the avatar, but did you spot 1ac?

          Nice solve but a couple defeated me, but all perfectly readonable.

          Thanks Dada and Senf for the assistance.

    4. Buddy Holly v Mud absolutely no contest. In fact, I think “Oh Boy” was BH & the Crickets so could have linked with 14a. Sadly can still remember most of the words. When I think how many significant things I “learned” that are long since wiped it seems an awful waste of what is left of the disc space between my ears.

  5. I thought this was a tad harder than most Dada puzzles, but still very absorbing and rewarding to complete. 4a was my favourite ahead of 21a and 19d, my final entry.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun challenge and to Senf.

  6. Fairly smooth solve for me with a few brief hold-ups (for a Dada anyway). A suggestion of a sporty / leisure theme for me.
    I wonder if there will be a comment on GK as there seemed as much as yesterday to me. Again to me not a problem & it proved a really enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Dada & Senf.
    Enjoy your golf. If your temporary rules are the same as ours it will not quite be the game you know, although you use the gimme and keeping your own card much more than we do I think.

  7. Really enjoyed this one. Credit to the compiler. Favourites – 12a and 21a. People are referring to Dada. Where are people finding that name? Not in my copy of the Sunday Telegraph. Or am I being stupid?

    1. When Brian Greer (Virgilius) retired in November 2018, we were told by Chris Lancaster that John Halpern (Dada in his DT guise) would be taking over as the regular Sunday setter, although, as is usual for DT and ST ‘back pagers’ the puzzles are not tagged with the setters’ names.

  8. Another great Sunday offering from Dada even though I did have to check on the previously unknown Spanish city.
    Favourite has to be the thought of the transport leader playing on the Underground and I also gave podium places to 5,8&15d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the review – have to say that I preferred the Adagio to the chart-topping Mud!

  9. I’m liking this current run of DADA puzzles, they are within my capabilities but offer a challenge in parts. Not sure I am looking forward to the return of the Prize Puzzles as they are often very difficult. My fav today was of course 12a. I see our playwright today completes the triumvirate of my least favourite arts providers. Mind you I was unsure about Beckett as well until I saw a live performance of Waiting for Godot with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, absolutely brilliant.
    Thanks to all
    My Lord, Golf! I remember that wonderful game, I am very envious.

    1. Hi Brian,
      Saw them too at the Wyndham’s a few years ago. Great actors.

  10. What a great weekend again. Two dada as he produced the Guardian Saturday Prize, a great Alchemi and a Prolixic Monthly to come.
    That shall keep me occupied.
    Today however, there was a couple of iffy clues in 2d and 25a. Strange surface IMHO.
    A lot of others to make up.
    Favourite 19a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. J-L I try to understand the “theretical” side of solving but I admit to being hopeless at it.
      Could you please explain what was “iffy” about 2d. The answer jumped at me & it was my first one in

      1. I’m just saying that the whole sentence doesn’t really make any sense. I can’t picture anything when I read it.

        1. Thanks I pictured a big flap (of wings) strange how then it seemed OK for me.

  11. Another terribly slow start followed by a burst of inspiration & a final stalling in the SE added up to a finish in just shy of **** time. I’m with YS in that I thought this a wee bit tougher than his recent Sunday offerings. As usual plenty of excellent clues of which my favourites were 5&19d and 21a. Also guess I should admit to not parsing 26a – can’t believe I failed to twig that sort of layer. Anyway at least it was easier than his prize crossword in yesterday’s Graun where I’m making very slow headway.
    Thanks to both Dada & to Senf for the review.
    Ps was rather hoping someone with the know how would have posted a clip of Christy Moore singing The Knock Song for 15d.

  12. Very enjoyable while it lasted. Anyone else slightly disappointed that it was only a pangr ?

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. Me for one CS.
      Once I had the “z” and “q” I started to look for words with the missing letters as was sure it was. Interrupted my smooth progress a bit

  13. Another great puzzle from Dada although I do agree with Brian that the pressure may, perhaps, increase when prizes are reinstated. Took a while to get going with only three clues jumping out at me on the first pass. Then it all began to come together. I often find this with Dada – slow to start then a steady solve. Was I the only one to get stuck thinking of ASH for “remains” at 1a?

    Like others, I did think we had a pangram today when I saw “Z”.

    My favourites today are 13a, 19a with COTD being 15d.

    Thanks to Dada for a great challenge and to Senf for the hints and Vivaldi.

    Keep safe and well, everyone.

    1. I don’t think that the absence of prizes means easier puzzles. We have had two weeks of benevolence so I fully expect next Sunday to be very quirky.
      The Four Seasons is one of my favourite musical suites so it was a very easy decision to select one of the adagio movements from it.

  14. Good fun from Dada, with lots of sparkling clues, the best of which, I think, clustered in the SW corner, which for some reason I made heavy weather of. Missed the 10a lurker early on but found it later. ‘Corporation’ also held me up for a bit, but an overall enjoyable challenge. Winners today: 21a, 19d, and 18d. Thanks to our Northern Neighbour Senf and to Dada. *** / ***

    1. An enjoyable **/**** although having written in 18d I had to check it existed and was pleased to see it did. Never heard of it.

  15. By a country mile, this has been my favourite puzzle of the week. Challenging without being a hair puller outer.
    The lengthy anagram was joyous to unravel.
    Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  16. Lots to like. I got very hung up for a time with 8d thinking it was an anagram of certain ablutions without the er for queen. And the beetroot soup took stupidly ages for the penny to drop. 20d brought to mind James Brown for some reason although his phrase was get on up! Overall very enjoyable. Thanks to those of you who explained that corporation = tummy! I had no idea. Where does that come from?

  17. Another good puzzle, lots of satisfying clues. I think ‘corporation’ as a slang term for a large belly
    comes from Corporation – a large BODY of people. As a cockney (by dint of being born in the wrong
    place at the wrong time) I cannot think of any plausible rhyming slang – but somebody is bound
    to know better? Thanks to everyone – as usual.

  18. I thought this was probably somewhere in the middle of Dada’s difficulty range.
    At the risk of being a nit-picker I don’t think the middle bit of 4a is an acronym.
    Most of the top was sorted before I had more than a couple in the bottom half.
    I was also looking out for a pangram once I got 8d but I should have known it wasn’t to be – it never is if I start thinking it might be.
    Quite ‘crickety’ today. My favourite ‘crickety’ clue was in a long ago back pager (by Shamus, I think) – “Nervous characteristic of cricket” (5) – it made me laugh.
    Lots of good clues in a generally very enjoyable crossword – 19 and 21a and 9 and 15d. I think my favourite was 19d – yum!
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Kath – 4a – BSE is an acronym for Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis. It’s Mad Cow Disease.

      1. Steve
        Think Kath is referring to BSE not being a word as opposed to an abbreviation thar can’t be made into one
        PS No disrespect but preferred Hudson on the Avatar

        1. Ah, ok.
          As for Hudson, so do I prefer him as my avatar, actually. :smile: Just got to get another picture because he’s now 2 years old. He was 9months when the last one was taken.

  19. Not surprised to know this was a Dada as it just wasn’t my scene and I came near to throwing in the cards but hung in there and came through in the end. 18d and dance in 20d new to me. Liked the ‘Pils pimple’ in 5d and also 17d and 26d. Struggled with 19d as I think of it without the “t”. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. I live in a small Yorkshire brewing town where the local term for a “Pils Pimple” is the “Tadcaster Tumour”

  20. I must be a little stir crazy because I bunged in Covid as soon as I read 4a but rapidly found that to be incorrect. I liked this puzzle with a selection of good clues. 21a&5d were my favourites especially as I remember from previous puzzles the reference to corporation. Thanks to Dada and Senf for the blog.

  21. Steady solve today but I found the west harder today. I managed to find the Spanish city though not because of Dire Straits Tunnel of Love;
    To rock away rock away from Cullercoats and Whitley Bay out to rock away
    Oh girl it looks so pretty to me just like it always did
    Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids…
    My Aunty Doris lived in Cullercoats and I used to play there a lot when I was a kid
    but I have just read a travelogue of chap walking the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage with a donkey and the real Spanish city was a stopover.
    The soup clue was a fave too and I spent too long thinking 6d was an anagram of sovereign – it fits all the checkers.

    I stuck my nose into the John Halpern as Paul zoom but my first time zooming and I couldn’t connect properly but if he does it again I will try again

  22. Straightforward if you’ve got my wife to help. She seems to get on Dada’s wavelength quicker than I do. But corporation was a new one for us!

  23. I found this tougher than yesterday, and not particularly benevolent. Not as hard as some Dada puzzles, nor as gentle as some of his, in the middle I think. Didn’t know 4a acronym, 5d was totally new to me. Didn’t know the Spanish city, but there is a city here in Florida called that. Favourite clue was 13a, just because of fond memories of my brother and I playing this game, as youngsters, with our grandmother at her kitchen table. Thanks to Dada and Senf for helping me delay tackling the ironing 😊

  24. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, very nice puzzle. Was completely beaten by 21&24a and 19d. Favourite was 12a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  25. I often fly Dada’s tricky but on first pass I only solved 3 clues and found most of it incomprehensible.
    I thought I would give it a miss or look at the hints but came back to it. I then completed it fairly quickly except for 5d which I have not heard of. Thanks to Senf and dada.

    1. Tony after the first couple of Dada’s puzzles I decided Sunday wasn’t for me.
      After a few weeks I decided not to try tne puzzle, just to go through Senf’s hints. I now regularly finish them.
      Many original comments echoed mine. However now the majority can cope with him it seems.
      I think we ordinary mortals owe Senf a dozen golf balls (not each Senf).

      1. LROK, you recently said to me that perseverance with The Toughie would not get me any further. You obviously did the same with the Sunday puzzle as I did with The Toughie. You now solve Dada and I finished two Toughies last week. :good:

  26. 3*/4*….
    liked 19A ” transport leader playing on the Underground, perhaps? (7) “

  27. I think this is my first Dada completed! And I enjoyed it. I did know the Spanish City, only recently saw a TV programme of the pilgrimage.
    A couple were bung ins; one, 4a was right, could only think of a playwright with the checking letters, the second, 19a was wrong, I left out the “k” as I thought the answer was transport. I did use e-help for the anagram at 8d.
    There was lots to like, maybe 21a has the edge.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and Senf for unravelling some answers.

  28. Another nice ‘non quirky’ offering **/**** from Dada that was eminently solvable for my locked-down brain this cloudy, dull Sunday. However it took forever to get 12a and it was last in. Just a DUH moment I suppose.
    Favourites for me were 4a,15a,19a & 9d but the winner is 23a

    thanks to Dada and Senf

  29. Very good. Quite a few straight down like a pint on a hot day. Favourites 13 and 21a and 2d. Last 3 in were 21a 19 and 20d. 19d rather a long clue to work out. Not a lot to fit I. 20d but I was thinking of something with a flame. When I thought of what you do from a train the first definition was harder but the only thing that fitted. I’ve heard of hoe down for dance and I have been told to get up and dance but not the other way round, so my least favourite clue. The Spanish city rang a bell but I googled to check. So thanks Dada and thanks to Senf for explaining 5d. I got the big tummy but had not thought of that worker.

  30. I’m in the “pretty straightforward for a Dada” camp today. Only hmm moment was 20d. Favourite was 19a, I’ve done a bit of it in my time, mainly just turning up in local pubs unannounced. I didn’t do it for money, I did it just because I wanted to. Sometimes people would buy me beer, it would have been churlish of me to turn it down. Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  31. Perfect and just hard enough for me. **/*****

    Just a little whinge – some people seem to like to make multiple posts on this site, commenting on others as the day goes on. I didn’t think this was a chat room and I find it self indulgent and irritating. Am I alone?

    1. We’re in lockdown. I have noticed that comments have risen. I don’t think it a bad thing IMHO.
      It gives contact in these times of isolation.

      No doubt after all this is over comments will dwindle to a few.

      1. Well said Steve & QQ I would say perhaps in these times some of us will be visiting the site more often than usual and replying to posts . I make no apology for using the site and what it offers to help mitigate the effects that 8 weeks of total isolation is having on two “vulnerable” 75 year-oids (I started us early).
        There’s only so many times you can watch The Crown & Downton. I am trying to get Mrs LrOK into “Spooks” so that should keep us going if she does.

    2. Different strokes for different folks John. The blog has developed its own community and each of us can enter into as much or as little as we choose.

      1. You mean I don’t have to curb my chattiness? That’ll be hard for the garrulous amongst us.

    3. I sometimes comment on other posts (as I am doing here). Surely H John – you could just skim past if you don’t want to read such comments? I can’t agree that making brief contact with people, often to leave a friendly word, is self indulgent.

  32. Well that’s told me then! Sorry.

    I appreciate the pressures of lockdown and, as much as anyone, accept the need for social contact. We ( both in our 70’s) have been marooned abroad since 10 March in fully locked-down Spain! On Saturday morning at 6am I went out of our community drive, on a bicycle, for the first time in 51 days – it was magical!
    It was just that 14 posts by one person on one day seemed a bit excessive And prompted my comment! Otherwise I love this site. Keep up the good work. I must get some skimming glasses!

    1. Ha! Gotcha. The words pot and kettle spring readily to mind. You were quite happy to tell us about your lockdown plight and we were happy (interested) to hear about it. Locked up in paradise certainly made me think about your situation. Where else would we hear about a ‘sitooterie’ or the discussion long ago about hold ups versus stockings and suspender belts?

    2. John
      Apology accepted.
      Hopefully you have had a communal pool to use and the weather. Here we have been able to walk but whilst we didn’t get the rains we have not had the high temperatures over the last few weeks either . Single figures & chilly E / NE winds have kept us confined indoors except for the dog walks.
      Stay safe – your experiences on getting home will be interesting.

      Didn’t think – you probably skimmed this!

    3. Apology accepted, John although I, for one, wasn’t looking for it. Very gracious of you, sir. :good:

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