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ST 3055

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3055

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 we have had a very chilly start to May with single digit high temperatures when we should be basking in the high teens.

Keep staying safe everyone. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Dada is again benevolent this week, even more so than the last two weeks – seven anagrams (one partial), one lurker, and one homophone – all in an almost symmetric 30 clues.

Candidates for favourite – 23a, 27a, 3d, and 9d.

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 Jump season (6)
SPRING: A double definition to start – the second is the subject of the concerto below.

4a A course including day for lecture (8)
ADMONISH: A from the clue and a type of (food) course containing (including) the abbreviated form of one of the days of the week.

10a Problem for camel’s back continues, unsightly growth returning (4,5)
LAST STRAW: A synonym of continues (don’t forget the S at the end) and the reversal (returning) of an unsightly growth (often found on a finger).

11a Bulb lit up when wiggled about (5)
TULIP: An anagram (when wiggled about) of LIT UP.

12a Keep around third of fires alight (7)
DETRAIN: A synonym of keep containing (around) the third letter of fiRes.

13a It’s true, I tell tales to keep son in worship (7)
IDOLISE: A three word statement (1,2,3) which is equivalent to it’s true, I tell tales containing (to keep) the single letter for son.

14a Together, women finally breaking a record (5)
ALONG: The last letter (finally) of womeN inserted into (breaking) A from the clue and a synonym of record.

15a Lift head after failing in Hertfordshire town (8)
HATFIELD: An anagram (after failing) of LIFT HEAD.

18a A dainty thing framing painting, say — priced separately (1,2,5)
À LA CARTE: A from the clue, something that can be considered to be dainty containing (framing) what painting is an example of (say).

20a Trumpeter, one going up high (5)
JUMBO: A double definition – the first is an informal term for the largest living land mammal.

23a Briefly, certain academic success better (7)
SURPASS: A synonym of certain with the last letter removed (briefly) and a single word for academic success.

25a Working playwright, reportedly — not in the main? (2,5)
ON SHORE: The two letter synonym of working and a homophone (reportedly) of the illustrated playwright.

26a Article by Home Counties people here? (5)
THESE: A definite article and the two letters for Home Counties.

27a Instinctive knowledge, where seminar leader’s expertise lies? (9)
INTUITION: Written as (2,7) a phrase that suggests where a seminar leader’s expertise lies.

28a Set apart, ten gears for cycling (8)
ESTRANGE: An anagram (for cycling) of TEN GEARS.

29a They say one can’t choose breakfast item in pub (6)
BEGGAR: One of the illustrated breakfast items inserted into (in) a synonym of pub.


1d Where 9 Down may be unfortunately tipped over, bad spilt on top of rug (5,3)
SALAD BAR: A synonym of unfortunately reversed (tipped over), and an anagram (spilt) of BAD before (on) the first letter (top) of Rug.

2d Italian food, roots mushed up with it (7)
RISOTTO: An anagram (mushed up) of ROOTS and (with) IT.

3d Boy standing over soldier covered in powder, sentimental (9)
NOSTALGIC: A type of boy reversed (standing over) and two letters for a foreign soldier contained by (covered in) a type of powder.

5d Miserable with a tickly throat, quite possibly? (4,2,3,5)
DOWN IN THE MOUTH: A type of ‘foreign object’ that may (quite possibly) cause a tickly throat.

6d Better function in the fresh air? (5)
OUTDO: A single word that could be used for in the fresh air and a synonym of function (as in party).

7d Bitterness in Shakespeare on his deathbed, possibly? (3-4)
ILL-WILL: The short form of Shakespeare’s Christian name placed after how he might be described if he were on his deathbed.

8d Storage bin, one missing a peg? (6)
HOPPER: How someone missing one of what peg is an informal synonym for might be described.

9d Saucy thing in haute couture? (6,8)
FRENCH DRESSING: The language of haute couture and a single word for in haute couture.

16d Fashionable, only diamonds wrong (9)
INJUSTICE: The two letter term for fashionable, a synonym of only, and the informal/slang term for diamonds.

17d Leader bringing over no registered nurses (8)
GOVERNOR: The lurker (nurses) found in four words in the clue.

19d Top star with leg broken (7)
LARGEST: An anagram (broken) of STAR and (with) LEG.

21d Low toll for berth (7)
MOORING: A synonym of low (as a sound) and a synonym of toll (also as a sound).

22d Set to play doubles, is one buzzing? (6)
TSETSE: An anagram (to play) of SET repeated (doubles).

24d Field: space confining last of oxen (5)
ARENA: A synonym of space containing (confining) the last letter of oxeN.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

Bert Weedon, who, from 1957 when his book was first published, told us that we could learn to Play in a Day, was born on this day in 1920 (passed away in 2012).  Here he is discussing the guitar and his book in an interview:


93 comments on “ST 3055

  1. Enjoyed that. Straightforward, but required a bit more thought than yesterday’s.

  2. This was pretty straightforward, apart from the SE corner, which heldme up for a few minutes. It was quite enjoyable (2*/3.5*) and there was some good misdirection (12a). 10a was my favourite, whilst 7d was groanworthy but made me laugh. Thank you to Senffor the hints. My cousin in Pennsylvania tells me that a southward dip in the polar vortex has brought them some snow! Thanks to the setter too. Keep safe and well everyone.

    1. We have not had any precipitation this week but the Brandon area, in the SW corner of the Province, had snow on Friday and I understand the area around Toronto, East of us for those unsure of the geography, had snow yesterday. We are forecast to be back up to ‘seasonal’ temperatures for next weekend.

  3. Great value this morning from a friendly Dada. I particularly enjoyed 8d, with 27a my favourite. Not too difficult, but immensely enjoyable. The colder weather has given me a chance to catch up on unsolved crosswords from earlier in the week. Thanks to the aforementioned for the fun challenge and to Senf.

  4. Very friendly crossword today with the top half going straight in and the bottom half taking just slightly longer.

    I liked it all but if I had to choose a favourite it would be 8d for the amusement.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. Spent ages trying to work out why 8D was what it was and only finally twigged it when Margaret said that it had amused her. Didn’t think of that synonym for ‘peg’. So obvious really. Thanks to setter and Senf.

  5. i just want to say how happy I am that I stumbled across this website when I started attempting the Telegraph Cryptic at the beginning of lockdown. I was cheating all over the internet and then found you (who is Big Dave 44?), which offered me clues to the clues in an easy, functional format. It has really helped me improve as time goes on. I still have to click for the answer many times but doing that at least helps me work backwards and I am telling myself that I am clicking less! Thank you to everyone that contributes. I, for one, am finding my lockdown mornings more pleasant now that I can avoid reading the news over breakfast.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Carri. If you stick with us you’ll improve by leaps and bounds. If you don’t understand something just ask.
      To find out all about Big Dave click on ‘About’ at the top of the page.

    2. Welcome from me, as well, Carri. You will improve greatly by doing what you describe. Many of us owe a lot to Big Dave and the bloggers. As Gazza, says, if you have a query do ask.

    3. Hi Carri – I, too, stumbled across Big Dave (a few years ago) and over time you do find you need to click on the answer fewer times. Without this site I think I would have pulled my hair out by now.
      Welcome aboard!

    4. Yes Carrie, it is wonderful isn’t it. Although I had been attempting these cryptics since I was still “young, vital and alert”, I have still leant a huge lot from this website. It really helps. Welcome.

  6. This was certainly more thought provoking than yesterday’s puzzle. 4a held me up a while until I realised it wasn’t d for day but an abbreviated form of a day of the week. 22d brought bees to mind although the answer was obvious once I’d shaken them loose! I’m not a fan of Americanisms for getting off trains or planes. Favourites 27a and 29a.

  7. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Dada and Senf.
    I made a mess in the East by confidently writing ‘homer’ in 20a (well, a trumpeter is a pigeon and I already had the middle M) – oh dear (as Kath would say). Getting 16d persuaded me that my initial thought was wrong.
    Podium selections for me were 12a, 27a and 16d.

  8. Enjoyable and very solver-friendly apart from my last three which took me longer to solve than the rest of the clues put together – my favourite clue was 8d which made me smile

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    Today’s nature report – lots of enormous carp in the stream along the edge of the road, all doing what comes naturally in the spring ;) Although whether they will be so keen tomorrow once the temperatures have plummeted remains to be seen – at the moment it is still warm and sunny here

    1. Hi Sue,
      Sounds like my predictions from a few weeks back are coming true.
      If my restaurant doesn’t survive the crisis, I shall become a weather forecaster.

    2. Sue
      10.30 dog walk this morning with feels like temperature -1, brisk northerly no sun and a light snow flurry. I realise I must have masochistic streak to have moved up here.

      1. Your gravatar still has you in South Wales. The scenery up where you are now is nicer even if the temperature maybe a degree or two lower.

        1. A degree or 10 (even in Celsius) has been more appropriate over the last few days, John. Yes the views are a compensation I agree.

            1. Mreusa
              It is Biggles at just over 3 (mental age <1).
              Has the lizard decamped?

              1. My young lady who helps me came and captured it, took it to the alleyway and let it go. All clear, until the next time. The ackee tree is full of them, just a matter of time before the cats catch another one and bring it in.

      2. Sun vanished, wind is stronger and colder and it is starting to drizzle. We definitely picked the right time of day to walk!

  9. Enjoyed today’s puzzle. **/***
    Don’t get 26A from the “people here?” but obvious from the cryptic bit and crossing letters. My last one just bunged in.

    1. I think “Home Counties” usually means SE and so “the” for def art gives the answer

    2. As a brass musician I got quite excited by 20a thinking it was a double definition of James (Harry) – until I tried to fit 17d.
      Smiled at 8d.

      1. Your comment went into moderation because you changed your alias using ‘A’ instead of ‘The’ – both should work from now on.

    3. The best thought I could come up with, while ‘acknowledging’ the ? at the end of the clue, was that the opposite, so ‘people there’ would have an ‘O’ substituted for the middle letter of the answer.

  10. Super puzzle with some excellent clues such as 29a, 6d and my favourite 20a. I agree with the difficulty rating but for me it was just right. Thx to the setter (was it DADA?) for an excellent crossword for a rainy and somewhat chilly Sunday.
    Keep safe everyone and lets hope for some sort of release from Boris. Mrs B says that if the golf courses don’t open soon, she won’t be responsible for her actions. I can’t understand what she means!
    Thx to all

  11. Good entertaining puzzle. Favourite 7d. Got 8d from the letters, but took an age to work out the significance of “peg” until a Long John Silver moment of clarity.

    1. Thanks for that. I too was struggling to parse my answer. I was “hoping” that a hoper was missing a p for peg but your Long John comment clarified my muddy thinking.

  12. Really enjoyable puzzle, favourite clues 29a (clever) and 7d (groan 😂) . Thanks to setter and Senf. We await the promised thunderstorms in SW France with some trepidation, hoping our recently-planted tomatoes and peppers survive …

    1. Don’t suppose you are near Larroque in the Tarn where we go dog sitting? Fabulous part of the world.

      1. Hi Manders

        Do you dog sit generally or just for a specific dog(s)?

        If you do it generally and I take it house sitting, then I would be interested to talk to you. If so, go to my Avatar profile and you will find an email address.

        A straightforward puzzle where I only hesitated in the SE like many others seem to have. My problem was writing in the crossers for 5dn not having parsed it properly; i.e a ‘U’ instead of an ‘O’.

        Thanks Dada and Senf.

      2. No, we are further north, in the Charente: and it now looks like we might miss the storms, phew. Though we now live in a house specifically kitted out for the previous owner’s three dogs, we have none ….

      3. No, we are further north, in the Charente: and it now looks like we should miss the worst of the storms, phew! 🙂

  13. Quite a witty crossword from Dada today.
    Loved the trumpeter in 20a and the one who can’t choose in 29a.
    8d and 22d made me smile also.
    Thanks to him and to Senf for the review.

  14. The second solver-friendly puzzle of the weekend although, like Gazza, my first thought for the trumpeter was one of our feathered friends. Fortunately, I came up with a swan which obviously didn’t fit so I hadn’t committed myself to paper.
    Podium places went to 10,27&29a plus 9d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the musical blog – particularly that lovely piece from Vivaldi.

  15. For me this had nearly everything yesterday lacked. For those who like the challenge of a Toughie it was probably on the easier side, but just right for intermediates like me.
    COTD was 8d with 29a close.
    Thanks to Dada for brightening up my day & Senf for review that helps me realise how my mind should work.
    Pity I can’t do these attachment thingies. Hopefully BD will put a tribute to Little Richard somewhere today

    1. Find your clip on YouTube and click on ‘share’ below it
      Choose ‘Embed’ and it will give you some code to copy and paste into your post
      Doesn’t always work though

  16. What a difference a day makes… Similar to Carri above I came across this site about 3 weeks ago.. I had challenged myself about a month ago to start doing the cryptic on a daily basis.. Yesterday I had a very good day… I didn’t complete it but only lacked about 5 answers. Today I have had a shocker! Not sure why when I thought I was getting better… This blog is however great and I am looking at it daily once I have given up with my own efforts.Thanks to all who contribute.

    1. Welcome to the blog Stupee. As Gazza said to Carri above, if you stick with us you’ll improve by leaps and bounds. If you don’t understand something just ask.

    2. Welcome, Stupee. I certainly echo the words of Senf and Gazza. Since I joined about two years ago I have gone from filling in only about a third of each puzzle to finishing them most days.

    3. Welcome Stupee. Today’s setter is Dada (also known as Paul in the Grauniad). When he started doing the Sunday Telegraph sometime within the last year there were many on this site who couldn’t cope (if that’s the right word) with his style. Now as you can see many are very comfortable with his challenge.

      The Telegraph crosswords usually get a little more challenging from Monday as the week progresses, so stick with it and I’m sure you’ll become addicted.

  17. I had a bit of difficulty finding the right synonyms for a few today.
    I did like 15a and considered inflicting the blog with a clip of 15a and the North but a review of my 70’s prog-rock indicates that they are particularly dated and Inflicting any more atonal warblings after yesterdays Schoenberg would be a bit much.
    So here is a bit of Little Richard.

    1. I’ve been thinking how strange it was that in yesterday’s blog, while a lot of us were contemplating memories of early rock and rollers and their influences on later artistes, the early tweets were coming online about Little Richard’s passing at about 4.39pm BST…….

  18. Dada almost in danger of becoming a Sunday softie but no less enjoyable for being pretty straightforward. As per usual I’d bunged in the answer before twigging it was a lurker for 17d & was racking my brain for Hertfordshire towns before clocking the anagram (live 15 mins away). Lots of clues to like of which 5&9d and 27&29a were my favourites.
    Thanks to Dada & to Senf.

  19. 2.5*/4*. Reasonably straightforward, apart from a bit of a struggle in the SE corner, and great fun with 27a my favourite.

    Although it’s a very good clue, I detest the answer to 12a.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  20. A very friendly Dada today and an enjoyable solve. 5d raised a smile as did 21d and the lurker in 17d was very well hidden. There was much to like and enjoy today.

    Many thanks, Dada and to Senf for the hints and Bert Weedon. I bought the book and laboured over Bobby Shafto for ages! Mind you, it has to be remembered that the great Jimmy Page started with Play in a Day.

  21. An enjoyable Sunday challenge from Dada with a few chuckles along the way. My contenders for COTD; 10a, 7 and 9d. Thanks Senf for the extras🦇

  22. All going swimmingly until 20a. On the right track but I put in nempy which was my childhood name for said animal. Finally got the lurker and then all fell into place. Thanks to all. What a difference a day makes, sweltering yesterday,heating back on today!

  23. I stumbled a bit in the NE corner after whizzing through and enjoying the rest of Dada’s trickily clever puzzle last night (the Sunday NYT puzzle may have left me a bit brain-sore) and had to get help for 1d and 12a (two letters), but this was great fun. I especially liked 3d, 7d, 11d, and 29a for their amusement value and chuckled throughout. I too thought that Harry James must be that trumpeter (no such luck as I quickly discovered). I probably should award 1d and 12a podium places, with 16d and 17a duking it out for medals. Thanks to Senf and Dada for the pleasure.
    ** / ****. 79,774

  24. Like carri and stupee above I’m delighted I stumbled across this site. On and off over the years I’ve tried (and failed) to work out how cryptics work. I’ve been visiting here for the last few weeks, and although I haven’t completed one yet, I’m definitely improving. Thanks to everyone for the hints and tips.

    1. Welcome to the blog andymc. There are plenty of us who have ‘stumbled’ across the site, me included just over 8 years ago. We look forward to seeing more comments from you.

    2. Welcome, andymc. You’re the third newcomer today. It is great to see others join us. As Senf says most of us stumbled across this site by accident rather than design. I, for one, bless the day I did. You will find everyone friendly and willing to answer any questions you have.

    3. My husband found this site for me a few years ago, and it makes my day, every day. Welcome!

  25. I remembered the word I used in error for “champers” the other day, so 8d was straight in, and my favourite. Many thanks to Dada and Senf. I have to dash outside now, and collect in all my VE Day bunting that’s in my hedge. It’s just started spitting with rain here in Buckinghamshire. I’m not sure if our planned walk will go ahead this afternoon.

  26. An enjoyable Sunday romp – didn’t do myself any favours (yet again) by throwing in ‘dumps’ for last word of 5d. When I do this, a little alarm bell rings and I think “That doesn’t feel quite right.” but I tend to bung it in anyway. A foolish policy. Realised my error after figuring out 25a and then galloped up the home straight to the finishing post.
    Completed the crossword in the garden. A bad move – it’s freezing in Surrey. Heading indoors for hot chocolate!

    1. What I do, and did, with a clue like 5d is write in what I am certain of then wait for the checkers for, in this case, the last word. Of course, that assumes I can solve the clues that provide the checkers!

  27. **/****. Liked this puzzle. Had to reverse engineer some clues especially 1d. I could see the answer but needed a little time to work out why so this is my COTD. Thanks to Dada and Senf. It was 28C on the Sea to Sky highway yesterday in Squamish and looking good this morning as well. This season I shall mainly be wearing shorts.

  28. Super stuff from Dada today where the west side went in easily, but the west for some reason took longer.
    Yes, did this puzzle inside today, change on the way!
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf for review

  29. As is often my case I struggled to come to terms with Dada’s task for today but surprised myself by getting there in the end. SW corner was last to fall into line. Had no idea what the relevance of a missing peg in 8d was about. 19d is rather far-fetched. 5d and 9d were welcome lighter moments. Enjoyed the 1a musical primavera hint. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. Ain’t they the most wonderful dogs? Enter the world half trained while spaniels leave the world half trained!

  30. All of a sudden I can’t do cryptic crosswords, weird.
    No idea why.

    1. Hoofs
      Clearly you got inspiration from visiting the Den and your exploits with the whistle.

        1. There is a perceptive article by Eleanor Steafel in today’s (11/5/20) DT headed “Why Brain Fog is a Reaction to the New Norm”! 🥴

  31. A really good crossword – I enjoyed it very much and found the top half much easier than the bottom one.
    I got completely snarled up in the bottom right corner but untangled everything eventually.
    I’ll leave RD to be head honcho of pedants corner but I’m with him on not liking 12a – the answer not the clue.
    15a was a bit of a disaster because I missed the anagram indicator and then it just went from bad to worse.
    I also missed the lurker which was just plain dim – oh dear!
    Lots of good clues but particularly 5 and 8d which both made me laugh – because they both did that one of them is my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    Talk about going from one extreme to the other – yesterday it was 25C in Oxford and today it’s now just over 9C – well, really!

    1. I struggled with 15a for ages as I was so sure the answer was “lift” and I remembered Hitchin in Herts, I searched everywhere to get a “g” to add on. My time would have been better spent trying to find another answer!

      1. I remember Hitchin too so took me a while to find the right answer. My other big mistake was to confidently put Ill Wind for 7d. Never gave it a second thought – assumed it to be an expression originating from Shakespeare. I can almost hear it being said. That held me up with 15a too but when I got the latter I realised my mistake.

  32. Liked this puzzle for a sunny (and will be hot) Sunday on the west coast of BC. **/***, with lots of fun clues and a couple of chuckles along the way. Favourites were 4a, 20a, 7d (good chuckle there) & 22d, but 7d was the winner for me. SW area was last in today, with 22d finally as the penny dropped!
    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints.

    Stay safe everyone.

  33. I was so on wavelength today I doubted the setter was Dada! That is until I got to the SW corner, I missed two there, 23a and 22d. The rest was pure delight, I never thought I would get to say that of Dada.
    I smiled at 7d; “if I had served my God with half the zeal I served my King ..”, came to mind immediately.
    There’s so much to like here, how on earth can I pick a fave? Super puzzle Dada, and I didn’t mind 12a, you get used to it.
    Thanks to Dada, maybe I’m beginning to get on wavelength, and thanks Senf for the review, particularly the Vivaldi.
    We’re supposed to be having a gully-washer rain today, we badly need it, but so far all we’ve had is Scotch mist.

  34. I’ve been following this website for the last couple of weeks and glad to say that today I completed the whole crossword by 8 am. Pretty chuffed – thanks for all the guidance, it’s really helpful.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      We have a number of commenters called John so you might want to add another bit to your alias to avoid any future confusion

  35. Like Merusa, we are still waiting for our promised heavy downpour here in South Florida. Nothing more than a very light sprinkle so far. Very disappointing as the lake behind us desperately needs topping up. And I planted a bunch of plants yesterday, in the belief that the rain today would settle them in. Oh well, the hose it is.

    Another great puzzle, thanks very much to Dada, and to Senf for the hints. Laughed at 6d and 7d, with favourite being 16d. Did slow in the SW corner but got there in the end. A really lovely week of puzzles.

    Glad to see 3 newcomers, always good to hear from others bitten by the cryptic bug.

  36. A day late getting round to this one. For the third week running Dada has been easy on us. Even Brian is happy!

  37. 3*/4*…..
    liked 29A ” they say one can’t choose breakfast item in pub (6) “

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