ST 3058 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3058

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3058

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 after a few days of early Summer we returned to more Spring-like conditions but we have a forecast that June will start in truly ‘flaming’ fashion tomorrow with a forecast high of 30 degrees (that’s 86 degrees to those South of the 49th parallel).

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Dada back to quirky this week – six anagrams (only one complete in its own right), no lurkers, and no homophones – all in an almost symmetric 30 clues.

Candidates for favourite – 13a, 5d, and 14d.

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 Miserable — as might be trombonist? (7,3)
BRASSED OFF: Consider the section of an orchestra that a trombonist is part of and use that to recall an expression that can mean miserable.

6a Take it easy, brain! (4)
LOAF: A double definition – the second is based on Cockney rhyming slang.

9a Lovely dirt — there’s the attraction! (10)
FAIRGROUND: A synonym of lovely followed by a synonym of dirt.

10a Fish: survivor of Tudor England? (4)
PARR: A double definition – for the second, I am sure the Tudor history experts among you will remember the sequence Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived – so what was the surname of the female survivor.

12a Perfect fortune (4)
MINT: Fast and furious on the double definitions today – in the first of this one the answer is often used with ‘condition.’

13a Moon best seen orbiting second of planets by day (9)
SATELLITE: A synonym of best containing (orbiting) the second letter of pLanets placed after (by) the abbreviated form of one of the days of the week.

15a Retreat in outskirts of Paris comes before (8)
PRECEDES: A synonym of retreat inserted into (in) the first and last letters (outskirts) of PariS.

16a Communicate the craft of Puck? (6)
IMPART: Written as (3,3) place a (creative) craft after the single word for a wicked spirit such as Puck.

18a Stay on border (6)
RESIDE: The two letter combination that can be equivalent to on followed by a synonym of border.

20a A junior reporter endlessly partying in St Moritz? (5-3)
APRES SKI: A from the clue and a (5,3) term that can mean junior reporter, where the term for junior is the second word, with the last letter removed (endlessly).

23a Beauty rubbishing old prunes (9)
SPLENDOUR: An anagram (rubbishing) of OLD PRUNES.

24a Basic French food suffering (4)
PAIN: Another double definition (I think) – the first is a basic food item translated into French.

26a Bad, bad character losing head (4)
EVIL: A bad character, check the illustration, with the first letter removed (losing head).

27a Nuts roasted, to about hundred degrees (10)
DOCTORATES: An anagram (nuts) of ROASTED, TO containing (about) the Roman numeral for hundred.

28a Red roses are really expensive, initially (4)
RARE: The initial letters of four words in the clue.

29a Awkward situation in greeting? (3-2-3-2)
HOW-DO-YOU-DO: Another double definition – the first can be an informal term for an awkward situation.

Down

1d Polish fan (4)
BUFF: Another double definition – which you should find reasonably straightforward.

2d Stupid as yours truly: and square! (7)
ASININE: Assemble AS from the clue, the perpendicular pronoun that yours truly can indicate, and a number that is a square of another.

3d Grade in this incredibly good, looking at score (5-7)
SIGHT READING: An anagram (incredibly) of GRADE IN THIS followed by the single letter for good results in a term that relates to playing music.

4d Opening move in place for canvassers? (8)
DOORSTEP: A four letter type of opening and a synonym of move.

5d Limited in size, it fills well (6)
FINITE: IT from the clue inserted into (fills) a synonym of well (in health terms?).

7d An Irish article company promoted, unusual instrument (7)
OCARINA: Lego bricks ready – assemble AN from the clue, the two letters that can be used for Irish, another indefinite article, and the two letter abbreviation for company; having completed the assembly reverse everything (promoted).

8d Strength in art debatable, surely (3,7)
FOR CERTAIN: A synonym of strength followed by an anagram (debatable) of IN ART.

11d My butler’s ruffled, hosting standard American social event (7,5)
SLUMBER PARTY: An anagram (ruffled) of MY BUTLER’S containing (hosting) a three letter synonym of standard.

14d Trainers, say, promise to keep mood up (10)
SPORTSWEAR: A synonym of promise (when in court) containing (to keep) an informal synonym of a (bad) mood reversed (up)

17d Lively — as seances, supposedly? (8)
SPIRITED: The purpose of seances is to communicate with those who have ‘passed over’ so they could be supposed to be . . .

19d Regular breakfast time dipper? (7)
SOLDIER: Another double definition – for the second see the illustration below.

21d Massage this as vigorously, before beginning to unwind (7)
SHIATSU: An anagram (vigorously) of THIS AS placed before the first letter (beginning to) of Unwind.

22d Defeat of opponent, very, very old country (6)
KOSOVO: The letters that can indicate defeat of an opponent (especially in the noble art), a two letter synonym of very, and the single letters for very and old.

25d So is flood regularly seen in capital city? (4)
OSLO: Select four alternate (regularly seen) letters from three words in the clue.


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Something slightly whimsical this week which, for 2 minutes and 51 seconds, might take your minds off the ‘goings on’ in whichever part of the world you live. American composer Leroy Anderson wrote ‘Bugler’s Holiday’ as something that buglers might play for fun on a day off. Normally played featuring three trumpets (not even bugles), here are three siblings (I presume) playing, with some agility, all three trumpet parts on one marimba:


 

99 comments on “ST 3058
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  1. Once of those Dada Sunday puzzles where, once you’d tuned your brain to his wavelength, everything flowed very nicely.

    I did have to laugh at the ‘unusual instrument’ in 7d – let’s face it, if crossword setters everywhere haven’t been making something clever out of origami during lockdown, they’ve certainly all been playing their 7ds

    Thanks to Dada (a very nice variety of clues this week) and to Senf

  2. Ouf. We only got through this one by dint of a certain amount of cheating involving the iPad’s fault checking facility. It was haaard! 😥 ****/** for us. Nevertheless, some clues, once solved, inspired pleasure and admiration, especially 3d and 4d.

  3. Slowish start as per with Dada but ambled to a 4* finish having been held up by the double definition at 12a, my last in. Somehow dragged 7d from the memory bank but needed Mr G to check how you play it. Enjoyable as ever with a number of great clues of which I’d nominate a podium of downs at 19, 21 & 22. Unfortunately 2 of Senf’s picks (13a & 14d ) required his explanation as I was unable to parse them fully.
    With thanks to all.
    Ps Everyman in the Observer worth a look today.

  4. A pretty straightforward one once you got a few checkers in (**/****). I did thoroughly enjoy this one and finished it in time to go for a nice long walk before many other people got the same idea. I liked 1a, 10a and 3d but was a bit mystified by the square in 2d. Thanks to Senf for enlightenment. Thanks to Dada. Enjoy the good weather and keep safe and well everyone.

    1. You should probably try to remember square = nine. It is a cluing device that setters use from time to time although I consider it to be a bit of a ‘cop out.’

          1. In the words of Sherlock Holmes when you’ve eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however unlikely, has to be the answer. Probably not verbatim, but near enough.

  5. Dada in a very benevolent mood today. Thanks to him for a most enjoyable puzzle, and to Senf for the write-up.

    2*/4* for me.

  6. I enjoyed this one on the whole and when I finished it I was surprised to see my time on the iPad; it felt a lot longer.

    I didn’t much like the surface of 3d and I thought the first definition of 29a was just plain weird.

    My favourite was 10a for the wonderful penny drop moment.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. The phrase has been used as an awkward situation many times – “Well, this is a right how-do-you-do!”

      Another one I remember from childhood is “This is a real how’s-yer-father”.

        1. True but the way my dad used it meant a bit of bother. He was not disposed to anything crude so would not have used it that way. :smile:

            1. G and S Mikado I seem to remember.??
              “Here’s a how de do.”
              Pleasant Sunday fare after picnic lunch overlooking beach at busy Polzeath.
              Thanks to setter and Senf for comments.

              1. Ah yes: ‘There’s a fine howdoyoudo’! Now I’ll be humming tunes from The Mikado all day; my favourite G&S.

      1. Thank you Steve, I would never in a million years have thought of that meaning for the phrase, although it was obvious from the second definition

  7. Spot-on for me. Like others slow start then things fell into place gradually.
    Very satisfying with no real controversies for me. Beautiful start to the day, 6am walk on the beach with Biggles then “breakfast with Dada”
    COTD 13a.
    9a reminded me that Wakes Weeks in the cotton towns would be starting soon. Take it that they don’t have them any more.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf for an informative review as always.

    1. I know they still have the “Colne fortnight” (my home town): my last experience of it highlighted the inconvenience of not being able to get hold of a tradesman easily in an emergency!

  8. My first thought was ‘cub’ for the junior reporter which caused a slight delay and the last two to fall were 27a & 22d. Thank goodness for checkers!
    Finished up awarding top spots to 10&16a, both of which raised a smile.

    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for the review and the delightful rendition of Bugler’s Holiday – I do enjoy listening to a marimba, particularly when it’s played so well.

  9. Never clicked in this early before but I am determined to have a really lazy day. I too struggled with 12a as I cannot imagine using the word as a synonym in either word in the clue. Had to reveal the answer to confirm I was right I remember having to make a 7d in pottery which we all later used in Music and Latin classes as I recall. I am really chuffed to have finally succeeded in changing my avatar. Yeay! Thanks to everyone and May all our invalids make a swift recovery.

    1. There was a band in Leicester in the sixties and seventies called the “12a”. Their name came from one of their band members frequently saying, if anything was good, that’s “12a” that is. They won opportunity knocks and new faces but never quite made it on the pop scene.

  10. Hard work today for me. I still don’t really understand the working of 2d. Nine being the square of three is ok as far as it goes but it’s a strange clue. In 9a “lovely” is a bit more than “fair” so not the best clue either. I found quite a lot of this a bit clumsy. Not the most enjoyable for me. Favourite 10a. A clever and precise clue.

  11. I lost the will to live when I got to the top right corner. So far above my abilities as to be stratospheric.
    Managed about 2/3 which for a DADA in this mood is probably an achievement.
    He really is my least favourite setter, even a devious Ray T is better than most of his for me.
    *****/*
    Thx for the hints which explained at least some of my answers.

    1. We do enjoy a good Brian teaser. We were also stuck in the North East (figuratively and physically) – 6a derailed us.

      Thanks to Senf, Dada and Brian for a delightful morning of tea, toast and arguments.

      Mr & Mrs T
      Boston (wisteria is finally in bloom).

      1. Dada is a good setter, Jay is even better but as for either of them holding a candle to my adored Mr T – no way!
        Just as well we all have our own favourites although I suspect it would only be a handful of specialists who would nominate Elgar!

  12. Perhaps my brain was rather befuddled today after a pleasant evening BBQ with lots of red wine, but I found this very tough in parts (unlike last night’s ribeye steak). Nevertheless it was very enjoyable with, as CS says, a very nice variety of clues. My rating is 4.5*/4.5*.

    I’ve never heard of the 11d expression before but full marks to the setter for indicating its provenance.

    My podium comprises 10a, 13a & 16a.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  13. I found today’s Dada a bit tougher than usual for me, mainly because of 19d, which held me up for many minutes, and I still don’t understand the ‘breakfast time dipper’ as shown in Senf’s pictorial hint. Must be a colloquial or slangish term we don’t use over here in this apocalyptic country. (Should the clue perhaps read ‘breakfast-time’?) Otherwise, this was an excellent display of indirection and misdirection and very clever anagrams, and my podium winners are as good as Dada gets: 4d, 22d, 27a & 14d (a tie for the Bronze). On the above 19a: I’ve noted that my Scottish cruciverbalist friend almost never uses hyphens, as in ‘a time honoured rule’, say, but here it is always hyphenated. Never mind. A most enjoyable outing, with thanks to our Canadian friend and Dada. **** / ****

      1. And very nice they are too providing you’ve timed the soft boil correctly (4 mins for me)
        Cotswold Legbars are my egg of choice – lovely yellow yolks.

      1. Yep… and my Mum used to give them different ranks based on thickness and crispiness – from Ghurkas to Gunners…

        Mr T reminiscing…

          1. Re 19d Sorry Senf , for some reason I thought the double definition had been overlooked. Why would I think such a thing?

  14. A slow plod for me, finished in **** time except for 21d. I didn’t know the word and had to use electronics to work out the fodder. 6a was my COTD because of its simplicity.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. Dada at the difficult end of his skill. Well, he was for me. I needed help with a couple. I knew 11d was some kind of get together but I have never heard of the answer and can’t imagine what happens at one. Neither had I heard of 24d. The four letter clues held me up a bit apart from the old chestnut at 25d. Does anyone say 25a anymore?

    Too many good clues for me to pick a COTD.

    Grateful thanks to Dada for a real head scratcher. Also, many thanks to Senf for the hints.

    1. There’s no 25a, so I’m guessing no one says it anymore.

      Re 11d…
      Pyjama party…
      Sleepover…
      Midnight feast…..
      All in the same ball park (US).

      Depending on the decade, and the age of the participants, slightly different things happen at them, from eating to make-up demos, to drinking (Illicit) alcohol to pillow fights. Of course I realise I’m only describing female partygoers………I’m not sure if boys had them and am, perhaps fortunately, ignorant of party-related goings-on there.

      1. Sorry, I meant 29a.

        Thanks for explaining 11d. I knew about sleepovers but had never heard of the term and thought it must be something different. I never attended one as a lad but my daughter went to a couple of sleep overs. So that’s what she got up to? Wait till I speak with her again!

      2. Relatively few sleepovers in my youth too but in the pre alcohol years, they involved midnight feasts and reading Comics under the bedspread with a torch. I don’t know why we had to use a torch under the candlewick as any parental residents were under no illusion we were asleep!

    2. When I was still a mum with two small girls (they’ve grown a bit since then), I used to quite look forward to them having pyjama parties – UK equivalent of slumber parties. Meant that I could easily get them and their young girlfriends ensconced in the bedroom with music, sandwiches and drinks whilst the remainder of the house remained child-free.
      Mind you, it did mean that said bedroom often required a deep clean the following day!

      1. Having had a boy, sleepovers seemed largely to involve anatomical comparisons and wind-breaking competitions. I pretended to have no idea what was going on.
        Have to agree that it did get the house emptied of children……as long as the juice and crisps lasted out.
        Recognise the deep cleaning afterwards too.
        Happy days.

  16. Very tough for me. Couldn’t tune in and needed Senf to guide me several times.
    A three paperweight day as the wind fairly whips through the garden.
    Roses and calendula blooming and this year the nigella has gone berserk.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. Ooh that was a tough one,,, got the wavelength but still found it troublesome to solve. I did though, just answer the question….even if it takes time.
    3.5*/4*
    Still enjoyable though, could do with not so heavy going after Sunday lunch.
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf for shining a light on some of the clues.

  18. Dada was definitely user-friendly today with just enough food for thought. South came through first. I agree with Senf and others that square in 2d is thin although it does often appear for such. Never heard of an 11d gathering – could signify almost anything! Joint Favs 14d and 19d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  19. Really struggled today. Not helped by putting BEAUTYSPOT for 9ac which seemed a brilliant answer. Thanks to all.

    1. Your comment went into moderation – you added ‘tor’ to your alias – both should work from now on.

      As to BEAUTYSPOT – brilliant but wrong!

  20. Dada in a friendlier mode than of late but still gave me several pauses for thought (and beer – Stella today if your interested)
    The fish at 10a held me up for a while, I assumed it was a lurker and an alternative spelling of (john) Dory with an e DORE.
    13a was bunged in unparsed until Senf explained it. Thanks for that and the entertaining music. So that is what an Ocarina looks like. I shall revise my opinion of our old pottery teacher. I thought he just had a pile of misfires next to the kiln.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. 10ac had me in trouble too as Dore is the Walleye or Pike Perch of North America. Further I pencilled in the wrong crossers for 6ac (as in “mind” yourself) and so it all became a bit of a mixed bag for me. But the blog sorted all that out eventually. Thanks to Dada and Senf for a mostly enjoyable solve.

      Ah just noticed that Vancouverbc below fell for the same lurker!

    2. I definitely thought I had been smart and spotted the lurker.. Never crossed my mind I was wrong until I spotted the ocarina at 7d. I first met these instruments in Mexico years ago and brought some back as small gifts for children.

  21. ****/**. A real slog for me and too clumsy in parts for my taste. Held up for ages by 10a which contains the lurker Dore or walleye fish. Once I realised what the unusual instrument was I had to rethink the fish. I was also in the cub camp re 20a. Nevertheless thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Yes – I fell for the same fish until Mr Google convinced me that I couldn’t spell the 7d instrument in a way that would give me an ‘a’ in the required place! Wonder whether Dada realised the potential ‘hidden’ that turned out not to be?

  22. This didn’t feel like a Dada today. He’s always tough, but I just couldn’t get on wavelength today, and throwing in the towel with a few left to do. My GK let me down for 7d, and the fish in 10a. And although I quickly wrote in 29a, I couldn’t see the connect to awkward. Did love 19d though. We never had them for breakfast, more for a light tea, especially for the kids when they were small. But the yolks do need to be nice and soft. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    Hope both Greta and Tilsit are doing ok.

  23. If I think I have the right answer but not sure why I mark the clue with a ?
    I had 7 of them on this one and although they were correct I am indebted to Senf for the explanations. I failed completely on 7d I’m afraid. So a definite *** for me and a ** for a clever but not entirely satisfying struggle.

  24. Finished this one without much problem at all considering it was a quirkier Dada offering this week. Must be getting onto his wavelength better than in the past. Very pleasing solve **/**** for a wet miserable Sunday morning. Lots of great clues but candidates for favourites are 1a, 13a, 27a, 8d, 17d & 19d … with winner tied 1a & 19d
    Only needed 2 hints today so for a Dada offering, I felt good about that.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the great hints

  25. Cracking crossword, completed without too many problems, apart from thinking that the country started with a ‘C’!
    I watched hignfy this morning, and while agreeing that Ian H did go over the top, it did show the sheer hypocrisy of all concerned.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  26. I didn’t know that square meant nine, so I’ve learnt something new. 16a made me smile once I’d twigged the answer. Many thanks to setter and to Senf. Fantastic day yesterday watching the live streaming by NASA of the takeoff of Crew Dragon. Last night we saw the International Space Station go over followed by the SpaceX capsule. Going to watch the astronauts meet up now live on NASA utube.

  27. Just doing the weekly prize crossword…
    There is a clue that has a weird character in it…
    “Maine politician ñ the man’s in a city elsewhere (7)” – anyone shed any light?

  28. Pleasant Sunday crossword as one would expect from this setter.
    Only held up by the two double defs in 6a and 12a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  29. Re 6a, “Loaf” is Cockney rhyming slang for head, not brain. In full it is “Loaf of Bread” which of course rhymes with head.

    1. DW
      However does not “Use your loaf” mean use your brain? (As opposed to give someone a “Glasgow kiss”)

  30. For some reason I’m not sure just how much I enjoyed this. It took me a while to get going and not sure why once I’d sorted out the answers. Splendour didn’t readily spring to mind as a synonym of beauty and no favourite clue in the end. 29a seems old fashioned on both counts to me. Thanks to the compiler and Senf.

  31. As usual, a tough Sunday for me. No complaints, being challenged is good for us. All afternoon and part of the evening and still needed two hints to finish. Getting close was satisfying today. ****.5 / ***.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  32. Very difficult for me, but Dada’s always are, so that’s normal.
    No problem with 29a, G&S used it. I liked 20a, my fave.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for helping to the finish line.

  33. Nice puzzle until I stumbled on the NE corner. Couldn’t complete it without some electronic aids. Although the ancient instrument can be parsed there are surely few people who have heard of this unless they came across it before.

    1. “unless they came across it before” = have been solving crosswords for a number of years, as I am sure it is an oldie but goodie.

      1. As I said in my comment, it’s been in at least one if not two cryptic crossword every week during lockdown

    2. The ancient instrument is found in crosswords almost as often as Oslo.

      To use one of these words in a crossword may be regarded as a misfortune, to use both looks like carelessness.

  34. Too hard for me today…not unusual for me on a Sunday……but seemed to need even more electronic help than usual as well as a lot of Senf’s hints.
    So, sadly not much enjoyment here…but the sun has shone all day long.

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

  35. Took a long time. Not helped by one of my first in being 6a – but I went for Mind, which fitted perfectly, but made the rest difficult…

  36. I’m in the “hard but fair” camp today, which is not always the case with Dada. I thought 29a a bit iffy and had to Google 29d. I Googled the right word, it just sounded like Japanese massage to me. As for favourite in going for 7d as it reminds me of my mother, who on hearing Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys announced that the strange sounding instrument was a 7d. She’d never heard of a Theremin, nor had we, so we believed her. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  37. Oh crikey! On research I’ve discovered that the actual instrument played was a Tannerim, a version of a Theremin invented by Paul Tanner, but easier to play. Hey ho! Every day’s a school day.

  38. As others, found this hard going. Had to come back to it lots of times and managed to complete it without really understanding some of the clues. Reversed word in 14d was a struggle. No excuse really as there was a pretty clear indicator in “up”. Also thought 22d had to contain “vo” twice so good misdirection. Overall tough but satisfying solve.

  39. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the review and hints. I couldn’t do this to save my life. Normally I’m on Dada’s wavelength, but not today. I couldn’t get any of the anagrams, and I always struggle with double definitions. Needed 6 hints to finish. Could only parse a couple, and have never heard of a few too! Puzzle was fine, but I had an off-day. Was 4*/3* for me.

  40. Favourites 9 10 and 13a and 8 and 19d. No problem with ocarina. First met them in Mexico in 1993. I thought I had struck lucky with a lurker at 10a. I doubt whether it was intentional of the setter to mislead. 27a had me foxed for ages. I decided degrees was the way to the answer but was thinking of the other definitions of degrees rather than educational attainments. Could not parse 22d which is a bit silly (not parsing I mean rather than the clue). Had trouble in NW with 9 and 12a and 2d. I suppose with 2d I was thinking of Ass for stupid and therefore double S. It was a Doh moment when I got 9a. 12a took a while but confirmed it to myself with mint condition and worth a mint. Thank you Dada and to Senf for the parsing I missed.

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