ST 3061 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3061 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3061 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we started the week with a three day mini-heatwave which came to an end with an appropriately mini thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon.

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Dada returning to benevolence this week with some oldies but goodies and some repetition radar blips – I counted five anagrams, one lurker, and no homophones – all in an almost symmetric 30 clues, with 16 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 15a, 23a, 1d, and 17d.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in red at the bottom of the hints!

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow:


1a Jolly clever: fresh too (6,3,6)
A synonym of clever, a (meteorological) synonym of fresh, with a synonym of too in between them.

10a Article on every novel, capital (7)
One of the indefinite articles placed after (on) an anagram (novel) of every (gives the capital of Armenia).

11a Typical male fleeing from emu, camouflaged in trees (9)
An anagram (camouflaged) of TYPICAL and EmU with the single letter for male removed (fleeing from).

15a 25 per cent off wine in items for sale — big deal! (3,5)
A four letter type of (white) wine with the fourth letter removed (25% off) inserted into (in) a single word for items for sale.

18a Framework rested upon change of date by county (8)
An anagram (change) of DATE placed after (by) the short form of a county a little North of London.

23a At risk, support melting away? (2,4,3)
A double definition(?) as illustrated below.

26a Don’t open post: deliver note (7)
A three letter synonym of post (not mail) with the first letter removed (don’t open) and a synonym of deliver.

28a Clean up the seafront, seen in a mess (7,4,4)
An anagram (in a mess) of THE SEAFRONT, SEEN.


1d Sweet Rottweilers knocking stuffing out, those in a 5 Down raid perhaps? (7)
A type of sweet (dessert) and RottweilerS with all the interior letters removed (knocking stuffing out).

5d Daughter always fair for broad stretch of time? (8)
The single letter for daughter, a two letter synonym of always, and a synonym of fair.

7d Bug spread over cut, unfortunately (9)
An anagram (unfortunately) of SPREAD OVEr with the last letter removed (cut)

14d Individuals invading country, island nation (9)
A pluralised synonym of individual inserted into (invading) an (Asian) country.

17d Subversive regrets boxing to a degree, when knocked over (8)
A synonym of regrets containing (boxing) TO from the clue and a ‘first’ degree all reversed (when knocked over).

18d Go — as might workers? (4,3)
The sound made by hive occupants when they depart.

24d Einstein an egghead, not entirely silly (5)
The lurker (not entirely) found in the rest of the clue.

25d Chief knowing structure of bridge, say (4)
Part of the structure of a bridge.

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

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

Sir James Paul McCartney CH MBE celebrated his 78th birthday on Thursday.  This is one of his most successful ‘solo’ singles, OK, it’s a duet with Stevie Wonder:


94 comments on “ST 3061 (Hints)

  1. I didn’t find this at all benevolent. The clues were very tricky and it took me longer to finish it than most crosswords (5*/4*). I quite enjoyed the challenge in a strange sort of way, although the word xxxxx popped into my mind as an answer to 20d ( wrong number of letters though). Many of the clues were very clever but I liked 28a best. I look forward to the full review to find out how parse my 2 bung-ins. Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    {redacted – see the instructions in red about not putting wrong answers]

    1. Sorry it wasn’t an answer just an attempt to be humourous! I’ll go and eat some humble pie in the naughty corner.

      1. Mrs T promised frosted banana bread for the naughty corner. And aside from 10 and 26 we were galloping along with Senf and the new Brian. We can’t see what all the fuss is about, maybe a little more Webster’s and less Chamber’s makes it easier for folk in the colonies.

        Mr and Mrs T

        1. Frosted banana bread sounds scrumptious. The last person in must have eaten all the shortbread and there’s nothing but humble pie left.

  2. I didn’t find it benevolent either – what it was doing here on a Sunday when it would have actually been a proper Dada Toughie had it appeared on a Tuesday, goodness only knows. I even had to ‘start with the Downs’ to get properly going on the solve.

    The repetition radar ‘beeped’ too but it didn’t spoil the enjoyment of the crossword

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. Having struggled with this I am so relieved to see that you did not find this benevolent either.

      1. So am I. Having had a night’s sleep I found I could get only a couple more and resorted to electronic help. It is the first time I have done so for absolutely ages. So far as Dada on Sunday is concerned I was similarly afflicted for his first few weeks but have completed all without any help at all since then.

        1. I too came back to this after a nights sleep. Many thanks for the hints Senf I needed every one plus additional electronic help. I’m so glad I’m not alone as I was beginning to think the last of my marbles had finally gone. Too tough for me I’m afraid. Thanks to all.

  3. Slightly more challenging than benevolent I thought, but immensely enjoyable and rewarding with a sense of achievement once completed. Several excellent clues, of which 1a stood out once I had parsed it. I also really liked 23a and the neat 28a.

    Thanks Dada for the fun and to Senf.

  4. I found this quite tricky – I think I have the answer to 16d , but can’t parse it for the life of me. Help please.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. The first four words of 16d form the definition – look at your solution and see if you can spot the parts of the charade

      1. Thanks Sue. Really struggled with this one which wasn’t helped by having the wrong answer to 19a. Dohhhh

  5. Disagree, not easy, but fun to solve.
    Thanks to Dada, and to Senf for hints…not needed, but it was touch and go!

  6. 5*/4*. This was definitely Toughie standard for me and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I read Senf’s opening comment about benevolence. It was worth persevering with however and I enjoyed it very much.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  7. Just popped in to see if anyone else found this a struggle & read Senf’s back to benevolence comment & thought you must be kidding. Currently labouring to such an extent that I’m in danger of having to pull up before Becher’s on the second circuit but at least CC & CS have declared the going is heavy.
    Think I’ll switch to the Everyman & return to this one later.

  8. I finished this one but it was a real struggle. It took me far longer than my usual solving time. Many thanks to setter and Senf.

  9. A puzzle of two halves for me. The top half was not a problem but the bottom was very tricky. Certainly not a benevolent offering today. Very satisfying not only to complete but to able to unpick some very obscure wordplay. Also learnt a new capital city!
    Strangely enough I actually enjoyed it.
    Thx to all
    PS At the risk of raising BDs blood pressure still further, this was NOT a Prize puzzle in the electronic version.

    1. Must be the fact that you can enjoy a diverting round or two Brian. It is bringing out the best in you!

    2. Brian I’d have had good money on you declaring this a horror – no wonder I stopped gambling

  10. Benevolent? You are joking. At first pass, I thought I wouldn’t even bother! I’m glad I’m not the only one. I couldn’t wait to see how everybody else fared with this horror. I didn’t find a single clue that was a “given” so It was extremely difficult to gain a toehold here. I got there in the end although I did have to google 10a to check the accuracy having tried many permutations of the possible letters. Capital indeed, who knew? Suffice to say it took me ages. Favourite 18a. Thanks to all. Phew!

  11. Bit of a plod this one but very enjoyable. I admit to using electronic help to solve 10A A nice smiler with 25A I thought. I would rate this as 4 for difficulty and 4 for enjoyment.
    My thanks are sent to Dada and Senf,

  12. About as benevolent as Scrooge for me. Glad others of undoubted pedigree disputed Senf’s rating. Completed at an arthritic hobble
    Like Brian top half easier than bottom.
    Made it in the end & felt a sense of satisfaction.
    I questioned “why did I not see that earlier” for so many. Typical was my LOI, 15a.
    ****/**** for me.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf would not have parsed 1d unaided.

    1. LOK – you’ve summed up my experience perfectly other than my pedestrian crawl may not have kept up with your arthritic hobble. 15a & 16d the last 2 to fall. After a break the bottom yielded reasonably quickly once the 28a anagram was twigged – it was my COTD probably because the definition part of the clue was capable of different interpretation.
      Really enjoyed the struggle but agree that this could easily have been a Beam Toughie. Thanks to all.

    2. LOL from us too. Deffo in the Dada toughie quality for us. The downs definitely came to the rescue for us too Sue.

    1. Stan
      Difficult on a PC day but Senf’s hint should get you there. It might help looking North rather than South for the wine.

      1. Yes, that’s not a term that’s used much nowadays. I remember it (although not in time to wrestle it into the bung). You won’t find it on wineseller’s sites.

    2. I always think of the wine being from Germany and’big deal’ could be ‘so what’.
      I love those 15 letter clues!

  13. Horses for courses. As I have said before, my Sunday use of benevolence and quirky mostly relates to my solving time and, when I comment on a weekday, with the seven or eight that I would consider oldies but goodies, including some quite recent repeats (8d and 20d for example), today’s puzzle would have been completed at a gallop.

    And, what else can I say, Brian enjoyed it!

    1. Senf
      The comments are quite uniform – almost every post found it tough but also satisfying / enjoyable with some repetition being the only (mild) complaint.
      One might say quite an achievement and the puzzle well fits what most seem to expect of a Prize Puzzle. Which it still isn’t in the App!

  14. Pleased to see others found this far from benevolent because I struggled with it a lot. Had to resort to the hints for a few and I am still not sure some of my answers are correct because I could not work out the parsing. 26a is an example. I think my answer is correct but I have no idea why. I also have no idea what 28a has to do with cleaning up.

    Still, it was fun to solve and on the whole, I enjoyed it.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

    1. Hi Steve,
      You need to investigate alternative definitions of ‘note’ and ‘clean up’!

  15. Quite a relief to read on the blog that I wasn’t the only one who found that this one put up quite a fight. Started off well when 1a dropped in immediately but from there on almost every clue had to be teased out and I was extremely grateful for each checker that appeared.
    Hadn’t heard of the 10a capital but it seems I was not alone – never going to get a place on Eggheads at this rate!
    Singled out for particular mention – 13,15,19&23a.

    Thanks to Dada for the brain exercise and to Senf who was obviously on top form this morning! I enjoyed listening to ‘young’ Paul’s duet with Stevie Wonder, thank you.

    1. Funny how so many found the capital hard, it was one of the very, very few I solved on first run through.

      1. I’ve never even heard of it, your geography is clearly better than mine, probably partly from your flying days. My geography teacher was obsessed with maps, and only of the uk, and what all the different lines and squiggles meant. So I never learnt much of the outside world, and have forgotten all the map reading skills.

    2. Sadly you are too late to get a place on Eggheads Jane. The BBC are dropping it in an effort to attract a younger audience. It’s a travesty.

  16. 4*/4*……
    liked 15A, also my LOI, ” 25 per cent off wine in items for sale — big deal! (3,5) “

  17. Senf must lead a charmed life. This was the toughest Sunday puzzle I can remember in many a moon, and I never did get 15a until I surrendered to Dada’s abstruse brilliance and sought two letters online. Other clues were almost as confounding; 16d, for one, my next-to-last one in. But I found the overall challenge immensely enjoyable. A crowded podium indeed: 28a, 7d, 15a, 16d. I didn’t know the sweet in 1a but got the right answer by googling 5d and ‘raid’! Most interesting what came up. When crypticsue in her position atop Everest decrees that a puzzle is Toughie-worthy, I don’t feel so bad that I didn’t quite make it up to her level of eminence. Beaten by Brian! Thanks to Dada and a hmm to Senf. ***** / ****

  18. Like everyone else (or almost everyone) found this a terrible struggle today. I had never heard of the capital either. Talking of Eggheads Jane, why do the challengers always go first when 9 out of 10 times the second set of questions are much easier. Anyone else noticed this? Hope they don’t bring back the completely futile Richard’s House of Games with dim C List Celebs no-one has ever heard of, Eggheads is so much better. Despite the struggle finished unaided but Kindle edition still reveals the answers if asked to. Thanks to all but I think the struggle may have made me a shade grumpy or is it Lockdown Madness?

    1. I did wonder about the going first v second myself, Manders, but it doesn’t seem to hold true on many occasions – plus, I’m sure all the challengers feel a little intimidated at the outset and are probably grateful for the extra ‘breather’ afforded by letting the Eggs go first. Not convinced however, that it’s doing the right thing to go second in the final, strikes me that the challengers are then robbing themselves of a chance to level the score.
      We’re heavily into ‘repeats’ again at the moment and I suspect that, sadly, there are plenty more episodes of House of Games already ‘in the can’.

  19. We got 4 out of the first 5 across clues and ground to a halt. The downs came to the rescue . . . Big time!
    Not one of Dadas better puzzles in our humble opinion. Agree with Sue, our repetition radar bleeping too. Gave pommers the feeling that the puzzle had been put together in a hurry without his normal care and attention.
    3* / 3* for us.
    Pommers blames the fact that he can’t see the puzzle and just has the clues read out to him. I’m in total isolation (not due to CV-19) – I’m radioactive and he has to stay at least 2m away from me. Only 4 more days left of purgatory! 🤣😂😅
    Thanks Senf and Dada

    1. Always suspected that there was something extra-special about you, Pommette, but radio-activity hadn’t occurred to me!

      1. She’s been having 131I treatment for a, thankfully non-malignant, growth on her thyroid gland. Social distancing required is like that for Covid with knobs on but at least it’s just for a week.

    2. Radioactive! Well I suppose you could hire yourself out at parties to be the power source for fairy lights……… I have always thought I should hire myself out at barbecues to sit in a corner with a glass of wine and attract all the mosquitoes.
      Seriously though, get well soon.

  20. I am jumping on board the train with those who also found a lack of benevolence!
    I am sure we have all holidayed in that capital city… (never heard of it but figured it out). Needed Senf’s help with a few hints and also for the parsing of a handful.
    A three paperweight day as the wind whipped through the garden. Lola is hiding/basking in amongst the wallflowers – her favourite place in the world, it seems. She has two fresh bowls of water put outside for her each day, and one indoors. Instead she prefers to drink heartily from days old rainwater from a grubby plant pot saucer.

    Thanks to Dada for a genuinely interesting puzzle and to Senf, of course.

    1. We had one cat who liked to drink from the swimming pool, which he managed without tipping over and falling in.

  21. Well I finished it but with considerable help except for 10a. I saw it, plonked it straight in and then spent the rest of the time thinking “Why on earth do I know that?”. Thanks to BD, the setter and Senf (hope we get your rain soon, garden is parched after the heatwave).

  22. I got there but struggled with this, I found or I made this a real struggle, I thought this was a high end regular cryptic or Tuesday Toughie but then again maybe it would be nice to know if others felt the same.

    Thank you to Dada and Senf

  23. I am so pleased to see others had a struggle with this, I found it really hard and still not sure about 15a. 22a was also a bung in but I cannot parse it satisfactorily. I am with Greta in liking 18a a very neat clue. I think I shall take a walk round the garden and come back to it. Thompson, like Lola, turns her nose up at our hard tap water and will only drink rainwater. I keep a watering can on hand to top up her bowl but if I am tardy she will happily drink from a muddy puddle. Cats!
    Thanks to Senf and setter, you have given me wrinkles.

  24. I’m on the side of those who found this challenging. I couldn’t get started and then had to work very hard to (almost) complete it. I had to look up the hint for 16d. However, I enjoyed the challenge and was relieved to hear that so many others found it tough. Many thanks to both setter and Senf whose abilities to both ravel and unravel constantly amaze me.

  25. I definitely didn’t find this one 1a at all. the top half went in ok when I got my geography sorted, but I was 23a in the bottom half.
    Eventually completed but severely distracted by the first post lockdown visit from Niece and her BF along with TWO dogs. Onyx has been joined by Jet who at 12 weeks old is a real bundle of teeth and trouble.
    18d my fave today.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  26. Feel absurdly pleased with myself as I actually managed to finish this. Albeit with excellent hints. Therefore enjoyable. 15a last one in – got wrong wine at first. Thanks Senf and setter.

  27. Certainly knocking on the doors of Toughie for me. It reminded me a bit of the first few puzzles he produced when he first took over the Sunday spot that caused a bit of a stir at the time.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada ***/****

  28. Really, really so off wavelength here. I did manage to solve south, eventually, but north had many holes, I think at one point only 10a was present. I’m sure that my 16d is wrong, as is 19a, but at least after a hint from Senf there’s a letter in each square, I’ll check them when our Sue does the review.
    There were some great clues, liked 28a,18d was fun, and I enjoyed putting together 17d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for his invaluable help.

  29. Completed unaided, but frankly, I wish I had never started.
    This was back to the bad old Dada days, post Virgilius, and I have neither the bandwidth in my life or the inclination to solve puzzles like these.
    I appreciate the effort that goes into setting these, but this is the back-pager for dim-wits like me, not the Toughie.
    Too many left unparsed, and I can’t be bothered to check them, maybe later.
    Thanks Senf for the hints and taking the flak and Dada for his skill.

  30. Having only got 3 at the first pass, and as Senf had rated it as benevolent, I decided to fight it to the bitter end, if only to find out why I was so dim today. Felt so much better after reading I was not alone. 9a, thought that was the large food/water container, not the straw laden place. 10a, never heard of. 11a, never heard or said of this pluralized version. Oh dear, I began to see a pattern here. Clearly above my pay grade. Congratulations to Senf for solving this one, and to Dada for confounded a lot of us. But it definitely kept me out of mischief.

  31. A bit of a tussle but enjoyable nonetheless! Lots of very clever clues…15a was last in and gets my clue of the day. Thanks to Senf and Dada

  32. Okay this is weird, normally anything you lot found difficult would be impossible for us, but actually we quite liked this one. We had never heard of the capital but could work it out. We particularly liked 11 a for its wacky surface. ***/**** for us. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  33. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very very difficult puzzle, enjoyed what I could do. Needed 10 hints / electronic help to finish. Favourite was 2d. Was 5*/3* for me.

  34. May I leap to Dada’s defence here & say, while definitely not an easy puzzle, at the risk of being labelled big-headed, I really cannot agree with the 98% who opined this was toughie territory. So many inspired clues, too many to single out, but even the 4 letter 12 & 22a were, imho, brilliant. 2.5*/4*. Thanks Dada & Senf, plus all the above contributors for their insight.

    1. I didn’t say it was a Toughie, what I said was that it was more difficult than the majority of Dada Toughies, which for me usually fall at the easier end of the back page spectrum. My solving time for this Sunday would make this a 5* back pager.

  35. I didn’t find this as benevolent as some of Dada’s other benevolent offerings at all. Top half was OK, but bottom was a real struggle for me. Looked at almost all the hints, some of which helped and some that left me in the dark still. Oh well. One of those days I suppose.
    ****/** for me today.
    Favourite clues were 18a, 23a, 28a & 18d. Winner 28a
    Hope Monday’s offering is a whole lot easier

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  36. Certainly***** difficulty.
    Was stuck on 16d, after re-reading the clue for the twentieth time, the penny dropped.
    Great mental workout.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf for the review.

  37. I’m with the 98% on this one. If that’s benevolent I’ll eat hay with a mule! I wasn’t so much on a different wavelength I was on a different planet – Earth. I suspect it’s a pangram and probably a double but I can’t be bothered to check. If I had to choose a favourite it would be 22a. Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. I was hoping for a pan gram too but no luck and there is more than an X missing

  38. Attempted this last night after entertaining “bubbling” family for dinner so admittedly was pooped. I abandoned it and then surprised myself this morning when very gradually it did all came together but not without considerable effort – not a lot of fun to be had. Relieved to discover I am not alone in contesting the benevolent description. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  39. 1 18 and 23a and 14 and 18d were my favourites. Normally I find the long clues help to get a foothold especially the ones of more than one word. Also the shorter two word clues. Not this time. I did not take too long on 1a but but ages on 28a. Similarly with the two word clues. Usually it easy to get the second two or three letter word and the first then jumps out. Not this time. I was nearly there with 11a but didn’t know the plural. As I needed a lot of help I did not find it satisfying as I usually solve without hints or aids save for looking up synonyms and using Google to check a word. Thank you Senf but on this occasion found your introduction disheartening and to Dada I admire your skill but not for Sunday please.

  40. Late starting this one but romped home in record time and polished off today’s in the quarter hour following. We must be getting used to the setters’ mindset. All this training in lockdown!

  41. Didn’t have time for this yesterday so struggled through it today.
    Needed some electronic help, so relieved to see that others thought it tricky.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

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