ST 3068 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3068 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3068 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we need some rain and, although it has been promised on several occasions, it hasn’t materialised, at least not in any decent quantity. 

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Dada not quite as benevolent as he was last this week – I counted six anagrams (three of which were partials), one lurker, and two homophones – all in an asymmetric 29 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 – 9a, 15a, 6d, and 8d.

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 Parents on the outskirts of an American country (6)
The two letter abbreviated forms of both parents containing (on the outskirts) of AN from the clue.

9a Criticise wrinkles in body parts (10)
A three letter synonym for criticize and a synonym of wrinkles (in fabric?).

12a Exposed place for birth (6)
Three letter synonyms of exposed and place – birth appears to be being used generically and nothing to do with producing offspring.

15a Make-up has run, being sloppy (8)
A slang term for make-up (which we have seen before) followed by (has) a synonym of run.

19a With difficulty, progress measured, we hear? (4)
A clue where the punctuation should be ignored – one of the homophones (we hear) of a synonym of measured – the other homophone is 13a.

21a Bun, say: tricky eating one with starter of offal (6)
A synonym of tricky containing (eating) the letter used for one, followed by (with) the first letter (starter) of Offal.

23a Frame in car OK for going abroad (4,4)
An anagram (going abroad) of CAR OK FOR.

26a Where athletes randomly entered, no matter what? (2,3,5)
An expression that could be used to describe athletes randomly entering competitions.

28a A bank seen on far side of river, very little (6)
A from the clue and a synonym of bank (as in depend on) placed after (on far side of) the single letter for river.


2d Gather team as serving drinks (5)
The lurker (drinks) found in three words in the clue.

5d Somewhere in Somerset, old actress riding thoroughbred? (6-5-4)
The surname of cruciverbalists’ favourite old actress, a two letter synonym for riding, and a (5-4) term that could mean (a female) thoroughbred.

6d Country history test (8)
A term for what is history and a type of test that does not require pen and paper.

8d In the raw -— like a plain salad? (9)
A sort of double definition – the first relates to how a person might appear.

16d With the current club, confess manacled (9)
A three letter synonym of confess contained (manacled) by a type of club that used to be a wood.

22d Tree in central part of Europe, white (5)
The two letters that are the central part of EuROpe followed by a term for white in appearance.

24d Vessel on a lake, artificial waterway (5)
A type of vessel (containing fruit or vegetables?) followed by (on) A from the clue and the single letter for lake.

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Number one for four weeks starting August 9, 1967 at the height of flower power etc – Scott McKenzie – with ‘subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing’ looks more like karaoke to me!  But then, I suppose karaoke didn’t exist in 1967:



72 comments on “ST 3068 (Hints)

  1. This seemed fairly straightforward until the last half dozen clues, which held me up a bit. It was reasonably challenging and very enjoyable (2.5*/4*). The outstanding clue for me was 5d, which was quite amusing although 9a was a close second, with a nicely confusing element of misdirection. We too are being promised rain, Senf, which never arrives or moves further and further into the forecasting future. It’s nice to have the sun but temperatures in the nineties take the starch out of me to the extent that watering the garden becomes a bit of a chore. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for another entertaining crossword.

  2. Rattled through this before the breakfast darjeeling with just a couple of pesky 4 letter clues to check. After yesterdays diverse opinions on difficulty I wonder how the commentariat will see this one. I liked quite a few but will mention 9a, 6 and 16d for the pinnacle. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  3. Thought this was the easiest puzzle we’ve had from our Sunday setter in quite some time – only three that weren’t solved on my first run through the clues. No doubt he’ll take his revenge next week.
    Favourite was 15a – so true given the current temperatures!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the reminder of the flower children.

  4. 2.5*/4*. This was a lot of fun with just one hmm for the surface reading of 16d. A handful of clues took a bit of teasing out, which took my solving time above 2*.

    9a was very clever but 5d wins the prize as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. We would appreciate hints for 14 down and 20 down. Do these require a GK of some sort? We are ensconced here in Chicago and have lost all our GK.

      1. tricky one to avoid the naughty step but here goes.
        14d has four words one of which is the definition and the other three have synonyms (4,2,3) which when split (4,1,4) satisfy that definition.
        20d is easier with some GK of Old weapons manufacture but the wordplay suggests an Initial (originally) and an anagram (proving flexible) of five other letters to build the answer.
        How’s things in the Windy City?

  5. 5d hands down today! Very, very clever and amusing clue, which set the tone for this enjoyable Dada adventure. (And yes, I have been there, amazingly.) As usual, it was one of the 4-letter words that held me up until the end, 19a (which still seems a bit tortured to me); otherwise, a smooth solve. Top clues: 5d, 9a, 16d, 6a, and 28a. Thanks to Senf (whose hints I’ll read now) and to Dada for the pleasure. 2.5* / 4*

    1. And thanks to Senf for ‘San Francisco’…my heavens, we were so young and innocent…well, I wasn’t yet 29 years old….

        1. I’ve still got lots of hair but most of it is grey. Think I’ll go for ‘Bluebird’ hibiscus from the garden.

      1. Nostalgic for me too, as Aunt took me there on a train from Bristol when I was about 6.

  6. Agree with Jane that this was the easiest Sunday examination for some time (though I certainly didn’t solve all bar 3 on the first run through). No real hold ups until 21a, my last in, where I was looking for the wrong type of bun for a while. 5d also wins it for me as COTD with 9a & 20d in medal positions.
    Thanks Dada & Senf

  7. After yesterday this one was a breeze which, luckily, on the Kent coast is giving us some respite from the blistering heat. **/***.
    5d is a gem. Easily favourite today. Perhaps one or two brain cells have rebooted. Anyone who can be bothered with 15a in this weather is either very brave or as mad as a hatter, Jane! Thanks to all.

    1. In my defence – went for a ‘socially-distanced’ cuppa in a friend’s garden last Saturday and hardly went the ‘full monty’, just a smear of tinted moisturiser with a high SPF and a smidgeon of mascara. First time those have seen the light of day since the end of March and the moisturiser was certainly very runny!

  8. Fairly steady solve today. Like others have said some very clever clues, especially 5d and 9a. We are in a very heavy sea fret today and its pretty chilly so the jumper is back on! Thanks to Senf and the setter.

  9. What a pleasure after yesterday. Perhaps at the easier end of the Dada spectrum for the experts but nearly perfect for me.
    As with others, 5d my favourite too, evoking memories of family day trips across the Bristol Channel on the Waverley.
    As others the 4 letter words held me up but a puzzle to match today’s superb weather. One of the rare days when our cooler climate is a bonus.
    Thank you Dada and Senf for the benefits of your expertise.

  10. What a contrast to yesterday! This was Dada at his puzzling best. Like LBROK, I found it just right for me even though the experts will think it at Dada’s easier end. I loved many of the clues but my favourites are 1a, 26a and 5d. However, my COTD has to be 9a. Even after I got the answer, I had to look at it a few times because I kept pronouncing it wrongly.

    Thank you, Dada for a great puzzle. Also thanks to Senf for the great hints.

  11. This was enjoyable and I’d say more straightforward than yesterday’s. With 20d I have learned a new word but don’t expect to be using it on a daily basis! I liked 9a (the clue will forever alter my pronounciation of the answer à la Hylda Baker), 15 and 19a, as well as 8,14 and 22 d. My favourite is 16d though. Thanks to the compiler and Senf.

  12. I found this really easy, with the only puzzling one 19a which hubby got. Nowhere near as tricky as the normal Sunday crosswords. Luckily I was too busy yesterday with a rare and welcome visit from my daughter to do yesterday’s so hoping that will keep me occupied.

      1. I look forward to the challenge! Have solved the first few clues then we’ll see how I get on.

            1. Thanks for the wishes guys! Yes, just finished yesterday’s crossword. More like a toughie than a Saturday one. Phew!

              1. GMY1965
                Methinks that justifies another Pimms to celebrate, hopefully you have enough fruit!

                  1. Oh dear! I haven’t had chance to do yesterday’s yet. After those comments I’m not looking forward to it.

  13. Aha! Just right for my level of (in)competence. Getting 5d right away set me up nicely.
    Re Scott McKenzie and flowers in yer tresses: I was twelve years old in the ‘summer of love’ and found the music of that year so overwhelming and beautiful (Beatles – Sgt Pepper; Beach Boys; Byrds; Kinks) that it set me up for life as a sort of suburban, hippie ‘child of Woodstock’.

    Is it just me, or my age (65)? I much prefer it to be very cold and then warm myself up, rather than feel very hot and try and cool myself down. Bring on the autumn!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf (Happily, I didn’t need Senf’s hints today but having just had a look through them, I suggest they are crafted masterfully).

    1. I’m with you with regard to temperature, Terence. I have always said it is easier to warm up in cold weather than cool down in hot. I do not do hot weather very well at all.

    2. No, no, I’m a hot-house flower, love the heat. I lived in England for five years, that cured me of winter.

      1. But Merusa… our winters can be very… magical, enchanting, and… yes – rather chilly!

          1. In front of a roaring log fire with a glass of malt after walking the fields with Hudson asleep at my feet? No contest! Cold, crisp frosty days anytime for me.

    3. I totally agree about temperatures Terence. It is much easier to warm up with adding jumpers etc., than it is too cool down. There is only so much you can take off. Despite living here in the land of heat humidity since the early 1980s I still relish a cold, crisp day, especially if sunny.

  14. I must be very ‘agreeable’ today – I agree with everyone about the crossword (much less tricky than is usual for a Dada) and I’m also with everyone about hating hot weather – funny as I used to love it, specially if there was water to get into (obviously not at 5d).
    My last two answers were 12 and 19a and I had a bit of a dither about the first little word of 26a.
    No major problems – just a very good crossword and lots of lovely clues.
    Among the best for me today included 15a and 5, 8 and 14d. My favourite by a long way was 9a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    Now I wish I’d kept the NTSPP for today – need something to do to stop me worrying about my Lambs, both living in London – they’re even hotter than we are in Oxford.

    1. The Graun prize & Everyman have kept me happily amused while watching sport with the blinds down. Both nicely doable & entertaining. May risk a few holes of golf later when it cools down to compensate for two days of complete inactivity

      1. I struggled a bit with both the Prize and the Everyman this weekend. Not unusual with the former but I often finish the latter. Not this time, though. Hope you fared better. Always good workouts.

  15. Second week in a row where Dada is very benevolent. Excellent puzzle which took a bit of teasing out but very enjoyable. My favourites were 9&15a. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Two good days of much needed rain this week but looks like we’re back to high temperatures today.

  16. I agree with Jane and others that this was an easy rude but thanks to Dada for some good clues and to Senf whose hints I read when I had finished!
    That is two days running! Sadly an hour ago I remembered our WI chairman had decided it would be nice to deliver a bag of goodies to each member as we have not met for months – the committee doing the baking. So in a ridiculous temperature I have been melting over Melting Moments while George and Thompson lounge in the shade of the trees! No doubt he will wake up expecting a cup of tea and a sample. There is no justice.

        1. I would talk to your dressmaker about that, Daisygirl. You can’t have it slipping out!

          1. I AM my dressmaker, Steve so if anything slips out it is meant to ! My second career was as a Textile Artist and my beloved Bernina is an extension of my arm.

    1. Daisygirl, our WI met for the first time in months on Thursday self distancing in a member’s garden. It was lovely to see all the ladies again and the level of gossip! amazing! The committee have been having weekly Zoom meetings which are good fun. One member didn’t know how to unmute herself so another lady drew a picture of the unmute button which looked remarkably like a bit of male anatomy so 8 70 year olds reduced to helpless mirth, and no, she still couldn’t unmute herself! The garden meeting was a great success by the way.

      1. Oh well done! We have been having committee zooms which are good fun but when we tried to do a full meeting we only got five members. We have done a couple of small meet ups but again it is mainly our committee. We are only two years old and just 24 members. As far as getting back to normal, I am a trustee of our community hall and the rigmarole in reopening and letting is incredible – so many conflicting guidelines and we as trustees are responsible legally of course. George is having very successful zoom meetings with a speaker each week! Fortunately for the last 3 years we have been running a hugely successful cinema night and our hall has a very healthy bank balance.

  17. I made heavy work of this because I was stuck on 21 across and did not read the lettering for 26 across so it was my fault not the setter, but for errors this was a good Sunday cryptic, 14 & 17 down held me up then the penny dropped.Thank you to Dada and Senf

  18. A nice puzzle for a sunny Sunday morning. Not as quirky as I was revved up for from Senf’s intro. Rate this 1*/4* today for me. Last 6 or so clues randomly through the puzzle took a while to suss out, but all came eventually.
    Candidates for favourites include 9a, 21a, 5d, 6d & 8d …. my pick for winner 21a

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the fun puzzle/hints

  19. Well, the old grey cells were synapsing quite nicely today, second day in a row! I only needed help for 19a. I did need to check the dictionary to make sure that 20d was a word.
    Little story: When my Dad was a nipper, Grandad had to go into hospital and Dad and his brother were sent to 5d seaside with their nanny. Dad bought a little brass elf a little more than one inch tall, used for tamping down tobacco in a pipe, as a present for his Dad. I have him still! So 5d is fave, hands down.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun, thanks to Senf for his hints and pics, and unravelling 23a, I missed that anagram completely.

      1. My Dad had a liking for the local tobacco they grew up in the hills, and, no, it wasn’t weed! It was quite strong, they called it “jackass rope” as they wound it like a rope and sold it by the inches; 4 inches, 6inches, whatever.

        1. We had no access to local tobaccos – there are none in the UK – but I loved going into tobacconists and smelling the wonderful aromas of rough cuts and shags. I used to smoke cigarettes in my twenties but a mate of mine who always smoked a pipe said to me. “If you put your cigarette down it will continue to burn. If I put my pipe down it will go out. Cigarettes have chemicals in them to keep them burning. Smoke a pipe. A pipe is pure.”
          I did and, strange to relate, it was the smoking of a pipe that enabled me to stop smoking over 50 years ago.

  20. 5d was clue of the day for me. It brought back fond memories of holidaying in the area with my best friend and her family when I was a child. I haven’t been back since, so no idea what it’s like now. Today’s crossword was just right for a very hot day when the old brain cells don’t feel like getting into gear. Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  21. A belated thank you to Dada for another very enjoyable and quite challenging puzzle. The SE corner was the last to fall and took as much time as the other three quadrants. Great fun.

    Thanks too to Senf.

  22. What a fine crossword! Some great clues and a relatively straightforward solve, how different from yesterday. Thanks to Senf (tips not needed today) and Dada. Sunday always used to be the highlight of the week and I struggled a bit when Dada first took over but it’s back to being highlight of the week for me.

  23. While I would not put easy and Dada in the same sentence, his puzzles are always fair and workable. I was stumped by just 6 at the end, one of which was the new to me 20d. 5d was by far my COTD, and also really liked 26a. Thanks to Dada for another enjoyable puzzle and to Senf for the hints.

  24. Nice to finish a crossword on the same day. A rarity.
    Took longer than it should with the brain having being fried by playing in the Monthly Stableford today in the blistering heat, mad dogs and Englishmen…thank heavens that North Kent is now nice and cool.
    LOI was 3d as it took me ages to see the anagram. Dim or what as Kath would say.
    Thanks Senf and Dada.

  25. I’m in the “this is as straightforward as Dada gets” camp this evening. No real problems, no real hold ups. Hard to pick a favourite from so many, I can’t believe I’m saying that, but I’m going for 9a. Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  26. Ah, 5d – my (second eldest) sister and her family loved that – my parents were bigger fans of Westward Ho! (’64-’68).

  27. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. Quite gentle apart from the last three answers. Managed 9a & 3d, but was completely stumped by 21a. I was only thinking bread products! Favourite was 5d. Lots to like in this puzzle. Was 3* /4* for me.

  28. A bit late in the day – the next day in fact – as the heat got the better of me! But I’m almost wondering if Dada is on holiday as the last two weeks have been far more ‘benevolent’ than what I’ve been used to on Sundays.
    Very enjoyable again, favourite was the last one in, 16d.
    My first comment for a while, I don’t normally start the crossword until Antiques Road Show – the pinnacle of my day (the crossword!).
    Thanks to Senf and Dada…..or whoever!😉

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