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ST 3073 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3073 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, after the ‘late’ autumn weather we had last weekend, we are enjoying ‘late’ summer weather this weekend.

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Having noted that it is now acceptable to use the term ‘quirky’ (see Friday’s blog for example), I have no qualms in saying that, today, Dada is (very) quirky – I counted seven anagrams (five of which were partials), one lurker, and no homophones – all in a symmetric 28 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 – 14a, 15a, and 16d.

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 After break, back in a jiffy (5,6)
Place a synonym of back after a synonym of break.

12a Heavy trampolinist? (7)
A double definition – the first is a slang term for someone employed to ‘deter’ others at, say, a night club.

13a Husband held by soldier: gosh mummy! (7)
The single letter for husband contained (held) by cruciverbalists’ favourite four-letter soldier followed by a two letter term equivalent to gosh as an interjection.

15a Missing drinking container of beer? Certainly! (9)
A synonym of missing (applied to a person) containing (drinking) a type of container that beer may be available in.

17a Large tank has me kept in storage when explosive (9)
ME from the clue inserted into (kept in) an anagram (when explosive) of STORAGE.

22a Item of furniture found in case, correct (7)
The illustrated item of furniture contained by (found in) a type of case or the part name of a type of case.

24a Special brew in a pub (4,3)
An anagram (special) of BREW IN A – I suppose it’s a pub in the broadest sense.

27a Fresh sole caught by fishermen, traders in large quantities (11)
An anagram (fresh) of SOLE contained (caught) by a specific type of fishermen (note the plural), although what they are trying to catch is not a fish.


2d Breaking stick? (4,3)
The full name of the ‘stick’ used in the illustrated game.

3d Currently doing well, insect in grass (9)
A (2,4) term for (the much longer) currently doing well and a familiar type of insect.

5d Bread I knock over after tea (7)
I from the clue and a three letter synonym of knock all reversed (over) placed after the familiar three letter term for tea.

7d Shock seeing fat animal eating every other bit of frog (11)
An informal synonym of fat (which Terry Wogan used to fight) and a ‘generic’ synonym of animal containing (eating) alternate letters (every other bit) of frog – I will leave you to decide which they are.

8d Geographical plan spread out showing African capital (6)
A three letter term for a geographical plan and an anagram (spread) of OUT gives a capital city, not a currency.

11d Blue chatter I edited in article (11)
An anagram (edited) of CHATTER I contained by (in) a definite article.

18d As rising, heading for breakfast and wash, time for rest (7)
AS from the clue reversed (rising), the first letter (heading for) of Breakfast, and an ‘immersed’ wash.

23d ‘Hair‘: appearing in theatres Saturday (5)
At last we reach the lurker (appearing in) found in the rest of the clue.

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Yesterday was the 132nd anniversary of the birth of French actor, cabaret singer, and entertainer Maurice Chevalier (who passed away in 1972).  This is part of the opening sequence of one of his most famous films made in 1958, Gigi:


62 comments on “ST 3073 (Hints)

  1. I seem to be able to get on the setters’ wavelengths this week. Another solved in **/*** time. Some of the parsing took me a while, thus the extra half star, but I think I got them all in the end.

    I do object to the ‘container of beer’ in 15a. Most liquids served in those are not worth drinking. On which point, do any of you frequent Samuel Smith’s houses? I’d be interested to know how much Humphrey increased his prices down south. He put a minimum of £1 on every pint in the north.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. The gentleman brewer you refer to is almost certainly certifiable . He has decided that mobile phones cannot be used in his establishments. The same with credit cards – all payments have to be made in cash. and god help you if you are heard to utter an oath. He has pushed the prices up so much that my brother who was a regular at one of his York pubs, now frequents another pub in his village as a matter of principal. Humphrey has also closed several pubs in the York area, even one directly next to the Minster, seemingly on a whim. And don’t get me on his selfish behaviour following the floods in Tadcaster a few years ago!

    2. Couldn’t agree more where the receptacle is concerned. Very few beers are acceptable even in bottles though Old Peculiar is a notable exception. Sam Smith not often found down south but you’re looking at £4.50 plus for a decent pint of Pride or Landlord in most places.

    3. I’ve pretty much forgotten what pubs are! But I’d agree that any drink in a xxxxx is not to be recommended. Difficult puzzle for me today. ****/** My solving wasn’t improved by putting the wrong sort of turn at the beginning of 16d so I struggled with that section before I realised. I liked 7d simply because you don’t hear the word much any more. Favourite 27a. Thanks to all.

      1. Thank you Greta for your unintended hint above! I had the wrong final letter for 5d so was trying to fit xxxxx in.So I went back and checked 5d. Bingo.

      1. Humphrey Smith is the current Reichsführer of Samuel Smiths Brewery. You will have seen him in the press. He closed my local because (allegedly) somebody was using a mobile phone when he walked in. Personally, I think he was going to close it anyway because the takings had gone through the floor, the temporary landlord had been there 11.5 months and was due for a permanent contract, and he was found to be renting out rooms above the pub for cash-in-hand and ‘favours’ (allegedly). Bitter was £2/pint, now £3.

        Pub chain that banned swearing and mobile phones shuts branch for breaking rules

  2. I agree with the quirkyness today. 13a is always a challenge to my poor spelling and while not wanting to get into politics 11d is a bit old hat. I made a boo boo with 19d taking revolutionary as the definition rather than an instruction to reverse. 7d my fave today

    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  3. 4*/4*. I found this very challenging today but as enjoyable as ever on a Sunday.

    15a was my favourite and 7d needs a special mention in spite of the bizarre image the surface conjures up.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  4. Solved alone and unaided and understood all the parsings without the hints……might even be the first time I have managed this with a Sunday crossword…certainly an extremely rare occurrence. So hurrah for me!
    Favourite clue 2d……mainly because I can scarcely believe I solved it!
    Enjoyment therefore at 5 stars.
    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    How did you get into my house to photograph my bed, Senf ?

  5. For my money harder than the Tues to Thurs Toughies & his trickiest for a good few Sundays but at least it’s doable unlike his impenetrable (for me anyway) prize puzzle in yesterday’s Graun. A pedestrian start but slowly they began to yield starting with the right side & finishing in the SW. Don’t really know what it is with Dada because when you read back through after completion they don’t seem that difficult but teasing out the answers is often like trimming the hedge with nail clippers. Anyway all parsed with 27a my favourite.
    Thanks Dada & Senf.

    1. I haven’t (yet?) attempted today’s†, but I agree with you about yesterday’s Guardian puzzle: after 3 passes, I hadn’t managed a single answer. On his Zoom chat last night, Paul asked for a show of hands for a difficulty rating, and was surprised that most found it tricky. He explained that 1a and 8d (along the top and down the left) were intentionally non-obvious, so as not to give away lots of starting letters to other answers.

      He did seem lovely, though, and it was interesting to hear him. I would gladly listen to another one.

      † The first day this year of the 874 DalesBus service, so we had a family outing to Bolton Abbey, for the Welly Walk and sunshine.

  6. Quirky and a bit wilier than usual, this Dada puzzle was, nevertheless, a very enjoyable challenge (**/****). It wouldn’t have taken as long I I hadn’t persisted with a couple of wrong answers, both of which seemed plausible at the time. I particularly liked 27a, 3d and 7d. Many thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada, whose puzzles are always fascinating and absorbing.

  7. He may be quirky but the clues in his Sunday puzzles often make me smile – today’s 7d being a good example.
    With three checkers in place, I tried to justify a very different ‘turn’ for 16d – fortunately 15a came to my rescue. 1a was also a sticking point for a while until I remembered the connection to a different form of ‘breaking’.
    7d gets a place on the podium – forever connected to a certain comedian in my mind – along with the heavy trampolinist and a mention for 10a where I once spent quite some time ferreting out bargains from the clothes market.

    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for the hints and the reminder of a film I loved in my younger days.

    1. The music still makes me smile, and what a wonderful cast.
      Last night I watched a programme on ABBA, another wonderful memory!

  8. Really enjoyed this one esp as i seemed to have got on the setters wavelength from the start. My favs were 7d, 12a and 13a, all very clever.
    Thx to all

  9. Enjoyed this a lot but spelt 13a wrongly to start with. Last in 22a as I was mispronouncing it and it didn’t seem a proper word, then I split it 3 and 4 and saw the light. Great fun so thanks to all.

  10. Trickier (quirkier?) than usual for me & took ***/**** time but was 4* fun. One of those where when the penny dropped I couldn’t see what had stopped me seeing it earlier.
    COTD 17a – it took me back to TMS commentaries from the Oval when the word was fashionable.
    Thanks to Dada for the workout & Senf for hints

  11. I found this difficult but doable eventually. I loved Huntsman’s description of this puzzle being “like trimming the hedge with nail clippers” because it did take a lot of teasing out. The SW corner held out the longest but fell into place once I managed to get 25a. This actually became my COTD because its simplicity wasn’t immediately obvious. It also had a great misdirection – I spent ages trying to use a certain letter the clue seemed to indicate.

    Thanks to Dada for what was a great mental exercise and thanks, too, Senf for the hints.

  12. A very pleasant romp–for a change for me–through Dada last night, with plenty to enjoy. My podium consists of the perimeter clues, with a special nod to 12 and 13a along the way. I also liked the self-contained cleverness of 15a, the clue and the answer. Thanks to Senf, whose hints I’ll read now, and to Dada. 2.5* / 4*

    Very nice Everyman today.

    1. Really enjoyed the Everyman today Robert & found it a good deal easier than Dada. Did you tackle the prize puzzle yesterday ?
      I stared at it for 15 mins & couldn’t get a single clue…..

      1. Haven’t looked at it, Huntsman–too busy with baseball and college football yesterday–but lately the Prize seems to have been created in another solar system than ours. I’ll take a look.

        1. Too rich for my blood today, though I did manage a couple short ones…otherwise, I just didn’t have the passion for it. (I think the Shakespeare quote is Caesar to Brutus, by the way, though I didn’t quite work out the parsing.)

          1. It is Robert but can’t parse it either. Unbelievably I think I’ve finished it although not 100% about one answer. It’s taken quite a while but my iffy back hasn’t let me do much else today which is a shame as it’s been a delightful September day & perfect for golf. Did learn a great name for a Floridian city which I’m unlikely to forget too.

  13. Finished a Dada again. I might get ideas above my station if this goes on. Favourites are 13a, 27a, and 8d. My thanks to Senf for her useful partial write up and to Dada for recognizing the way my mind works and fashioning a puzzle round it.

  14. Found this Dada offering fun with just enough thinking time required for a steady solve. Must be on the quirky spectrum myself today! Favourites were 1a, 7a, and 15d. Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  15. A lovely puzzle today with some cracking clues, of which 15a and 2d were particular favourites. I thought Dada definitely upped the level of difficulty with this one, making it a true test for a Prize Crossword. Great fun.

    My thanks to the aforementioned and Senf.

  16. I once again made heavy going of Dada’s offering and ended by seeking a couple of nudges in the NW including 3d which is clever. Anyway it was a joy to do battle outside in glorious warm sunshine 🌞. 15a was a bung-in as I stupidly failed to twig relevance of certainly – d’oh! Whilst remaining PC I will just say my Fav clue was 11d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  17. Robert re post #12
    Missing both at the moment as I don’t have the subscription channel.
    Got interested in college football after two of our County players went to UAB on a golf scholarship & really enjoyed it. Beats NFL to a cocked hat. May well start go subscribe again now its started. Didn’t give it a thought until your post.
    No coverage over here but understand now some Conferences going ahead others not.

    1. Hi LROK. Yesterday, my alma mater, Clemson University (located in Upstate SC) defeated Wake Forest University (the game was played in N Carolina) 37-13 before NO SPECTATORS! It was a great victory but a sad, sad thing to watch, quite characterless, although the players enjoyed themselves immensely, it seemed.

      I’m a baseball aficionado and a nut, and so I keep up with all 30 MLB teams, which means keeping up with the daily outpouring of statistics (batting averages, pitching ERAs, etc). My favourite teams are the Chicago Cubs, the Boston Red Sox, and the (nearby, sort of) Atlanta Braves. The Cubs and the Braves are doing well, likely to make the playoffs in a few weeks.

      (BTW, The UAB lost to Miami Univ. in their opener–on Thursday, I think it was.) Yes, college football beats the tar out of the NFL.

      Hope you and your Lab are well.

      1. Hi Robert,
        Thanks for the update.
        With limited knowledge of US Universities I thought they went to University of Alabama so started to follow the Crimson Tide. Should be last 4 match up with the Tigers at least.
        Must get the subscription so catch the baseball play-offs & the college football season.
        Don’t quite understand all the baseball stats. terms but love to watch on TV.
        My two teams are the D’backs & the Cubs who I saw in a spring training game in Scottsdale one year.

        1. I just watched the Chicago Cubs pitcher, Alec Mills, throw a NO-HITTER! Always a thrill. Cubs won 12-0. Great, just great.

  18. Well definitely quirkier than the recent Dada offerings for a Sunday, but nonetheless very enjoyable with a couple of good chuckles like 11d & 13a!! **/***** overall.
    COTD include 13a, 27a, 7d, 16d & 20d with winner being 16d

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for an enjoyable (and very smokey Sunday morning) on the West Coast of BC

  19. ATTENTION: Please be upstanding and raise your glasses to Princess Sadie, it’s her birthday today and she’s nine years old! Happy birthday Princess, my best friend.
    I can’t believe how well I did with this puzzle today, I was singing the same song as Dada. Not easy, that would never happen with Dada, but most enjoyable. Fave was 7d, fun word, but I made it harder as I wanted to put an extra letter in it.
    I had to use a word search for 22a, drew a blank there. Otherwise I didn’t need any other help and there was lots to like.
    Thanks to Dada, it’s so nice not to be totally lost, and to Senf for the hints and pics.

    1. Hudson raises a paw to celebrate Sadie’s birthday and offers a bone, begrudgingly, as a gift.

      1. Sadie thanks Hudson and everyone for the good wishes. She’s had a very contented day, Barking at our neighbour as they had the nerve to have guests in their back yard! She’s just had supper.

        1. Hudson agrees that a good barking is often needed to discourage footpads, ne’er do wells and those of ill repute. Unfortunately, he includes the postman who drops the mail and flees.

  20. What a relief – everyone seems to have found this one difficult! It’s taken me an enjoyably long time.
    I love Huntsman’s reference to the hedge and the nail clippers – think it was a holly hedge.
    Several of these clues took me as long to work out why as getting the answer in the first place did.
    I’m another one who can’t spell 13a but I know that I can’t so always check before writing it in.
    I needed lots of letters in 27a before I realised that the ‘fishermen’ weren’t our usual ones.
    My favourite was either 25a or 7d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    Didn’t have time for the NTSPP yesterday so off to have a go at that now – with a glass of wine, I think.

    1. In my case it was gorse – holly is child’s play compared to gorse & the house is surrounded by it.

  21. Coming in late after a busy day, coffee and cake with friends at 11 and Daughter no 2 with dogs in the afternoon. Almost normal, apart from no hugs. George fast asleep on the sun lounger so all my own work – very enjoyable, some really clever clues. I am just missing 2d – a sporty one I am totally ignorant about, but either george will know it or I shall use Mr G. Thanks to Dada ? and to Senf. Does anyone have any comments about the reworking of Jerusalem at the Proms last night? I am a bit mystified by it.

  22. Well that was hard work today, but 7d was a clear favourite as I do love the words from my youth. But conversely, I did not care for a few other clues, with 26a scoring the biggest sad face. Not a word I would ever feel comfortable using. Didn’t know the capital in 8d. Definitely the trickier side of Dada today. Thanks to Senf for much needed help. But after yesterday’s glorious puzzle I can’t complain.

  23. I’m in the minority today as I didn’t this particularly quirky and although hard in parts not overly so. As for favourite I’m going with 14d of which I unreservedly count myself as one. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. You may be referring to 16d. I’m with you on less Quirky than usual. Some very clever but legit definitions made it appear harder than maybe it was.

      1. Probably. I’m separated from the crossword now as I’m down the pub attempting yesterday’s which I didnt have chance to do. Many a slip between finger and keyboard.

  24. Nothing to do with crosswords so please excuse me but I found this rather amusing.

    My wife yelled from upstairs and asked, “Do you ever get a shooting pain across your body, like someone’s got a voodoo doll of you and they’re stabbing it?”
    I replied “No”

    She responded: “How about now?”

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