ST 3075 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3075 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3075 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, on the first day of Autumn (Tuesday), we had a very Summery 30 degrees!

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Dada is quirky again this week, with a sprinkling of Hmms – I counted three anagrams (two of which were partials), one lurker, and three 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 – 10a, 17a, 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:


8a Flag-waver bringing gentle touch to disturbance (7)
A three letter gentle touch combined with (bringing . . . to) a type of disturbance.

10a An order given to cricket side, etc (3,2,2)
AN from the clue, the initial letters of an order (as in military decoration), and a side of the pitch in cricket.

13a Herb listening to the enemy, supposedly? (5)
The first homophone (listening to) of the enemy (that we all encounter in our daily lives), supposedly.

17a Training academy swimmers on the last length? (9,6)
A term for a group of (marine) swimmers placed after (on) a term that could indicate being on the last length.

24a Reported error in puzzle (5)
The second homophone (reported) of a four letter type of error.

26a Rubbish: flower needing lift (9)
A type of flower combined with (needing) a synonym of lift.

28a Before moving prison, daughter pays a visit (5,2)
The single letter for daughter placed before an anagram (moving) of PRISON.


1d Heightened opportunity for result (6)
A two letter synonym of heightened and a synonym of opportunity.

3d Anxious getting bald? (10)
Perhaps written as (3-7) a term that could indicate that one was getting bald/losing hair.

6d Island not entirely perfect and not entirely close (6)
A four letter verbal synonym of perfect with one letter removed (not entirely) and a verbal synonym of close with one letter removed (not entirely).

9d Outspoken unpleasant type, kicked (4)
The third homophone (outspoken) of a single word for an unpleasant type (of person).

16d Painful orbiting in space for country (9)
A synonym of painful containing (orbiting) IN from the clue and a three letter space.

17d Burgers, not snails? (4,4)
A term that is used to describe burgers but which definitely does not apply to snails edible or otherwise.

20d Dry, like metal? (6)
A single word for like a particular metal that I can’t find in the BRB, or anywhere else, for that specific usage.

22d Soft spot man found under belly of feline (6)
A chess piece (man) placed after (found under) the centre letters (belly) of feLIne.

25d Fulminate in bar (4)
A double definition to finish – the first is to use reproachful language.

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Alvin Stardust (a.k.a. Bernard Jewry and (the second) Shane Fenton) was born on this day in 1942 (he passed away in 2014) – this is his only UK number one from 1974:


82 comments on “ST 3075 (Hints)

  1. Not much fun for me, I’m afraid. I think that 20d is clearly a made up word, as far as the metal is concerned. Thank you Senf and grudging thanks to setter

      1. Yep, I agree. A great clue. I could give other examples but I need to lose weight and cannot sit on the naughty step eating cake. 🍰

  2. I sometimes wonder why Mr H does it to us. Great and often amusing clues interspersed with some of the quirkiest things one can imagine! But it all adds to the fun! About **/*** for me.

    Today’s podium contenders for favourite included 7d, 10a, 15d, 16d and 17a …..the winner being 15d not only for the surface but because I love that phrase.

    And today’s quirkiest include 1d (heightened?) 9d (kicked?) 3d (it would surely be 2-7?) 26a (lifted?) and, the winner by a country mile the amazing 20d!

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  3. Yes, not a crossword that flowed for me. I often struggle to find a way in to Dada’s puzzles but then a momentum builds. Today it was very stop start.
    Re 20d, my BRB Thesaurus does give a three letter word synonym of the solution which is also listed as a synonym of dry. I hope that’s not too cryptic but I think it’s too early to be banished to the naughty step as the cake may not have been delivered yet…
    Thank you to Senf and Dada as always.

    1. You’ve expanded your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.
      I agree with you on the horrorphone.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this Dada crossword (**/*****). The clues included a great variety of styles and some were wily and unexpected. All in all this is what I’ve come to expect from Dada. I loved 17a, 13a and 6d and quite a few of the clues mad3 me laugh as the penny dropped. Many thanks to Dada and to senf for the review.

  5. Not my favourite puzzle this weekend ( that was Dutch’s in the Indy yesterday) but with a bit of help from Senf I got there eventually. Thanks for the music too – he wasn’t a fave of mine at the time but he had a long and varied career.
    22d my fave today. One for the cat people here Terence Lola et al

  6. Ditto on the absence from dictionaries of 20d as a word describing the state of the metal, it has the distinct feel of a contemporary invention.

      1. Exactly – I’ve seen clues almost the same as this before that didn’t attract half as many disapproving comments

            1. Exactly. The answer is a perfect synonym for dry (in one of its meanings). No other synonym needed. The last two letters could perhaps (hence ?) turn the metal into an adjective.

    1. You’ve lost me there Attilla – the word is in every dictionary that I have – or maybe I have the wrong answer to 20 down, but what I do have is a word that is a play on the word dry and so it fits the clue perfectly . . . . . . as I understand it to be at least.
      Having read the blog before solving, I decided to cheat a little and find out what the controversy might be as regards 24 across – so disappointed in myself when I saw how simple the answer was.
      Other than that I found this Dada offering far gentler than many obviously have. Good fun and a pleasure to solve. Thanks to both setter and ‘blogmeister’.

      1. I think Attilla might have meant that it is not in the dictionary as far as the metal is concerned but that is why I thought the question mark was there. It is a perfectly sound clue as far as I am concerned.

        1. What you miss is the etymology. Without giving anything away the contentientious part of the answer comes from a Greek word meaning “like”

          1. You have me intrigued, Andrew. I have a Greek son-in-law and will seek out his opinion. He always tells me that all words come from the Greek language.

            1. If you take the offending part and add “on” then you have a new word where the meaning is more clear.
              English comes from Greek, Latin,Anglo-Saxon, Norman-French (2nd hand Latin) & Celtic. I like to drink wine and it is a great word – wein, vin, vinum, fíon in celtic, but in Greek “oinos”? But we have a missing letter in Greek and it would originally have been “voinos”
              All these languages, ancient & modern with the same word.

  7. Wily, a bit wild, and (gratefully) out there on the edge of things, Dada at his Browningesque best. Took me just into 3* too, so I did struggle a bit, especially with 16d, my LOI (I keep mis-thinking ‘city-state’, not country). 24a is far from homonymic for this Carolinian (now, if I were a Bostonian…). Proud, masterful podium winners: 15d (not one of ‘ours’ over here but wonderful), 17a, 6d/10a (a draw). Most enjoyable Sunday outing. Thanks to Senf, whose hmms and quirks I’ll read now, and to Dada. 3* / 5*

    American baseball, having been played without spectators, now enters the playoffs: happiness for this baseball-obsessed little old man, still the child deep down.

    1. If you haven’t already you need to read The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. It sounds as though it is a memoir of your youth as well as Bill’s

      1. Thanks, John. I haven’t but I will now. (I have read his Road to Little Dribbling and enjoyed it–as well as a couple other of his trips.) By the way, I’m now well into The Thursday Murder Club and love the geriatric quartet who keep things a-hopping, as it were.

            1. I particularly enjoyed the kitchen scene where he was washing the dishes and performing “lavish raised leg f***s only to turn round and see the postman had been in and left a parcel on the table.

              Plese don’t watch the film version of Walk in the Woods, it was terrible

    2. My mundane reply: see the Cubs got home field in the play-offs.
      Have to take out the sports channel subscription now (don’t tell Mrs LrOK).

  8. After a slow start, it eventually came together. 6d was a bung in for me (last one) but having seen the hints I can at least see why now. One of our Scottish contingent can tell me tomorrow how they pronounce the answer to 24a hopefully. Best avoid the naughty step today. A lot of good clues but my favourite is 17a. Thanks to all.

  9. 8a dropped straight in but then it took me a while to make much progress. I do enjoy Dada’s quirks but probably more so when I’ve nailed the answers!
    Spoiled for choice where podium places are concerned but the small, sweet vegetable was particularly nicely done.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints but perhaps not the choice of music…………

  10. Dear me that was so hard. I only competed it with the help of the hints and considerable electronic help. Too quirky by half and I still cannot parse many of the clues fully (for example, why would the answer to 24a be anything to do with puzzle – nothing in the BRB that gives anything close)
    Too tricky to be much fun. Definitely one that should have been saved for the Toughie.
    Thx for the hints
    PS In a tricky position today, a Spurs supporter who lives in the NE and has a Newcastle season ticket!

    1. If you have the correct solution, the BRB definition you want is the informal one towards the end of the list of definitions

    2. Puzzle and the 24a solution are in each other’s entries in the Small Red Book which means their ‘relationship’ has been used in crosswords before.

    3. Lucky you can keep the same scarf for both. Heads or tails you win.
      Surely your opening “a Spurs supporter” defines your true loyalty. In BD ratings ***** if Spurs win & **** if Newcastle I guess.

    4. Well, a 1 – 1 draw should suit you perfecly Brian, but I fail to understand how anyone can genuinely support two teams – to me it’s worse than having two wives, lol. ;-)

  11. Well I really enjoyed it. It took me a full ***** time, but it just wouldn’t let me put it down. Quirky, certainly, but fair throughout I thought.

    Mant thanks to Dada and Senf.

  12. Found this tough going with quirky / unconventional, whatever you call it, clues archetypically Dada. Very satisfying to get over the line unaided although there number of fallow periods wondering where the next answer is coming from taking me well Into *** time.
    To me the question mark saved 20d but 24a not a homphone. Given our variety of accents and dialects no doubt it is somewhere
    Liked 7d but 15d, lovely phrase is my COTD
    Thanks to Dada , & Senf for the hints.

    1. I much prefer ‘unconventional’ to ‘quirky’ – ‘quirky’, to me at least, implies a bit of a quibble or something that is a rarity and since most Sunday crosswords are described as such these days it rather loses its meaning.

      1. I tried to describe Dada in a different way as quirky didn’t seem quite right (all respect to Senf). I certainly have no quibbles with Dada’s clues. Sometimes I can’t solve them but that is my shortcoming not his. However you describe them they are far from dull!

  13. As usual no hints for the two I was stuck on but with a proper reading of one of them got it. But the one for which I had four checkers for a solution of seven letters remains a mystery. 17d raised an immediate smile and I thought 19a was very clever.

    Good puzzle from Dada thank you and thanks to Senf for the hints.

  14. Another great offering from Dada today. As usual, slow to start then the momentum gathers. Getting the long 17a straight away helped greatly with its eight checkers. Favourites today are 10a, 19a and 20d, which, unlike others, I thought a perfectly acceptable clue. My COTD is the aforementioned 17a because it allowed me into the puzzle.

    Thank you, Dada for another great puzzle and also thanks to you, Senf for the hints and Alvin. Changing his name and act was the best things Shane Fenton did.

  15. All on course for a smooth finish in ** time until, as usual, I hit the brick wall of one of his pesky 4 letter homophones at 9d, my last in. By the time I’d mentally trawled through the alphabet for the missing two letters it was half the time again & a further coffee before the penny dropped so it’s got to be my COTD. That apart I found it a little easier that recent Sundays though I needed Senf to explain the wordplay at 22d. Thought it full of super clues – 6d, 10a, 17d & 19a all worthy for me of podium consideration.
    Thanks Dada & Senf.

  16. Like others before me, this was a slow burner as I had several stops and starts. The quirkiness added to the fun, so no complaints here, and to be awkward I will pick my final entry as my favourite, 20d.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  17. Why is it with a Dada puzzle I always think when first seeing it I will never do this but end up doing it and with no aids apart from checking the odd word?
    Thoroughly enjoyable, great clueing.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  18. I thought I was not going to finish. With 6d, 14a and 15d to go. The blurry island picture helped a bit and further research gave me the answer. My general knowledge is pretty bad so I would never have got this without the hint. Then I had to parse it. Looking at 14a I had already worked out the answer but couldn’t see where the “far from” came in. After the light dawned 15d followed. My problem with it was that Ixxxxxxxx [redacted]anyway got there eventually. ****/***

  19. I thought this was sparkling, I loved it despite the crickety clue which wasn’t crickety at all and was my last in. I had to go to the atlas and look up islands for 6d and 9d was a question of going through the alphabet. Too many special clues to mention, but Grandad Angus used 15d all the time so that is my favourite, remembering a lovely man. Grandma Angus was far more likely to bark 26a! Many thanks Dada for bringing back old memories and to Senf for the hints. Can hardly believe we go into October next week. What a year.

  20. Didn’t start this until after lunch and it has taken a bit of time to get my head round it. Last in 1d and 9d which I didn’ think were very good clues. Best of the bunch 26a, 15d and 18d. Thanks to all on yet another really horrid, cold, miserable day.

  21. 24a was my last one in, because I got 25d wrong, although I thought my answer to it was valid. 17a was my favourite. Thank you setter and Senf. I have been abandoned by the family this afternoon. They have gone out to harvest grapes from our one and only vine that seems to to have taken over part of the garden. I have no idea what they think they are going to do with the grapes. I can hear a lot of laughter outside. That’s a good sign. We need a bit a laughter.

    1. My neighbour (a Greek Cypriot) and George picked all the grapes off our pergola four years ago and made wine.We have a gate and a ‘gin path’ between the two gardens. The grapes were trodden with bare feet the way he remembered from his childhood and I don’t think I have EVER laughed so much in my life. We have the larger house so the carboys had to be stored with us. Every week out came the hygrometer (?) and the wine was tasted with great hilarity. Neighbour is a noted physicist – his name is also George which is inconvenient and often leads to some confusion. Eventually it was bottled with a beautifully designed label and we had a party in our garden to launch all 24 bottles. It was horrid in my opinion and I think in that of most of our guests who declined a second glass and preferred to move on to something from waitrose. The two George’s still talk nostalgically of the 2016 vintage and examine the grapes each year. I said Never Again. Tuesdays are bad enough without having to clamber over great vats of wine to get into the linen cupboard. Let’s hope your family don’t have such ideas, put your foot down with a firm hand.

      1. Indeed, I might have to put my foot down. My kitchen bench is covered in bowls of grapes. I thought that they were joking when they said that they were going to make wine. I didn’t think that they could possibly pick enough grapes, but it looks as though I’m about to be be proved wrong.

  22. Blimey that was hard. I think you’re even allowed to mention solving times once it gets over 6 hours!

    I agree with Hrothgar that at first it looked impossible at first but I guess we get there in the end.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada. Needed plenty of help today.

  23. Oh dear, struggling to get on wavelength today. Doesn’t feel like a Dada. Only about a third done so far. Going to have to put aside and get some jobs done before the day gets away from me. Will have another shot at solving over lunch.

    1. So often, it all falls into place after you’ve gone off and done something else, then come back to it.

      1. There’s a part of your brain that carries on solving while the rest of it does other things. What’s annoying is when it wakes you up at 5 in the morning to tell you it’s worked out the solution

          1. But did you remember the solution in the morning? My experience has been that I can recall coming up with the answer but have no idea what it was!

          2. Not really. As CS said, the brain works on the puzzle while we leave it and do other things. The brain doesn’t stop working when we’re asleep so perfectly feasible to dream an answer.

            It’s why “ things look better in the morning” because the brain has worked on whatever problem it is while we are asleep.

    2. Did finally finish, but only with some electronic help. Funnily enough, I had three contenders for COTD, 11a, 27a and 3d, none of which I solved unaided. But still thought they were pretty good. Doubt I would ever have got 15d, completely forgotten that saying. Several others I solved from the characters and was left shaking my head at the clues. Agree it is strange how the brain continues to try to solve even when you walk away, and suddenly, you have that eureka moment. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

      Fingers crossed we don’t get another huge spike here in South Florida, as our governor has decreed that all bars and restaurants are able to open without restrictions as of today. Despite what local mayors say about not wanting to do that yet. Chasing the tourist dollars methinks.

  24. I have to start again, something went wrong, dunno what but my keyboard disappeared and I have so much to say!
    South was very cooperative, but I found the north very tricky and finally fell at the NW corner. I decided to quit there, but Senf’s hint for 1a got me going again. I’ve never heard of 9d for kicked, weird answer. Even though I sweated bullets, at the end of the day I really enjoyed this.
    Very hard to choose a fave, I love 15d, though I use the original language as I learnt that first! I loved 17d, big smile there, also smile at 10a.
    Thank you Dada for the fun, maybe I’m getting your wavelength. Much thanks Senf for your hints getting me back in the swing.

  25. Late on parade today after playing cricket. My goodness it was chilly – even wearing two sweaters provided scant comfort.

    I really enjoyed this with 14a my favourite. My rating is 3*/4*.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  26. I enjoyed this one immensely. It took me ******** [no solving times please. BD] but I had time to spare as I waiting in a hospital car park (routine scan – not me, I was the driver and chief encourager).
    I will ask Lola later if she can figure out the feline clue. She is immensely clever so I expect her to solve it.
    Thanks to Dada, Senf, and Daisy for the lovely story above, which made me smile in a rather bleak car park.

  27. Struggled to get on the wavelength today. Took three goes, finally finishing it watching Man Citeh thumped by Leicester 😄
    Had to visit Senf’s as ever insightful musings.
    Thx Senf and Dada.

  28. To quote RD, which I rarely do, late on parade again after a few days of real life, or what passes for it these days, taking over.
    I thought that this had all the characteristics of Sunday crosswords that we have come to expect – I loved it and found it jolly difficult.
    I had trouble with 10a and 9 and 6d.
    My favourite was either 26a or 17d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Beautifully summed up, Kath. Great crossword, tricky but satisfying to complete. 10a was a great clue.
      Can’t get one answer to a Paul crossword, but Dada’s Sunday crosswords are the highlight of the crossword week.
      Thanks all.

  29. This was a much tougher puzzle than yesterday’s offering in the FT by our Sunday setter, Dada. ****/*** for me today. Some nice clues once I got through them with a lot of hint help … thanks Senf.
    COTD include 10a, 14a, 17a, 19a, 24a, 18d & 23d with winner being 24a, which was last in.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the much needed help today.

  30. I’m afraid I’ve skimmed through the comments but I’ve done this with the help of she who would be upset if I said I hadn’t got a girlfriend but we did it. Rushing now before MOTD2 to watch Leicester’s magnificent 5-2 defeat of Man City. Still top of the pile. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  31. Started last night after a visit to Rutland Water. Managed without help but did check I was right with one or two (thanks Senf) before moving on and trying to solve others with the wrong checkers). 13a is an example. NE last in with 14a and 7d being the stragglers. The Island was OK once I went further afield than Scotland and the Med. thanks Dada. Glad I persisted. Favourites 8a and 2 3 15 and 20d

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