ST 3076 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3076 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3076 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from City’s dash, for example after victory (8), thank you Jay, where we have had a very chilly start to the last quarter of the year.

Keep staying safe everyone. 

I am not sure how to describe Dada this week, what do you think?  I counted four anagrams, one lurker, and no homophones – all in an asymmetric 30 clues, with 17 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.  There was also some assistance from some oldies but goodies such as 10a and 13a.

Candidates for favourite – 23a, 2d, and 9d.

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 Ridiculously small fish cut by father from the back (8)
A type of fish, found in coastal waters around the world, containing (cut by) a synonym of father reversed (from the back).

5a Peace brought by saintly light in outskirts of Stockholm (6)
A saintly light, seen around the head, inserted into the first and last letters (outskirts) of StockholM.

11a Offer for model (7)
Synonyms of for and model.

15a Authority, morally justified (5)
A double definition – the second is related to correctness.

18a Fix yours truly, with bandages (5)
A synonym of with contains (bandages) the objective pronoun that is equivalent to yours truly.

23a Amount of freedom secure, set to return (7)
A synonym of secure (a vessel) and a synonym of set all reversed (to return).

26a Batty aunt promoted war in fanzine or blog, say? (11,4)
An anagram (batty) of AUNT PROMOTED WAR.

28a Ready, man in corner, for example (3,5)
A synonym of ready and a generic term for a man (on a board) makes a reference to the round ball game.


1d Bad day up, year looking tired (6)
A synonym of bad and the single letter for day all reversed (up) followed by the single letter for year.

3d Help kind guards up onto roof of penitentiary (7)
A synonym of kind (as in type) contains (guards) UP from the clue followed by (onto) the first letter (roof) of Penitentiary.

6d Float carrying you and I, still (7)
A synonym of float containing (carrying) the plural personal pronoun that represents you and I.

7d Caterpillar going somewhat slowly (5)
The lurker (somewhat) found in the first two words of the clue.

14d Scary, a leader in London providing weapons (8)
A from the clue, the first letter (leader in) of London, and a single word for providing weapons.

17d Fifty-fifty chance secure, suddenly lose control (8)
A 50 – 50 chance when the illustrated item is used (HM is on the obverse) and a three letter synonym of secure.

19d Mouse, where homeowner puts her foot down? (7)
A double definition – the second is illustrated below and the first has appeared before.

22d Second shelf for slipper? (6)
The single letter for second and a type of shelf.

25d Con fleeing certain Greek island (5)
A synonym of certain with CON removed (fleeing).

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The group The Police were at number one for four weeks starting on this day in 1980:


66 comments on “ST 3076 (Hints)

  1. 2.5*/4*. Another top quality puzzle from Dada to entertain us on a horribly wet morning.

    My podium comprises 10a (fortunately I remembered who Robert Peary was), 27a & 22d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. Up early on this grey morning – and got on the wavelength pretty quickly – far NW took a bit longer than the rest – 1a brought a smile to my face once penny finally dropped – thanks Dada

  3. For me it was the SW that held me up, but I got it completed in a solid *** time. I was quite happy with all the clues, and can’t justify elevating any to COTD.

    I did wonder if there might have been a cricket element to 22d.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. I can see where you’re coming from because I considered this too. But I think probably not. Can’t say more than that!

  4. This was yet another really enjoyable but quite challenging (particularly in the NW) weekend puzzle (**/****). 26a was a fascinating clue and I also enjoyed 1a and 17d. Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A miserable weekend here with over 48 hours of non-stop rain.

  5. I found this at the easier end of Dada’s range.
    10a reminded me of the great Jimmy Cagney, and then along came 7d… just one key ingredient missing…
    Hope I have not trodden on the thought-police’s toes with the previous paragraph.
    Thanks Senf and Dada for the great Sunday combination.

  6. Very entertaining today. ***/**** Of course I had to google the gentleman in question at 10a never having heard of him. The answer then is obvious. I worked out the answer to 26a but then had to check that too – another term I hadn’t heard before. I suspect I may even remember it now as it’s such an odd one. Favourite 1a. Thanks to all.

  7. I found this a slow start but then after getting 26a worked up through the puzzle in almost record time. 23a was the nearest to an umm! this week

  8. I really enjoyed this puzzle today with quite a few smiles, it was a steady solve in 2* time with 4* enjoyment.
    23a was my fav along with 26a and 17d.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. An interesting puzzle at the usual tricky Sunday level. Never heard of 26a before and given the definition in the BRB I still do not see the relation to a fanzine or I must admit even properly understand the term. My fav was 5a (mind you I had to look up the word in the BRB to see its meaning).
    Enjoyable and well constructed I thought.
    Thx to all

    1. The word “fanzine” is (to quote the ODE) a blend of “fan” and “magazine”, meaning a magazine, usually produced by amateurs, for fans of a particular performer, group, or form of entertainment.

      Similarly, “blog” is a short form of “weblog”, a web page on which someone logs their activities, opinions etc.

      That makes them both excellent examples to use in this clue!

      1. Whilst Fanzine fits the definition of the answer
        ‘a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others, for example motel or brunch’
        Blog doesn’t

          1. [redacted] is a blended word itself as explained by Humpty Dumpty to Alice in Through the Looking Glass. Lewis Carroll was the master of made up words some of which are used today. According to various sources, including Gyles Brandreth, a wordsmith himself, blog is a [redacted] word being a contraction of weblog.

  10. Another slow start but I always find this with Dada. A most enjoyable puzzle with, as usual, some great clues. I particularly liked 10a and 9d and I did wonder if 21d was a ? – better not say as I don’t want to end up on the naughty step. COTD for me was 5a.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

    1. Hope you got your electricity back in time for your Sunday roast beef and Yorkshire puddings.

        1. Crumbs, Mrs Steve has got it made, hasn’t t she? You might have a word with George.

          1. I do Christmas Dinner as well. My dad taught me the basics of cooking when I was seven. He said “One day, son, you will be married and if your wife becomes ill you will need to do the cooking”. He then taught me how to make a curry!

            1. Well, George’s parents both died during WWII when he was a youngster so I guess he missed out there. Campbell college didn’t teach him cooking either!

              1. Hope so – maybe tomorrow tho as Grandad Emm made his pease pudding with the stock left over after boiling the ham and it always tasted better if the split pease steeped overnight. Spread on a Stottie Cake with any leftover cold ham made a great sammich

          1. Left over ham will be served with chips and fried egg (poached for Mrs. C.) tomorrow. On Tuesday it will be Danish hash and, if any left over maybe ham and pea risotto on Wednesday.

  11. The NW held me up a bit on this fine Sunday (a lovely autumnal morning here in the Carolina Lowcountry), but I really enjoyed the fresh and fetching wordplay throughout by our Dada-master. 1a/2d were my last two in, satisfyingly completing the grid, with 26a, 23a, & 17d my podium stars. 27a made me laugh for its amusing surface. Thanks to Senf, for the hints and the Handel, and to Dada for the usual pleasure. 3* / 4*

    Thanks, Hoofit, for reminding me of “Look, Ma!…” (and then there’s a Key-less Bogey!…and Betty)

  12. Definitely at the easier end of the Dada spectrum today (unlike his Graun prize puzzle yesterday) & completed in a shade over ** time with, unlike yesterday, hopefully no mistakes. 10a was the first in even though I had to use Mr G afterwards to see who he was. Last in was 22d & while the hint confirms the entry is correct I’m not entirely sure why & like MalcolmR thought it may be cricket related.
    1a & 17d were the pick of the clues for me.
    Many thanks to Dada & to Senf.

    1. I finished that very tough Prize puzzle by Dada, but it took some time; still working on the Everyman.

      1. Crikey well done. I’m nowhere near but will keep trying. Nearly finished Everyman which is a bit trickier than usual I thought.

        1. I do the Guardian back pager, but never even look at the Paul puzzles as I cannot even understand the answers let alone solve the clues. I keep the Quiptic for Paul days.

        2. The whole NW corner of the Everyman has me blocked so far…beginning with that Affleck clue.

            1. Knew the movie (well worth watching if you’ve not seen even if it does play fast & loose with the facts) but the second word took me a while. My last 2 were the Rock Hudson clue & the book of the bible which I thought were beauties.

              1. 3d and 24a drew on my ever-growing knowledge of places and idioms in the UK, but both took a while. The Hudson clue was nothing short of brilliant. I was an ardent fan of the Affleck Oscar-winning film until I read about that ‘fast-&-loose’ treatment of the facts. But as a ‘movie’ (movie-qua-movie), good stuff. The 2nd word there (in 1a) is quite British; I don’t think we use it at all with that connotation.

  13. Another first class offering from Dada this Sunday morning. I found it straightforward but brilliantly entertaining with some wonderful clueing. Trying to pick a favourite is tough but 10a, 26a and 22d will do as a podium.

    Thanks very much to Dada for the fun and to Senf.

  14. A couple in the south that held me up for a while but a very enjoyable puzzle. 23a & 21d made me smile and I liked 5a which I can’t say that I’ve seen used previously, although doubtless this isn’t its first outing.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Not my favourite track from The Police but the clip at 7d was superb – thank you so much for that one, I’ve watched it twice already!

  15. To my surprise (and slight annoyance – now I have to find something else to do to ward off the rainy day blues) I completed this is short order, entering answers in clockwise fashion and only reading a clue where I already had a checking letter (I vary the style of completion each Sunday).

    Having said that, I really only popped in to say that, after lately reading yesterday’s discussion by coffeaphiles, this sinensophile made a strong brew of Russian Caravan … at 80°C (wonderful to have a kettle with temperature control).

  16. Enjoyed this a lot with just a few headscratchers along the way. 1a last in as I was looking for the usual reference for father. Thanks to all.

    1. I’m with you again there Manders, my last one in for the same reason. Lovely weather again (for ducks).

  17. An easier Dada today I thought 10a was erring on the side of GK a bit much but I remembered him. 23a was my fave today though 26a came close (for Brian fanzine is a definition by example) I am a little surprised that 21d made no reference to you know who but let’snot kick him while he’s down.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada I think it was Sting’s birthday Friday so happy birthday to him too.
    Enjoy the tea Atilla I still have quite a few samples of my coffee tasting left so will stick to them as they have been ground already and need using up before all the volatiles escape

  18. I always find Dada tough but amusing/satisfying and this was no exception…..guessed 10a to get started despite never having heard of him…..then slow but steady with the NW corner the last to yield….thanks to Dada and Senf

  19. Oh John Bee, that does sound precious but of course you are right! We coffee buffs must stick together. The only tea I like is Earl or Lady Grey – very weak with lemon. That’s a bit precious too. Drinking my coffee now with one of yesterday’s madeleines and basking in the pleasure of another delicious crossword. Very clever clues which made me smile, 3d, 13a,17d – too many to mention really. I got 10a without knowing the gentleman so thanks Senf for the lesson and thanks to Dada and to all of you who have helped to make this past horrible week bearable. I salute you.

    1. I wil drink anything – as I said yesterday I am quite happy drinking instant at work as it is there and some days there is nothing so good as a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea (sans milk of course) but I do enjoy fiddling around with coffee and trying the wierd stuff I try not to get too precious.
      As Miss Piggy might say “Pretentious? Moi?”

  20. I popped back in hoping to find Terence – there’s a very touching story in SUNDAY about a love affair between a cyclist and a stray kitten he found in Bosnia. I thought of him and his Lola! I know it is a section of the paper George never looks at, considering it a ladies section.

      1. Such a lovely story – made me quite tearful. I’m following Dean and Nala on Twitter now!

  21. This was an enjoyable romp (as the tabloids say). Like Manders and Daisy, 1a was last in due to my mind sticking with the more traditional ‘father’ possibilities.
    I find the lyrics to that Police track a little bit dodgy, so I’m very happy to hear the Handel at 7d – so very beautiful.
    Locally, the autumnal season has (as in all recent years) been squeezed into about ten days. A fortnight ago all of the leaves of the trees were still full of summer green, now they are yellow and deepening shades of brown.
    Meanwhile – ‘The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.’

    1. It’s just taken me over 20 mins to remember which poem that line came from Terence. I lived in Hampstead for many years about 5 mins away from Keats House which is well worth a visit.

    2. When I used to teach ‘To Autumn’, I went into a different ‘zone’ in my being. I always yearned for a ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ with each new autumn, and now, in my 82nd autumn, I’m just glad to be part of one, whatever it brings. Those odes of the spring, which are the most sublime poetry I know of, suddenly achieve a special apotheosis come September 1819.

      1. I entered an essay competition at school. The topic was “The Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness”.
        The prize was £5 – a lot of money back in the early Sixties. I didn’t win but two English masters who were on the judging panel didn’t agree with the result. They came to see me to tell me they thought my essay better by far and they were awarding me a prize out of their own pockets.

        They handed me £10!

        I still love Autumn.

  22. Toughish but solved in unspectacular plodding fashion.
    COTD was 26a.
    Thanks to Dada & Senf.
    Envy those who get passionate about their drink. I mash, not brew, my tea (any brand on 2 for 1) using hot tap water . To me Gold Blend is gourmet coffee.
    Stopped raining after 36 hours so off out with Biggles. Hopefully no tourists hogging the chargepoint. Last 2 days output from our panels wouldn’t charge a AAA battery let alone the car.

  23. A nice Dada offering with a few quirky clues/answers thrown in too. 1.5*/**** my rating today. Lots of great clues but my favourites include 10a, 12a, 18a, 2d, 9d & 24d with winner being 9d/2d tied
    It took until the end of the puzzle to complete the NW corner with 1a being the last in. Still a couple of clues I can’t suss out the parsing on them, even though I knew they were correct as bung ins … like 3d & 23a.

    An enjoyable way to enjoy my morning coffee nonetheless.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints.

  24. I started with 5a and made my way clockwise round the puzzle. 1a was a bit of a head scratcher. If I’d started there first that would really have held me up. 21d was my favourite followed by 9d. Thanks to Dada and the gentleman from Winnipeg. I bought all the ingredients yesterday to make my Christmas cake tomorrow, but that might have to be put on hold. A neighbour has asked if she can come round for coffee in the morning. For John Bee’s information, it will be an Italian roast. It’s all I have apart from a jar of decaf. I’m mainly a tea drinker, but none of this fruity/ green stuff.

  25. As is often my case I found Dada quite taxing today particularly in the NW where 1a brought up the rear. Favs were 17d, 21d and the concise 11a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  26. I find Dada very tricky and nothing has changed today. I did solve most of it until I got to the NW corner, I came to a full stop and had to go in for a hint to get going again.
    I knew the gentleman in 10a and that was my first one in, it was my fave. I had to use e-help for 26a, I have heard of that but would never have got it without help. I also liked 23a. I think my 13a is correct but can’t see why.
    Thanks to Dada for a good workout and to Senf for his help solving.

  27. Great and enjoyable puzzle.
    ***difficulty, some ingenious clueing eg 1a and 23a.
    Sorry, but re 26a, blog is not one. Even with a three letter prefix, it is not one. By any stretch.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf for the nice review.

  28. 3*/4*…..
    liked 26A “batty aunt promoted war in fanzine or blog, say? (11,4)”

  29. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Dada. No real holdups. Last in was 14d. Favourite was 24d. Was 2* /4* for me.

  30. Tough but satisfying. Favourites -7and 9d and 26a. Like most others NW last to fall with 1a to be followed by 2d. Thanks Dada and not read hints yet but will thank Senf in advance so I can check my parsing correct.

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