ST 3077 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3077 (Hints)


Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3077 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, as a way of insulating myself from the insanities outside my window and beyond, I have been watching, and in some cases re-watching, episodes of Lewis (and Hathaway) that have ‘popped up’ on YouTube.  Don’t tell Kath, but I think I prefer Lewis to Morse.

Keep staying safe everyone. 

I made ‘heavy weather’ of today’s Dada, but when I had finished I couldn’t really understand why.  I counted four anagrams (all partials), one lurker (not hinted, but it’s 6d), and one homophone – 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 – 23a, 24a, 1d, 9d, and 20d.

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:


7a Still needing bailing out, rowing crew in craft (7)
StilL with the ‘interior’ letters removed (needing bailing out) and the largest (in number) rowing crew.

11a Wine good: far from it! (5)
The two letter short form of a synonym of good (that we see quite often in puzzles) and a three letter word equivalent to far from it.

13a Topping energy, Argentine leader and I (9)
A three letter synonym of (personal) energy, the surname of a famous Argentine leader, and I from the clue.

17a Man after pub nuts (7)
A (regal) man on a board placed after another term for pub.

20a Brother, one cooking chips, we hear? (5)
The homophone (we hear) of a term for someone cooking chips.

23a Chap having locked up drink in it, brings key (9)
A synonym of chap containing (having locked up) a type of (alcoholic) drink all contained by (in) IT from the clue.

24a Lower digit to eight initially: so it has been entered wrongly (7)
An anagram (wrongly) of SO IT inserted (has been entered) into TO from the clue and the first letter (initially) of Eight.

25a Poet certainly reflective about suffering (7)
A three letter synonym of certainly reversed (reflective) containing (about) a type of (eternal) suffering.


1d Measure heart-breaking period? (10)
A type of period inserted into (breaking) a synonym of heart.

3d Poor hit (8)
A double definition – the second relates to a form of corporal punishment.

5d Pick conference item for visit again (8)
A synonym of pick (as in harvest) and one of the illustrated conference items.

7d Graduate in son is that incompetent as retail worker (4,9)
A four letter verbal synonym of graduate inserted into (in) an anagram (incompetent) of SON THAT IS.

14d How medicine may be taken, gulping one drink first (10)
A single word for how medicine may be taken containing the single letter used for one and a three letter (alcoholic) drink.

17d Capital in early stage of development, a nuisance (8)
A three letter term for early stage of development (of a flower), A from the clue, and a type of nuisance.

20d Assembled, mine exploded, finally (6)
A (3,2) synonymic phrase of mine (as in ownership) and the last letter (finally) of explodeD.

22d Shine, good and deep (4)
The single letter for good and a three letter synonym of deep.

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

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Something which, like me, I hope you will find restful in these troubled times.  The Panorama and Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty as played at the 2012 New Year’s Day Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons (with commentary in German):


87 comments on “ST 3077 (Hints)

  1. Must have been on Dada’s wavelength for once as I breezed through this one surprisingly quickly with the exception of 20d, my last in where I pondered over a choice of 2 as the 4th letter – having read Senf’s hint the coin fell the right way & ought to have parsed it really. I did think 10a a bit lacklustre & 8a old hat but still plenty to like as always. I’ll plump for a podium of 3&14d along with 11a.
    With thanks to Dada & to Senf.

      1. Was short of 8d but think I’ve found a plausible answer for it this morning though can’t parse it. Found it pretty difficult but very rewarding. Everyman tougher than usual – for me anyway.

                1. 13, 14 and 22. I bunged the answers in but can’t parse them, they may well be correct…

                  1. Senf’s hints parse them. If you split 13a into three you can’t miss it. I think some contributors including me don’t automatically think of this as a topping which may be your problem too. The other two are clearly explained in the hints so if you cannot parse your answers may be incorrect

                    1. WW, sorry all very confusing, we were talking about yesterday’s prize in the Graun

                    2. There is also item 6 Senf
                      ‘Solved at a gentle canter’ is no less disparaging than ‘A bit of a doddle’
                      Not trying to stir up a row with you – rules seem to get very sticky, very quickly, don’t they?
                      Locution, illocution, perlocution :smile:

                  2. On a point of clarification (because I got redacted for asking Robert some parsing clarification about last week’s Graun 2 days after the crossword) does the rule still apply if it’s a prize crossword in name only – can’t see that it makes much difference really.
                    Tried to reply to Senf’s comment but was unable to do so.

  2. This was quite challenging but I really enjoyed winkling out the answers and appreciated the subtlet of some of the clues (****/*****). 13a was the best clue in my opinion but 5d and 9d were also good fun. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for another wily crossword.

  3. For me, the escape comes from TV reruns of Yes (Prime) Minister (a 40-year-old series that’s as bitingly accurate today as it was then, and should be required watching for modern critics of the government), ‘Allo, ‘Allo (a series that the ‘woke’ BBC are unlikely to show again), and YouTube snipppets of Tommy Cooper (an object lesson for modern so-called “comics” in how to be funny and entertain without swearing).

    As to today’s puzzle, it was largely “plain sailing”.

    1. I agree with you about Tommy Cooper. I once saw him reduce an audience to helpless laughter by saying absolutely nothing. Brilliant comedian.

      1. My late aunt who was Dutch and didn’t speak a word of English used to fall about laughing at Tommy Cooper! Just the expressions on his face, I think.

        1. Sergeant-major : “Private Cooper! I did not see you on camouflage exercises today”
          Private Cooper : ” Thank-you Sir!”

            1. My husband was told of an occasion when Tommy Cooper appeared at the Commodore, Nottingham. He did not appear on stage for about 15 mins after he was announced, but all sorts of noises were coming from off-stage as he was supposed to be locked in his dressing-room. Apparently the audience were helpless with laughter.

        2. So that is why you are called Greta – when I was small I had a Dutch doll called Gretchen or Greta for short. A lovely name. Later on my husband worked for a Dutch company DSM and D2 married a Dutchman. Trivia.

    2. One of the things that helps my solving and hinting (mostly hinting by the time they start) on my Saturday evening is 2 hours of reruns of old (ancient?) British sitcoms on the US PBS TV service that we ‘tap’ into. At the moment we have, in order, To the Manor Born, As Time Goes By, Yes Minister, and After You’ve Gone.

      1. All brilliant and all made before the “woke” arrived. Then there’s “Round the Horne” on the radio. That would most definitely not be made today.

          1. What lovely lallies he has, Julian do you think Mr Horne could be Prospero?
            Oh no, Sandie he would fall on his palliasse
            Ooh, nasty.

        1. Round The Horne – that was on when I was a child, what, 70 years ago? Wotta laugh. And Much Binding in the Marsh.

            1. That was a brilliant series.

              “My mum Min ain’t ‘appy my mum Min ain’t!”

              “Starboard lookout here. Leading seaman Goldsteam chattin”

    3. Tommy Cooper and Eric Morecambe – two people who could reduce an audience to tears of laughter simply by walking on the stage and looking bewildered. An extraordinary gift.

      1. Actually I preferred Eric Morecambe, I loved it when he tweaked his spectacles – and he always dressed so elegantly. But together, so funny. Their Christmas extravaganzas were a big highlight.

        1. We live near Morecambe and Eric’s statue stands proud on the sea front, with some fine views across Morecambe Bay to the Lake District! The hills were looking very lovely today. I wonder how long it will be before someone finds a reason to have his statue removed!?

      2. My dad was often mistaken for Eric Morecambe.
        We are getting through watching spooks from the beginning. We’re up to series 7
        After that, to calm down, we are watching the durrels which is lovely.

        1. Oh yes – the Durrells (not sure I’ve spelt it right) is absolutely lovely.
          No-one so far has mentioned ‘The Good Life’ which I could watch for ever – love them both – it was an amazing series – think my favourite episode was the one when their little piglets were born.

  4. My sticking point was 24a despite the fact that I’d got 22d in place and had latched onto the correct ‘digit’. I was also a little unsure of the correctness of the answer to 13a but that’s doubtless because I never eat the type of food that requires it to be used in that way!
    Several that made me smile and my winner is 11a.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the beautiful piece from Tchaikovsky. On the Morse/Lewis debate – I could never view the latter as being anything other than the underling standing in for his boss!

    1. I like both Morse and Lewis and if anything the later Lewis’ was preferred. I did like what I read somewhere that Hathaway got his name as a nod to John Thaw. I did like the fact that they let Hathaway be the smart intellectual one and Lewis kept his down to earth common sense policing. Incidentally I am not warming to Endeavour as the young Morse. They have got a lot of period detail right but Shaun Evans hasn’t captured the essence of John Thaw’s Morse IMO

  5. What a total delight, today’s Dada! Finished in swift time last night as I was watching my Alma Mater (ranked #1 in the nation) beat #7 quite handily, 42:17 (college football, in case you’re wondering; my university: Clemson). The puzzle was equally beguiling, with my favourites 20d, 24a, & 25a (his Mont Blanc continues to bedazzle and petrify me; it’s one of the 7 Wonders of the Poetic Universe). Thanks to Senf, whose hints I’ll read now, and to the ever resourceful Dada.
    2* / 5*

    1. I’m surprised you are not eating cake, Robert. If someone does not know the answer to 25a all they need to do is look up the poem. 🧁

  6. One of DADAs less difficult puzzles I feel but not any less enjoyable for all that. My fav clue was 8a but I must thank Senf for helping me parse 7d.
    Makes a good start to the day.
    Thx to all

  7. A delightful puzzle from Dada with just the right amount of head scratching. 7d foxed me for a while because I was trying to put in letters that had nothing to do with the clue. That may sound daft but if I said more I would be eating cake! Favourites are 13a, 4d but my COTD is 20d.

    Grateful thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  8. A bit of a tussle with a few of the clues. ****/*** 23a took me a while to unravel. Not sure why as it’s a very good clue. I needed the hints to explain 20d. Sometimes it’s so obvious but I find myself trying to complicate things unnecessarily. I liked 9d and 14d but my favourite is 13a. I don’t like it either but it’s a great clue. Thanks to all.

  9. We got through this one so quickly we weren’t sure it could be Dada, but if you say so …. **/*** for us, thanks to Dada and Senf. Favourite clue 24a. Lewis every time, with the added bonus of the lovely Hathaway …. John Thaw did his best, but could never quite get away from the nasty character in Dexter’s books.

  10. Difficulty in the southern half for a time but with 17d solved the rest fell into place. 13a my favourite with 24a a close runner up. Thanks for the hint for 7d Senf, as although the checkers meant it could be nothing else I could not parse it for the life of me. And thanks again to Dada for an enjoyable Sunday morning solve.

  11. 3*/4*. This was nicely challenging and a lot of fun. Solving 24a and parsing 20d took me up to my 3* time.

    With lots to enjoy, my podium comprises 11a, 9d, 14d & 19d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  12. Faced with trepidation having read Senf’s introduction. However, was shocked by the speed I inserted all but four answers. Some eg 7d were obvious immediately without parsing. Some I parsed for myself after entering the solution. Favourites 8a (which may be an old chestnut) 13, 18 and 23a and 9, 14 and 17d. The last four in were 23 and 25a and 17 and 20d. Surprisingly 17d was very last as I was looking for a nuisance. Must look up the two letter word for good to confirm that I have 11 right. I wonder if there will be any complaints about 24a. I got it but my method of parsing was wrong as I could not account for one letter. Thanks Dada – certainly fun and thanks for Senf for hinting all those which I had not fully parsed.

  13. Great fun – a lovely mix of answers that leap out at one, and some brain twisters that can be worked out.

    Yesterday afternoon we looked at the BBC weather forecast that read 89 per cent chance of rain, yet H persuaded me there was sunshine approaching in the distance. She was right (of course); a lovely walk with no hint of a raindrop. I think Lola could do a better job of weather forecasting.
    A joyous day awaits – England football match and a vegan roast dinner. Such hedonism.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf (the latter once gave me the simple advice of using a pencil, instead of a pen, for crossword solving and it has made a huge difference to my enjoyment – especially when used in conjunction with the eraser that also sits on my desk!).

    1. Who can remember Michael Fish’s “Hurricane, what hurricane?” comment in a BBC weather forecast in October 1987?

      1. I slept right through it all completely oblivious despite the fact that a substantial tree less than a 100yds from my bedroom window came down & demolished 2 parked cars. The devastation on Hampstead Heath the next morning was quite something.

        1. It ‘lifted’ the roof of our house in Norwich – we heard it happen. Fortunately, there was no damage or lost tiles, etc.

        2. I slept right through it all too – couldn’t believe the state of everywhere when I took the Lambs to school in the morning.

          1. Disastrous night! Got to home in Cambridge late after playing badminton. Left house keys in car and locked garage (husband down in Folkestone) cycled 2 miles without lights (which were in the house) across Cambridge to get to cousin for spare set of keys. Cycled back and got blown off my bike and did something to my back. Got home soaked and frozen. Next day back agony so went to chiropractor. Me: Don’t yank my head will you. Him: No I won’t. Then he yanks my head hard. Me: You said you wouldn’t do that! Him: I lied. Whatever he did, it worked but I have never forgotten that night.

            1. I was trying to lift a fence panel, which had blown down across a footpath behind our house, when I heard a very loud, deep clonk from the front of the house. 30 feet of brick wall along the side of a neghbours garden had fallen sideways onto the pavement with every brick still in place. If it had happened 20 minutes earlier, lots of kids would have been walking to school on that pavement.

        3. That’s why we had three trees removed on Friday. Have to be prudent in our hurricane belt of the world.

      2. I was visiting UK then, staying in Wales with a friend. We drove to London the next day in order to catch a flight back home, along with two other friends who were staying in Sussex. Lots of trees and debris all over the roads. Imagine, leaving our hurricane area to visit England and the hurricanes followed us.

      3. That were in the days when we had proper weather, none of these namby pamby low pressures with names like Storm Cedric! My Dad was a weather forecaster then…pleased to say he said it would be a bit breezy!

  14. Terence – see our discussion a few days ago on the use of a pencil! A gift to a cruciverbalist but we were told that one of our Hintermen was only allowed crayons! A lovely crossword to close the week, just the right amount of head scratching to make finding the solution satisfying. I agree with most of the favourites mentioned and some were particularly deliciously clever. Last night – oh boy, did it rain. Cataclysmic rain but nice and sunny today. TEN days to go.

    1. Keeping fingers crossed for you, Daisygirl that there are no last minute hiccups. Not crossing the fingers on the left hand, though. I was always told that brought bad luck.

      1. Oh dear. I always use my left hand when crossing fingers as, even though I am right handed, I can’t get the middle finger on my right hand to cross completely over my index finger. Fingers crossed that doesn’t bring me bad luck.🤞

        1. I’m sure crossing your fingers on your left hand does not bring you bad luck, RD. It’s just something I picked up as a child and such things we follow blindly throughout life.

          It reminds me of the young married couple. She cooked roast beef for their first meal together but before she put it in the oven she cut off three inches from the end of the joint. Her husband was bemused and asked her why she did it. She replied that her mother had always done it so it was the right way. When they next visited her mother, her husband asked why she always cut off the end of the meat. She replied that their oven was tiny and if she did not trim the joint it would not fit.

          BTW my daughter and I never say “ fingers crossed”. We kind of Spoonerised it and made it a kind of benediction.

          “Fongers Chrissed”

  15. Oh dear – definitely not 10a today but having finished it so many answers fell into the :roll: how didn’t I see that category.
    My last one was 24a – didn’t know it was a ‘digit’ rather than what the ‘digits’ are on the end of.
    What with one thing or another I think to say that I made a real pig’s ear of this one pretty much covers it.
    I think my favourite was probably 9d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    When it comes to the Morse v Lewis question it depends on whether you mean the programmes or the characters – no-one beats John Thaw. :cry:

    1. You’re not alone. It took me ages and, as the answers fell into place, I could have kicked myself for not seeing them right away.🤔

  16. A challenging foray into Dada world today
    The puzzle took a little to get going but finished at a good pace.
    Many thanks to Senf for his review & Dada for the workout

  17. I found this considerably easier than yesterday, but also wondered about the 4th letter in 20d. South took much longer than the north but very enjoyable so thanks to all.

  18. Dada on great form again. Loved it!
    Too many cracking clues to mention.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  19. Big thank you to Dada for the perfect puzzle today, spot on for me. COTD was 1d, and absolutely nothing to despair this morning. Thanks to Senf. Appreciated the picture for 17d, where we spent a lovely weekend in 2018.

  20. I took two sittings today, Everything NW of the diagonal was done over breakfast but SE had to wait until we had a brew and a Cheese Toastie at the Courtyard Dairy. My LOI was 24a lovely penny drop moment when I realised it wasn’t the self same comestible I was eating. Mama Bee was able to help with a few especially when I claimed that first word of 17d usually indicated anything but, and she said Surely the answer is… and she got both drinks in 23a and 14d so she is still 10a
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

    1. I love cheese toasties with a smattering of red onion. Now you have reminded me, John I must make one for tomorrow’s lunch.
      Having said that, I’m cooking Burmese pork in oranges for dinner tomorrow so better not spoil my appetite. I’ll go easy on the cheese. 🧀

      1. Sounds tasty – reminds me of Only Fools and Horses
        Del One of my most favouritist meals is Duck à l’Orange, but I don’t know how to say that in French.
        Rodney It’s canard.
        Del You can say that again bruv!

  21. For Dada, I thought this a relatively non-quirky puzzle with just a little head scratching. For me 1.5*/**** with some nice clues to puzzle through. My list includes 10a, 21a, 23a, 25a, 3d & 14d with winner being 25a and runner up 14d.

    Thanks to Dada for nice Sunday morning entertainment and to Senf fo the usual great hints.

    And I must say I am enjoying the re-runs of the Lewis series (as is Senf) on the BC Knowledge Network and really enjoy the interaction between Lewis and the extremely knowledgeable Hathaway … great show!)

  22. Obviously a friendly Dada as I finished this, a rare occurrence for me. I solved 10a right away but doubted my answer as I didn’t think they’d use the same word in the clue as in the answer, so I put that in last. I bunged in 20d and can’t believe it’s right.
    All in all, a very enjoyable exercise this morning. Fave could be 11a, but lots of competition, liked 17a as well.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun, maybe I’ll not be so scared of you in the future, and to Senf for unravelling a few!

  23. Best crossword for a long time! Thanks Dada, really enjoyed this one. 8a gets my clue of the day. Thanks to Senf for the blog.

  24. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Dada as usual. No major holdups, just needed the hints to parse 7d. I liked 13&24a and 5,17,19d. My second favourite was 23a, but top of the podium was 20d, which was also last in. Was 2* / 4* for me.

  25. Thanks to Senf without whom I would Not have finished the crossword in the middle of the night. But why does he say the lurker in 6d was hinted? It was one of the first ones I filled in, and to me it was signalled by “caught by” …

      1. Thanks to MP. Yes, there is a difference between me hinting a lurker and the setter indicating the same.

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