ST 3080 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3080 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3080 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, in the early hours of this morning, we turned our clocks back one hour and tomorrow morning, like most of the UK, we turn the clock back 7 months to go back into lockdown or Code Red as it is now being called!

Keep staying safe everyone. 

With some trepidation, because of the comments on the last two back pagers, I am going to say that, for me personally, today Dada is a mix of benevolent and quirky.  I counted four anagrams (three) partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and three homophones – all in a very asymmetric 29 clues, with 15 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 11a, 12a, 24a, 5d, and 23d.

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 Good Lord, what’s seen on election of new Pope? (4,5)
A sort of double definition (I think) – the first is an interjection, the second is somewhat tongue in cheek hence the ? at the end.

11a Do use fingernails when on surface? (4,2,2,7)
A (2,7) infinitive which can involve the use of fingernails placed after (when on) a (4,2) verbal phrase that can mean surface – if that’s not quirky, I don’t know what is.

12a Just purchaser is aware of broadcast (2,1,4)
A homophone (broadcast) of a (5,5) expression equivalent to purchaser is aware of.

15a Spread isn’t shifted behind features in US flier (5,3,7)
An anagram (shifted) of SPREAD ISN’T placed after (behind) a synonym of features – if you can’t bear to watch all of the video at least fast forward to 5:00, or thereabouts, and watch to the end.

24a Picture gag on ref, say? (9,6)
A 7 letter synonym of gag placed after (on) an 8 letter informal term for a ref(eree).

27a Object to going into work in a minute (9)
A single word synonym for object to contained by (going into) a three letter synonym of work which especially applies to a tradesperson.


1d Cold, white wine unfinished — a little sweet (4)
The single letter for cold and a type of white wine with the last letter removed (unfinished).

3d Throne decorated with navy line (8)
An anagram (decorated) of THRONE and (with) the two letters used for (HM’s) navy gives a line that is shown in black on a particular map.

5d Catch after catch — yes! (4,4)
A term that means to catch (with one’s otic organ) repeated.

7d Score in cricket changed (4)
The lurker (in) found in the words at the end of the clue – the reverse lurker is not hinted by me but it’s 26a.

12d Key is in vehicle, turning 180 degrees (5)
IS from the clue inserted into (in) a type of vehicle (for hire) all reversed (turning 10 degrees).

16d Damage seen in wound, feeling pain (8)
A favourite three letter synonym for damage contained by (seen in) a type of wound.

18d By the sound of it, financial gain inspired teacher (7)
Another homophone (by the sound of it) of financial gain.

23d Court office stiff as a board (6)
So, once you have worked out which is the definition and which is the word play – a three letter synonym of court and a type of (home) office.

25d In audition, increase light (4)
Yet another homophone (in audition) of increase.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

Bruce Welch, rhythm guitarist of The Shadows, is 79 years young tomorrow.  This is a tune that he co-wrote in 1964, which reached number five in the charts, and which shows the tune and The Shadows are as enduring as ever when this was filmed(?) at the Cardiff stop of The Final Tour in 2004. Apparently, Flingel Bunt is an imaginary character invented by the actor Richard O’Sullivan – :


90 comments on “ST 3080 (Hints)

  1. Top half went in faster than the bottom in this very enjoyable crossword.
    Quite a few homophones and one of them becomes my favourite in 12a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. Much more friendly than the usual Dada, and a considerable improvement on yesterday. Liked the joke about trying the clocks back 7 months. Thank you Senf and Dada.

  3. No need for trepidation Senf. I’d agree that this was on the gentle(ish) end of the Dada spectrum though it still didn’t add up to a particularly brisk solve for me. The chief reason for that is my ongoing struggle with the homophone & 12a did not come easily & is also my COTD beating 8&24a.
    Thanks to Dada & to Senf.
    Ps the NTSPP has a couple of super homophones in it & worth a visit for those alone.

  4. Thank you to Dada for a most enjoyable Sunday crossword, which flowed nicely from start to finish and was guaranteed to leave even the most grumpy solver with a smile on their face. Lots of clues I liked but I’ll mention 24a and 24d out of quite a long list

  5. As Mrs B put it ‘that was not pleasant’. Far far too many annoying homophones. The top left was OK but most of the rest was a real groaner in parts.
    Not one for me I’m afraid.
    Thanks for the super hints for explaining many of my answers.

    1. Come on Brian. Three homophones = “far too many”.
      From previous dislikes, no GK that every 25 year-old doesn’t know, no religion, no obscure words, even if obvious from the wordplay, one at most homophones.
      To paraphrase the saying “There’s [almost] no pleasing some people”

      1. Is Brian ever pleased? Surely, he cannot be that grumpy? He says what he thinks just to stir things up.

    2. How can homophones be annoying with obvious, as used today, indicator words/phrases like broadcast, by the sound of it, and in audition? That makes them ‘gimmes.’

      1. Well you may be able to work out that it is a homophone but not necessarily the answer. Different accents, pronunciations and the clueing word may all defeat you

        1. The point I was making was the use of “far too many”for 3 clues. Anyone would have thought 25% of the clues were homophones
          However difficult to see how accents would make much of a difference to any of today’s three. I was raught part of solving is to try different accents when looking at homophones. After all we get good schooling from the Quickie puns.
          Alsp 12a produced a “Doh” moment for me & was, I thought a textbook use of a homophone.

    3. I do look forward to your comments, Brian. Like Lawrence of Arabia, you take no prisoners!

  6. I found this quite a struggle, getting just six acrosses on the first pass. I did a double-take at 13a, the BRB does not give that synonym, but the on-line Collins does.

    All completed in ***/**** time, with 24a getting my vote for COTD.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  7. Lovely. A bit of a morceau de gateau for me, which came as welcome relief after the last few days. Again proof that a crossword does not have to be hard etc., etc., but let’s not go there.
    24a was superb, possibly an old chestnut, but not for me.
    Lockdown from Thursday, I want my life back!
    Thanks Senf and Dada.

    1. Hoofit saw that you mentioned Northwood Hills in a recent comment & was wondering if you ever play Pinner Hill. Haven’t played there in quite a few years but used to & was quite fond of it. Not always in the best of condition but had some good holes on it & rarely a flat lie as I recall.

      1. Northwood Hills near me is an RSPB bird reserve. The nightingales in spring would get most upset if I waded in there with my golf clubs!
        I assume Pinner Hill is middlesex, the only course I have played over there was Moor Park and if I recall, the golf course won.

  8. That was the benevolent end of the Dada spectrum. Easier in the top half but the 3 long acrosses helped to progress. The American writer was LOI as 19a took a good coat of looking at. I will agree with others and pick 24a as COTD.
    last trip out before lockdown going to stock up on macarons

  9. After the last couple of days, this one was a welcome change. Not that straightforward but I could at least understand the answers even if one or two were a bit stretched. 13a and 6d notably. ***/*** I liked 17d and 21d but favourite goes to 24a. Thanks to all.

  10. 3*/4*. I found parts of this fairly challenging but I did enjoy it with 8a, 12a & 24a on my podium.

    However (the quirky ack. Senf) 11a puzzles me. It doesn’t appear to have a definition as the only surplus word apart from the wordplay is “do”, which I don’t think defines the answer.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

      1. Thanks Gazza. Like RD I could not see, but I was looking through an alcoholic haze, a definition for 11a. ‘Underlining now amended to the first word of the clue.

  11. Several times recently on the blog when I’ve clicked reply, my comment has instead appeared as a new comment. That’s happened again here with my attempted reply to CS but at least I spotted in time to edit it!

  12. Thank you Dada, perhaps on the gentler side but the perfect antidote for the past couple of days.
    24a super & COTD. The type of fun clue that has been absent for many in the Saturday puzzles of late. Thought Hoofs would like it
    After the first pass I was astonished to see a virtually complete top half. South not so obliging but made steady progess with everything parsable, nothing controversial for me. Two dog-related clues kept Biggles happy too.
    Thanks Dada for providing a lovely start to my day, so welcome in these times of gloom & probable misery for many. Thanks Senf for the excellent hints, still essential reading.
    Bringing to mind “A Few Good Men” perhaps “Code Red” is an unfortunate choice of term for your “lockdown” situation. Although the restrictions certainly will amount to punishment for some.

    1. I am not sure if ‘Code Red’ is the official terminology but it is a lot easier to say than ‘Provincial Pandemic Response Level Red.’
      It will also be interesting to see how ‘elastic’ the two week period it is supposed to be in force for is.

  13. Thank goodness this was a doddle compared to yesterday. Predictive text (ugh) changed doddle to fiddle (it’s just done it again!). Would have made a nonsense of my comment. Last ones 19a and 20d. Thanks to all.

  14. A really straightforward puzzle with a lot of fun and enjoyment about it (1.5*/4*). Some of the clues really raised a chuckle and these were my favourites (4a, 8a and 24a, whith 12a a close 4th). Many thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada, it was a bit of light telief after the last 2 days.

  15. At last a puzzle to enjoy after a poor week.
    I’m a big fan of Dada and some of the clues made me laugh out loud, something I needed as we are due to fly to Spain this month. Not sure whether we can go or not. Today’s paper says not, but nothing on Gov sites. Will have to see if flight is going. It’s Ryanair so may not get a refund. It’s been booked since last January.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  16. Not as difficult as Fridays offering but I found it difficult to parse. I couldn’t get into the play of the words which I usually can with Dada even if the solution sometimes evades me. Today some clues didn’t yield their sense at all.

    Thanks to Senf for her hints and to Dada for a very challenging puzzle.

  17. Aside from a few earlier complaints, most thus far seem to have enjoyed this comfortable puzzle, and I agree wholeheartedly. Nothing to dislike that I can see. 24a the outstanding clue by a distance, and overall an enjoyable sideshow to offset the all-pervading gloom at the moment.

    Many thanks to Dada for cheering us all up and to Senf.

  18. A nice smattering of humour which made this a pleasure to solve. 24a caused the giggles and comes out on top of my pile with 8&12a tucking in behind.

    Thanks to Dada for the smiles and to Senf for the hints and video clips. The Shadows can still get the feet tapping!

  19. (I do look forward to reading Brian’s posts each day!)

    Well as so often when the majority say what a breeze they found a crossword puzzle, I find it very challenging. However, this was great fun to unravel, and, maddeningly, I needed Senf’s help for 12a, despite having four of the letters. Duh!

    We are going out for ‘a lovely walk’ presently, so that guarantees heavy rain in the Surrey/Berkshire area.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Top-notch Dada, amusing and clever. While I am not among the nay-sayers of the past few days (I really enjoyed the last two back-pagers, though each one pushed me into *** time, as did today’s), I did find today’s Dada a bit ‘brighter’ and ‘wryer’ than recent compilers (25 / 24d, e.g.), kinder to our feelings. 8a and 24a cheered me up. (The gloom over here is nearly impermeable.) Thanks to Senf, whose hints I’ll read now, and to Dada. *** / ****

    In college football yesterday, my alma mater, the Clemson Tigers, roared back from an 18-point deficit (we were behind 10-28 early in the third quarter) and managed to beat a spunky Boston College, 34-28. Hope sprung eternal.

    1. On second thought, ‘compilers’ should be genitive–as in “compilers’ [puzzles]”. Do forgive me, my friends.

    2. When we were in the States about 15 years ago, I asked our hosts to explain American football. They lost me after about 10 minutes.

      Then I encountered Australian football!

      1. Understood. Clemson has a legitimate college soccer (YOUR football) team, and it is a good one. You’d enjoy that one and fully understand it. Sorry about your trellis. I wish I had clematis growing in my yard, even blocking my kitchen window. Stay well, Steve.

        1. Struggle against Boston College? Not expected I guess. Your next game against Notre Dame should be one to watch. Crimson Tide on your tail.

      2. We first experienced American football when our daughter joined the Flag Team in high school. I loved the marching band and of course the flag team, but oh the game? I had to ask why they keep stopping? Well for a rest and a drink of water of course. I of course thought they should man up and play real football, i.e. soccer. Didn’t endear me to the other parents of course.

  21. A better puzzle than those of the last couple of days. Not easy by any means but most enjoyable and a satisfying solve. Like others, I did like 24a but my COTD is 12a with 11a a close second.

    Grateful thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf for the hints.

    The wind has blown over a trellis that had clematis and roses growing up it. Trouble is, it has blown it over the kitchen widow so we now have to have the lights on. I’ll get rid of it once the wind and rain disappear.

    1. It’s difficult to find a time, when it isn’t windy or wet, unless you count the hours of darkness. I have had a box of spring bulbs to put in planters for a few weeks, but didn’t find time to put fresh compost in the pots and plant them until this morning. I just found time to sprinkle chilli powder on the finished planters before the wind started to get up(didn’t want that in my eyes).

        1. Squirrels love eating tulip bulbs and I lost quite alot of them until Monty Don on Gardeners’ World suggested the chilli powder. I watched a squirrel bowl up and start digging up tulips the first time I used chilli powder and the look of disgust and loathing it gave me was fascinating. No trouble since then.

          1. Does it scare off snails? Never had a problem with them before, but now that we live on a lake, the little blighters keep feeding on my plants. I’ve bought snail bait and Epsom salts, but nothing seems to deter them for more than a couple of days.

            1. Try Nemaslug. It’s a live organism that arrives in inert form and needs to be kept cool in the fridge. Then you mix it with water and water it in. The effects last 3 months and small nematodes take up residence inside the slugs and cause them to perish. Amazon stock it. You need to water in twice across the summer and it isn’t cheap but it works.

            2. We grow host as which slugs and snails love. The remedy we discovered was to make a very strong garlic solution and water the plants with it. It works, they hate it

    2. Your typo re the “kitchen widow” reminded me of the Gerard Hofnung letter from a Tyrolean landlord on “Hofnung at the Oxford Union”:
      “Having freshly taken over the propriety of this notorious house I am wishful that you remove to me your esteemed costume.
      Standing amongst savage scenery the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a french widow in every room offering delightful prospects.
      I give personal look to the interior wants of each guest.
      Here you will be well fed up and agreeably drunk.
      Our charges for weekly guests are scarcely credible.
      Peculiar arrangements for gross parties, our motto is “ever serve you right”

        1. Yes ithe Bricklayer was the main monologue on the LP. I used to know it off pat.
          Still remember the line ” At this point I must have lost my presence of mind”. Often recalled it when I did something daft.
          What a raconteur he was.

        2. Remember both of those clips but they lose nothing in the retelling – what a master of the pause!

  22. Thank you Dada for a really enjoyable and quirky puzzle.

    COTD was definitely 24a, once the penny dropped I couldn’t stop chuckling. LOI for me was 12a which eluded me until I said it out loud several times over before it jumped out at me like one of those 3D images, followed by the inevitable “Doh”. My wife thought I was going mad………..

    Thanks also to Senf for being mustard sharp with the hints today!

  23. I found this gentle and fun in contrast to some recently. 8a ,24a and 24 d were favourites. I have been doing Telegraph puzzles for years and agree with a lot of yesterday’s comments. Lately I have been wondering whether I am loosing my marbles or are the setters really becoming more challenging. Tuesdays and Wednesdays definitely favourite days. However sincere gratitude to all the setters, without a daily dose of crossword and blog life in this pandemic would be even worse.

    1. Your comment went into moderation. On your previous comments you used Kate W as your alias, both should work from now on.

  24. This was a breath of fresh air after a week for me of unappealing challenges. A mixed bag of clue types including a bit of GK which is always a good grey matter stimulant. As per others above I had reservation about 11a but I guess that’ll do. The 12a Quickie pun type clue amused. 1d is a bit thin as IMHO is 6d. Thanks Dada for fun and Senf for hints including the 15a rendition. Keep safe during lockdown everyone.

  25. If this wasn’t one of the most straight-forward and enjoyable Sunday puzzles for a long while, then I don’t know which one was. I started putting marks against the clues that made me chuckle (8, 12 & 22 across for a start) but 24 across gets my vote for COTD by a country mile. Great stuff Dada. Thank you Senf as well; I needed your confirmation for 27a.

  26. Thank you Jay for providing a crossword I could do on my own, well most of it anyway. 8a jumped off the page at me when I picked up off the printer. Agree top half when in much quicker than the bottom. Thanks to Senf for the hints. 100,000 new Covid infections reported in US yesterday. We are over 800,000 in Florida since the beginning. But still only 4 in our neighborhood (340 houses) and no deaths, thankfully. Peter and I have a good routine going, shopping when the shops first open and mostly empty, coming home and follow our own decontamination routine. Fingers crossed it continues to work. Stay safe everyone. Feel so sorry for everyone in England going back into lockdown.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts BusyLizzie. We are pretty fed/up with this new lockdown. Here in N Norfolk we have the fewest cases in the country – 4! and I know 2 of them who thankfully are not too ill. The population here is on the older side and have kept to the rules. It is ridiculous that people can meet in a park but not in a garden. We have had noone in our house since March nor entered anyone elses. The older generation know how to behave. Stay safe.

  27. Thank you, I am definitely a Dadaist, and take comfort in the hope that his creations will continue to provide enjoyable distraction during the tedious time to come….

    1. I was feeling rather smug, but having read one comment above I am now doubting myself with 24d. Wondering if I am barking up the wrong tree. Most are agreed on this one, apart from the usual suspects. Certainly the top half came in quicker than the bottom. Always good when the first one across jumps out. Only hold up at the top was 3d. Looked at later it came to me. I had not considered an anagram. Favourites 8 12 24 22d and 3 20 21 and 23d. They were a mixture of ones that jump out and ones that produce a Doh moment. I shall add 17d to this list. My last one in (I had thought of the wrong relative) but once I had it I thought what a wonderfully succinct clue. Thanks Dada and thank you Senf. I’ll go back to the drawing board re: 24d.

      1. Sorry this should have been a comment rather than a reply. If anyone knows how to move it please do!

  28. ****/***. A very enjoyable puzzle which needed a moderate amount of head scratching and pen sucking but no help from electronic sources or the hints. My favourites were 12&24a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  29. That was some much needed fun. I had quite a few penny drop moments, including realising that a noise a dog makes was not required. I had the wrong synonym. Hope that doesn’t send me to the naughty step. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Very grateful that I was able to book a late Sunday lunch out. I asked if I could book for tomorrow night as well, but the pub was inundated with calls last night and is now fully booked for the next three nights.

  30. Struggling with the South West and also 3d and the much mentioned 12a. Can anyone provide some hints? Thanks.

    1. I don’t think it’s allowed because it is a prize puzzle. In any case Senf has given hints for both of them. He has told you that 3d is an anagram and if you have some of the letters already there is not much that it could be. The other one is a sounds like. If it helps (it helps me) when you get stuck go away and come back to it. Often then you start looking at in a different way or, even better, it just jumps out.

      1. Thanks. Just got 12a but stuck on 19a and 20d. I hate leaving a crossword with only 2 left to do.

        1. Go to dan word website. It will help fill in the gaps. I had to use it yesterday although I haven’t used it for months

          1. I don’t like that site. I don’t mind using e-help to try working it out, but I don’t like putting in a clue and just getting the answer. I like to feel I’ve done some work.

            1. I tend to agree with you, Merusa. However, if I have one clue left unsolved, I do use Danword. Not something I do often.

          2. I went to Dan word yesterday as I had two possible answers for 24d. He agreed with me. However another website which came up when I googled the clue came up with a different last letter. This must be rare.

  31. Did I ever told you how much I love you, Dada? We’ve not always seen eye to eye but today you’ve come up trumps! I didn’t find it easy but it was FUN, something missing from the last couple of days. I solved 8a upon reading it, always a good sign. I became stuck in the SE and needed Senf’s excellent hints to get going again.
    How can a girl choose a fave from this treasure chest; loved 24a, 12a was a nice giggle, and Sadie wants an honourable mention for 24d. Can you tell how happy I am?
    Thank you Dada, be still my heart, and much gratitude to Senf for unravelling a couple.

  32. Dada definitely on the quirkier side this week. ***/**** with last area in being SW and last two in (?) being 20 d and 24d, but just cannot get the parsing for them, assuming the bung ins are correct.
    Clues to like were 11a, 22a, 24a, 18d and 15d with winners bing 22a & 18d

    Thanks to setter and Senf for hints

    Enjoyed the matches as the postponed 6 Nations finally were wrapped up yesterday. Thanks to VPN able to watch BBC and ITV feeds as none of the cable TV providers in Canada show these games.

  33. Nothing like as difficult as Dada can be but certainly not particularly easy either and as enjoyable as usual.
    8, 12 and 24a made me laugh – once I remembered the picture it took a long time to work out why it was right.
    I didn’t spot the 26a reversed lurker until right at the end and I had three of its five letters in.
    As well as the clues I just mentioned I also liked 24d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    I’ve still got the NTSPP from yesterday up my sleeve for later so that’ll probably keep me quiet for a while.

  34. The doctors keep taking units of blood put of me…these days it takes more than a day to recover. I have just woken up…1 clue in – 12a….very amusing

  35. Good Lord, my word, heavens above….what a fine crossword, thank you Dada! Just enough of a challenge, plenty to make me smile, especially 1a. Exactly what the last three crosswords have been lacking for me. Thanks to Senf for the hints and tips.

  36. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A really enjoyable puzzle, felt very satisfied when I finally managed to finish. Top half seemed easier than the bottom half. 8a made me laugh, but my favourite was 24a. Lots of good clues, great fun. Was 2*/4* for me.

  37. Belated thanks to Dada and Senf; I only got round to doing this today. I needed a couple of Senf’s fine hints to nudge me through the bottom half — which for me happens to make this slightly trickier than proXimal’s backpager on Friday.

    The clues that made me smile the most were 12a’s aware purchaser, 22a’s scientist, and 24d’s bark.

  38. Very late finishing this one, but did it alone a d unaided and understood the clues…a rare event for a Sunday Cryptic. So definitely hurrah for me.
    Enjoyed it too!
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

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