ST 3082 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3082 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3082 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we are 4 days into 4-ish weeks of Covid Circuit Breaker, fortunately Liquor Stores (Off Licences) are still being classified as essential suppliers.

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Another Dada puzzle in which it took a while to get going, especially ‘cracking’ the eight long clues, and then it was done.  I counted five anagrams (three partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and one (very obvious) 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 – 12a, 16a, and 2d.

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 Just girl entering area: in it bombs (11)
A three letter synonym of girl inserted (entering) into an anagram (bombs) of AREA: IN IT.

9a I’m evidently being informed, I know! (5,7,2)
A double definition – perhaps considering the first word of the answer as (3’2) for the contraction of a pronoun and a verb might help.

12a Bulb working with this person about (5)
A two letter synonym of working and (with) the perpendicular pronoun for this person followed by a two letter synonym for about (which looks somewhat like the synonym for working at the beginning of the answer).

16a Plant egg behind bird (8)
A synonym for egg, as in urge, placed after (behind) a bird – I hope I have chosen the correct plant for the illustration.

19a Having shaken off lead, dog goes after last of Italian pasta (6)
A type of dog, originally bred as a water dog but now pampered beyond belief, with its first letter removed (having shaken off lead) placed (goes) after the last (letter) of ItaliaN.

23a Slowcoach taking cruise round pole (5)
A synonym of taking cruise containing (round) one of the Earth’s poles.

27a Schmaltz delivered in Italy met with irritation (14)
A four letter synonym of delivered and an anagram (with irritation) of IN ITALY MET.

28a Clearing table perhaps, left building in garden (7,4)
A single word for clearing table (as in a game in which the player uses a cue) and a synonym of left.


2d Idler, lovely and free (4-3-7)
A synonym of lovely and a (3,7) term for free (as in without cost).

4d Metallic element: I hide one in stomach (8)
I from the clue, a three letter synonym for hide (as in corporal punishment), and the single letter used for one all inserted into (in) a three letter informal/childish synonym of stomach.

6d Where spinner achieves turn, a big hit coming up (4)
A from the clue and a crickety big hit reversed (coming up).

8d Decalitre emptied over dry allotment, damage done (11)
DecalitrE with the interior letters removed (emptied), placed before (over) a term for dry (usually associated with wine), and a synonym of allotment (as in share).

10d All in ad dancing around in stockings — sauce! (11)
An anagram (dancing around) of ALL IN AD contained by (in) a synonym of stockings.

15d Originally lost, item of jewellery in corner (5)
An item of jewellery with the first letter removed (originally lost) – apparently the diamond encrusted illustrated item costs C$27,600 (£15,900).

25d Lengthy vehicle in showroom I looked up (4)
The reverse lurker (in . . . up) contained in three words in the clue – the lurker, not hinted by me, is 11a.

26d Map book missing capital of Tunisia, sadly (4)
A map book named after the illustrated chap with the first letter (capital) of Tunisia removed (missing).

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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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Petula Clark is 88 years young today.  This is one of her most successful singles released in 1964 (I think I might know of at least one person who will be dancing round the kitchen to Ms Clark):


103 comments on “ST 3082 (Hints)

  1. A very slow start , pleased to finish , enjoyed the challenge but little enjoyment for me today .
    Thanks to Senf and Dada .

  2. Must have been very much in tune with our compiler this morning, just the 6d ‘big hit’ and the ‘dry’ in 8d that refused to come immediately to mind.
    The slowcoach on the cruise amused me as did the bird with the egg but it was the garden building that had me laughing out loud.

    Thanks to Dada for an enjoyable Sunday morning and to Senf for a very clear set of hints. Yes – I was dancing round the kitchen and remembering when a PVC raincoat was the ‘must have’ item in our wardrobes. I always envied Ms Clark’s lovely high cheekbones……….

  3. It took me a while to get into this crossword but I began the way I usually do with a tricky Dada puzzle, by solving the shorter clues. The long anagrams were well designed and quite challenging, which I quite enjoyed. There were some really masterful clues, amongst which were 28a, 2d and a tiny teaser, 6d. It took longer than average but was very enjoyable (3*/5*). Thanks to Senf for the hints. It’s sad that you can’t even drown your sorrows during lockdown. Thank you to Dada for another outstanding Sunday Prize Crossword.

    1. I think that if you look again at Senf’s preamble you’ll find that he is able to drown his sorrows – otherwise the hints might have been delayed whilst he was out on the hunt!

      1. I was thinking of Canadians in general being unable to visit their liquor stores and drown their sorrows so the ‘you’ and ‘your’ were meant to be plural . Alcohol in moderation does help a bit during these tedious lockdowns.

        1. Glad they can get their booze. Must get my glasses sorted out. I’ve missed 2 opticians appointments now due to the 2 lockdowns and completely misread it.

    2. My Canadians friends laid in stock when it began but they are now thinking of asking for a ‘food’ parcel from the UK!

  4. 1.5*/4*. This was probably the easiest Dada Sunday puzzle that I can remember with only 20a, my last one in, requiring much cogitation. Nevertheless I thought it was really enjoyable – just right for a miserable, wet morning.

    I did need to look up 22a just to make sure it was a real word – it is!

    4d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I think 4d was probably the first ‘element’ I’ve managed to nail down without resorting to outside help – should have mentioned it in my comment.

  5. All complete in ** time, except for 19a, I didn’t realise that was pasta. I really don’t like the word at 22a, what’s wrong with -en?

    I think 28a gets my vote for COTD.

    Thanks to the setter and Senf.

    1. I didn’t realise either Malcolm so I looked it up and found this: ‘All xxxxxxxxxx are pasta, all pastas are not xxxxxxxxx. For instance couscous is pasta, but it bears no resemblance to xxxxxxxxx. Most pasta is made of wheat flour, but not all. Even if it’s made of rice or some other grain, it’s still pasta, but it might not be a xxxxxxxxxx.’! My brain is still processing……

      [The xxxxxxxxxx represent places where you had shown the answer to 19a – see the second of the instructions in RED under the hints.]

        1. It’s only the prize puzzles, Alison and a fair number of us have “sinned” including me.

  6. A very friendly Dada this morning, completed in quick time. I find when puzzles are straightforward it is worth going back over them afterwards to fully appreciate the quality of the clues; this was one such puzzle. Hard to pick a favourite but 4d just edges it.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf.

  7. Thanks for clues and hints. Very enjoyable.

    As an aside, the GK 1459 seems to have a mismatch between the clues and grid.

  8. I thought this puzzle brilliant! The clueing was elegant and 28a really made me smile. Probably a little easier than most Sundays (it must be if I can finish it unaided!) but very enjoyable for all that. A real relief for me after two very difficult crossword days (still reeling from Fridays horror, I know – Let It Go!).
    Thx to all

    1. Good grief – the sun is shining, Brian was happy with the crossword – one could almost be persuaded that all is right with the world!

      1. Deciding which way Brian is going to go is a bit liking punting on red or black at the roulette wheel & my success rate (at both) is considerably less than 50%.

    2. Strange isn’t it Brian i found Friday’s about ** for difficulty but this defeated me by about 5 clues and i like Dada puzzles.Clearly not my day today.

  9. It took me a while to get into and 1a took me the longest to unravel. 16a is clever. I’m sure I can’t be the only one wondering about the egg. ***/*** Favourite 28a because it made me laugh. Thanks to all.

  10. Can someone help please,
    Do you also do the General Knowledge crossword on the same page?
    Today the across clues seem okay, but the down clues.
    1D, Long riding breeches {8} But there are 15 spaces to be filled in, 2D has an {8} letter answer but only {7{ letters available to be filled in.
    3D, Has a {6} answer but room for {4} letters.
    Does anyone have the right clues for the page?
    Thank You.

    1. Welcome to the blog.
      As Ron T says at Comment 8, there is a mismatch between the clues and the grid in the dead tree version of the GK puzzle. For example, in the Puzzle Web Site version, 1d is Football Team in South Yorkshire (9,6).
      And, you’ve got mail!

  11. Pleasantly satisfying.
    Back to front, though, answers went straight in, followed by parsing.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf for the review.

  12. A lovely accompaniment to my toast this morning. Great fun, with 8d proving difficult until the end when the checking letters helped.

    Yesterday we went for a lung filling walk to St Martha-on-the-Hill, just north of Chilworth in the Surrey Hills. Of course we timed it to coincide with a massive downpour, but it is such a splendid walk. The views are usually far-reaching and beautiful, but it was still gorgeous yesterday despite the mist, and the rain hurtling into our faces.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. You invariably enjoy those walks in retrospect, Terence. It would seem that Lola isn’t the only lady in your life who’s got you totally ‘sussed out’!

  13. Like Senf & some others took a time to get into this but once started all went in fairly smoothly. Even those somtimes difficult (for me anyway) Dada four letter words seemed pretty straightforward.
    COTD 28a brought a smile
    Enjoyable as the weather up here today.
    Thanks to Dada & Senf both for the entertainment. That alcoholic beverage is considered essential to Canadians / Manitobans (?) doesn’t suggest there is much abstenence i the Province.
    You may be following the Masters today. A very good friend of mine as President of the Welsh Golfing Union was invited by the Augusta Club to go to the Masters. He was succesful in the Presidents’ ballot & got to play the course on the Monday from the members tees but with the pins in their Sunday Masters positions. They didn’t cut the greens that morning. Ian, a very keen 13 handicapper from Royal Porthcawl (a links course with fastish tricky greens) said he finished 4 over his handicap. He put it into perspective when he said that was only on the greens!

    1. As far as the Liquor Stores are concerned, they are Provincially owned so they have probably been declared essential so that the Province can continue collecting the profits and taxes on sales. :wink:

      1. Our off licences are open too – probably for the same reason – but we can get ours delivered with our groceries too. That’s a real bonus!

      2. How cynical is that! When we emigrated to Toronto in the 1950’s, my father had to have a liquor licence and his purchases were monitored. Is it any wonder that this blogger’s 21st birthday present was a ticket back home to the UK.? Luckily, Toronto the Good has back slid since then!

          1. I thought you, like me, was being ironic?
            I must say I’m glad of the LCBO website as it gives me an idea of current prices in the Province.

      3. As you will know in the UK we allow supermarkets to supply alcohol. In Scotland you can’t buy it before 10am. The early hour set aside (very loosely applied) for us over 70s
        means we can’t buy it or have to go back after 10 to get it!
        Our son lives in Edinburgh 150 miles away but can be in our bubble and visit us in the house because he is separated. Our daughter lives in the middle of nowhere 20 miles away but can’t even if she comes without her husband.
        It is the illogicality behind the restrictions that almost invites non-compliance.

          1. Over 75 & just started an 18 week course of treatment that makes me extremely vulnerable so “almost” yes.
            Also the ginger whinger might pop in so wouldn’t want to incriminate myself

      1. Totally agree. Almost wrote a letter to the ed. Has the font size got smaller as well? Seems harder to read since they changed the format a few weeks ago

        1. I agree absolutely. I object strongly to the new position and the horrible smaller font size. Come on Daily Telegraph I pay a lot of money for you even though I am a subscriber, and I expect better treatment than this.

          Apart from that many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  14. An enjoyable solve. My only sticking point was justifying the synonym in 28ac, but I did find it in one thesaurus (Mirriam) so that’s fine.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  15. Well, that took a little bit longer than usual. I struggled with some of the long ones but with Senf’s help, I got there in the end. I am not sure if all the food items today would go well on the same plate. The fish was new to me too. I did like 4d as it reminded me I need to get my nice new 4d bike out of the garage again.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.
    I may have to delay my bike ride as the tree in the front needs trimming before I put the lights on.

    1. BIke ride postponed but the tree looks fit enough to decorate. I will put the lights on the next dry weekend. ( probably Easter 2021! )

  16. Yes a lovely puzzle and now the sun is shining. Finding I had three missing solutions I looked at the blog but they were not hinted so I had to fall back on the old electronics and came up trumps. But it also revealed my failure to read the whole clue and think carefully. I wish I could say that a lesson had been learned but this has happened so many times before that I feel like a CEO or Minister of state explaining after some huge malfunction.

    Thanks to Senf for not giving me the hints I needed and do making me work and to Dada for another pleasant Sunday morning puzzle.

  17. Dada caused me quite a lot of head scratching today but, as always with Dada, the answers revealed themselves slowly. I needed help with a couple but, on the whole, it was a great solve. I forgot the big hit in 6d and the egg in 16a. Favourite clue today has to be 28a because, like others, it raised smile.

    I didn’t like the position of the crossword in the paper today. When it’s in the top right hand corner, the paper is easy to fold so the crossword is face up. Not so easy when it’s half way down the page. I also can’t wait for the puzzle to actually be on the back page.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and thanks, also to Senf for the hints.

    1. I agree with you SC re position of Cryptic today but then again perhaps that is whinging over a triviality!

      1. No it is not, Angellov. It is about standards and tradition. The back pager used to be just that back when I was a younger man. I recall my uncle, also an avid DT solver, folding his paper with meticulous care so the edges were in line. He would then pour a coffee, light his pipe and settle down to solve the crossword in the full knowledge his pen would be supported by the pages beneath. It was a ritual performed each day. The paper wasn’t read until later in the day. He would be horrified by the invasion of full page adverts pushing out his beloved crossword.
        It is a tradition I have inherited. 😁

  18. A benevolent Dada today but hugely enjoyable to solve. Plenty of contenders for COTD but I’ll opt for a coin toss between 4&8d ahead of 27&28a. Yesterday’s NTSPP is great fun & well worth a look for any that haven’t done so.
    Many thanks to Dada & to Senf.

  19. Much easier Dada than the one to be found in the Friday Guardian.
    Solved from top to bottom without any hiccups.
    Very happy that Brian liked it so much.
    Favourite 20a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  20. Another cracking Dada puzzle but 20a caught me out again (once before, if I recall, having never heard the term before), even though It was clearly anagrammed for me! Otherwise, thoroughly enjoyable, with the long clues yielding first, then the rest. I particularly enjoyed 8d, 16a, and 28a. Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    1. And, I thought that 20a was an Americanism so it had me reaching for my BRB for a check to show that as far as Chambers is concerned it isn’t.

    2. That term showed up in an email the other day, I didn’t know what it meant and made a note to google it, but forgot and still don’t know!

  21. Apropos of nothing although there is a connection to crosswords. I decided to have a look at to look at the cryptics on there. I clicked on the Financial Times and was immediately confronted with “STEER FROM CRISIS TO RECOVERY WITH THEFT”. Then the penny dropped.

    1. I once misread a headline in the paper that claimed that “Thirty Percent of all Women over 55 are Wombles”
      I had an image of thousands of Madam Cholet’s until I read the article to see it was about menopause and hysterectomies and I should have read the last word as Wombless!!!

  22. As with Senf, a slow start speeding up once the long ones were in. Easier than yesterday’s but good fun.

  23. I always enjoy Dada puzzles…..not quite as much lateral thinking involved today compared to some others but still a very satisfying solve….

  24. Am feeling really pleased with myself today. I had this Dada puzzle all done and dusted in what for me has to be a record time (quite unlike last Sunday) Lots to like and a joy to solve. My favourites include 9a, 16a, 22a (just because it was a nickname of mine at school) 10d, 18d, but 2d gets my top vote. Thanks Dada, most enjoyable and thanks to Senf too, your hints I still need to read through. :-)

  25. Finished in 3 attempts with digging the garden and making lunch sandwiched in between (pun intended). 17a and 15d were the last two clues I solved. 10d was my favourite mainly because I solved it with no letters in. Given that I normally complete about 2 a week with no hints, I feel quite happy.

  26. Definitely a quirkier offering today from Dada. 2.5*/**** but overall a good puzzle with some interestingly worded clues.
    Clues for favourite include 9a, 16a, 22a, 10d, 14d & 21d with 16a the winner and 10d runner up.
    Had forgotten about the meaning of 24a and took a long time on that clue.
    Last in was 11a

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  27. Like almost everyone else the answers went in easily apart from the last few. I struggled for an hour with 20a, eventually realising that I had the wrong anagram. What an idiot! Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  28. I found this a really enjoyable puzzle until I got to 14d which I still haven’t solved having gone back to it several times. Most annoying, can’t really see what I am looking for. Oh well! Jolly cold wind outside so rather a short walk today. Thanks to all.

  29. Not a doddle by any means but, compared to normal Sundays, it felt like it.
    20a was my last one – I was looking for a bird.
    Making 10d is always a bit of a hit and miss affair – as is spelling it!
    My favourite is either 16a, because I like them, or 19a for the same reason.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    Cold in Oxford today – just lit wood burner so it feels a bit better now.

  30. Got there in the end, but it was hard work. Lots of clues were user friendly but I was stuck on half a dozen at the end. I’d give best in show jointly to 9a and 2d, which helped a lot, both being long answers. Despite having many of her books, I needed help for 7d. Against my better judgment, I enlisted the clever mr Google to finish. Not sure I would ever use 17a to mean cruel. Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Sad to hear another one of our favourites, Des O’Connor has passed away at 88. Always seemed like a really nice chap, and I quite liked his singing.

  31. Last one in 20a which was hot on the heels of 15d. It would have helped if I had spotted the anagram. Favourites 13 16 and 19a and 8 and 18d. I did not find any of the king ones write ins so had to get some checkers in first. Not a barrel of laughs but satisfying to complete without help. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  32. Unablem to parse a few which is always frustrating. No hint 😕
    DJ looks solid and on course to win…
    Thanks Senf and Dada

    1. To quote Weekend Wanda, more or less, from a couple of weeks ago – “It’s a prize puzzles, so . . . ”
      But there is some discussion in the comments that could steer you in the right direction.

      1. Sorry Senf – you beat me to it. I’m not going to the naughty corner and can’t see any reason why I should anyway.

    2. Delighted to have something to do!
      The definition is ‘flier’ – it’s an anagram (destroyed) of ALMOST and the first couple of letters (nearly) of the following word.

      1. Hi Kath thank you! I kept thinking of planes and birds, not this type of flier. I will enjoy my roast beef better now.

          1. First roast beef of this autumn. Yorkshire to be cooked around the meat. Looking forward to it.

      2. As I said above, I have seen it but didn’t understand what it was, but now I see it, so thanks all, didn’t think of that flier!

    3. Forget about the birds which seem to have figured highly in the comments from others.
      Oops – sorry, Senf & Kath – you both beat me to it!

  33. Definitely a friendly Dada, I finished it! I needed help with one, 12a, which Senf kindly provided, and that helped me solve 5d and finish. I also needed help unravelling 8d.
    I find it hard to unravel some of Dada’s answers, for instance, on reading the clues I had answers for 9a and 2d but couldn’t get the “why”, so they only went in when I had some checkers.
    I liked a lot, 16a was a fave. Our fish at 11a has been missing for a while, welcome back!
    Thanks Dada for the Sunday fun, and to Senf for the enlightenment of a few!

  34. I’m in the “pretty much plain sailing” camp this evening hence my early, for me, appearance. Lots to like, little to dislike. Favourite was 20a once I’d sorted out the correct anagram. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  35. 3/4. This went swimmingly well for a Sunday puzzle until I got 16a where I was trying to justify all sorts of plants. 13a also took me an age to see. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Our liquor stores have been open throughout and my only concern was an acute shortage of diet tonic water. I have now a stock of 24 litres in the garage 😎

    1. Strangely, the supermarket I use most often never had diet tonic water before Covid, only the full strength variety. Now, there is more diet than full strength on the shelf.

      1. Lucky you! I struggled to find any but when i did I bought like people buying toilet rolls!

  36. Oh dear, I didn’t enjoy that at all and would quibble about a few including 16a, 20a, 17a, 14d and 25d. West came out first. I, in fact, seem to be on wavelength with fewer setters these days – perhaps Lockdown is getting to me! Thanks Dada and Senf.

  37. Another fine crossword from Dada, I really look forward to a good Sunday solve! I’m generally indifferent to four letter clues but 6d was my last in and made me chuckle. Thanks to Dada and Senf

  38. 3*/2*……
    liked 19A “having shaken off lead, dog goes after last of Italian pasta (6)”

  39. I managed to complete this one which is unusual for me on a Sunday! Just one comment – shouldn’t the first word in the clue for 20a be “Flyer” in this context?

    1. The BRB indicates that ‘i’ or ‘y’ is acceptable for this and all over usages of flier or flyer. Personally, I prefer the ‘y’ version.

      1. For some reason, known only to me, I think a flier is a bird or pilot, and a flyer is a bit of paper that’s litter.

        1. Well, both of you wonderful ladies will have to write to Chambers and tell them that they have go it wrong!

  40. I needed hints for two clues but still quite happy with my first attempt at the Sunday puzzle. Thanks to all for setting, clueing and commenting.

Comments are closed.