ST 3083 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3083 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3083 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we have had some more fluffy white precipitation and with falling temperatures we are getting close to what has fallen not disappearing until the thaw in the Spring.

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Dada very enjoyable and just about benevolent this week, although I did get held up in the South.  I counted five anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and two homophones – all in a slightly asymmetric 28 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 – 20a, 28a, and 5d.

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 Our silly cryptic, misleading (8)
An anagram to start (cryptic) of OUR SILLY.

11a Clever chap, saint welcomed by German couple? (8)
The two letter abbreviation for saint contained (welcomed) by the German for one repeated (couple).

12a Sign of commitment in battle arena (10,4)
A synonym of battle and a type of arena – the illustrated item is a ‘snip’ at C$2,828 (£1,626).

17a Leader of regime in charge, one’s gathered (5)
The first letter (leader) of Regime inserted into (in) a synonym of charge.

20a A jam preserve, warmer at night? (3-5,6)
A (3-5) synonym of a jam (as in trouble) and a verbal synonym of preserve.

23a Agree how Penny may possibly have died? (8)
What penny is as an item of currency and the combining form denoting killing (may possibly have died) – this definitely has an air of familiarity about it.

28a One so bookish, not the Queen! (8)
SO from the clue and a synonym of bookish with HM’s regnal cypher removed (not the Queen).


1d Panic — as might bird? (4)
A term that can describe how a bird might propel itself in flight.

4d Figure with cloth lifted up stone (6)
A three letter figure (number) and (with) a type of (perhaps waste) cloth all reversed (lifted up).

5d Muscle builders for young people, we hear? (8)
A synonym of for and a homophone (we hear) of young people.

8d Inward-looking person feels no different (7)
An anagram (different) of FEELS NO.

13d Certainly not OK, rather bizarre country (5,5)
A two letter single word equivalent to certainly not and an anagram (bizarre) of OK, RATHER.

16d Institute protecting temporary accommodation in powerful manner (8)
The abbreviated form of an (educational) institute (which, as I understand it, no longer exist) containing (protecting) a form of temporary (canvas) accommodation.

25d Fixed by needle, a static point (4)
The lurker (fixed by) contained in three words in the clue – the reverse lurker, not hinted by me, is 14d.

26d Game bird (4)
A double definition to finish – the second is illustrated below.

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Today is the 107th anniversary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten.  This is a short extract from one of his most well known pieces – The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – being played by the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle:

67 comments on “ST 3083 (Hints)

  1. As it’s Sunday, I assume this is the handiwork of our normal Sunday setter but parts of it didn’t feel like a usual Dada puzzle (if there is such a thing?!)

    Quite a few of the clues seemed trivially easy but there were also some which needed a lot of teasing out, with 23a & 5d my last two in. I’m not entirely convinced by the definition for 8d.

    12a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. Certainly not devilish but not so sure it’s overly benevolent either. Completed in bang on **** time & pleasingly with all parsed ok but 50% of that was taken with up with 4 clues – 8d&17a plus 23&27a in the SW. Quite why it took so long to twig the 8d anagram I’ve no idea & it was only then the rather tenuous synonym for charge, or at least I thought so, was obvious. 27a isn’t the spelling I’m accustomed to & last in was 23a where I eventually found the synonym & then looked at the wordplay, the latter part of which was a tad iffy for me. Enjoyable as always but for me not up there with his best & lacking some of his humour. Certainly it wasn’t a patch on his crossword in Friday’s Graun which had a couple of real laugh out loud ones.
    Thanks to Dada & Canada’s most noted equine practitioner for the review.

  3. I’m glad ithers found this easy. For me, it was quirkier than usual and harder going than Friday’s puzzle. I didn’t find it that enjoyable and had to refer to Danword twice to break up a cluster of stubborn clues (4*/2*). However 12a, 13a and 20a were quite good fun, even if 27 was groan worthy. I think the guys, who were talking about ordering a different newspaper might have been on the right track. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  4. A really enjoyable Dada today. It was slightly easier than usual but it was no give away. There were some excellent clues my favourite of which is 23a. 20a came a close second.

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

  5. I certainly thought our setter was in benevolent mood this morning – maybe I had a good night’s sleep?
    Like our blogger, I reckoned that 23a had a familiar ring but it still makes me laugh so is one of my picks for today along with 5d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the salute to Benjamin Britten – not only does that piece showcase many of the instruments used by an orchestra, it also gives youngsters a good indication of the sort of standard they need to achieve in order to be considered for inclusion in same!

    1. Research shows that 23a ‘appeared’ this summer with the same definition but slightly different wordplay.

      1. Just wondering what other name would work. Think I’ve got it- male name and slang name for one worth twelve old ones.

  6. Didn’t feel like a Dada to me. How our brains vary. I can’t wait to see the rest of the comments. To me this was the easiest for a long time. I only had one go at most of the clues, the SW being my final destination. Unfortunately this delayed my quickest ever solving time. 23a took a while to tease out but ended up a favourite. Then came my downfall. I confidently entered 27a with the wrong two last letters. Slightly uneasy about the parsing but the two letter word merited a ! I had to rethink when the checkers did not work for 21a which I thought must be some obscure country. I admit to resorting to help when I quickly realised my 22a error. I expect I will not be the only one to fall into this trap! As well as 23a other favourites are 12 and 20a both of which went straight in. Thanks Dada and Senf of course although you did not hint the ones I needed!

  7. What an absolute beast, managed only 8 answers even with the hints. Way out of my league I’m afraid.
    No fun and no point at least for me.
    Thx for the hints

          1. Brian is simply Brian. I think he just plays devil’s advocate to see what kind of reaction he will get.

  8. What a brilliant crossword! 11d 23a 4d 5d were all absolute gems.
    Not hard, but every clue beautifully crafted, Dada really is at the top of my list.
    Many thanks Senf for the blog and also Dada, shame I can’t do your puzzles under your alter-ego in the Graun every time.

  9. A gentle Dada today, I thought, and most enjoyable. 17a and 27a topped by list of favourites, but I also liked 23a, 7a, and the German wordplay in 11a. Simple but clever. Thanks to Senf and to Dada. 1.5* / ****

    Many thanks to all of you who wished me a happy 82nd yesterday. I did have a good day, especially with so many of you wishing me well.

  10. I’m surprised by some of the comments because I thought this was much easier than most Sunday puzzles. Don’t worry Brian, you always seem to gallop through the ones I find hard going! Must be a wavelength thing. The only hmm I would offer concerns the spelling of 27a. I know we had a thing about language evolving whether we like it or not but this seems to be stretching a point. Favourite 28a. Thanks to all.

    1. I don’t think the spelling of 27a is at all new. My old edition of BRB gives it as informal and also spells it without the last letter. I regard its usage as being more familiar in spoken English. With regard to Brian I think there is a genuinely fascinating issue here. I am sure he is always truthful and conclude that his brain works entirely differently from mine. I would love to know which ones he was able to solve and expect they will be the ones I find difficult.

  11. I thought this was like last week, a well balanced offering moving from straight forward through to tough.
    I’m going to shout ummm at 27a as the chap is pretty stretched.

  12. I have to agree about 27a – He put me off 21d for a long time but I suspect Dada was stretching the pronunciation a bit. ( and Senf has made the same point above)
    The 7a anagram was hard to see as well and for some time I had an alternative answer for 17a which Sunday convention prevents me from talking about.
    Some of these did seem easy and some hard but it all balances out in the end.
    Thanks, Senf and Dada

  13. Enjoyable steady solve aided greatly by the 2 long across clues going in on the first pass, setting up a framework to work through the rest. Sucked my teeth a bit on 27a like others and COTD would be 23a.

  14. This is an opinion, not a criticism, as I do not possess the ability to create such daily wonders… but… (there had to be a but)… I feel that answers should be in common usage. I know we often see “It’s in the BRB” and that is fair enough, but surely the true enjoyment of completing a crossword is by pulling the words out of the far corners of the mind, or by untangling the wordplay. Yes, I can understand that the latter is possible from the clue, but somewhat stretched, to say the least; yet I suspect that many either spent too long believing that their answer to 21d must be incorrect, or scrolling through dictionaries to see if the answer to 27a could possibly be what it turned out to be.

    Not a moan, just a point of view. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Thank you Terence, my thoughts exactly. Yesterday we had a couple of words that would not have occurred to me if I spent all day hunched over the crossword. Fair enough, if it’s something in common parlance, but when it’s a word you would only find in a dictionary it definitely defeats the purpose of the puzzle, which for me is to be able to pull it out of the dark recesses of my mind, not to look it up. Having said that, there are a lot of words, synonyms and terms that I have learnt from years of doing the cryptics.

    1. You have used a different alias today, previously it was your first name – both should work from now on.

  15. Like others 5d and 23a held me up for ages. Also took an age to get 25a. All in all quite a tricky puzzle I thought today but enjoyable all the same. How can anyone want a 5 day Christmas. Let’s just stick to the rules and get this whole thing over with, imho!

    1. Just wait until the penny drops that – if we get a five day Christmas, everyone can kiss goodbye to any New Year celebrations. Then the fun will really start………..

      1. Don’t you mean “everyone can touch elbows to….”
        I think we should rename January anyway as almost nobody will want to look back on 2020
        Not easy to use Elpis, but we should always hope the next year will be better than the last

  16. 23a was my nemesis too in terms of completing this in my usual Sunday time. As others have said, this was a real mixed bag of clues, with a few gimmes and some very contrived and awkward. Dada sets the bar so high that a puzzle like this stands out as a touch below his normal excellence.

    Many thanks to the aforementioned and Senf.

  17. Love the Sunday puzzles; this was no exception. Thanks to setter especially for the brilliant 23a. ***/***** for me

  18. Well we sat down to the crossword with our lunch and, unlike John Bee, 7a anagram just jumped out at me and your heart always lifts when the first answer goes straight in. Isn’t it fascinating the way we all see things so differently? We did work at it and 23a, 27a and 21d I had to put in in pencil as I couldn’t believe they were right. I think 17 a is my COTD as the meaning of the last word fell in. Many thanks to Dada if it is you and to Senf.
    Equine practitioner, eh?

  19. Well that was a Dada Sunday tester, taking well above the usual solve time , with degrees of difficulty right up to my solving ability.
    Thanks to Senf for review & guidance, also to Dada for an exacting mental workout.

  20. Easier to get on Dada’s wavelength today and I then enjoyed the spin. N E was last corner to come to heel. Perhaps I wasn’t alone in bunging in 27a with wrong last two letters but that made 21d impossible so had to think again. As RD I had reservations about 8d. My Fav was 11a – very crafty. I seem to remember a recent discussion about 17a in context of decoration for Jane’s Ascot hat I believe. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. Believe it or not I came across said Ascot hats on a trawl through the loft yesterday when one of my daughters suddenly announced that she ‘had to have’ an electrical item that has languished up there ever since she left home some years ago.
      Made me smile to think of both the Ascot occasions and the blog chat.

      1. I have mixed memories of Ascot, Jane. I remember being about to back Varingo to win the Coventry Stakes in 1979, I was talked out of it by a mate who was well up on all things turf. It won at 11/1.
        I had some great times there, though.

      2. 🙂 “Those were the days my friend – we thought they would never end”! I gave up on Ascot a few years ago (too much hassle) but most years I do invest in a new hat for Glorious Goodwood however not this year sadly. 🙁

        1. Those were the days indeed.
          Used to love Royal Ascot.
          A little trip to Moss Bros to get fitted out, a Harrods hamper and I was off.
          Even managed to get invited to the Royal Enclosure a few times being sponsored by friends. Remember the last time as Bea was heavily pregnant with daughter Charlie.
          Lanfranco Dettori was The Jockey at the time. Great memories.

  21. 23a was my LOI and certainly was not familiar to me but made me laugh when the penny dropped, and was therefore my favourite. As with many others, I fell into the trap of putting the wrong two letters on the end of 27a. I seem to be with Greta regarding Brian. Ones he finds difficult I usually sail through and vice versa. Many thanks to Dada for a most enjoyable solve and to Senf for the hints, which for once I did not need today.

    1. I have three Brian theories:
      1. He can master most of the backpagers and uses a random number generator to decide which comment he will post.
      2. There are days, like today when he could solve the puzzle but he can’t be bothered persevering when he can’t get a toehold straight away so dismisses it.
      3. He makes posts that he knows will provoke a reaction.
      Whichever it is he is neither predictable nor dull.
      Thx to Brian for being Brian, whatever that means

  22. Enjoyable with 90% pretty straightforward for Dada but 10% provoked much head scratching. Got there in the end but well into *** time.
    23a, one of the last ones in, my COTD. A big “doh” moment when I worked it out.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf both entertaining as always.
    Just given up trying to watch the Rugby on Amazon Prime. Watching “live” events on Amazon consists of watching the whirlywheel, five seconds of action, more whirly wheel, then the ” Something went wrong” screen. (Yes I do have very good internet). After 35 minutes of streaming the match is 9 minutes old!
    For me Amazon is worse at delivering internet than delivering orders up here and they are pathetic at that these days.
    Back to

    1. When I found out that Amazon UK had ‘secured’ the Autumn Nations Cup I thought I was going to miss it. However, we have an excellent subscription web based sports channel over here which gives the 6 Nations, Pro 14, and now this tournament plus tons of English and European football and all sorts of other cr*p. So, no apologies, I am thoroughly enjoying this tournament (especially with England’s performance so far).

      (Other cr*p includes NFL from the USA and Darts)

      1. Yesterday’s matches were on “normal” channels (albeit Wales were on S4C, commentary in Welsh). Can’t yet find today’s.

  23. I was surprised to see so many “gimmes” in a Sunday Prize Puzzle.

    11a went in faster than the speed of light.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  24. Definitely agree that this is a very benevolent Dada puzzle. 1.5*/**** Filled this in basically top to bottom with SE last area to complete.
    Favourite clues include 12a, 20a, 23a, 27a & 22d with winner 23a and 22d runner up.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  25. 3/3. Very doable for a Dada puzzle. Really liked 11&23a. Thanks to our setter and Senf. I hope things improve in Manitoba and quickly.

    1. I agree …. and I sure as heck hope things improve in BC especially Fraser Health and Coastal Health. Will be watching Dr Henry at 3pm Monday for sure.

    2. Thanks, but as new and more restrictive measures are being introduced they seem to be having little effect. One of the major problem areas that has been ‘uncovered’ is the problems of operation of for profit long term care facilities where care is long way behind profit.

  26. I always enjoy Sunday’s tussle and Brian’s grumpy comments – a man after my own heart. This was no exception on both fronts! As there’s no golf, I can afford to spend longer than otherwise on the crossword and perseverance usually pays satisfaction rewards. In the end a great sense of achievement in finishing it in *** time.

  27. I started off thinking this was much easier than normal Sundays then ground to a total halt with the last few.
    The two long ones across the middle were a great help in getting going.
    My last couple were the 11a ‘clever chap’ and the 4d stone – really silly as they weren’t the most difficult clues by a long way.
    Having got the last but one and the last letter in 5d I instantly thought of the wrong answer but remembered BD’s mantra, “If you can’t see why it’s probably wrong” – it was certainly wrong and would have done a load of no good in that corner.
    My favourite was either 20 or 23a – I don’t remember ever seeing 23a before.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  28. As a consistent Dada failure in the past, for some reason I found this very benevolent, just dead on wavelength. My head is swimming I’m so pleased with myself.
    I needed e-help for 9a of all things, once I got it I can’t believe I couldn’t solve it. I was held up in the SE, 28a was a bung in.
    There was so much to like, 20a, 12a, 5d, but I think 23a stands out as giggle worthy.
    Thank you Dada for the fun, I expect next week you’ll have me tied up in knots. Many, many thanks to Senf for unravelling a couple for me, I could not “see” 28a at all.

    1. Glad your puzzle app has got sorted out.
      Not a pleasant thought, you in the sitooterie with steam coming out of your ears and Sadie with her paws over hers!

      1. Nope, not sorted at all. Today’s puzzle courtesy of Senf!
        I had a thought about deleting the app. I print from my computer, not the iPad, I don’t know how to delete the app from that. I’ve right clicked, left clicked, held the mouse on it, nothing tells me how to delete it. It still tells me I’ve logged on successfully, then a split second later up pops a message telling me I have to pay to play … well, yes, that’s what I did three days ago. I still have steam coming out of my ears, meanwhile I don’t think it’s fair to be doing puzzles on someone else’s dime!

  29. Agree with the consensus that today’s was on the easier side
    But it”s always enjoyable to be able to finish without too much trouble.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  30. I’m in the “pretty straightforward” camp this evening. Favourite was 12a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  31. Just a point, has anyone tried the General Knowledge crossword? Usually for me it is at least 95% me and perhaps 5% Google. This weekend was dreadful. I reckon it was the other way around. It was not General Knowledge but a list of obscurities. Anyone else agree?
    Welcome back Daisygirl, I’ve missed you! I do hope you are recovering well.

  32. Hmm, I solved 1d using an “I” and I claim it is just as valid :-) – shows how my mind (doesn’t) work!

  33. I found this quite difficult. You probably have to be a certain age to solve some of the clues. E. G. 17 and 27a which were my last in. The last two letters took me ages to get. I see now. Needed the hints for 23a and grudgingly liked it. I’m afraid the hints for 26d didn’t really help as it was obviously a double definition and the bird looked like a Sparrow to me.

  34. Not easy, but certainly nothing like Brian described earlier. Once I got into it and solved a few, it all began to slowly come together; mind you starting after 9pm after a busy day perhaps wasn’t the best time of day for solving a Dada puzzle. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at 23a – quite dreadful IMHO and I wasn’t overly keen on 27a, but hey. Plenty else to like which more than compensated for any grouses I might have had; loved 12a, 20a and 13d raised a chuckle. Thanks once again for the challenge Dada and thanks Senf for your words of wisdom. Ps, I’m happy for you to keep your ‘white stuff’, the longer it keeps away from here the better it suits me. ;-)

  35. I found this a mixed bag as did some
    Managed to solve more than I usually do on a Sunday, so pleased with that.
    Thanks to the setter and to senf

  36. Fairly straightforward for Dada. Don’t understand Brian’s beef. Still, takes all sorts, I suppose.

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