ST 3093 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3093 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3093 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we had a chilly start to the week with three days where the high temperature was no more than minus 23 degrees.

Keep staying safe everyone. 

Either I was having a bad day or, if I wasn’t, this would be a good candidate for a Dada Toughie.  I counted five anagrams (one partial), two lurkers (one reversed), and no homophones – 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 – 7a, 17a, 7d, 19d, 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 Let’s go low boarding vessel (7)
Low as in animal sound inserted into (boarding) a type of vessel that may contain flowers.

10a A river passed around by vessel, multi-hulled craft (9)
A from the clue and the river that forms most of the boundary between two SW counties contained (passed around) by a (different, metallic) type of vessel – and there’s a blip on the repetition radar.

12a Old Olympian overtakes new one, running backwards for a stretch? (5)
The reverse lurker (running backwards for a stretch) found in three words in the clue.

17a Cut crystal, for example, capturing very wise goddess (7)
What crystal is an example of with the last letter removed (cut) containing (capturing) the single letter for very.

18a Shape revealed in crack (6,3)
A type of shape (which can also be a number) and a three letter synonym of revealed.

21a How paper might be in possession of pupil, ineducable (5)
The lurker (in possession of) found in two words of the clue.

23a Grow mint, eager to cook (9)
An anagram (to cook) of MINT, EAGER.

25a Leg isn’t designed for upper garment (7)
An anagram (designed for) of LEG ISN’T.


1d Trace substance in pipe (10)
A synonym of substance contained by (in) a synonym of pipe (as in words with music).

2d Solver taking time off to defend the setter (6)
An informal abbreviated form of a single word for taking time off (from work) containing (to defend) the setter represented by the objective form of the perpendicular pronoun.

4d Cadge from cleaner? (6)
A double definition – the second is obtained from a sessile aquatic animal.

7d Big splash in Africa, possible headline after royal stumble? (8,5)
A double definition(?) – see the illustration for the first.

9d Access item, an awfully good book — fun! (13)
A synonym of access, an anagram (awfully) of ITEM, AN, and the abbreviated form of the ‘younger’ of the two good books.

14d Story about teacher worth forgiving (10)
A type of story (used to illustrate a moral point) containing (about) a three letter type of teacher.

19d More than one stop on those, or catch up (6)
OR from the clue and a synonym of catch reversed (up).

22d Cricket side: number over that — twelve! (4)
One of the cricket sides (of the wicket) preceded by (over that) the two letter abbreviation of number.

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Sunday is the 224th anniversary of the birth of Austrian composer Franz Schubert, this is a piece, written in 1827, entitled ‘Serenade’ which I am told demonstrates an ingenious mixing of joy and melancholy:

75 comments on “ST 3093 (Hints)

  1. Isn’t it weird? I thought this was one of the easier Dada puzzles for a while. We are all so different.
    I thought he had been a bit disappointing of late, but this was back on form.
    12a was LOI, a bung-in. Thanks for the hint, I couldn’t see it, what a doughnut.
    Thanks both.

  2. Limped rather than ran through this one but , mostly , enjoyed the journey . The NW corner being the last to give way mainly due to 2d & 12a ( I had another answer in mind ) .
    Some devious clues with my favourite 16d .
    Keep warm and safe everyone .
    Thanks Senf , well done Dada for keeping us occupied , frustrated yet amused .

  3. Like KFB, I had problems figuring 2d and 12a. I didn’t think this was one of Dada’s best but it aas quite enjoyable (3*/3*), although it took longer than average, due to the tricky NW. 9d was a well disguised lego type clue cut the outstanding clue for me was 7d, which was both clever and funny. Many thanks to Senf for help with 2d and 12a and thanks to Dada. No problems from Friday’s vaccination apart from an achy right arm.

  4. Gave this one up as a bad job. For me the worst ie most difficult Sunday for a long time. Way way out of my solving ability.
    Zero fun.
    Thx for the hints

        1. And the pound in our pocket was not devalued, just nearly everything you bought with it cost more!

  5. Terrific fun from another clever and witty Dada. Held up briefly by 2d, but beyond that, smooth sailing and most enjoyable, especially with 7a, 17a, 10a, 3d, and 7d. Thanks to Senf (whose hints I didn’t need but glad they’re there) and to Dada. ** / ****

  6. 12a and 2d held out until I saw the hints. Otherwise a slow struggle but enjoyable as it enabled me to put off cleaning the bathroom for a good half hour.

    15a and 3d and 14d get honourable mentions but 16d is my favourite today. Brilliant and simple in four words.; What more can you ask.

    My thanks to Senf who delivered hints for my missing solutions and to Jay who kept me busy while work beckoned. No more putting off now, not even for the quickie.

  7. Like others, 2d and 12a held out the longest. I also had another Olympian in mind for 12a which it couldn’t be once the penny had finally dropped for 2d. Those two clues put me into *** time and ** for enjoyment. I couldn’t see the reason for the answer in 17a so thank you for the hints. That has been bugging me long enough! I liked 20d but my runaway favourite is 7d. Thanks to all.

  8. I found this fairly straight forward, 2d last in.
    An enjoyable start to a dull Sunday, thanks Dada.
    Thanks to Senf for hints.

  9. Kicking myself on 12a. Having only the first and last letters, I was looking for something to do with o for old, and a Greek god. Particularly annoyed as one of my personal rules is never to abandon a clue till I’ve double checked for anagrams and lurkers. Just totally missed that one.

    By the way is lurkers a standard term? My mother, who was addicted to the Times crossword, used to call them internals.

    1. Lurker is pretty standard on BD I think. The BRB it does define “lurk” as “to be concealed”.

      1. Although it is very ugly, I think I prefer “rekrul” to “lanretni” for a reverse lurker. :wink:

        1. It is only lurker looking in the mirror RD. Does that not mean lurker is ugly?!
          I certainly think that about myself every morning

  10. 3.5*/4*. Lots of fun with 12a & 2d my last two in which took me above my 3* solving time.

    7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  11. Very tough but fun & satisfying. Right up there with the hardest I can manage unaided **** solving time & satisfaction.
    Exactly like RD 12a & 2d my LOsI & the reverse lurker 12a is my COTD.
    Thank you Dada and Senf for the usual explicit review.
    Some might find this one causes head scratching I think.

  12. I found this a little easier in the South. I did like the 16d dog and the wise goddess (Still reading S Fry’s retelling of the Greek and Roman legends) but I am obliged to pick 13a as fave today.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  13. Needed the hints for 12a and 2d otherwise it was straightforward.I liked 7a and 10a but my COTD has to be 17a because it reminds me of a much loved and much lamented little Swan Hellenic ship.

  14. After working my way painfully through Friday’s Toughie, hint by hint, some of which still left me unable to work out the answers I found this very enjoyable and fairly straightforward. I particularly liked the teacher/pupil clues at 14d and 21a.

  15. I join the illustrious list of those who finished up with 12a and 2d. Sorry Dada but I really do not like your 2d synonym for time off.
    Apart from that minor quibble I thoroughly enjoyed it; thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I did have a thought on who would be most likely to use the 2d synonym for time off but I fear that, had I used it in the hint, I would have had a visit from the PC Police.

  16. Chalk me down as another in the 2d/12a club. Plain sailing to that point in **time but by the time it dawned on me that my answer to 12a was wrong (thought the definition was stretch) it was a finish in just under 3.5* time. A crossword that grew on me throughout the solve with my picks 7&17a plus 7&14d. Today’s albums : Deuces Wild (BB King) & Down The Road (Van)
    Thanks to Dada & to Senf – learnt a new word from your review in sessile

  17. I’m another who was left with 12a & 2d after a reasonable start. 2d was a definite penny drop moment but I’m still not particularly convinced by 12a.
    Top two here were 13a & 6d.

    Thanks to Dada for the Sunday workout and to Senf for the hints and enjoyable music clips.

    1. I wasn’t sure about 12a but when the penny dropped about the type of clue there could be no argument about it. Rather good in fact as it was well hidden.

      1. Once I recognised it, I thought that the 12a reverse lurker (notice I do not and will not use the term discussed by RD above) indicator was one of Dada’s best.
        12a should at least be considered by Mr Lancaster for Clue of the Week in his weekly newsletter.

        1. The number that have needed the hint to parse 12a shows what a brilliant lurker it is.
          Like is often said “If all else fails look for a lurker”.
          You would know but I feel that Dada’s puzzles often have more than one.

    2. Thanks for letting me know that I could do the bird watch today Jane. Mission accomplished.

  18. The excellent reverse lurker at 12a was also my undoing in terms of time, with 7d my favourite of many. I thought Dada was at his trickiest today, although once I had completed the grid there was nothing particularly obtuse or difficult to be found. Overall a fun and rewarding challenge.

    My thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  19. On another subject Radio 2 have done a marvellous celebration of musicals for the last couple of days.
    So many great songs.
    Wonderful listening.

  20. I marched my way through this one, and then stopped dead with just two to go, 12a & 14d. To me, the old Olympian had to be a greek god, and the story had to be one of Aesop’s. I was about to give up and try a few electrons, when one answer popped into my head, quickly followed by the other, although I still can’t see the ‘worth’ in 14d.

    All in all it took me **** time. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. 14d – worth is definitely part of the definition, on its own forgiving does not equal the answer.

  21. A bit of a battle for me – undertaken either side of Chelsea’s win over Burnley. I generally find Dada’s puzzles a challenge and a half.

    I’m glad Lola goes back to the vet tomorrow; her paws are now causing some concern. On the up side she is eating well and is not showing any signs of distress.

    Today’s soundtrack: Fairport Convention – Liege & Lief

    Thanks to Dada and the man from Manitoba.

    1. If she doesn’t go out, could something you have used, perhaps for cleaning, have triggered an allergy Terence?Several cleaning fluids trigger both nasal and skin allergies in me. I can only use the Ecover products with 0% scent, in fact. Good luck with the vet and I hope you can track down the problem.

    2. Sorry to hear rather disappointing news about Lola again, Terence. What a worry for you and such a shame just when you thought she really was so much better. Good that she seems OK in herself, though, and that she’s eating. What a mystery it all is. I wonder what the vet will say tomorrow. About to tackle the crossword – somewhat nervous about it, after Senf’s preamble. Thanks in advance to Dada and Senf – I’m sure I’ll need a lot of hints.

  22. I really liked this puzzle and sorry to against the flow but thought 2d was a very neat clue so is my favourite amongst lots of candidates.

    1. You should never feel as if you need to apologise for going against the flow – all opinions are welcome here – it’s one of the many things that makes it such a great ‘place’.

  23. All done…not quite as much fun (or as fast) as yesterday but satisfying to complete in pretty good time. LOI was 2D…thought I had it but needed Senf’s pic above for the penny to drop…elementary!
    Thanks to Dada for the challenge and Senf for the hints. Cheers!

  24. I am pleased to see I am far from alone. I did not struggle although I found putting down and picking up worked wonders. I am also in the 12a 3d camp. To my surprise I suddenly twigged 12a after I managed to rid my brain of a more recent Olympian and stopped looking for an Ancient Greek. I did resort to the hint for 2d and then kicked myself as I had deduced the fourth and fifth letters. The final letter confused me. I gave up too soon when I thought it could be a computer term I’d never heard off. For 13a I thought of some other guardians who take charge of different things altogether. Happily I did not insert. Favourites 8 and 20a and 7 and 16d. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  25. I enjoyed this puzzle today, some really good cluing as with most 2d and 12a were head scratchers and excellent clues, my podium places go to 7d and 7a with joint winners 2d and 12a **/****.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  26. I usually cannot do the Sunday puzzle for toffee, but managed most of this one alone and unaided. I had what I thought must be the answers to 2d and 12a but could not parse them until I read Senf’s hints…..totally missed that 12a was a lurker…doh!
    Strange how differently people perceive things.

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    Some snow this morning but afterwards a crisp sunny day up here.

  27. I was just about to set this aside until later, with three left to complete, when one came to mind, rapidly followed by the rest. Surprising as I didn’t hold out great hopes when I started it. Definitely found 7d to be COTD, closely followed by 4d. Solved 7a and 1d, but needed the hints to explain. Thanks to Dada and Senf. A pleasant end to the week.

  28. Another good Dada puzzle for today but a touch trickier than last week. 2.5*/***** lots of great clues with some that required a modicum of grey matter use today. Candidates for favourite here are many but include 7a, 13a, 18a, 1d, 7d & 19d with 7a & 7d my top two winners.
    Last area completed was NE and last in 6d as it seemed too obvious and then the PDM came with the parsing of the last two words of the clue to confirm it! Very clever.
    Lots of groans and chuckles too with clues like 7a, 24a, 6d, (off course!!), 16d & 20d
    Very good 9d today that makes the rainy morning here on BC West Coast 3d

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  29. I nearly always find Dada difficult but today I was pretty much beaten by him – really glad it’s not a ‘just me’ day.
    Definitely another one to join the 12a/2d club if there’s any room left – I could just squeeze in – I’m not very big!
    I don’t mind a hidden answer being called a ‘lurker’ – it is at least a real word – but draw the line at ‘rekrul’!
    Lots of good clues which I enjoyed but it was a real battle today – never mind – it’s kept me occupied for ages.
    Clues that stood out for me included 11 and 18a and 7 and 16d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    Still wet and cold in Oxford. :sad:

  30. I must be getting on Dada’s wavelength – not a walk in the park but very doable, except for the SW. I had no trouble with the 12a/2d combo once I had the checking letters, though I did miss the rekrul at 12a. My downfall was the cake and the crickety twelve, though in retrospect I feel I should have solved them.
    There was a lot to like here, 7d is fave, but 13a and 3d deserve mention.
    Thanks Dada for the fun and Senf for helping me across the finish line.
    I forgot to mention the superb music choice today, Senf. Lovely choices two days in a row!

  31. As I have said before, the crossword is usually done at lunchtime but as today is George’s birthday we have had a very busy
    day, oddly enough. Despite not being able to go anywhere, we have had a stream of visitors to the door, ring the bell, place gift
    (mostly of the bottled variety) on doorstep, six steps back, muffled conversation through the mask and so on. Telephone calls
    from far flung places as well, and a real visit from DD2 bringing us a delicious cooked meal for this evening, a couple of bottles
    and a new shaving brush. Anyway, the crossword is 7/8 finished and will have to wait now until I get in the bath later on. I just
    wanted to look in and see how Lola was, fingers crossed for the Vet Visit tomorrow, and confirm that some others found this
    just a little on the tricky side. It is so very, very cold I just want to go and sit really close to the fire. See you all tomorrow and thanks
    to Dada and Senf.

  32. For me this was not exactly a barrowload of fun but a welcome distraction from the drudgery of lockdown. 17a was a bung-in and, as for so many other co-bloggers, 2d and 12a (missed the lurker) brought up the rear. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  33. Another for the 12a and 2d club, though got there in the end. 3* time and same for enjoyment. No particular favourites, as all clues great, with hindsight.

  34. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very tricky. Needed the hints for 12a and 19d. Also needed the hints to parse 17a&2d. Favourite was 3d. Was 3* /4* for me.

  35. I have only completed four clues, but will have to give up and try again. I have a food delivery due, followed by dinner at 8.00, so hope that I can get my head round the rest of the clues a bit later. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Many happy returns to George Daisygirl.

      1. Thanks WW. My weekly shop has arrived. So hopefully will attempt a few more clues before dinner.

  36. I usually find Dada difficult but for some reason sailed through until 2d and came to a complete stop. Thanks to Senf for the hint. Really liked 1d and 14d. Minus 5 in Ontario, balmy compared to Winnipeg. Hope Lola improves. Thanks to Dada.

  37. Many electrons were required to solve this..oddly, 2d went straight in, but hints were needed for 12a, thanks!

    1. Your comment went into moderation as you changed the second part of you alias, both should work from now on.

  38. Unusually, I sailed through that one so I expect that I now won’t be able to solve Tuesday’s.

  39. Late getting round to this – 3 hr FaceTime with aged Ps yesterday put us off. Thought I was going to agree with Brian – it looked v hard. But everything fell into place until we hit 2d, 12a, for which we needed the hints. Don’t know why – in the end v fair clues. Favorite 13a.

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