ST 3095 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3095 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3095 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, after an unusually mild couple of months, Mother Nature remembered it was supposed to be winter and we have had a week or so ‘under’ a Polar Vortex with ‘high (ha ha)’ temperatures in the minus 20s, minus 25 and below, and minus 30s, and even lower ‘low’ temperatures in the low minus 30s and goodness knows what the wind chill effect was; at least, one ‘benefit’ is that it has been too cold to snow.

And, amazingly, Worldpay has processed my puzzle subscription correctly and on time!

Keep staying safe everyone. 

For me, Dada is somewhat less benevolent than last week.  I counted seven anagrams (three partials), two lurkers (neither hinted by me, so don’t forget the if all else fails rule and both have a simple indicator), and two homophones – all in a symmetric 32 clues, with 18 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, 20a, 7d, and 11d.

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 Wrecked with a hyphen? (6)
A sort of double definition to start – the second could describe a word that is hyphenated (with a hyphen).

4a Raised platform out back in burn (8)
A synonym of out reversed (back) inserted into (in) a type of burn (as an injury).

10a Labouring serf hugged by good little nipper (8)
An anagram (labouring) of SERF contained (hugged) by a synonym of good (in a religious sense).

14a Wife cheating endlessly (4)
A type of (financial) cheating with the last letter removed (endlessly) gives a (unindicated European) wife.

20a Might that be still belonging to me, a trawler at sea? (7,5)
A single word for belonging to me followed by an anagram (at sea) of A TRAWLER.

24a Note minister provided, passed to the left (5)
The abbreviated form of the title of an Anglican (among others) Minister and the two letter synonym of provided all reversed (passed to the left).

28a Capital I invested in a report, wasted (8)
I from the clue inserted into (invested in) an anagram (wasted) of A REPORT.

30a Appreciation of music in big band style — might that cause offence? (8)
When one has an appreciation of music one might be said to have an *** this is then inserted into (in) a descriptive term for music in big band style – I am not heading to the naughty step/corner as *** was how I wrote the hint.

31a Eat for a laugh, did you say? (6)
The first homophone (did you say) of a (2,4) phrase equivalent to for a laugh – the second homophone, not hinted by me, is 26d.


1d Late, avoid failure (4,4)
A synonym of late (as in passed away) and a synonym of avoid.

2d Some light bud (8)
A double definition – see the illustration for the first and I consider that the second is a bit of a stretch – and the BRB does say that bud is (inf; orig US) so it does appear that it has crossed the Atlantic.

5d Draw sword: replace another way (5-7)
An anagram (another way) of SWORD: REPLACE.

7d Bovine cross in English city (6)
A two letter bovine and a verbal synonym of cross when referring to a particular type of hazard when driving (say).

11d Large drink is raised after six, on seeing problem (6,6)
One word for a large drink (when referring, for example, to spirits) followed by IS from the clue reversed (raised) and placed after the Roman numerals for six which is then followed by ON from the clue.

15d Serious charity supporting pious individual (5)
What may be a type of charity placed after (supporting) the two letter abbreviation of a term to describe a pious individual.

19d Note first of threads in needlework (8)
A possible blip on the repetition radar but it’s a different type of note – the first letter of Threads inserted into (in) a type of needlework – but, is it really needlework? – discuss without being sent to the naughty corner.

21d Area round university affected everyone here (6)
A synonym of affected (when referring to a person) and the plural objective pronoun that can be used for everyone here.

27d Design aircraft, shortly (4)
An abbreviated synonym of aircraft with the last letter removed (shortly).

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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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Whatever were we thinking 45 years ago?  This was number one for one week, thank goodness it was only one week, starting on this day 1976.  Thankfully, I do not have any particular recollection of it.  Apparently, Slik were a Scottish pop group of the mid-1970s, most notable for this number one hit.  Initially glam rock, the band later changed their style to soft rock/bubblegum.  It was the first band with whom singer and guitarist Midge Ure began to experience musical success, before joining new wave band Ultravox.  I wonder how I have managed to survive for so long without knowing that:

80 comments on “ST 3095 (Hints)

  1. I found this rather heavy going, with some very well disguised clues (4*/4). Nevertheless, I did enjoy the challenge and the mental exercise. There were lots of clever clues, almost too clever gor me at times. I liked 5d and 11d once I realised what Dada was getting at. 10a was a really well constructed clue and, once again, slyly oblique. I had to put my thinking cap on and go back to the music my parents listened to on the ‘radio gramophone’ for 30a but it was a great clue so that’s my COTD. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for a very absorbing puzzle.

  2. Sunday’s puzzles always seem the most playful of the week to me, and this one was no exception. With definitions nicely hidden or well buried or disguised–as in 20a and 11d–Dada enjoys making us poke around for the answers. But the clues invariably take us there. I also liked 1a, 30a, and 31a, among many more. However, 26d remains a bit of a mystery to me, though my answer appears to be right. Lots of fun. Thanks to Senf, whose hints I’ll read now, and to Dada. 2.5* / 4*

    1. Glad you’re confident with 26a. Not sure I can say the same.
      Super Philly prize in the Graun yesterday I thought.

      1. Difficult on a Sunday H but I am fairly sure of the 26d answer too. Naughty stair too uncomfortable for my bad back!

    2. I was so disappointed yesterday, that herd of pusillanimous fools has opened us up to a repeat performance some time in the future.

  3. I can remember a time, not that long ago, when I would just glance at the Sunday crossword in the pub in the evening, toss it across the table to my mate Geoff who would snort in derision and go and get another pint.

    Nowadays, I seem to be able to complete them just like any other day. So, Geoff, if you are looking down (or up, depending on your final destination), it is worth persevering.

    I had this done and dusted in a straight *** time. The long anagrams were amongst the last to fall, especially the partial at 20a. In fact, I think 20a has to be my COTD.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  4. Hi Senf, thanks for the hints – helped me across the line! I agree that 19d isn’t really needlework – perhaps that useful old expression ‘fancywork’ would cover it? Thanks to Dada for a fun ***/**** puzzle.

    1. I agree fancwork is a better description for 19d, Lorna. For a start, one doesn’t actually use any needles!

  5. I found this difficult but, like Malcolm, perseverance paid off in the end. ****/*** A bit of a hmm about 2d and 26d. Much lateral thinking required this morning with many of the answers well disguised. I liked 17a but my favourite is 20a – it took me a time to sort out that trawler. Thanks to all.

  6. As always for a Sunday, a challenging puzzle but reasonably fair I thought although some of the synonyms were a trifle stretched.
    I did like 9a and 29a but 22a was an awful clue in my opinion. However, a million times better than yesterdays horror which for me belied description. I managed about 3/4 of this puzzle before I had to resort to the excellent hints.
    Thanks to all

    1. I agree it wasn’t the best, Brian. As synonyms go, it’s a tad 1950’s and not used in this context these days.

      1. Enigma Hmm? I am actually very easy to please, I like crosswords that have logical clues (Giovanni is an excellent example as all his clues are complete and logical) that don’t need leaps of faith or the requirement to use initial letters without instruction, clues that are fun and make one smile and above all that don’t require the solver to sit in a darkened room with a wet towel on your head because the logic is so twisted or the words so obscure. As you know I have a huge dislike for all things religious being a fervent atheist and have a preference for scientific clues.

        1. Think “very easy to please” is stretching things a bit Brian.
          For me, and others I suspect, trying to second-guess your reaction to puzzles like today provides a bit of fun.
          However I have to agree with Senf the 2021 Brian is more enigmatical than the 2020 Brian

        2. Ah, science the new religion based on theories. Which part of the multiverse is your favourite or are you a string theorist?

          1. Richard Dawkins has left no stone unturned in his practice of atheism, from the content of his books such as ‘The Blind Watchmaker’ to sponsoring anti-religious advertisements on the upper deck of London buses.

              1. After 40 years here, I still find it difficult to remember that they don’t use the “s” here.

      2. I go with enigma Senf. Brian has changed and he is not nearly as rude as he was, but how he can make the comments he made yesterday and those today by way of comparison I do not know. Yesterday’s was a doddle compared to todays which I considered to be a slog. I am however prepared to believe that for the main part it is a wavelength thing. Some times apart from a few dissenters we are much of the same mind. Other days, yesterday for example, there is much variety. I wrote three quarters of it in and then struggled with the rest. Nevertheless I finished in a reasonable time and needed no hints. Today I struggled to get started and then got them in fits and starts. I used the hint for 24a which was perhaps unnecessary, but I don’t like going through the alphabet with just two verbs revealed. I also do not get the objection to religious clues. Solving them does not turn an atheist into a Christian or any other religion. I may have a huge dislike of golf or cricket, and have had to learn some of the terms but if I do I cannot object to their inclusion in a puzzle. In the main I think most agree there is not a problem with obscure words so long as they can be built up from the wordplay. I thought there may have been grumblings about the synonym of estate yesterday but hardly a murmur. Interesting!

  7. Baffled on the first pass, but the penny started to drop after a fried egg sandwich. Anyone else noticed a marked improvement in mental function after having had breakfast?

    1. My only mental functions before breakfast are “put 29gms Flahavans porridge, 280 gms of milk in bowl microwave for 7 minutes at 600 watts” consume with accompanying cup of tea.

      1. 29 grms is a VERY precise amount LR, does your hand ever shake and it becomes 30grms and if so, what then?

        1. The 29 was fat finger DG. I use 28 / 280. It is a memory thing. 1gm doesn’t make much difference but forgetting to use 600 on the microwave ruins it!

  8. Hmm. Not my favourite Dada puzzle, I’m sorry to say. I found it very tough overall and a handful of clues seemed very stretched to me. My rating is 4*/2.5*.

    I still don’t understand the parsing of 2d. I looked up “bud” in my BRB and couldn’t find anything to relate it to what I assume the answer is (which in any event is confirmed by Senf’s picture). I looked it up again when I read Senf’s hint and it still makes no sense to me, even taking into account the American usage of the word “bud”.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Other than 5* for 4* (I struggled for too long really over 3 sittings) my assessment too RD.
      I thought it was almost like Dada was trying to out Dada himself.

      1. Sorry for the discourtesy, I should have thanked Dada for the (extreme) work-out & Senf for the hints.
        My sister-in-law in Calgary has been in the same cold spell. One day last week the feel-like temperature dropped to -43. At the moment it is a balmy -27 (feels like -38). Near enough -40 not to bother whether C or F.
        She is 60+ and still goes out running every day . Completely mad!

    2. It’s a bit stretched I agree but I have been addressed both as bud (in the States) & the answer.

      1. 2d was occasionally used as a form of address, in a similar way to bud, in the East End of London, when I was a youngster.

      1. Best name for an oriental takeaway, by the railway bridge in Purley. Closed now, but it still makes me smile, my ol’ china

    3. I did not look bud up but I took it to be a form of address and the answer also a form of address. I have now looked up the answer which seems to confirm it although the answer can be used in a threatening way too.

  9. This was a slow burner for me; only ten or so clues completed after the first pass, followed by a coffee break. That did the trick and the rest followed reasonably quickly. 2d was a stretch until you consider that the longer form of bud is in fairly regular use, so it was just about acceptable. Dada was certainly not overly benevolent, but a few of his clues rescued the whole for me, most notably 10 and 30a.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  10. I’m in the distinctly tricky camp. Completed in just shy of **** time with, as is often the case with Dada, nearly half of that time spent on 2 or 3 I find for whatever reason real head scratchers & often not the difficult ones. Today it was 2d with 9&12a. Anyway all parsed with the exception of 26d where my answer seems the only plausible. 10a was my pick today & one of the reasons I stopped wearing shorts on the golf course. Very enjoyable but in my view the best crossword of the weekend by some margin is Gazza’s NTSPP.
    Today’s albums: a double dose of Beatles with Rubber Soul & Revolver
    Thanks to Dada & to Senf.

  11. Very challenging and needed Senf’s hints to complete the last sixth which with the checkers enabled a *** finish. Liked 9 and 10a but 14a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf for his invaluable help.

  12. All went in at a fair pace for me until I ground to a complete halt with the SW corner which needed a bit of assistance to be completed.
    11D and 20A joint COTDs for me. (or surely that should be CsOTD…?)

  13. Took me a while to twig 30a and I was a bit doubtful about 26d but seemed to latch onto Dada’s wavelength elsewhere.
    Top two for me were 20a & 11d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints – but possibly not for the music which mercifully passed me by!

  14. Set off at a pace with NE corner then hit a wall, took a while to get onto the wavelength thereafter ****/**.5 – Fav’s 10a (suffered a couple of those nasty bites) 24a and 30a for me today with no clear winner.
    Thx to the setter and Senf.

  15. Struggled but got there eventually, unaided.
    Always enjoy Sunday’s.
    Three or four letter words always seem to be the problem for me.
    So, ****/****.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf for the review.

  16. We’re in the “we didn’t find this as tricky as others seemed to” camp this afternoon. Just the way one sees it I suppose. Favourite was 31a with a number of others coming close. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. Struggling with every clue in the SW corner took me into 4* time, but I’ll give it 4* enjoyment as well. I’ve no objection to obscure words or stretched synonyms, as long as they’re fair and in the BRB. How else do you improve your solving skills or extend your vocabulary? Solving would be tedious if we knew all the answers without being challenged and stretched. So thank you Dada, and Senf.

  18. All went swimmingly to start with but 3 or 4 held me up for ages. Could not get the charity in 15 despite having the middle letter, then the penny dropped. 26d still an hmmm! Now have two snipe daily in my garden having never had even one before. Their long beaks going through thick snow. Can any birder out there shed light on why they would suddenly arrive? Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  19. Great puzzle Dada. Slowed up in NE, with 10a LOI. A nice local answer for Kath in 7d! Thanks to Senf too.

  20. Definitely a little tougher than normal with the requisite quirkiness of Dada apparent this week. ***/****
    Some clever and thought bending clues sprinkled in with one or two ‘gimme’s’
    Liked 11d (groan!!), 7d & 8d … another groaner!
    Favourites this week include 17a, 30a, 31a, 1d & 16d with winner 31a!

    Thanks to Dada and Senf
    (… and glad I live on the West Coast and not in ‘Winterpeg’ …. Brrrrrr !!!!!!!)

  21. I’m in the definitely very tricky camp as I seem to be most of the time at the moment – all this endless lockdown **** is doing nothing at all for my brain.
    This has taken me an extremely long time and at one stage I nearly gave in – 4, 10 and 30a and 5d were the culprits.
    I’m glad that I didn’t give up and look at hints – I’d have been very cross with myself if I had.
    I don’t think that 12a is just a children’s author and I certainly wouldn’t call 10a a little nipper – they’re huge and vicious!
    The implement used in the 19d ‘needlework’ is a hook.
    I’m not grousing – I did enjoy this crossword a lot.
    My favourite does, of course, have to be 7d even though it was one of my last answers! :oops:
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Kath, I agree with you on 10a and did think about making a comment in the hint. I have been ‘nipped’ by its ‘smaller’ sibling/cousin(?) through socks while wearing shorts on the golf course and that is bad enough. Unlike Huntsman, at Comment 10, I am not yet prepared to go for ‘full’ leg protection when golfing in fine weather.

      1. I get a nasty allergic reaction to those ‘little’ nippers. They always attack the ankles, wrists or elbows🤨

        1. I reckon they attack the nearest bare bit and seem to actively like insect repellant! The only thing I hate more is a wasp.

          1. I just have to brush against a stinging nettle to get a terrible reaction but funnily enough I never get mosquito bites, maybe because I am a marmite accidt!

      2. They were a feature on our course on the 2nd hole & by golly you knew about it if they took a liking to you.

  22. As usual, I found this tricky, nothing is new. I needed a lot of e-help and a hint to get me going again in the SW. it took forever to see 11d, had blinkers on for the first two words in the clue.
    It’s hard to choose a fave but I think I’ll pick 7d for Kath.
    Thank you Dada for the challenge and to Senf for helping me across the finish line.

  23. Hallo there. Very late in the day but we had several interruptions, and had just started lunch and the crossword when a friend
    dropped in a WI quiz with a desperate plea for us to finish it for her. It is based on towns and villages in Cambs and Herts
    and we have managed to sort all of them out except for ‘Happy leg bone 7 letters’ Any ideas? I did think of Welney but that is only 6.
    Anyway, many thanks Dada for really stretching the old grey matter especially in the SW corner and, as others have said, I am still
    not sure about 26d although it seems right. We eventually completed it without recourse to Senf’s excellent hints and, as you might
    imagine, when we did look the two we were doubtful about were not covered. But that is what it is all about just struggling with the crossword – as Robert Service said It isn’t the gold that I’m wanting, so much as just finding the gold. I might have that a bit wrong as it is many years since I learned it but especially
    in these difficult times it is wonderful to have a daily challenge no matter how hard or easy or obscure it is. So huge Valentine cards to all the setters.❤❤❤

  24. *****/**. Very tricky with some stretched synonyms and obscure odd/archaic (at least to me) words. 2&22d were examples. 11d was my favourite and definitely in the well clued camp. Shame there weren’t more like this. Thanks to Dada and Senf. I went into our garage this morning to get something out of the big freezer and thought about leaving the door open to warm the place up.

  25. I don’t think I have 26d. I can think of a wild animal which fits and a sound which could be a painful one but they each start with a different letter. If it is a sounds-like I can think of a word that sounds like the answer but it doesn’t mean a painful sound. I seem to be going round in circles.Favourites 9 11 and 20a and 1 11 19 and 21d. Thanks Dada and Senf

  26. Well that was certainly no Valentine’s Day gift. Once upon a time I thought I had discovered Dada’s wavelength, but was disabused of that notion today. Too many stretched synonyms, and would certainly never refer to 19d as needlework, which is used by most to refer to all things to do with embroidery. I am sure someone will correct me. 2d threw me, as bud is definitely an Americanism, but in 39 years here I’ve near heard anyone use 2d in that context, whereas I heard it all the time in England. Clearly above my pay grade today. Thanks to Dada for taxing my grey cells, and to Senf for providing the much needed hints,

  27. Finished – found this tougher than yesterday and needed a final hint from Senf. My electronic helper clearly was unable to sort the anagram in 5D, so spent way too much time trying to parse it, along with 13A where I was pretty sure I had the answer but without the checking letters from 5D, wasn’t sure! Had to resort to the old anagram method of letters in a circle and trying different combinations…got there eventually!!
    Thanks to Dada for a fairly difficult challenge, and to Senf for helping to save my sanity!
    Cheers y’all from chilly Virginia Beach!

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