ST 3099 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3099 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3099 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg and I wish all the UK Mothers a Happy Mothering Sunday/Mother’s Day; unfortunately, in Canada we have long ago adopted the USA Hallmark Holiday version, some time in May I believe. Plus, we had the annual irritation of Springing Forward at 2:00am this morning.

Keep staying safe everyone.

After yesterday’s straightforward Cephas SPP, I would not have been surprised if we had a stinker from Dada today but I did not find as challenging as I thought it might be.  I counted five anagrams (two partials), one lurker, and two homophones – all in a slightly asymmetric 30 clues, with 17 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 21a, 2d, and 25d – although the last two got Hmms.

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 Bandaged by feathers and straw, that man in good health (4,3,5)
The third person male singular pronoun representing that man contained (bandaged) by a collective term for feathers and the illustrated usage of straw.

11a Traditional UK general election time bound to be chaos (6)
The month (time) in which general, perhaps more correctly local, elections take place followed by a term for bound (in relation to working with fabric) – which doesn’t quite work for me – there appears to be a mixture of noun and verb and/or tenses.

13a Cut ends off old sausage roll, the worst piece (6)
The last letters (ends off) of six words in the clue.

15a Wrap up certain short series (8)
A synonym of certain with the last letter removed (short) followed by a synonym of series.

21a Hero getting cold in water, on the retreat (8)
A five letter synonym of cold inserted into (in) a body of water reversed (on the retreat).

26a County pack members overheard? (5)
The first homophone (overheard) of one quarter (members) of a pack (of cards) gives an abbreviated county.

27a Bully sees girl is pinioned by rubber ring (9)
A three letter girl and IS from the clue all contained (pinioned) by a type of rubber ring (perhaps manufactured by Dunlop or Goodyear).

28a Bird demolished pretty morsel (6,6)
An anagram (demolished) of PRETTY MORSEL.


1d Brought into disrepute, fed up getting made wrong (7)
FED from the clue reversed (up) followed by (getting) an anagram (wrong) of MADE.

2d Big effort, one going on foot (5)
A double definition – for the first, when hoping for a big effort, one might say ‘give it some *****’.

5d Eminent American ruler of empire (8)
A synonym of eminent and the two letters that can indicate American – apparently the first ruler of a particular empire.

8d Part of chest, one drawer out of it (6)
The lurker (part of) found in three words of the clue.

16d American flower in Rhode Island, giant swallows also (3,6)
The two letter abbreviation for Rhode Island and an (ugly?) type of giant contains (swallows) a synonym of also – don’t forget that flower can be pronounced in more than one way.

17d Creator of new design put hole in wrought iron (8)
A type of hole (providing airflow) inserted into (put in) an anagram (wrought) of IRON.

20d Bad leg I gathered, who cares? (3,4)
An anagram (gathered) of BAD LEG I – the ‘?’ is probably an integral part of the definition.

22d Virtuoso with record on the radio? (5)
The second homophone (on the radio) of a type of (written) record.

25d Huge number of limbs, arguably? (4)
The ‘wacky’ use (arguably) of a well known word that could indicate a large number of a particular limb.

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Composer Johann Strauss Senior was born on March 14, 1804. This is arguably his most well known work; this performance from the 2016 Vienna New Year’s Day Concert with Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons conducting the audience rather than the orchestra:

80 comments on “ST 3099 (Hints)

  1. 3*/4*. This was a very enjoyable puzzle apart from 27a earning a raised eyebrow. The NE corner held me up the most particularly trying to pin down the second word of 7d.

    Senf, for 11a, I think “bound” is OK as a noun in the sense of a “limit”.

    Podium places went to 1a, 11a, 21a & 16d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. If I could accept bound as a synonym for the word required in the 1a answer it would, even by Dada’s standards, be very stretched – almost to breaking point.

    2. 11a. I think the two word s are OK as verbs. Bound can mean to limit, define, restrict. And the other unmentionable 3-letter word can also mean the same. I’m saying they are closely “synonymous”, not necessarily exact/precise definitions of each other (just in case LBR is listening!). And that’s just very friendly banter.

  2. Found this a good distraction whilst waiting outside the emergency vets whilst they rebandaged (again) my poor Gordon setter’s “happy tail”. Lots of good clues – 11 across felt quite appropriate!

    1. Poor dog (& you as there can’t really be a cure to stop it recurring).
      Fortunately not something ant of our Labs have ever been prone to. Biggles had the opposite – broken tail syndrome after swimming in very cold water. At least that cured itself.

    2. Oh dear! It’s sad when a dog is injured just for being happy. I hope he gets better soon, Johny99.

    3. Oh dear, we had that with one of our labradors years ago. He would come into the kitchen all bright and
      waggy and the kitchen would look like murder in the Red Barn!

  3. I found this very difficult. Not my wave length at all. It wasn’t helped by coming to the wrong sort of county pack in a neighbouring area in 26a. That took a while to unravel. I didn’t understand 13a at all so I may have the wrong answer. Too much like hard work to be very enjoyable. ****/* I did like 16d and 27a. No hmms from me with either of those. Thanks to all.

      1. Thanks, Brian. I’d looked at various permutations of that but not the right bits! I see it now.

  4. Don’t know about a raised eyebrow RD more a vocal expletive of frustration at my end. Were it not for 27a this would have been a finish in not much over * time which is unheard of for Dada. Knew what definition synonym I was looking for but it wouldn’t come until eventually the rubber ring penny dropped after about the same time again. No real favourites but 1a was a nice one to kick off with.
    Thanks to Dada & to Senf.

  5. Dada seemed to be in playful mode today and many of the clues were witty. I thoroughly enjoyed this one (2*/5*), which kept me entertained before the video call from our son to celebrate Mother’s Day andmy husband’s birthday, which is also today. I liked the anagram at 28a and enjoyed 9a, 15a and 27a but my COTD is1a and we shall have a toast later! Thank you to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  6. Usual tricky Sunday but some very clever clues. My favs were 21a, 7d and 11a. However I wasn’t keen on 1a (just too tricksy for my taste), 18d and 22d(both a bit clumsy).
    Really needed some of todays excellent hints to finish this one (at the very least I learnt what the third person male pronoun is!).
    Tricky puzzle but enjoyable to complete.

    1. Blimey Brian, you’ll be conjugating third person past participle Latin verbs in no time, then perhaps extrapolating on the perpendicular pronoun until such time that one jeopardises the sustenance of the ignominy or implication that one might be the perpetrator of terminological inexactitudes or otherwise superfluous nomenclature with what some more cynical than I might say would be a somewhat pantopragmatistic implication, notwithstanding the ichnology of the intended consequence, I think

        1. We told you that eating the BRB page by page wasn’t a good way to improve your vocabulary, LBR!

      1. Blimey, LBR! After reading that lot, I’d better think twice before debating semantics with you again! :-)

  7. Now that’s better! At last, a crossword I got some satisfaction from. Perhaps going out for a 7 mile walk before breakfast set up my thought processes.

    All completed in **/*** time, with all answers parsed to my satisfaction. It would be unfair of me to pick one out as COTD, so they are all crowded onto my podium

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  8. A nice way to start Mothers Day with the toast at 1a. Here’s to all the mums who have laughed, cried, worried and celebrated with their offspring over the years.
    Top of my pile today were 1&18a and now I’m going to enjoy a lunchtime drink with No.1 daughter.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the photo at 28a. I did enjoy the Strauss – looked as though the conductor, orchestra and audience were all having a thoroughly good time.

    1. Hope the Last Night of the Proms will be back this year. I quite like watching some of the showman André Rieu’s performances, although he’s not to everyone’s taste

      1. We have booked to see André Rieu at Birmingham next year. Say what you like about him, he has brought a genre of music to millions of people worldwide and he makes sure they have a good time.

        As for The Proms, if the BBC have their way it will become a showcase for pop, rap and breakdancers! The arrogance of them to say that classical music is only for the over 50’s.

          1. Spinning rapidly more than anything, Hrothgar. The BBC’s pursuit of “yoof” will be its downfall.

        1. Andre is hugely popular in Maastricht which, until this b—– virus, we would visit twice a
          year as George used to work there. If you do a river trip they proudly show you his house.
          He is a real showman!

          1. I’d love to have the opportunity to go and see one of his concerts. I really like the Dutch/German/Austrian music from the 1800’s, having read a lot of German literature from that time, which adds to the ambience. Nikolai Rostov and other protagonists from war and peace also spring to mind

  9. I really enjoyed this puzzle, a pleasant diversion over the bacon and eggs.
    26a was a nuisance, I entered the county I live in but it turned out to be wrong.
    27a went in ok but I can see problems if you spell the girls name with an e at the end.

  10. Average Sunday difficulty I thought. Took some time to get going & slight holdup in NE corner took me just into ^^^ time.
    Very enjoyable with 5d my COTD.
    Thanks to Dada & Senf for the hints.

  11. This took ages to grind out, lots of little traps and misdirection.
    Still very enjoyable with a very high “doh” factor.
    Thanks to setter, and to Senf for the useful hints.

  12. The naughty step needs to be extended to setters. 11a and certainly 25d are both yellow cards.

  13. A Sunday puzzle finished without needing the hints but with a lot of difficulty. Favourite clue today is 27a.

    My thanks to the setter and thanks to Senf for parsing some the answers had to be, even without understanding exactly why.

  14. As usual, it took me ages to break into Dada’s offering but once started it all began to fall into place. I likes 1a and 5d but my COTD is 18a. I had the wrong county for 26a and I suspect others might also have done so. I know Tincantel did. The misdirection is subtle.

    Many thanks, Dada for a pleasant solve and thanks to the Galloping Canadian for the hints.

  15. A classical Dada today gives us the “glory that was Greece, and the grandeur that was Rome”–as well as Hungary–in a delightful Sunday Prize Puzzle. I had some trouble with ‘going on foot’ and the county; otherwise, a good, if tricky solve for me. I especially liked 1a, 16d, 21a, and 5d. Thanks to Senf and Dada. *** / ****

  16. I found this fairly testing in places, and it took a bit of teasing out to complete the grid. Of many fine clues I liked 21a the best. Not sure why there have been raised eyebrows concerning 27a unless it is the girl’s name.

    My thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  17. Mrs BD would argue that today is correctly called Mothering Sunday (a rural English custom of visiting the mother church or one’s parents on mid-Lent Sunday) – Mother’s Day being a commercial travesty imported from the US

      1. Me too. Cannot be doing with this Americanisation of our rural traditions – sorry, Robert!

    1. Totally agree with Mrs. Big Dave. As Senf says above, it is a Hallmark moment over here and not until May 9 and not the real Mothering Sunday that we knew in the UK. Was very surprised today when youngest daughter (who was 9 when we sailed across the pond), presented me with a big bunch of roses for “English Mother’s Day”.
      Struggled with the cryptic today. Not helped by the fact that I spent a good 3 hours in the wee hours with my head buried in a John Grisham book, on top of losing an hour because of the clocks changing. But I has such a lovely time with Saturday’s that I really shouldn’t complain. Is 19a a real word, I guess it must be. I tried to use the wrong relative in 18a, another hold up. Shocked myself by getting 28a. Just had the pleasure of watching one of the first visitors to our new bird bath. The water in it gets very warm, and the little chap clearly loved it, staying for a good 5 minutes. No idea what he was. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    2. Mrs BD is quite correct but it has to be said that ‘Mothering Sunday’ is quite a mouthful for a small child and they can understand ‘Mothers Day’ far more easily. Whichever, I have thoroughly enjoyed the cards, flowers and restaurant meal that were delivered to me today courtesy of my girls!

    3. I’ve always been guided by what it says at the top of my diary page. And today it reads : Mothering Sunday.

  18. **/**** for me today. 1a reminds me to get some more beer in a bit. Finished it all watching yesterday’s excellent rugby. Wish it was always so entertaining, regardless of the result.
    Thanks to Dada for a great puzzle, and to Senf for the Strauss (and the blog)!

  19. **/**** for me too. Lots of lovely misdirection, notably one on foot and one drawer out of chest. Favourite was 16d as have visited the said state several times. Beautiful, especially in the autumn. Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Thoroughly enjoyed this Sunday puzzle. Took some time though before I was fully on Dada’s wavelength. Was held up by 1A for quite a while – couldn’t stop trying various ‘fitness’ expressions until the checking letters eventually produced the ‘Doh’ moment…once that was in the rest of the puzzle seemed to fall straight into place at a canter!
    11A made me smile and I had 27A quickly having had to shell out recently for a new set of the ‘rubber rings’…ouch!
    Great blog ‘n hints by Senf as usual and thanks again to Dada for the enjoyable but challenging solve!
    Cheers! (1A?)👍

    1. Bruce – I had to have 4 new rubber rings recently. George protested that there was nothing wrong with the treads but
      Big Bob said the sides were disintegrating due to the exceptionally hot sun in the summer and they were seeing more and more of this!
      I have since heard of other instances, just another aspect of climate change.

  21. Thank you Dada for the puzzle and Senf for getting me going again when I came to a stop in the middle.

    I enjoyed 8d’s partial chest and 18d’s lightning, with my favourite being 21a’s hero.

    1. I think you are off by 900. By my reckoning number 4000, not allowing for any Christmas Specials, will not appear until June 27, 2038!

  22. I did the first quarter of this in bed on my Kindle and mistakenly hit the ‘wipe puzzle’ button which not only wiped all my answers but all the clue numbers as well. That made it incredibly tiresome to fill in which I did manage in the end. Lots of little circles of letters to solve the anagrams. Saw 1a immediately which was my COTD. Very enjoyable solve so thanks to all. Went back to the scene of my accident last Sunday at the same time in the hope of finding my Florence Nightingale dog walker to say a proper thank you but no luck. The pain is far worse than my two hip replacements were but at least I have the strong pain tablets they gave me then which I didn’t need a couple of days after the op.

    1. I was wondering how far you were from help/your car when the accident happened. Did someone have to carry you?
      You poor thing, is it still so painful?

      1. By/moving a couple of bollards, David managed to get the car right up beside me as we had only just set off. But the kind lady stayed with me for about half an hour and I was so grateful. Hopefully the pain will ease soon. Thanks DG.

  23. Found this Dada offering trickier than normal but not really quirky. Perhaps I was paying to much attention to the Scotland/Ireland match and not focusing on the puzzle … anyway, did finish. ***/***** Needed a couple of hints and there were a few clues that really caused grey matter work out.
    Clues for favourites include 1a, 27a, 2d, 18d & 24d with winner 1a

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Happy Mothering Sunday to all the ladies on this blog … as well as my to my mum.

  24. After yesterday’s stroll in the park, this was like climbing Mount Everest, and I nearly ran out of oxygen *****/**.
    Not helped by putting the wrong County in 26a, and taking ages to find the right second word in 7d. Favourite was 16d.
    Got there in the end, but very tricky, maybe distracted by all the sport on TV.

  25. Too tough for me, I had ten or so unsolved, all in the east. Fave was 1a.
    Thanks Dada and thanks to Senf for the hints and picks.

  26. Well it has been a funny old day, DD2 arrived at midday then George had to watch the rugby
    and I did the crossword on my own and then got distracted by trying to clean up my computer so here
    I am at 5 o’clock only just putting in my twopenn’orth. BUT, in the past I have found that Sunday afternoon has proved to be a
    dangerous time to sit at the computer and browse Boden and Reiss and Zara & so on so I reckon I have saved a lot of money today.
    However. A very nice crossword with some very neat clues, just enough to make me stop and think and a strange mixture of the very easy
    (12a) and the quite tricky 27a. I finished the grid, but on reading the hints I was amused to see that I was looking at animals for 26a not
    the other sort of pack. I liked 28a and 13a. Thanks to Senf and the setter who I am told is Dada. So onto another week tomorrow……..

    1. I saw you read my post yesterday Daisy. I just wanted to tell you that they all arrived safely yesterday, now wearing flannel jackets and being sorted/matched with peeps, fosters and forever homes. Those Canadians are truly lovely people.

  27. Galloped through today’s offerings without any help from Big Dave. Not sure if it was easy or we are just getting better. COTD 9A.

  28. Just popped in to see if others found this difficult – some have and some haven’t – I did.
    I haven’t quite finished it yet – my problems are nearly all in the bottom left corner and I’ll go back to it and, hopefully, finish it later.
    I really enjoyed what I’ve done so far mainly because so many made me laugh – 1a and 2, 8 and 20d and, my favourite, 25d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf and lots of :rose: to all the Mums everywhere but particularly the ones on this blog.

  29. Finished in ** time with 1a the favourite. SW caused a bit of trouble because of thinking the county was to do with the noise of a canine pack.

  30. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very good puzzle from Dada, that I found really tricky. At one point, I only had half a dozen answers, and was about to give up, but carried on. Needed the hints for 13&15a and 8d. Electronic help for 27a. I had xxxxxxxx for 19a, so that stopped me getting 7d. Favourite was 16d. Was 4* / 4* for me.

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