ST 3102 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 3102 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3102 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Easter Sunday morning from Winnipeg where on Monday, at 3:00 pm, we were enjoying a balmy and record high temperature, for the date, of plus 19 degrees when 24 hours of what is euphemistically called Active Spring Weather arrived – high winds up to 90 km/hr, snow, and, on Tuesday, at 3:00 pm, a high temperature of minus 7 degrees!

Meanwhile, yesterday with the miracle that is the Internet, I watched an England XV show a Scotland XV how to play the oval ball game while winning by 52 points to 10 (an explanation underneath the hints below).  And, I gather that France scored a few points against Wales.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, Dada is somewhat quirky today and I had a few tea-tray sized PDMs.  I counted four anagrams (one partial), two lurkers (one reversed), and two 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 – 17a, 19a, 4d, and 8d.

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 Right steal (11)
We start with a double definition – the first relates to suitability (right), and the second has a different pronunciation, at least in my part of the world, to the first.

9a Abhorrent conclusion, bane evil (14)
I don’t think we see a single word 14 letter anagram very often, but we have one here – an anagram (evil) of CONCLUSION, BANE.

13a Opener removed from fielding position for spell of bowling (4)
A (crickety, off-side) fielding position with the first letter (opener) removed.

17a Nick is residing in flat, briefly (6)
IS from the clue contained by (residing in) a synonym of flat (when lying face down) with the last letter removed (briefly).

22a Soft drink: I’m going without one on the counter (4)
A single word used in Mexico, say, when one is leaving (I’m going) with the Roman numeral for one removed (without) and reversed (on the counter).

23a Last of all in kingdom, prince without biggish debts, solvent (5)
The final letters (last of all) of five words in the clue – but I would not classify it as a solvent.

27a Mentioned a drab drunk that will pick your pocket in Vegas? (3-5,6)
An anagram (drunk) of MENTIONED A DRAB.

28a Item on list, killer objective (6,5)
The illustrated ‘killer’ and a synonym of objective – thanks to jean-luc for pointing out my, now corrected, error in identifying the definition.


2d Does sewer have those? It’s an uncomfortable feeling (4,3,7)
What a sewer might have in a type of cushion is an uncomfortable feeling.

4d Document I don’t know on drink (8)
A four letter word that has become the standard term for ‘I don’t know’ in a quiz and a fortified wine.

5d Flowers in roses I rightly pulled up (6)
The reverse lurker (in . . . pulled up) found in three words in the clue – the ‘forward’ lurker not hinted by me is 25d.

7d Better than hint, obviously faultless? (5,9)
A single word for better than in, say, a league table and a synonym of hint.

8d Use river with bit of salt water (4,3,4)
A river in NE England (that flows past Durham Cathedral), a synonym of with, and a bit of salt water (that comes from the eye).

18d What begins with a beat, pal improvising around Beethoven’s Fifth (8)
An anagram (improvising) of BEAT, PAL containing (around) the fifth letter of BeetHoven.

21d Possible breakfast TV show announced? (6)
One of the homophones (announced) of a type of TV show – the other homophone not hinted by me is 3d.

26d Dope working for government department (4)
When written (2,1,1) an indication that one would be working for the UK government department headed by Dominic Raab.

Explanation – The first match of this year’s (delayed and shortened) Women’s Six Nations tournament.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

A bit of fun today – sledging, not the crickety kind, to a waltz not composed by a Strauss but by a Frenchman, Émile Waldteufel – even though his surname looks very German, he was born and raised in Strasbourg which, as part of Alsace, has changed hands a few times.  A pity that the video does not have skaters but it is one of a series, this is number 23, in which sledders have fun:


93 comments on “ST 3102 (Hints)

  1. A good prize crossword , difficult , challenging yet solvable . 23a was my nemesis and final answer . (None so blind as those who cannot see , obviously ). My favourite 8d .
    Thanks Senf & Dada .

    1. I had a problem with that, had no idea why my answer was right, but your comment made me revisit it. Dead right, none so blind!

  2. I enjoyed this Easter SPP, although it gave me several pauses for thought and was fairly challenging. 9a was a super clue and well disguised, whilst 8d was both amusing and cleverly put together and 12a was a ggood example of a short clue. My COTD, however, is 7d a wily clue in the Dada tradition. Thanks to Senf, sounds like you might need a wardrobe for all 4 seasons inthe near future and thanks to Dada. Happy Easter to everyone.

  3. Took a while to sort out one of the anagrams and learned a new word in doing so.
    Nice to see 16a with an original wordplay without mentioning that river.
    I think the def in 28a is Item on list rather than killer objective.
    Favourite 19a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

      1. Me too, because it’s a simple/straightforward definition. The underlined one is an obscure/cryptic description of the answer. But, if I had to, I settle for a “double definition”.

    1. Reference 28a – that was how I meant it to be. My fingers must have have acted independently of my brain and my editor did not notice the error, too much Mouton Cadet Blanc I suspect. The correction has now been made.

  4. Very enjoyable, with a few head scratchers. Needed the hints to understand the parsing of 22a.
    My favourites include 18d and 8d, but COTD goes to 19a as it took an age to spot the definition word.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  5. Quite a tricky puzzle this morning. ***/*** 21d was a bit of a “really?” moment but 8d was my favourite. Thanks, Senf, for the hints. 22a was a bung in for me and I couldn’t work out what that was all about. I don’t recall seeing that instruction in a clue before. Thanks to all.

  6. Dada bang on form today in what I found to be a real Easter cracker. After the initial panic of the first read through yielding nothing much it was actually a steady solve with only 15d, my last in, providing the only head scratch & assuming I have the correct entry the synonym to one of the words seems tenuous to me. A whole host of worthy contenders for podium consideration: 9,17,19&28a plus 7,8&18d. The winner is 8d by a neck from 18d.
    Thanks to Dada & to Senf.

    1. I pondered on 15d for a while – if you think about misconduct then the synonym for the first word in the clue works fine

      1. Thanks, I had no idea what this was GJR, but having got it from your hint, I think the answer also means the second word for an actual ( slightly outdated?) amount.

  7. A typical Dada with an intimidating grid. But doable with a good deal of thought. My last one in was 21dn – the dreaded (breakfast) TV show. So I had to resort to the hint and only needed the picture to put me out of my misery. Clue of the day for me was 18dn.

    Thanks Dada and Senf

    PS I am up and walking around the ward and feeling fine.

    1. That’s good to hear, SW, you’ll hopefully be back at home in no time and enjoying a somewhat more palatable diet!

      1. Glad you’re mobile SW. It always makes you feel better. Hope things keep improving.

  8. Like Huntsman, I was a little doubtful about 15d but couldn’t find another word that would fit the checkers. Other than that, I thought this was a most enjoyable Easter treat from Dada and I think 8d just makes it to the top of my pile ahead of several other serious contenders.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Loved your reference to Active Spring Weather – think we all get our share of that although perhaps on a somewhat smaller scale here!
    Delightful clip of the Skaters’ Waltz – it’s amazing how a series of animated stick figures set to music can raise so many smiles.

    1. Looks like we are set for some very active weather in next couple of days Jane.
      Just at the start of the lambing season too, poor little mites.
      There are 4 highland cattle just down the road & one of them has just calved. At least they look equipped for the weather.

      1. Poor little mites, indeed, especially as most of them are destined for such short lives.

  9. Good fun today with some annoying hold-ups. 22a was also a bung in for me. 12a last in because I couldn’t see the top sportsman for ages and 20a also a bit of a head scratcher. I think my COTD is 16a. It is exactly a month to the day that I had my stupid accident and was told that it would take 8 weeks to clear up. Well I’ve done the first half so now feel on the homeward straight! Thanks to everyone on this amazing blog for the support, it never ceases to astound me the variety of subjects covered with such good humour and banter. Everyone seems so interesting and in some cases quite quirky. I look forward every day to reading the comments and my fantastic flowers are still blooming, so thank you.

    1. I’m glad you’re halfway there, Manders and hope you are soon out walking again.

    2. Keep going. Hopefully, by the time you’re fully recovered, we can all get out a bit more.

    3. The free sweet pea seeds that came with Saint Sharon’s flowers at Christmas are doing well. I’ll probably put all thirty plants against our long fence sometime next week. That’ll keep the sainted one busy when they start flowering. Glad your wound is doing well. Happy Easter Manders and to all who may be reading this post

  10. 2*/4.5*. I found this much easier than last Sunday’s puzzle but no less fun.

    I’m afraid Dada is a bit out of date with his government departments. It changed its name in the late 60s from a two-letter to a three-letter acronym, and then again last year to four letters.

    My joint favourites were 8d & 18d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I don’t much keep up with all the changes and acronyms either.! A former co director of mine used to refer to the DHSS as “the department of stealth and total obscurity”. About right, though I think it too has a new name now.

      1. That’s a very appropriate mis-translation of the DHSS! It was split into 2 in the 80s: Department of Health (DH) and Department of Social Security (DSS). The former was later renamed as the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the latter as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). I’ll be testing you on this later! :wink:

        1. Don’t get me started on the DWP. I’ve been told (by them) that there are more than 500 people working there. The trouble is only 3 of them have a clue what they’re doing.

    2. When I was serving HM, a frequently used but somewhat tongue in cheek comment on the accuracy of ‘anything’ was that it was ‘close enough for government work.’ Perhaps the same applies to Dada’s use of the (old) two letter abbreviation in 26d.

    3. RD, 26a. Isn’t it the reviewer who is historically off beam by mentioning Dominic Raab, who heads a present-day dept, rather than the setter being out of date. The clue makes no reference to when the “government department” existed. The xxxxx did exist as a specific entity for a number of years, it will always be always be written/spoken of in hindsight as the xxxxx and it will always have the acronym xxxxx.

      * And don’t you dare use any pertinent 2-letter acronyms in your reply! :-)

      1. You identified ‘half’ of the 26d answer three times, so, as it is a Sunday PP . . .

        And, as I have been out of the country for 28 years and several months, I have no idea what any UK government department is now called.

        What I would like to know is who took over from Jim Hacker as Minister of Administrative Affairs? :wink:

        1. Sorry, Senf, I’m not used to commenting on a Sunday – I’ve only had this laptop for a few weeks. I’ll be more careful next time.

  11. Not overly tricky for Dada I didn’t think. Just shows how my appreciation of his style has improved (thank you Senf). Overall an enjoyable satisfying work out that took just into *** time.
    Similar to Huntsman 15d LOI. 2 word double definitions, Dada seems to like them, I find difficult to sort out sometimes.
    Both 8d & 18d deserving of COTD for me.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf. 23a is definitely a solvent Senf.

  12. I enjoyed this one. My last one in was the long anagram at 9a; Even with all the checking letters in place the answer didn’t leap off the page.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  13. Dada nicely decked out for Easter. The usual thrills and surprises from our Sunday word-wizard, with 8d, 18d, and 7d taking the medals. I drew a blank on 28a for ages, took a break, and then magically the little killer just hit home. Most enjoyable. Thanks to Senf and Dada. *** / ****

  14. As always with Dada it was a slow start but it soon got going. I found it tricky but doable with some great clues. I particularly liked 16a, 23a and 29a. However, my COTD is 8d.

    Many thanks, Dada for the challenge and grateful thanks to Senf for the tips.

    Beautiful day here in Shropshire.

    Happy Easter, everyone. :rose:

  15. Very enjoyable Easter Sunday challenge. 20a clever, 27a favourite.
    Didn’t quite parse 22, I’ve come unstuck with on the counter before. Keep thinking of abacuses (abaci?)
    Thanks Senf and Dada

    1. It’s a Sunday Prize Puzzle – but concentrate more on the second word of the clue and/or read what GJR wrote at comment 7.

  16. Dada in a benign mood today. Very enjoyable with many clever clues of which my favs are 2d and 27a both of which made me smile.
    Still cannot fully parse 22a.
    Thx to all

    1. Managed to work out the hint for 22a, a bit more help from the setter would have been appreciated with perhaps some reference to the language!

  17. I found this to be a fairly straightforward solve, all over in **/*** time, except for 15d. Any number of words will fit the checkers, but from the comments above (Thanks GJR) it would appear that my first guess was right.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  18. Can someone please organise a petition to the Telegraph editors,yet again the top line of the General Knowledge and Cryptic crosswords are obscured by the centrefold.
    I have complained but no joy,such a simple remedy,swap the crosswords with the solution section!

    1. My pen often goes through the page. Either that or it doesn’t write because there’s nothing to rest against. :mad:

      It was much better at the top of the page.

      1. Agreed. And why is the 50-50 crossword on the previous page so much bigger? With loads of pages devoted to travel, which we can’t do anyway, surely a bit more space could be devoted to the cryptic.

        1. Mr CL’s ad for his book takes up 2 inches full width at the top……

      1. I used to think it was “Here Here!” meaning “I over here agree”. It is, however, “Hear Hear!” and it began in the British parliament in the 17C. MPs would shout “Hear him, Hear him!” as a way of getting other MPs to listen to the one who was speaking. It was eventually shortened to “Hear Hear!”.

        Today’s bit of useless information! :grin:

    2. I quite agree. Probably designed by someone who’s never had to deal with the dead tree version in real life!

      1. Count me in as well. I’m fed up with my pencil going through the paper and I’m with you on the waste of valuable space in printing travel news, when no-one can travel. I just put the unopened Travel supplement from today’s paper into the recycling with yesterday’s.

        1. I agree 100%. It is a no sense where it is. I try to refold before I start but it is hopeless.

  19. Well it seemed like Dada was very benevolent this week with this puzzle 1.5*/***** with some great clues. Several with misdirection like 2d & 18d.
    Favourites today include 11a, 16a, 28a, 2d, 8d & 18d with winner 2d. Thought 8d was clever too. All in all, a great Saturday night puzzle for me as we are pretty much stuck at home.
    Case counts today over a 1000 and have been for 3 of the last 4 days. Variants wreaking havoc, with so called UK variant (B.1.1.7) and the Brazil variant (P.1) that is even more potent.
    On that note … Happy Easter to all.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  20. Enjoyable and just the right level for us on a sunny if nippy day in Hampshire 😃

    1. Your comment went into moderation because your alias got ‘hit’ by the randomly automatic addition of the ‘+’ signs. You should be OK from now on.

  21. Not a barrowload of fun but a stimulating challenge. Dada’s wavelength always hard to locate. Have to admit to seeking help on one or two e.g. 8d and not really sure about 28a – too clever by half. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  22. If Dada was benign and benevolent today then yesterday’s puzzle by Chalicea was obviously intended for nursery school children. The usual befuddlement, bewilderment, and bemusement, and I only finished thanks to some of Senf’s hints and the comment of GJR. My thanks to both. I mustn’t forget to thank Dada for staying true to form. Perhaps one day I too will find him benevolent but I might see some flying objects of the porcine variety a long time before that.

  23. We’re in the “tricky but enjoyable” camp this afternoon. Justified 15d as others above. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  24. Sorry, I really disliked 8d and it put me in a bad mood for the rest of the puzzle. That is not how you pronounce the river. After 8d, nothing else could raise a smile. Each to their own. Fortuanately, I listened to a very good Easter Day Service that raised my spirit afterwards. Thank you setter and Senf. Happy Easter everyone.

    1. Sorry Florence but as it wasn’t a homophone I’m not sure the pronunciation is relevant although I entirely agree it’s not what the river sounds like.

    2. Funny how we like/dislike different things, it took a while for me to twig 8d but I actually thought it quite a good clue and it raised a smile. Agreed it’s not how you would pronounce the river…or the drop of salt water.

      1. I think it’s all about the letters. If sound is involved there’s a homophone indicator

  25. Can anyone enlighten me on 19a? I have ‘put a stop’ inside a word meaning test ( in a legal sense) but can’t see the connection to ‘breaks’. Is it a plural solution or an adjective?
    A very clever, taxing crossword for me today. ****/***.

    1. If you are thinking that ‘breaks’ is the definition, you are at the ‘wrong’ extreme of the clue.

  26. This was the most benign Dada puzzle to date. I fairly flew through it until held up for a while on the RHS. Really liked 1&23a and 26d. Thanks to Dada and Senf. We now have 3 (at least) different approaches to Covid. Alberta (open as many business as possible); Ontario (open as few businesses as possible); BC (toss a coin on a daily basis). I am now in the Group for a vaccine which means I’m not old enough for the Moderna etc brands and too old for the Astra-Zeneca offering. I wait with bated breath.

    1. Meanwhile, in the centre of the country, we are doing reasonably well. Perhaps, those who think they know better should copy us.

  27. Coming to this late today I doubt I can add anything to the many positive comments already posted, other than to say it was very enjoyable while it lasted with 8d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  28. I think this must be a benign Dada, I actually completed it. Natch, huge problems knowing the “why”, but it appears the bung ins are correct. I was totally lost with 22a and 23a but now sorted. Now that I get 23a, I think it’s pretty clever. I’m going to choose 16a as fave for the reason Jean -Luc gave, the clue didn’t mention the river.
    Thanks Dada for the fun, and huge appreciation to Senf for the unravelling of many.
    Happy Easter to everyone, peace and love.

  29. Thought this was going to be tough, not getting a foothold until 23a, but then everything steadily fell into place after putting on my thinking head. Last in we’re 26d and 28a jointly. On the second pass, 9a anagram jumped off the page at me, always have a job saying or spelling that, so had to work my way carefully through the anagram. 27a gets COTD. Thanks to Dada for the enjoyment and to Senf for hints, particularly needed crickety one.

  30. Probably too late to add much after a day in the garden with the Elder Lamb and her partner and our grandson – really warm sunshine, thank goodness, as I thought we were going to freeze – we get that tomorrow.
    I had trouble with 19 and 22a but, generally, not as fiendish as Dada can be sometimes.
    Too many to choose from for a favourite but all good fun.
    I think 23a is the kind of clue that is becoming a Dada trademark just as one of Ray T’s is using the first letters of the words in the clue – something to look out for in future.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  31. What a great weekend for crosswording, really enjoyed this Dada puzzle. I think 18d is probably my clue of the day but there were too many gooduns. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  32. I would not describe this as benign as some held out. I found it useful to look at it with fresh eyes after a break. I did however finish without hints but like others I did not parse 22a. Last three in were 12a 15d and 17a. Interesting arguments about 8d. I think it is an excellent clue, probably the best. Other favourites 28a and 2 and 18d. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  33. 3*/4*….as mentioned by GJR took a while to spot the definition word in 19A…
    liked 27A “Mentioned a drab drunk that will pick your pocket in Vegas? (3-5,6)”

Comments are closed.