ST 3112 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3112 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3112 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where the Province has come up with a somewhat innovative three stage reopening plan.  We have three holidays coming up – Canada Day (July 1), August ‘Long’ (August 3), and Labour Day (September 6) – three levels of gradual reopening will occur on those holidays provided three levels of (increasing) vaccination rates for both first and second doses are met.  It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, about the same as the last two weeks, plus Dada appears to have used some of his personal favourites, probably not the same clues (I don’t think they qualify as oldies but goodies yet).  I counted five anagrams (three partials), one lurker (reversed), and two homophones – all in an almost symmetric 30 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 -1a, 9a, 13a, 27a, and 17d .

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 Fly down something with a neck (10)
A synonym of down (as in feeling sad) and a (glass) container (something) with a neck.

9a Rubbish salesman a dog perhaps witnessed on the retreat (10)
The three letter shortened synonym of a type of salesman, A from the clue, a three letter term for a dog (perhaps as a domestic animal), and a three letter synonym of witnessed all reversed (on the retreat).

13a So judge has nothing to hide in that place (9)
The abbreviated form of a type of judge (in a sporting contest) followed by (has) the letter that represents nothing all inserted into (to hide in) a single word for that place.

15a Implicit message, obvious one (8)
A synonym of obvious (as in clear) and ONE from the clue.

20a Meat market: drain running back alongside one (8)
A four letter synonym of market and a verbal synonym of drain (energy perhaps) all reversed (running back) and then followed by (alongside) the letter used to indicate one (as a number).

24a Animal in shock, by the sound of it? (4)
One of the homophones (by the sound of it) of a synonym of shock (the illustration should help – the other homophone, not hinted by me, is 6a.

27a Set including rosemary and basil originally in, say — here? (4,6)
A Russian doll charade – a synonym of set (as in cure) containing (including) the first letters (originally) of Rosemary and Basil themselves contained by (in) the two letter Latin abbreviation used for say.

29a Letters sent out after backing of rule in place of financial dealings (4,6)
An anagram (sent out) of LETTERS placed after the reversal (backing) of a synonym of rule.


1d Deliver container for fruit, perhaps? (4)
A double definition – the first is a verbal synonym of deliver (in cricket).

4d In honour of a police operation, raising one’s glass (8)
Written (2,1,5), a word for in honour of, A from the clue, and a type of police operation.

7d Get a little sweet (7)
A synonym of get (a prize) and a single word for a little.

8d Cut red line, not squiggly (10)
An anagram (squiggly) of RED LINE, NOT – exactly what I am having for Sunday dinner today.

14d Power on train affected, without a doubt (3,7)
A synonym of power followed by (on) an anagram (affected) of TRAIN.

17d Writer’s piece screened by channel, might one finish another off? (8)
Part of a writing implement (writer’s piece) contained (screened) by a (navigable) channel – one of Dada’s favourites as I have used this illustration at least twice before.

25d Bird in flight on knife-edge, rising (4)
The reversed lurker (in . . . rising) found in three words in the clue – ditto on my use of the illustration.

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This is the Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia from Aram Khachaturian’s ballet Spartacus, part of which was borrowed and used as the theme for the BBC drama series The Onedin Line in the 1970s which explains why the ‘slide show’ has a nautical theme rather than illustrating the exploits of a slave who led an uprising against the Romans in 72 BC (or thereabouts):

72 comments on “ST 3112 (Hints)

  1. 4*/4.5*. I found parts of this very challenging but it was very enjoyable with just one raised eyebrow. Having put in the obvious answer to 18a, I wondered how it could possibly be defined by “cross”. Looking it up in the BRB provided enlightenment – it says “(N Am)”. 👎

    With lots to like, my crowded podium comprises 9a, 13a, 20a, 27a, 3d & 4d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. Tackled this at silly o’clock this morning having awoken early & unable to get back to sleep. Agree it was pitched at about the same difficulty level as the last couple of weeks but, a pesky 4 letter clue aside, I seemed to work through it quicker than normal. Before opening the review I put a small win double that 12a wouldn’t be hinted & that it’ll be last in or a head scratcher for others unless it’s just me being dense which is probably favourite.
    Very enjoyable as ever & especially the clues in the SE.
    Thanks to Dada & Senf

      1. I’m still waiting for the penny drop moment – although I’m proud to say I did get the crickety one.

        1. Reckon you’re getting better at cricket than the current mob in the test team….

    1. I sometimes have those annoying nights when you wake up and just can’t get back to sleep. I usually take myself off to the guest room with my book. A good read will usually send me back off. It didn’t work the other night, so I added a small glass of sherry, and I sailed right back into the lad of nod 😴…

      1. I too attempt to solve my insomnia with cruciverbal activity but actually find it is probably counterproductive as it sets the the old grey matter turning over – perhaps I should try your sherry trick!

  3. I don’t often do Sunday puzzles but if they’re all as good as this then I’m going to have to start. I must have been bang on wavelength as I breezed through it with only 5d causing any problems.
    In a very strong field I’ve chosen to highlight 9,20&23a plus 3,7&17d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the top notch entertainment

        1. Meant to say, in case you’ve not tried them, his crosswords in the Graun (as Paul – usually Friday or Sat) are much tougher & right up your alley I’d reckon.

  4. This was quite challenging but very enjoyable, with some very good clues (3*/5*). I thought 17d was quite witty and 9a very cunningly out together. My CsOTD are 25d and the cryptic definition at 3d. Thanks to Senf for the hints ( a nice rest and/or a stiff drink after your double shift perhaps). Thanks to Dada for a cracker of a puzzle.

    1. I can recommend the 2018 Clos La Coutale Malbec as an accompaniment to solving and, in my case, blogging a Dada crossword.

      Fortunately there is still some left to accompany my 8d later today.

  5. I found this a little trickier than usual and I still cannot get 12a despite have both checkers. 25d is more common in crosswords than anywhere else it would seem. 3d was clever but my COTD is 20a.

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

    1. The first word of the clue is the definition and possibly refers to a person in a restaurant setting.

      1. My bung in was right then! However, I still cannot see how it works, Jane so I will await the review. :scratch:

        1. I’m running out of options on a prize day but how’s your knowledge of poetry? The last lines of a famous sonnet by Milton could give you the answer.

      2. Me too! Thanks so much. Also couldn’t understand 5d but, with the help of a search engine, I now understand it.

  6. Done in fits and starts whilst trying to persuade my granddaughter to eat her lunch – not easy via Skype but a great deal less messy from my point of view!
    With a nod going to 27a for the parsing trouble it gave me, my top three were 1a plus 4&19d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for his second round of labours this weekend.

  7. Very challenging – grateful to Senf for a couple of hints to get me up and running again.

    Only yesterday, I mentioned how we were looking forward to the Euro 2020 football tournament. Then yesterday, the plight of Christian Eriksen brought home the fragility of our existence. It did seem a very peculiar decision to restart the match (although it was said it was at the request of the players), as it was clearly impossible for the players to concentrate after one of their number nearly died on the pitch only an hour or so before.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. I felt (with many others I suspect) that the BBC could have shown some good taste, for a change, by directing the cameras away from the medics performing CPR. Once it was clear that play had been stopped for an injury, the player’s privacy should have been respected.

      1. I am not a football fan, Chris so I didn’t see it but I totally agree with you. The BBC should have shown far more respect.

      2. Apparently not down to the BBC but perhaps they could have cut the feed I don’t know.
        My ex Chief Scientist had the trauma of seeing his son collapse similarly when watching him playing in a rugby match. He was not so fortunate as Mr Ericson.

  8. A completed grid and all clues parsed in *** time. It’s not often I can say that on a Sunday. No, I lie. I couldn’t parse 27a, so thanks for the explanation.

    So, now, come on Ingerland!

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Hoping for a good, let alone a great performance from England is like trying to extract sunshine from cucumbers.

      1. The real problem is the ‘dilution’ of the player ‘pool’ with the number of foreign players in the English Leagues. I have a vague, possibly incorrect, recollection of when England played Belgium in the 2018 World Cup that the starting eleven for Belgium all played for English clubs.

  9. This is a real kick in the teeth after yesterdays super puzzle. Obviously not meant for high handicappers like me.
    As near incomprehensible as makes little difference.
    Thx for the hints, they helped a little but this must have been a tricky one to h8nt.

    1. Thank you. Having hinted, with today’s, 135 Dada Sunday Puzzles and written over 2,000 hints it has become a less tricky task. Although today’s two ‘major’ reversals (9a and 20a) and the ‘Russian doll’ charade (27a) gave me pause for thought on coming up with a sensible ‘set of instructions’ for each of them.

  10. Like others, I found this a real challenge, and had to keep coming back to it over the course of the morning. That said, a very satisfying solve, at the top end of my capabilities. 5d was LOI and had to check the definition having filled the gaps through the wordplay. My two favourites were 3d and 9a.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf for his double-shift

  11. Had to have two goes at this. Like GJR above 5d LOI although I still don’t ‘get’ the second part of it. Scorching hot day here in beautiful Norfolk and have just spotted a pygmy shrew less than an inch long about to nibble my toe! Thanks to the setter and Senf

    1. The second part of 5d is a vocalised expression of being unsure – the other one commonly used in crosswordland being ‘um’.

  12. DNF because of not being able to see 12a. Nearly always my nemesis is a 4 letter word where I have 2 checkers (I counted 8 today). Beginning to think one of the checkers must be wrong but I can’t see it is (Sod’s Law neither are hinted – no that is not a plea).
    Never mind, a great puzzle that I found slightly more difficult than the normal Dada.
    9a my COTD.
    Thank you Dada, please go easy on those pesky 4 letter words in future. Thank you Senf for the hints

  13. I completed this Dada on my own with no help or hints which is most unusual as many people are saying it is more difficult than usual. Very enjoyable too but that probably more to do with almost finishing over breakfast and then completing it over coffee in the summershed. Honourable mentions to 7 and 14d and favourite is 29a.

    Thanks to Senf for his blog and to Dada for the puzzle.

    And by the way Senf I have been trying to think of another song which would raise my ire in the same way as yesterday’s musical offering and cannot find one despite being sentient during the 50s and 60s when there were more than enough turkeys in the chart and sometimes in the top three. I am afraid its effect is disturbingly gastric.with signs of lividity.

    1. The musical pieces I select are not necessarily my favourites. As I was a fairly late stand-in for Tilsit yesterday I did not have the time to do the ‘musical research’ I normally do for a Sunday puzzle musical insertion. So, while Lennon’s Imagine falls into my ‘not a favourite’ category, I made the selection on the basis, as I said in my comment yesterday, of ‘sneaking in’ another hint.

  14. A delicious crossword with so many stand out clues. 9a is a stunner but just sparkling all round. 5d LOI. Like Manders we have scorchingly hot weather here in Cambridge, thank goodness we are able to lie in the garden in the shade. DD2 came this morning with both schnauzers and her husband. He is usually either fishing or working on his elaborate barbecue/outdoor kitchen but he spent a few hours yesterday in A&E having put an electric saw through his left thumb and has to see a hand specialist tomorrow. Not happy. I had almost finished the crossword over coffee but when they arrived with two chilled bottles of bubbly the last few clues had to wait until after they had gone and I had had a snooze. My neighbour took this yesterday but it doesn’t look as though my right leg belongs to me! Many thanks to the setter for his clever clues and to Senf for his analysis.

    1. Look at our Queen, giggling girlishly, clearly enjoying herself with the Bidens. Can’t say more, I might get excommunicated.

    2. Blimey! I think they’re both false legs and you’re standing in a hole :-D. Flexible or what?!

  15. On first read through, this looked horrendous but once we got one or two in, the rest fell quickly into place. Favorite 1 across followed by 5d.

  16. Very tricky Dada, I struggled mightily. I’ve run out of space on my sheet of paper, no more room to scribble! I went in for some hints when I got stuck in the NW corner, despite having 1a and 3d solved; one of my first in was 3d, having had it a couple of days ago. Last in was 12a, thanks to Jane I think it’s right. The tennis match is getting too exciting, I must give it my attention.
    Lots amused me, 7d was giggle worthy, but fave was 1a, I think, I might change my mind.
    Thanks Dada, does an iPad wear out from overuse? I needed lots of hints Senf, so mucho gracias!

    1. Hi Merusa, how’s your recovery going – any chance of you being given permission to get back in the pool yet?

      1. Jane – book recommendation – Her Majesty the Queen Investigates: The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett

        1. Thanks, CS, I’ve just sent in my order. Strange title but interesting to see it compared to The Thursday Murder Club, which I really enjoyed.

      2. I’m doing well, considering how I abused this old body. I do my exercises and am gaining strength. I feel that by going in the pool, the warmth and the support of the water, would really be good but not allowed yet. I keep saying I’m going to do it anyway but I’m a bit of a fraidy cat.

  17. I’ll have to be honest. Not my favourite Dada today. I was left with two many which made my head ache (literally). I think 5d was clever using a different sort of number but I would not have thought of that. Other sticky one was of course. Why it caused as much difficulty for me I don’t know know. Favourites 1 and 23a and 3 4 14 and 17d. Thanks Dada and Senf and Jane for the 12a hint. I had to refresh my Milton memory.

  18. All done…but my goodness, that took a lot of ‘head-scratching’ in comparison to yesterday’s delight! I felt Dada was letting us know who’s boss around here😜
    I was in the ‘12A last one in’ camp and then spent the next hour or so trying to justify my obscure (and ultimately incorrect…) anagram answer. Thank you to Jane above for helping to put me on the right track👍
    Thanks also to Senf for helping to confirm a few of my other answers which I hadn’t quite got the full parsing – the pic in 24A had Mrs H reminding me of a book of piano tunes we both had in lessons as youngsters😳
    Anyway, thanks to Dada for today’s tough mental workout and of course to Senf for another day of excellent blogging ‘n hinting.

  19. Found this one rather tricky today. Several words I didn’t know include 12a & 5d. Rating today ***/**. Found a couple of the clues hard to parse even when I knew the answers. This include 20a, 17d, 25d as three that come to mind.
    Clues for favourites are 13a, 18a & 11d
    Found this puzzle a bit of a 16a that left me 18a and now the puzzle is finally completed it is in the 9a basket.

    Thanks to dada and senf

    1. If you don’t know the word in 12a then it suggests you haven’t got the right answer I’m afraid. See Jane’s comment at #5 for a good hint

  20. ****/**. Too much like hard work and needed hints to explain my bung ins. Some good clues like 12, 27&29a but too much reliance on guess work. If I can’t parse an answer in a reasonable amount of time I move on. Nevertheless thanks to Dada and Senf.

  21. I thought Dada was a tad kinder this week, I certainly did better this Sunday. I didn’t understand 12a until I read Jane’s comment, thanks. Senf’s 8d looks very tasty. Quite enjoyed this steady solve. Took a long time for the penny to drop in 20a, don’t know as it was obvious once I finally figured it out. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  22. ***/**** fab crossword. 2 hold-ups, 5d, and have only just understood it having read others’ comments and googled the first syllable; and I had a different step in mind for 2d, though couldn’t really parse it. All sorted in the end. Thanks to Dada and Senf and all bloggers.

  23. A bit of a slog but some interesting puzzling. Needed hints for the two big reversals (9a, 20a) which are a type of clue I am growing to dislike. At first I had ‘Upgrade’ at 2d which made a mess of 9a anyway. But got there in the end. ***/***

  24. Enjoyable, reasonably straightforward other than for a few in the NE corner which caused some delay. Dada rapidly becoming one of my favourite compilers.


    Many thanks to Dada & to Sent

  25. Have dipped in and out of this over the day as and when tennis permitted so mind not fully on the job however made it in the end after a couple of nudges. IMHO 5d as numbers barely works and 12a and 23a are too clever by half. 4d was Fav. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. I thought that at first but if you are thinking of the right sort of numbers it works perfectly.

  26. Not easy – but the best things never are! LOI 25d. Thank to Dada and Senf. 🙃

  27. On holiday in Ambleside so plenty of time to do the crossword. Worked steadily through this and finished unaided which is unusual for me. Lovely walk around Loughrigg tarn. Unfortunately, although warm, the sun was shy. However I recommend the photographers guide to the lake district for excellent pointers towards those iconic and not so iconic views.
    Enjoyed the crossword enormously together with the wonderful meal afterwords.

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