ST 3113 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3113 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3113 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where the Province’s reopening plan could be under threat from the Delta variant – it seems that I have heard of that happening elsewhere.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, Dada’s ‘gone quirky’ today, especially in his choice of anagram indicators.  I counted four anagrams (no partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and no homophones – all in an asymmetric 29 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 – 17a, 28a, and 15d.

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:


8a Further belligerent action entertained by US president (7)
A three letter term for belligerent action contained (entertained) by a US President (who was the fifth one never to be elected as President).

11a Train seen going off the rails, seriously (2,7)
An anagram (going off the rails) of TRAIN SEEN.

12a Piano: one for each musician (5)
The single letter for piano (when used as a musical term for soft or softly), the letter that represents (the Roman numeral for) one, and the three letter preposition equivalent to for each.

17a This promise kept by irascible fox (9,6)
A synonym of promise (promise made, ********* given) contained (kept) by a synonym of irascible and a synonym(?) of fox (as in confuse?).

19a Semi-precious mineral that’s terrible put back in container (7)
A four letter synonym of terrible reversed (put back) and inserted into (in) a type of container (especially for two types of warm liquids).

27a Russian dynasty with country in range, dropping back (7)
Cruciverbalists’ favourite ME country inserted into (in) a verbal synonym of range with the last letter removed (dropping back).

28a Bird has fight after fight (7)
A verbal fight placed after a term for a pugilistic practice fight.


1d Where one could be at work, away from work cooler! (6)
A three letter term for away from work and a type of cooler.

3d Step in road when buggy backed (10)
An anagram (when buggy) of STEP IN ROAD.

4d Articulate team in the US (9)
A synonym of articulate and a synonym of team.

7d Stir Scottish dish (8)
A double definition – the first relates to ‘being inside.’

15d Inform about a communist agreement that’s fair (6,4)
A synonym of inform containing (about) all of A from the clue and a three letter term for communist.

17d Spade perhaps gathering up most of box, food container? (8)
(A) spade as one of fifty-two (perhaps) containing (gathering) all of UP from the clue and BOx with the last letter removed (most of).

23d Glass fallen, smashed, though not entirely (4)
The lurker (though, not entirely) found in two words in the clue – the reversed lurker not hinted by me is 20d.

25d Relative fool (4)
A double definition to finish – the first is a ‘pet name’ for an older relative.

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In Manitoba, the Summer Solstice occurs at 10:31 pm this evening, close enough for government work in my book.  One of Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous works is the suite of four concerti known as The Four Seasons.  If you can get past the first concerto, in particular its first movement, you get to the first movement, Allegro non molto, of the second concerto, Summer, played here by The Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra based in Tromsø and Bodø, Norway:

67 comments on “ST 3113 (Hints)

  1. The most enjoyable puzzle of the week for me and I surprise myself in saying that about a dada offering. Some inspired clues, 16d, 19a. Some original anagrams and the best of the bunch 15d. ***/**** Thanks to all.

  2. Dada was on fine form today and I really enjoyed the tussle of solving this puzzle (2*/5*). It’s hard to pick out just four clues as there were a lot of good ones but I liked 19a, 4d and 3d and my COTD is 17a. There was lots of misdirection and a bit of a nod to the USA in today’s puzzle. Thanks to Senf for the hints. The Delta variant is causing havoc here and my 6-year old grand-daughter caught it at school but managed not to pass it on to her parents, who have both been vaccinated, or her brother. It affected her like a bad cold and she is now recovered. Thanks to Dada for another great puzzle.

  3. About middling on the Dada difficulty spectrum I’d say & thoroughly entertaining as usual. Last in was 3d where I was slow to clock the anagrind – quirky with a capital Q. Pick of the clues for me were 15,16&18d but the clear winner was the excellent 17a.
    Many thanks both to Dada & Senf – thanks for the clip of Fulton Mackay & Ronnie B in my favourite situation comedy of all time.

    1. Did you see yesterday’s final of the Amateur Championship H?
      I thought it a fantastic advert both for amateur golf and matchplay. Sadly though it showed the cuelty that the “there can only be one winner” philosophy can inflict.

      1. I didn’t unfortunately & meant to. Very disappointed to see Bland couldn’t keep it going in round 3. Hopeful for Rory & Louis though.

  4. I completed this much quicker than usual, and some very good clues throughout, but really struggled with 3d. It was my last one in, and I missed the anagram for ages. Didn’t like the surface reading much even when I got it, Im afraid. Particularly enjoyed 6d 17a and 16d. Thanks to the setter.

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle which needed some thought on occasions. Not sure if I like or hate 17a, bit marmite! 26a needed sporting knowledge that I did not and as an Englishman was unlikely to have although to be fair not sure our transatlantic cousins would know the slang in 25d. Best clue for me was 16d.
    Thx to all

  6. After a full ***** time I admitted defeat. It was the Fifth Columnists (3d & 25d) that were my downfall. I didn’t spot the anagram in 3d and 25d is a word I have never used. (Both of mine died before I was born).

    Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  7. I’ve clearly yet to fully attune to Dada’s wavelength as I found this quite tricky but it did result in some cracking PDM’s. I was embarrassingly slow to spot a certain anagram indicator and the one acrostic. Thought 25d a bit weak but other than that all very good.
    I’ve ticked 10,17&28a plus the excellent 4&15d
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the Sunday morning fun.

  8. Like Greta, this was the most enjoyable puzzle of the week for me too, challenging but doable, with lots of great clues. Loved 17a, with 16d a close second. Like Huntsman, 3d was my LOI as I didn’t see the anagram indicator even after I had worked out the answer from the checkers.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. Oh, and did anyone else think of “shared out” for 15d? I started writing it in before the obvious problem hit me!

  9. A touch harder than the average Dada, perhaps, but well worth the tussle and a most enjoyable challenge. I cannot believe my last one in was 23d. How embarrassing. 17a was my top clue.

    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf.

  10. About average for a Dada I thought. 26a needed most of the checkers but was familiar with the term although probably a bit too much sport-specialist for some.
    As an “oldie” I associate a different number with 16d.
    Like others 17a was COTD.
    Thank you Dada and Senf.

  11. As Young Salopian says – an enjoyable challenge. I pondered over 17a for ages, even though I had the very useful fourth letter of the second word. Then I looked at the clue in a different way and it was solved.

    Yesterday evening we were going to head out for a refreshing walk but it started to rain heavily, so we popped into Gomshall Mill for a couple of drinks instead, and it was lovely to be doing something normal again.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. I do love mrs Terrence’s obvious descriptions of your exercise regime. I can hear her saying we are going for a bracing/ healthy/ refreshing/ blowthecobwebsaway/whatever walk. I do hope that they always come up to scratch.

  12. 3*/4*. This was both challenging and a lot of fun, although I do wonder on what planet “when buggy” is an anagram indicator. Bizarre!

    17a was my runaway favourite and it is joined on my podium by 4d, 15d & 18d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Bah! I’ve just looked up “buggy” in the BRB and I see it is American for crazy. 👎

  13. I found this at the harder end of Dada’s spectrum but enjoyable, nevertheless. After the first pass I had only solved one but it did not bother me. I always find Dada puzzles begin slowly. Plenty of PDM’s and I especially liked 12a, 27a and 1d. However, my COTD is 16d, which is short and to the point with a great surface. I needed the hints for a couple in order to get over the finish line.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and entertainment. Thanks to Senf for the hints.

    1. I think I’ve got 16d wrong, a bung in for me and I have no idea what it means, not one clue.

      1. I had the same problem, and seven hours later I’ve just remembered. Think listening to music many years ago …

  14. I’ll go along with Senf’s ‘quirky’ comment for this one. 26a was a complete guess and 25d was my last one in, can’t say that I’ve ever used it in either of its guises.
    Top two here were 28a plus 4d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints, the enjoyable Vivaldi and the reminder of Fletcher!

    1. I love Vivaldi’s music, particularly The Four Seasons, but, unlike Senf, I much prefer to listen to the whole work rather than just one movement.

      1. I think you may have misinterpreted my ‘introduction’ to the Vivaldi. It was aimed at those, and I am sure there are quite a few, who claim to like The Four Seasons but rarely get past the first concerto, or even its first movement, and are unaware of the accompanying sonnets which describe the allusions being created by the each concerto and movement.

        I am definitely a ‘whole work’ person.

        1. Your Porridge clip had me looking at classic You Tube excerpts & came across Fletch disagreeing with Lenny’s answer to 13a of rook for bird (R * * K). Priceless…

      2. That reminds me of Victoria Woods. I love Vivaldi, particularly the quatro fromagi.

  15. I found this very difficult today, not helped by my putting in wrong spellings here and there. I rather quibble at the word buggy being an anagram indicator. I have an answer for 16d but simply cannot see why it should be but it can’t be anything else. Now to settle down and watch the tennis. Thanks to all.

      1. Darn it, see my comment to StephenC! I do have it right, just didn’t get it, and I’m more than old enough.

        1. The last time I was called Stephen, Merusa was when my mother was angry with me as a child! 🤣🤣

      2. As I said in my day they were a different number (& not made from vinyl).

    1. After a fierce battle with all claws bared, I’ve got my tennis channels back! Hooray!

  16. Phew, that was hard work but battled my way through it. Still can’t figure out the wordplay on 14A but worked it out from the letters I had in place. Like many, COTD was 17A — when the penny finally dropped on that one I just had to say “Brilliant!”

    1. 14a….A word for part with, as in money, goes around (shackles) one of the usual Americans.

      1. Thanks, Stephen. I got misdirected looking for synonyms for shackles and got totally lost.

  17. A thoroughly enjoyable Dada, with 17a, 15d, 16d, & 18d taking top honours, though the ‘fool’ish half of 25d completely escapes me. And can’t find it anywhere in Googleland. Never mind, though. Thanks to Senf and Dada for the entertainment. ** / ****

    1. But, Dada is ‘covered’ by the BRB for both parts of the 25d double definition.

  18. ***/****. Very enjoyable puzzle which took quite a bit of teasing out. My favourite was 17a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Not finished yet but just checked in to see what everyone saying about it. Although I’ve not looked at the hints I have discovered in so doing that 3d is an anagram. It is one of my last ones to get. I was looking for some kind of perambulator or golf trolley. I got 15d and worked out why it was a single number as I’m old enough to remember. Had to check 26a with Google but it had to be that and had to check the semi precious metal. I did get the relative as I am one. I hope I am not also the fool but that is pronounced differently and short for a longer word I believe.

  20. Needed the hints for 3d. I’ve no idea what 25d is. 26a was a bit weird for a UK paper. I’m not sure why the instruction to arrest means what it does in 24a. I think I have the obscure cricket term in the second word of 13a. Had to look up 19a. Still no sure about the parsing of 27a. All in all not my favourite puzzle.

  21. Found this a gentle Dada for this Sunday 1.5*/***** Very enjoyable and fun solve for Father’s Day.
    Favourites include 17a, 26a, 28a, 6d & 16d with winner 17a followed closely by 16d
    New word in 19a for me that had to be what it was with the surrounding letters.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  22. I have now finished. Got 3d with the assistance of knowing it is an anagram. I don’t think I would have got it otherwise. Then quickly solved the NE starting with 6d then 14a 4d and finally 10a. 15d was my top favourite followed by 17a. Also up for mention 16 and 18d. I love it when the first one across goes straight in. Thanks Senf and Dada from ne also known to some as ****.

  23. I did this in a slightly alcoholic haze having just returned from a Sunday drinks party. Hurrah. Almost normal. I enjoyed the struggle- no help from George snoozing in his chair. I have no idea what or why for 26a but it has to be, and 17a was brilliant. I got 3D but only by virtue of the fact that it fitted but I now read that it is an anagram so will look at buggy in a different light henceforth. Hate the word anyway, most bugs are a nuisance and bite and a pram is a pram (or perambulator). Thanks to Senf and to the setter. I shall now have a little nap. Do hope Kath is making good progress and have we heard how Bill’s operation went?

  24. This was way above the tiny brain’s abilities, I was totally lost. Why is the first half of 4d articulate? I know a lot of abject idiots who make a lot of those that make no sense, I could name names but BD would expel me, and I would hardly call them articulate? I liked 19a as I have a ring with one, but now I know the why of 16d, I have to choose that as fave.
    Thanks to Dada, only managed half, but much gratefulness to Senf for the unravelling and the Vivaldi.

    1. Merusa, “articulate” can also be a verb meaning to “say something clearly”.

      1. Think of it from your point of view on the other side of the pond Merusa. Any cake in the naughty corner?

  25. Great stuff today from Dada! I always seem to struggle initially with his puzzles then slowly (accompanied by some head-scratching and very lateral thinking🤪) things start to fall into place. Like many my favourite was 17A which also opened up the rest superbly…a very clever clue👍
    Thanks to Senf for the great blog ‘n hints which helped parse a couple of the more mischievous clues.

  26. My usual struggle with Dada again this week. Needed a lot of help from Senf but got there in the end.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    Still overcast here but still no rain.

  27. So hot and humid at the moment down here but not enough to fuzzle up my brain.
    Really enjoyed this Sunday offering and loved the quirkiness of some indicators.
    Learned something new in 26a.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  28. Very much enjoyed this Dada today. Couldn’t fathom 17a, failed to see the anagram indicator in 3d. Even when I got it, I took a while to parse, as I was stuck on the demeaning form of the word. The rest was a steady solve, and more user friendly than some we have had this week. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  29. Think this is now filled in completely with a bit of electronic help
    COTD is the lovely 19a which, with amethyst and pearl reminds me of the suffragette jewellery.

  30. An oh dear day! I managed to put two wrong answers in and that threw me. No idea about 16d, 26a or 25d. Otherwise I managed to struggle back. Have now given up but many thanks to Dada and Senf for the lovely extra help that I needed. Onwards and upwards tomorrow.

  31. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. I just needed the hint for 27a, then was able to complete the rest. I liked 16d, but my favourite was 17a. Was quite difficult, but most entertaining. Was 3*/4* for me.

  32. That simply wasn’t my cup of tea and I found it one long grind. SW last corner to come on board. 16d bunged in – d’oh! Thank you Dada and Senf.

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