ST 3114 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3114 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3114 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we achieved the Province’s vaccination target for the first phase of reopening a week early, 70%+ of all Manitobans age 12 and above to have received their 1st vaccination dose, and 25%+ to have received their 2nd vaccination dose, so, yesterday, we cautiously ‘first phase reopened’ a week early.  Yours truly made a contribution by having my second shot on Tuesday and in 9 days time I can apply for my ‘Vaccination Card’ (not a passport!).

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, having ‘gone quirky’ last week, Dada is staying quirky this week.  I counted three anagrams (one partial), two lurkers (one reversed), and two homophones – all in a symmetric 30 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 – 10a, 27a, 2d, and 6d.

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:


7a A tome then awfully shabby (4-5)
We start with a relatively straightforward anagram (awfully) of A TOME THEN.

10a Queen inside of hive back in capital city (6)
The last Stuart monarch followed by the inside letters of hIVe all reversed (back).

14a Literary group unravels in recital? (6)
The first homophone (in recital) of a synonym of unravels.

17a Rest in Munich, in Germany (5)
The lurker (in) found in three words in the clue – the reversed lurker not hinted by me is 3d.

21a Bird is away from this fly (6)
THis from the clue with IS deleted (away from) and a synonym of fly.

24a A hormone, something orbiting larger body (8)
A from the clue and a type of hormone – this is a case of all ******** are hormones, but not all hormones are ********.

27a Feline in pool? (5)
A double definition – the second may relate to a pool as a form of (perhaps informal) wagering.

28a Air even circulating around article stuffed in crack (9)
An anagram (circulating) of EVEN containing (around) all of one of the indefinite articles inserted into (stuffed in) a synonym of crack (as in ‘having a go’?).


1d Get lost, as might bunny? (3,2)
An expression which may reflect how a bunny moves.

2d Tempestuous, when your trousers down (8)
An archaic synonym of your contains (trousers) a synonym of down (when is just ‘padding’) – clue of the day!

4d Streak narcissistic, by the sound of it? (4)
The second homophone (by the sound of it) of a synonym of narcissistic.

6d Drinking house left, I lost out (9)
Lego time! A three letter drinking house (or establishment), the single letter for Left, I from the clue, and synonym of lost.

13d This person inspired by extremes of minimalist artist (5)
A three alternative to the perpendicular pronoun when referring to ‘this person’ inserted into (inspired by) the first and last letters (extremes) of MinimalisT.

17d Popular culture of the 1980s, in spring (3-3)
An informal synonym of in (as in fashionable) and a synonym of spring (as a movement).

20d Dozens and dozens work around hospital department (6)
A three letter verbal synonym of work containing (around) our favourite hospital department.

25d River Plate originally measuring many fathoms? (4)
A three letter river name, of which there are four in Great Britain, and the first letter (originally) of Plate.

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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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Canadian pianist/composer Frank Mills is 79 today.  He is probably most well known for his composition from 1974 which features an arpeggiated piano theme in C-sharp major (enharmonic to D-flat major) designed to resemble a music box (I am sure that there are some musicologists out there who can explain that to us, although arpeggio did appear in a crossword recently):

53 comments on “ST 3114 (Hints)

  1. 3*/4*. I thought this was a fun puzzle with a handful of clues taking quite a bit of teasing out. 14a was my last one in and favourite.

    I can’t quite equate 26a with the definition.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I tend to agree re 26a.. it brought to mind a famous election slogan in the late seventies where according to the slogan the two are definitely not synonymous!

      1. I really am a bit slow on the uptake this morning – have only just twigged what you were referring to. Very good.

  2. This one was quite thought-provoking, with lots of misdirection and some wily clues. I enjoyed it a lot, although it was quite challenging in places (3*/5*). There were so many good clues that it’s difficult to pick a few but 28a, 10 and 23d were very good and 14a my COTD. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for an absorbing puzzle.

  3. Tricky but excellent puzzle, with a fair bit of cunning misdirection. At least half of the clues are worthy podium contenders, my only slight quibble being the dated 8a where I originally had a different answer with a different definition.
    I’ve ticked 14,16&21a plus 6,17,20&23d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the top notch entertainment

  4. Good fun this, and dare I say a touch harder than a typical Sunday puzzle. 14a held out the longest and became my favourite. Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  5. Had the wrong answer to 8a for a while until the penny dropped and share the reservations about 26a which I thought was somewhat 16a!
    Favourite was 14a with a nod to 27a for the reminder of a greatly missed BD blogger.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the reminder of the musical box tune – must admit that I didn’t know the composer.

  6. I took ages to get going with this one, indeed had only managed about half a dozen in first 20 minutes. Then I got on the right wave length but it was quite slow going. The little 4d was last one in. Very enjoyable so thanks to all. Where has summer gone? Back in socks again today!

    1. Hi Manders, thoroughly enjoyed the film last night. As for that final shot, I guess it was very clever photography, otherwise she was going in the drink for sure!

  7. Sadly can’t claim an unaided finish as, left with 4d, I lost patience & consulted the thesaurus – very irritating as I knew what I was looking for but the synonym/homophone just wouldn’t come to me. I thought this one as tricky as he’s been for a while with a few of the head scratchers distinctively Paulish (his Friday Graun puzzle v tough) but entertaining as ever. Agree with others 14a was probably pick of the clues with 10&21a plus 6&15d vying for podium spots.
    Many thanks to Dada & Senf

  8. Most enjoyable and I finished it unaided but I suspect I might have 2d wrong. In fact I know I have looking at the hints. Much to like such as 10a, 11a, 16a and 6d. My COTD is 21a simply because of the neatness of the clue.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. I found this very tricky and made very slow progress over the toast, and orange juice with no bits in it.

    Lola has a cat door/flap. It was fitted on Friday afternoon by the fellows who didn’t have the right tools last time round, but somehow they remembered to bring the correct size of sprocket, and Lola is popping in and out whenever she wishes. The advice is that I tape the door fully open for the first few days so that she gets used to it. I have done this but worry about finding a family of foxes have moved in overnight.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Kirsty MacColl – Tropical Brainstorm.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. So glad Lola is ‘sorted’ and that she has taken to the personalised entrance. Our last cat flatly refused to use the cat flap which had been specially incorporated into the base of the conservatory. I am sure Lola would alert you to the arrival of some foxy intruders.

    2. For cat door training, we used to put the cat on one side, with a length of string or knitting wool trailing through. You then jiggle the wool, and slowly pull it through, hopefully having got Lola’s attention. She will push through in pursuit of the wool. Repeat a few times from both directions.

      1. Sounds good to me, I’m sure we tried a similar trick with the girls’ menagerie of felines. Of course, when you’ve got more than one, the pull of some Dreamies being consumed by the one inside will do the job for you!

    3. Did you mean socket, or is this the worlds first bicycle powered cat flap?
      Which Tyler (leader of the pedants’ revolt)

  10. Last night, having just finished the splendid NYT Sunday puzzle (21×21), I was a bit brain-drained, and it took me a while to get going on this delicious Dada today. But once I’d solved the south, I returned northwards and the pennies started dropping. And what a joy when I realised what was going on with 14a, clearly my COTD. Many worthy contenders too: 2d, 11a, 17d (which I hate), and 18d (which I love, my passion). Many thanks to Senf, whose hints I didn’t need but thanks for your many Sundays of 26a, and to Dada for the terrific puzzle. *** / *****

    Finished reading St Aubyn’s Double Blind and started Michaelides’s The Silent Patient–psychotherapy, anyone?

  11. Nice puzzle. I still can’t get 4 down and I confess I failed to parse 2d correctly. I assumed it was a reference to the box upon which one sits with one’s trousers down. Must try harder!

    1. Welcome to the blog Serendipity or are you the Serendipity who has commented before with a different e-mail address?

    2. I should think you’re quite correct about what Dada had in mind, Serendipity, he just added a slight tweak to it for the answer!

  12. With A/C on full tilt, solved this Dada puzzle in 38C temperature this Saturday evening. 1.5*/*****
    No quirkiness that I saw in this puzzle and all clues very well constructed I thought. SO many candidates for favourites but I picked 7a, 11a, 21a, 26a & 27a with co-winners 7a & 11a … just could not decide.
    Thanks for the fun and enjoyment on an unaided blog solve for my time of the day.

    Thanks to Dada & Senf (will look forward to reading hints on Sunday morning)

  13. Another seriously tricky workout from Dada but managed to complete although needed to check Senf’s explanations for a couple e.g.2D & 14A…both very clever clues!
    Thanks, as always, to Dada for the excellent challenge, and to Senf for another brilliant blog ‘n hints! 👍

  14. Needed many of Senf’s hints to complete this so feeling fairly satisfied with getting a result on Sunday. 11a and 18d deserve honourable mentions but 24a my favourite today.

    Thank you Send for unlocking some necessary clues which gave me the checkers to complete. Thanks too for the puzzle to Dada.

  15. Four clues in NE corner held me up significantly, 4 and 6d, 8 and 14a. Spent ages looking for an anagram of ‘left I lost’ without any success!! Great fun and a real challenge, so thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. You weren’t alone on that fruitless search – surprised I didn’t bump into you….

    2. And me, I’m afraid. I had to check the hints to make sure I’d parsed correctly for some others! 🙃

  16. Nice puzzle. I was stuck on 4d for ages. Thanks to Huntsman for the nudge to go and look in my Bradford. I have the electronic version but the book is much better.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf. As for the quickie,aren’t veins and arteries different things?
    Had to do it it 3 times as for a few days now, every time I leave it all the completed clues disappear. Ive deleted the app and reloaded it now.

    1. Yes indeed Toni, arteries carry blood away from heart and veins carry blood back to heart.

  17. I usually struggle to find Dada’s wavelength and that was indeed the case today. Not keen on 19a, 26a, 2d, 6d, 13d or 20d. Incredible how many ways there are to indicate an anagram but perhaps I’ll avoid the naughty corner by not being more specific. I did like the simple 21a. Thank you Dada (I’ll keep on searching for your wavelength!) and Senf.

  18. I did have to resort to a lot of the hints today, plus a bit of electronic help, as I was determined to finish. I don’t think it was particularly tough, just that I was rather slow on the uptake. COTD was 27a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Having read the comments I am worried now that I may have the wrong answer to 8a as I really didn’t see the leg in the air relevance. Anyway, a nice workout giving me a break from titivating the garden. My birthday present from George finally arrived – a big garden mirror giving a wonderful trompe l’oeil effect and I am thrilled with it. Maybe the visitors next week will be so bedazzled by that they won’t see the weeds! Thanks to the setter and to Senf for the help on 2d.

    1. Weeds are no more than plants in the wrong place, DG!
      I’m interested in the mirror George gave you. How does it give a trompe l’oeil effect?

      1. Because the way it is placed (or will be properly attached tomorrow) it looks exactly like a door or window through to another garden. I will post a picture of it when it is done!

        1. That will be great. I fancy one for our garden.
          Two of the best trompe l’oeils I ever saw were at Chatsworth House. One was a violin and bow hanging on a door painted by Jan van der Vaart. The legend goes that the door was not a door but had been carved by Grinling Gibbons – who liked to play the violin – to fool Jan van der Vaart and the violin was the latter’s revenge.

          1. Going to Chatsworth next week. We go once a month to meet our daughter and grandchildren. We’re gold friends members. I love it

        2. I have one and it’s great. Reflection in mirror gives realistic impression of the plants/shrubs being beyond the window.

  20. My worst performance for a while with 6 missing, which reduced to 2 after reading the hints. I have an answer in for 8a, but not convinced it’s right, and I just can’t see the homophone for 14a. Oh well, I enjoyed what I could do, just not my day.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  21. Enjoyable but a bit of a slog for me, not helped by a very slow start. I liked 4d and 27a particularly. Thanks to Senf and the setter and to you all for your comments.

  22. I always need help with Dada, so today was solved with hints and e-help. I still don’t get 2d, I hope it’s nothing to do with pants, my bête noir. I’m not going to sweat it any more, if I’m too thick to get it with Senf’s hint, so be it. The NE held me up, thank goodness for 6d, getting that opened it up for me. I never did get 4d, with my dodgy eyes I read “steak” and couldn’t find a steak that sounded narcissistic! Like Jane, fave was 27a for our missing hinter.
    Thank you Dada, at least I managed to solve all bar one, and huge thanks to Senf for unravelling most answers.

      1. This usage of trousers, based on slang usage and a definition of to appropriate or to pocket, has appeared before but is not that common yet. Something else to store in an already overloaded memory!

  23. Tough even for a Dada, but as usual some brilliant clues….. 10a and 2d were my favourites…..

  24. Just finished this, was very difficult. NE corner my nemesis. Snf’s hints confirmed I was looking in the right place but I just couldn’t see.
    An afternoon spent trying to get electric roller blinds to work completely fried my mind. “Follow these simple instructions” it said. However it didn’t say that it would do anything & sure enough it didn’t. .
    Thank you Dada & Senf.

  25. Late getting round to this one. On first read through it looked v intractable but yielded to steady application. Favorite 6d.

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