ST 3129 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3129 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3129 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we are celebrating our Thanksgiving holiday while our Southern neighbours also have a holiday to celebrate Christopher Columbus not finding the land mass of which part later became The USA.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, with his third anniversary in the ‘Sunday chair’ only six weeks away, I think Dada is experimenting to see how quirky he can get.  I counted five anagrams (one partial), two lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone – all in a symmetric 28 clues; with 14 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.  I hope that you find it helpful that I have hinted all four long ‘uns.

Candidates for favourite – 15a, 23a, 26a, 4d, and 19d (but I expect RD to be out on his noble steed looking for a windmill).

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 House in Surrey or Kent (4)
The ‘forward’ lurker in found in three words in the clue.

10a Shade aggressive, knight knocked out (6)
A seven letter synonym of aggressive with the single letter chess notation for knight removed (knocked out).

13a Picture blown away? (4,4,3,4)
A double definition – the second is an expression of how one might describe something that has been blown away and is completely lost.

20a I’m on racehorse, in winds, whatever the weather? (4,4,2,5)
An anagram (winds) of I’M ON RACEHORSE, IN.

23a Kind of grey sock dipped in Merlot, say (8)
A synonym of sock (as in strike a blow) inserted into (dipped in) what Merlot is a type of (say) while it is on the vine.

26a Let me think about that boy, briefly, in Italian region (6)
A two letter interjection that could be equivalent to let me think about that and a boy’s (or a man’s) name with the last letter removed (briefly) – just think of one of our favourite correspondents.

28a Sight the four of us recalled? (4)
A (2,4) expression equivalent to the four of us, turn the second word into Roman numerals and then reverse (recalled) all of it.


1d Reporter beginning to judge yours and my denial (6)
The first letter (beginning to) of Judge, a single word for yours and my, and a two letter word of denial – a perfectly horrible word as far as I am concerned.

3d Beastly campaigner ridiculously maniacal, it impresses one during election (9,6)
An anagram (ridiculously) of MANIACAL, IT contains (impresses) the single letter for one all inserted into (during) a four letter term for election.

5d Shocking Russian TV with three Liberian plays (4,3,8)
An anagram (plays) of TV and (with) THREE LIBERIAN.

16d Sign put up in bistro, elevated (3)
The reversed lurker (put up in) found in two words in the clue.

19d Feeling appendage, all toes bandaged by girl (7)
The number that is the quantity of all toes contained (bandaged) by a palindromic girl whose name you have to guess.

22d Person stealing money (6)
A double definition, both slang terms – the second refers to a particular amount of money.

24d By the sound of it, travel destination in Italy (4)
The homophone (by the sound of it) of a synonym of travel.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Another appearance of Joe Green, a.k.a. Giuseppe Verdi, who was born on this day in 1813.  Avoiding his concerti, this is the Brindisi (Drinking Song) from his 1853 opera La Traviata (The Fallen Woman) from a Royal Opera House production five years ago:

46 comments on “ST 3129 (Hints)

  1. As torrential rain is falling I had the luxury of solving this in bed this morning. I very much enjoyed it with the long clues giving many checkers to help solving the more obscure clues. Favourites were 26ac and 24dn as they surprisingly held me up a little. Thanks to Senf for the parsing of 3dn and to Dada for the puzzle.

    As autumnal weather sets in here in Puglia, there is plenty of foraging to be done. This week ai found this Chicken of the woods fungi on a carob tree. They are much sought after and this one is particularly fresh and tender and weighed in at 890 grams. Delicious.

  2. It was a uirky puzzle, Senf, I do agree. It was quite time consuming and there were some superb long anagrams, two of which were amongst my top three clues, 5d and 20a. My COTD, however, was 23a, very deviouly put together. So it was 3*/4* from me and thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for another fine Sunday puzzle.

  3. 23a and 19d put me, alas, into *** time.
    Apart, most satisfying and enjoyable.
    And elegantly clued.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf for the review.

  4. Very enjoyable and nicely challenging, particularly in the SW which took me into 3* time, and where I have to confess to using Mr Google to look for Italian regions. I thought Senf’s hint better than the clue!
    As ever on Sunday lots to admire, I liked all the long ones but ticks go to the stylish anagram at 12a, along with 23a&21d where the misdirection was clever
    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the pre swim fun on a glorious South Devon morning.

    Ps..17a came up in Shabbo’s excellent NTSPP yesterday but clued completely differently.

  5. Once again a ‘just me’ day – I found this not only very friendly for a Sunday Dada but extremely friendly for a cryptic crossword full stop

    Thanks to Dada for the fun while it lasted and to Senf for the hints

  6. A quick solve in **time though I can’t say I’m at all confident about about 6d, my final one in & a bung in. I wouldn’t count this one up there amongst his best but, as you’d expect, there were plenty of clever clues in there. 13a was my pick with nods also for 11,15&23a plus 3d. I recall Shabbo’s clue for 17a in his excellent NTSPP caused some discussion yesterday.
    Thanks to the D&S

          1. Trouble with Dada is that if you overthink it you’re sunk!
            Hate bung ins but had to do some. Penny always drops eventually.
            Enjoyed this and fairly straightforward for a Sunday.
            Gtot a bit tangled up with theSW corner. Led astray by Brian, I haven’t got over Friday yet.
            Thanks to Dada and Senf

      1. The BRB has unhyphenated and hyphenated (but not two words) each with its own separate meaning with unhyphenated being the correct usage for 6d as written.

  7. I found this very enjoyable to solve and agree that 1d is a horrid word, very clumsy and my last in.
    My fav was 6d just because it made Mrs B laugh. All in all a very good puzzle.
    Must say I needed yesterdays and todays crosswords to recover my confidence after being severely dented by that awful Giovanni (get over it!!).
    Thx to all

  8. 2*/3*. Enjoyable but for two unnecessary bits of vagueness. Where’s my horse? ’nuff said.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. Tough in places but doable when you remember it is Sunday. Getting a couple of the long answers early a big help although 3d held out too long.
    Recalled the Italian region & like Senf it brought to mind one of our number (& a smile thinking of him cut off at the knees). I was amazed that my LOI , 6d, was in Chambers
    NE corner held me up a bit but finished just over *** time with **** enjoyment.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  10. Possibly the easiest Dada since he first occupied the Sunday slot. Nothing quirky, odd, bizarre or peculiar … just cryptic!

    Favourite: 8a for its simplicity. It’s always good to get the first across clue straight away.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. I was held up for ages by Devon and Cornwall and, in the end, had to resort to the hints to get me going. Other than that, it was an enjoyable solve but not, obviously, an unaided finish. My COTD is 21d for its misdirection and surface. 13a is such an old chestnut that it is beginning to look wrinkled! A great start to the cruciverbal week.

    Many thanks, Dada for the fun and thanks to Senf for helping with the south east corner.

  12. 15 and 23a were the only clues to slow me up, and there was really no excuse for why that should be. The whole puzzle was a light delight with 5d my favourite, an enjoyable interlude during a sunny Shropshire Sunday morning.

    My thanks to Dada and of course to Senf.

  13. Quite straightforward for Dada unless I’m just having a good day with all cylinders firing! I did feel for RD given the random folk but Senf’s hint for 26a still made me smile.
    Top three here were 15&28a plus 4d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and music.

  14. Another excellent offering from Dada. The brilliant long anagrams helped to make this a tad more accessible than other Sunday puzzles. Favourite was 6a as it made me laugh and ponder whether there were any other words in the English language which had the same double consonants in the middle. Apologies if that is naughty corner!
    Thanks to Dada and Senf – hope you are enjoying your turkey!

  15. An excellent Dada again. Liked all the long ones but 23a, my LOI, gets my nod for COTD. Took me a while but I got there, finally. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ***/****

    Very much enjoyed the second Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, The Man Who Died Twice.

  16. Very challenging, but fun to unravel – especially the long answers.

    Yesterday we went for a long walk around RHS Wisley, late in the afternoon as most people were heading for home. It was so warm and summery, and with so few people about, it was a joy to meander around.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Mary J Blige – Mary

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. Took a while to get going but then suddenly lift off and hey presto there we were. A couple in the SW delayed completion. Never heard of 1d. Not keen on 19d. Fav 6d (a chestnut?). Thank you Dada and Senf with whom I agree re quirkiness.

  18. Well I for one struggled to complete this one. I’m puzzled by 6d too. I think I am right as Albert kindly mentioned the two middle letters which I have. But where is the dog? I’ve googled the first 3 letters and they do not reveal a dog. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

    1. What do you have for the 6d definition? If it is not dog, then you need to think again, and perhaps read my response to Jezza in Comment 6.

  19. We didn’t find this difficult or quirky, a wavelength thing I suppose. Enjoyable nonetheless. Favourites were 23a and 5d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Definitely some quirkiness in this puzzle as is Dada’s trademark. Some good clues and misdirection. Agree with others about 1d and is not a word I would use. 2.5*/**** for today.
    Clues for favourites 8a, 15a, 20a, 23a, 6d & 19d and if I had to pick one winner, likely 19d … but all were really good.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints.

  21. 2/3. Apart from 1d which is a dreadful word, this was an enjoyable puzzle. I normally struggle with Dada so a relief to complete the challenge. The long anagrams were a great help although my impression of Clark Gable for Mrs Vbc didn’t go down well. But I dont give a damn 👍

  22. Enjoyable today, except for 1d (awful word), 6d which I have never seen as one word, and not sure where great success fits in, and 3d, as I have a real dislike for partial anagrams. Otherwise all good fun, although I did finish mostly from checkers rather than the clues. The three long clues, 13a, 20a and 5d were a great help. But nothing obscure or terribly odd so can’t complain. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  23. I like phrases and we had them in abundance today, I really enjoyed this. As usual, I found parsing of a few to be somewhat obscure, so thanks so much Senf for those. I missed the anagram at 5d but had enough checkers and the nudge of Russian helped to bung him in. Natch, I did have to use e-help to get 1d, agreed with others that it’s a horrid word, ugh! “Let me think” pointed me in the right direction for 26a. Yes, all very well clued. I have a problem choosing a fave, I liked so many, maybe 11a as I have a friend who lives there.
    Thanks to Dada for the entertainment, and to Senf for explaining things and his lovely choice of music.

  24. Oh what a fine crosswording day, really enjoyed this Dada puzzle and I have yesterday’s Chalicea to look forward to after tea. Two of my favourite setters. Thanks to everyone!

  25. Surely not Dada? Very easy solve but I think I was just bang on the wavelength. I did think it could be one of those leaving me with three stinkers at the end but that was not the case. Last ones were 1 6 and 21d. Hesitated over 6d but the wordplay fitted and I have been reassured to hear it is in the BRB. I shall look later. 10a and 4d. I was greatly helped by getting the three long ones straightaway. Thanks Dada and Senf. Late reporting as been out for the day in the lovely sunshine.

  26. I’m late on parade. I hesitated before putting in 6d. One word two words. Who knows? I’ve only ever heard of it as something daddy was going to purchase, lol. Great fun today. Thanks to all.

  27. Like most folks I found this puzzle less taxing than the usual Sunday crosswords. My holdup was in the SW where the sock had me flummoxed …..until I read Senf’s excellent hints.

    Thanks to Dad and to Senf.

    Had a day off from dealing with apples today (sorting, washing, wrapping in newspaper or peeling, coring chopping and freezing) so finally managed to tidy the war zone that passed for my house. And made a cake for dessert ….it got mixed reviews, but as Auntie always said about home baking….things have to be pretty bad before we can’t eat them. (Actually she said it in Scots, but I’ll spare you that.)

  28. xxxxxx [redacted as you have put the answer in your comment – please see the instructions in RED under the hints] might be a horrid word to some of you, but to anyone who’s been in the the newspaper and broadcasting game it’s just a working word. Also only 2 syllables instead of 3!

  29. Finished this although the NE held me up for a long time. I am still mystified by the parsing of 6d, although obviously it had to be. COTD 5d. Am still mystified by parsing of 6d. Thanks to Dada and to Senf/.

  30. Hurrah!! – the penny dropped (with a loud clang!) over 6d at lunch time today when I wasn’t actually thinking about the SPP. Now I see the point of Senf’s hints in the comments above, and forgive him for not including this clue in the official hints, and of course I am no longer mystifiede by the parsing (does that put me on the naughty step?)

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