ST 3133 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3133 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3133 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, by the time you read this, the autumnal element of the semi-annual hiatus caused by a week’s difference between the UK and North America in Springing Forward and Falling Back, which causes havoc with my crossword solving, will be over. Thank Goodness!

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, and overall, Dada in a benevolent mood this week although the SE held me up for a while and I expect some comments on 11a.  I counted six anagrams (one partial), one lurker (reversed), and three homophones – all in a slightly asymmetric 28 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 – 11a, 18d, 21d, and 22d.

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 One drink like another? Two can play at that game! (3,5)
Two (alcoholic) drinks with a ‘qualifier’ on the second which suggests that the first might be like it.

11a Braless predators of South America? Huge number! (8)
A (6,5) phrase, country first, that suggests that the illustrated predators might come from a South American country (which they don’t unless they are in captivity). Then remove the first three letters from the 6 letter country (braless) and combine what is left into an 8 letter term for a huge number – if you were like me, it was bung in the answer and work backwards.

12a As here, initial letters ordered so? (14)
How the words in the clue are ordered based on initial letters.

17a With narrowest of leads in cricket match, build hastily (3,2)
A double definition, reasonably obvious I think, although I am not sure that cricketers would use the term.

20a Engineer putting in a seal, strip of sticky material (10,4)
An anagram (engineer) of PUTTING IN A SEAL.

25a Deliberately miss Italian title, having thrown away lead (6)
The Italian male honorific with the first letter removed (having thrown away the lead).

28a Superficial wound comes with it, first of cuts (8)
An anagram (wound) of COMES and (with) IT followed by initial letter (first) of Cuts.


1d Huge pile of cash, unused (4)
A double definition – the second describes the condition of an unused item.

2d Break part of arm, did you say? (6)
A homophone (did you say) of part of a (fire)arm.

3d Cry from attention-seeker stuck in maze, youngster going the wrong way (4)
Wow – a ‘war and peace’ clue for a four letter lurker, OK it is reversed (stuck in . . . going the wrong way) found in two words in the clue.

4d Bulb glowing and radiating light is coruscating, first of all (6)
Fortunately, the meaning of coruscating is not required. All that is required is initial letters (first of all) of 6 words in the clue.

16d Exploding, no star is lighter! (8)
An anagram (exploding) of NO STAR IS – I am sure that Cryptic Sue will be pleased to see that a clergyman (clergyperson?) is not required to solve this clue.

21d Pioneering surgeon one catalogues, might you say? (6)
A single term for a compiler of catalogues (might you say) – although Dada may be trying to be a neologian creating a new usage for a word that has a completely different usage and meaning.

22d Sunbed, possibly, in old money (6)
The slang term for some old money that ceased to exist on February 15th, 1971.

26d Free to defend a surprise attack (4)
A three letter verbal synonym of free containing (to defend) A from the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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The alter ego of Downton Abbey’s Countess of Grantham (a.k.a. Elizabeth McGovern), although, in fairness, Sadie and the Hotheads entered the music business 3 years before we, at least some of us, got engrossed in the upstairs/downstairs ‘goings on’ of somewhere in Yorkshire. This is Nothing New, probably written by Elizabeth McGovern herself, from a 2012 album How Not To Lose Things, apparently the music genre is Americana:

55 comments on “ST 3133 (Hints)

  1. 2*/5*. Week in week out, Dada provides us with excellent Sunday fare, but I thought today’s was his best yet with 11a the clue of the year.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. Another very classy and enjoyable Sunday puzzle from the Dada production line that I didn’t find too difficult at all.
    I liked the double definitions and the homophones but my ticks go to 11,27&28a plus 5&18d along with the “pioneering surgeon” with the Lyme Regis connection, one of my very favourite places.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  3. I enjoyed this rather gentle challenge from Dada (2*/4*). 6d wS a fine clue and 12a was an interesting variation on a well trodden path. My COTD, after some humming and hawing was 11a, brilliant in a really corny way. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for another fine puzzle.

  4. Excellent Sunday Dada. COD for me was def 11a although I agree with Senf, I too worked backwards from the answer.
    Lots of elegant well constructed clues and very grateful nothing resembling that idiotic clue of yesterday.
    Thx to all

  5. Dada in a super-Dada zone today, which means sheer enjoyment for me. 11a got the great stuff going and it continued with all the four-letter words, usually the banes of my existence but not today. I also liked 27a, 5d, and 25a. Thanks to Senf whose review I’ll read now and to Dada. ** / *****

    Damon Galgut’s The Promise, which I championed a few weeks ago in one of these posts, has won the Booker Prize for fiction this year, and I am delighted. (Over the long winnowing process that the Booker undergoes, Galgut managed to triumph over other authors whose books I had recommended: Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle and Nathan Harris’s The Sweetness of Water; Galgut also bested Richard Powers’ Bewilderment, which was exactly what I felt about that one.)

  6. Another very good puzzle from Mr Sunday, my only slight hesitation coming from 17a which I would associate far more with the likes of sewing rather than building.
    11a definitely took top honours here.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for a fine selection of hints. Have to say that I prefer Ms McGovern in her Downton Abbey role!

  7. No problems down south but far trickier up north. I pondered which of 3 possible consonants belonged on the front of 11a & my mind was only made up for me when the War & Peace lurker dawned on me – still didn’t parse it mind you. That lurker’s first checker unlocked the NW which then yielded one after other having been unable previously to get a foothold in it. Don’t know if it’s just me but previously I’d stared at 8d knowing full well what the wordplay was but just couldn’t see a word.
    Top quality puzzle today. 18d raised a huge smile & 11a is a very clever clue.
    Thanks to both D&S

  8. That was really enjoyable with North beating South to it. I agree with approval of 11a but do wonder about spelling. 6d was bung-in as I worked around a body part. Surely 8d is not necessarily a cooler. My Fav was 26d. Thank you Dada for a pleasant Sunday morning stroll and Senf for being there in case of need.

      1. Not in my experience. They tend to be of ambient temperature only. Hotels don’t want you to use them for storing any of your own food or drink.

          1. When an 8d is functioning as it should it’s a cooler, end of. Just because it may or may not be working doesn’t change the definition.

    1. D’oh I have only just read Senf’s hint for 11a and realised my bung-in was partially barking up the wrong tree. I tried to justify it by overlooking the wrong 6th letter hence ignoring predator. How thick can I get?!

  9. Stunning grid from Dada.
    All comments hit the nail on the head
    My favourite was 3d, which had me going for hours until the Flying Fox from down under came to my rescue. Thanks H
    Most enjoyable Sunday grid on par with the Thursday Maestro, RayT.
    Many many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  10. I couldn’t decide whether 11a was brilliant or a little misleading, but in the end I came down on the side of brilliance. Certainly a viable contender for the clue of the week, perhaps longer. 16d was my runner-up. Overall this was our regular Sunday setter at the top of his game, with a consistent standard of high-quality clues throughout the grid.

    My thanks and congratulations to Dada for a fine puzzle, and thanks too, to Senf.

  11. First pass yielded 2 answers so did some gardening to clear the head after the rugby yesterday.
    Lots of smiles and doh moments but 3d particularly excellent. Was looking for a pangram after that which slowed me down 3/5. Thanks to all

  12. I found dada a struggle today but I was making green tomato chutney at the same time so that is my excuse. Still, I got there in the end. Typical Dada in that it started slowly, gathered pace then ground to a halt necessitating a look at a few of the hints. I thought pangram when I solved 3d but it was not to be. I have no real favourites but I did like 12a.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for the hints, which were most useful as the ones I needed were covered.

  13. All over in **/*** time, not helped by being in a foul mood. Who the hell does scaffolding work on a terraced house at 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning? I suppose I should be grateful that they weren’t shouting, swearing and smoking narcotics like their colleagues on Friday. Bah humbug.

    Thanks to all.

  14. This was quite slow going but most enjoyable. Still got one to do, 27a, have an answer but don’t think its correct as I can’t see a twit in it! Thanks all.

        1. OMG! How can I be so thick. I have the correct answer and the twit is completely obvious. For some reason I have always thought the canine involved was a male. Grrr. Thanks for the help

          1. I think you are correct re the misgendering of the animal in question. I seem to recall that all screen versions of 27a were actually male.

            1. I didn’t think of the canine of that name so rightly or wrongly was not confused. I saw the whole word as meaning albeit most associated with one part of the UK

  15. I enjoyed this, but found it a bit of a struggle. My favourites were 7A, 12A and 13D.

    I thought 11A was awful, but I seem to be in the minority.

    Can someone enlighten me regarding Senfs comment about 14 ‘hints’ sprinkled throughout the grid.

    1. As not all the clues are hinted for the weekend prize puzzles I do try to ensure that I provide the hints in such a way that plenty of checking letters are provided hence my use of the term ‘sprinkled.’ Some time ago I did consider providing hints using ‘reverse order of solving’ but that would have resulted in a very uneven distribution of the number of hints allowed.

      1. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I now feel like a complete idiot.

        I over thought this. I thought you meant Dada had sprinkled hints throughout his clues or their answers which I had completely failed to see.

  16. Great fun, which sometimes reminded me of Ray T, as well as Virgilus Sunday puzzles of old. Thanks to all.

  17. The ease of solving didn’t in any way detract from the enjoyment. Favourite was 12a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  18. I am getting into the swing of Dada again. I started slowly but picked up the pace only to be delayed at the end by ignoring the “did you say” and putting the wrong homonym in 2d. 10a came to the rescue.
    I did like 11a as others, but 7a brought back pleasant memories of playing the same with Grandma Bee. She didn’t believe in playing easy on her grandchildren and I suppose I am still in debt to her estate by about several 11a points.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  19. I never thought I would agree with a rating of “benevolent” for a Dada puzzle, but this one clearly deserves that description as I actually solved it unhinged and unaided. It might not have been as tough as some would like, but one very happy solver here. I started slowly, noting in the margin that I thought I would be 23a over this, but no, everything actually made sense. Last in was 6d, as I had forgotten them. 7a gets COTD simply because I spent many happy hours playing that as a child with my Gran at her kitchen table. Big thank you to Dada for a good start to my Sunday, and to Senf.

  20. Overall this was a gentle Dada as Senf indicated. 2.5*/***** for me today. My favourites are identical to Senf’s as well … that is along with a one other … 11a, 16d, 18d, 21d & 22d … no winner as they are all outstanding.
    Did not know the 3d word … that required google to suss out.
    Liked both the long clues 12a and 20a too.
    A great puzzle for a damp Sunday morning with the extra hour of shut eye last night here in Canada.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  21. Yes, BusyLizzie, a very happy solver here too! I can’t believe I solved this all on my own, needing the hint to “get” 11a, completely lost the why there. Now that I understand it, I think that is so clever, but fave is 22d, remember those? I thought this was a super offering, maybe I’m getting on wavelength?
    Thank you, Dada, for the fun, loved it, and to Senf for unravelling a couple. Another band I’ve never heard of, Sadie and the Hotheads, have I lived with my head in the sand? I have heard of Hootie and the Blowfish though never heard their music, does that count?

  22. Terrific puzzle, whilst 11a seems to be very popular, for me 18d was an even better clue for following the underwear theme! Thank you Dada and Senf

  23. Great puzzle as usual from Dada though I struggle with ‘wound’ as an anagram indicator….

  24. Solved this alone and unaided…a very rare occurrence when I try a Dada.
    Figured out the parsings too with the exception of 11a for which I needed Senf’s help.
    So, a very satisfying day for me today.
    And Scotland beat the Aussies at the rugby so Mr Meringue is a happy man too.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  25. I vow I will never, ever again be the victim of a lurker.
    3d pushed me into almost *** time.
    11a absolutely brilliant.
    Great all round puzzle..
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

    1. Show me someone who vows they will never be the victim of a lurker and I will show you someone who is about to be!

  26. Agree Dada was less obtuse than usual but at least it allowed me to catch up and finish the day of publication.
    11a needed Senf’s explanation but now I see it it gets my COTD
    Hopefully unlike the performance of my football team that cost 11a and are paid it every week my brain function will improve.
    Thank you Dada and Senf.

  27. 3/5. A very doable puzzle with a packed podium of favourites. 11a required some reverse engineering but what a clever clue and my favourite. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  28. Finished this unaided but with thanks to Senf for parsing 11a. The answer came to me immediately but I hadn’t a clue how to get there. Dada deserves them all on the podium but COTD has to be 26d, my LOI because it took so long for the penny to drop (old age?) Second place goes to 28a. Thanks to Dada for this brilliant puzzle, but he beat me completely with the Quickie. I did get the pun but needed e-help for nearly half of the clues.


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