ST 3134 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3134 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3134 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, from Wednesday morning to Friday morning , we had our first wintery storm of the autumn which left us with at least 20 cms of the white stuff, high winds blowing the snow around made measurement difficult, plus some more yesterday.  Fortunately, the air temperature has been hovering around zero and the ground is still (relatively) warm so it is not presenting too many problems.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, Dada in a benevolent mood again although I made a real fist of 5d by trying to apply the enumeration of 4d to it.  I counted five anagrams (three partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and two homophones – all in a very asymmetric 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.

Candidates for favourite – 11a, 25a, 17d, and 23d.

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:


6a In the doghouse, where rain first appears? (5,1,5)
A ‘tongue in cheek’ statement (?) of where rain is seen first (as it falls from the sky).

11a Do in? (5,5)
A little lateral thinking required perhaps, start with the (2,4) phrase equivalent to in and ‘convert’ it to a single word and then add one of our regular synonyms of do.

15a Banned, as might be retired trampolinist? (3,2,6)
Another ‘tongue in cheek’ statement as might be applied to a retired trampolinist.

22a Vexation, on dentist failing to protect canines, primarily (10)
An anagram (failing) of ON DENTIST containing (to protect) the first letter (primarily) of Canines.

25a Service down a shade (4,4)
The short form of a (military) service and a synonym of down (as in unhappy).

28a Killing lion, inmate I suspect (11)
An anagram (suspect) of LION, INMATE I.


1d More than one bulb lit up, then switch is on (6)
A two letter term equivalent to lit up followed by (then) an anagram (switch) of IS ON.

4d Expression of gratitude boy uses, swimming around lake (5,3)
An anagram (swimming) of BOY USES containing (around) the single letter for lake.

7d Number otherwise for singer (5)
The first double digit number (counting up from zero) and a two letter synonym of otherwise.

13d Problem that’s pictured on public transport (5)
The two letter prepositional synonym of on and a type of public transport.

16d Relative catching cold — might acrobat have one? (8)
A (male) relative containing (catching) a synonym of cold.

18d Sister not a soul heard (3)
One of the homophones (heard) of a single word equivalent to not a soul.

23d Apartment found in outskirts of Odense in the past few days (2,4)
A synonym of apartment inserted into (found in) the first and last letters (outskirts) of OdensE.

26d Bird in green ready to ascend (4)
The reversed lurker (in . . . to ascend) found in two words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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For Remembrance Sunday:

49 comments on “ST 3134 (Hints)

  1. A speedy and enjoyable solve this morning, with several outstanding clues, foremost among which was 11a. Dada was at his most entertaining in this grid, so many thanks to him for the fun. Thank you, too, to Senf. 20cm of snow in this country would bring everything to a complete standstill.

  2. Very enjoyable with lots of smiles, if at the easier end of Dada’s spectrum.
    My podium consists of the three cryptic definitions at 6,11&15a.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the early morning fun.

    Stunning morning here in the South Devon coast, I can’t ever remember the sea temperature being as comfortable at this time of the year.

  3. The benevolent Dada is out today. I think I probably set a PB, but as we don’t discuss times I will settle for the inner glow that a nice solve (or a nice Malt) provides. I have matched Senf’s candidates for favourites too.
    Time to go for my booster, I hope it is not going to slow me down too much.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  4. Well, that was fairly straightforward! So much so, that I doubted it was by Dada. I find puzzles by Dada reveal their secrets slowly not offer them on a plate like this one did. It felt more like my favourite setter, Chalicea at the easier end of her spectrum but I am no expert at identifying setters. Suffice to say, I will be very surprised if it does turn out to be by Dada.

    Despite being over too quickly, it was an entertaining solve with quite a number of satisfying clues. I did like 15a and 23d but my COTD is 6a.

    My thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints.

    Still no Nuthatch on the feeder.

    1. I must say your bird table looked very enticing. We have to hang everything to try and deter the squirrels who are a menace. Never seen a nuthatch here but see them a lot when we dog sit in SW France. He’s probably sneaking back like the pandas in the Kit Kat ad when you are not looking!

        1. Excellent news, Steve, I just knew he/she would be lurking in the bushes. Some fat balls or coconut shells stuffed with same would probably help out over the winter months if you have a way of anchoring them.

          1. Thanks for the tips, Jane. We have coconut shells stuffed with fat and numerous fat ball holders all over the garden. Nigella seeds in the Mulberry tree serve the Goldfinches while the windfall apples delight the Blackbirds and other grounders.🕊

            1. Wow – sounds as though you’ve provided everything your garden birds could possibly need. Well done indeed and I hope they repay your generosity by allowing you glimpses into their lives.

  5. 1.5*/4*. This was light but a lot of fun with 11a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  6. Terrific crossword and for the second day in a row, no ‘once in a lifetime’ words, and no knowledge of the Achaemenid Empire required!

    Yesterday we went for a lovely walk in the Surrey Hills, just above Shere. Here’s a link for anyone who is interested:

    Francis Corner Woodland – 4.6km

    We hardly saw a soul (one lady riding a horse; two people walking dogs), it was so peaceful, and the autumnal colours were gorgeous.
    When we undertake this walk (one of H’s favourites) I think back eighty years to the Canadian forces who built the pathways for tanks as the invasion was expected any day. One also can see pillboxes down the hill as a further reminder of how close we came to being overrun. Thank goodness for our brave servicemen and servicewomen, and for the English Channel and North Sea!
    After the walk we went to the William Bray in Shere for a recovering drink (wine for H; Diet Coke for me) in front of a warming log fire.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  7. Another enjoyable Dada puzzle (2*/4.5*). I particularly enjoyed the Cryptic Definitions amongst the clues today, 11a and 15a being my joint COTD’s. Thanks to Senf for the hints. The ground here is still covered by colourful leaves thank goodness. Thanks to Dada for a fine STPP..

  8. Our setter was certainly very kindly disposed towards us today which allowed for a swift but nonetheless enjoyable solve.
    My favourite was 11a, which seems to have been the choice of several amongst the BD gang, and I gave the reserve places to 17&23d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for both the hints and the Remembrance Day salute from the RAF Central Band – reduced me to tears as always.

    1. Another crybaby, I can’t help myself. The hymn The Day Thou Gavest always reminds me of school. We had the loveliest little chapel, really bijou but very pretty, and we sang that on Sunday evenings, it always moved me. So many years ago and so much water under the bridge, but I remember it so clearly.

  9. Must be the easiest puzzle he’s ever given us but still fun even if it lasted only * time. Favourite was 11a with 5d & 6a on the podium.
    Thanks to D&S.

  10. Lovely puzzle. Quite a few clues made me smile. **/**** I suspect it is dada – my favourite ( and that of many others) 11a is quite typical of him. Thanks to all.

  11. Lovely Sunday offering, kind and kindly meant, it would seem. I liked 6, 11, & 15a best of all. Laughed out loud when my LOI fell: 5d. Thanks to Senf and Dada. 1.5* / 3*

    Sadly, our Covid numbers are rising again as the anti-vaxxers and Republicans exult and our reigning MVP of American professional football (who tested positive last week) brags about his own immunisation regimen, which included ivermectin.

    1. Shockingly our Covid numbers here in Florida are falling rapidly. We’ve gone from being one of the worst states to the best, and still trending down, despite having a republic governor who is very much still in the Trump camp. Most people are still masked when in shops, at least in our area where there are a lot of 55 communities. And most of us have had our boosters and flu shots. As one 81 year old friend reminds people “If you don’t like to wear a mask, you really won’t like wearing a ventilator”. Of course our lovely winter weather has arrived, with a lot of outdoor dining, so that helps.

      1. DeSantis is trying so hard to turn Florida cobalt blue, far be it from me to discourage him … I await censorship from BD!

  12. I agree that this was fun and easily completed on my own – George having gone to Addenbrookes for an ECG on a Sunday!? That was after a moving service at The Cross at 11 with Sawston Brass Band and all the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, etc etc. George always has the job of marshalling them which is a bit like corralling a litter of puppies. One Brownie fainted which caused a commotion. Masses of people had turned out. Then a 30 minute service in Church when one of the colour parties bashed the mediaeval rood screen with the standard and we all flinched. I wore the Death or Glory insignia of the 17th/21st Lancers in honour of my father and his comrades. So pleased that Terence’s walk was ‘lovely’ again. I am now going back to my sprouts. Thanks to Dada and snowy Senf, 11a was a beauty and I was onto quite the wrong bulb in 1d – very smart!

  13. Really enjoyable crossword which didn’t ask too much of the solver but was enough to make me think esp my last in 27a.
    My favs were 16d and 25a both of which made me smile.
    In case I replied too late yesterday thanks to those who helped me understand that dastardly clue!
    Thanks to all

    1. Glad you spotted it in the end! I often have to write the down clues horizontally to ‘get’ them.

  14. A great puzzle that I almost completed unaided but needed Senf’s hint for 16D. My favourite was 15A.

  15. Without a doubt the easiest Dada puzzle I have ever tackled! <*/5*
    This was not is the least bit quirky and VERY benevolent and just a pleasant and trouble free solve.
    I read the clues and entered the answers going top to bottom. No issues, no trouble. No pauses.
    Favourites include 6a, 11a, 22a, 27a & 13d … no winner … they all win.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  16. They don’t come much more straightforward than this and not much more enjoyable either. Favourite was 5d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. My only complaint is that there were not enough clues; very enjoyable Dada and thank you Senf – 16d as my cotd

  18. If that was indeed a Dada puzzle, it was indeed very benevolent. Didn’t think I would ever say that. An enjoyable accompaniment to breakfast. Quite a few light bulb moments. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Here’s wishing HM a speedy recovery from her back sprain.

  19. Are we sure this was Dada? It seemed too gentle but in any event I enjoyed it. I also liked the asymmetry of the grid. No standout favourites today but thanks to the setter and Senf for the blog.

    1. With the asymmetry of the grid, which I think we have seen before, and clues like 11a I am 99.9% certain of the setter.

  20. I, too, doubt the Dada authorship, solving a Dada puzzle unaided is unheard of. This was so much fun, two days in a row, I can’t believe my luck. Like most here, 11a was a lovely penny drop moment, but there were some other outstanding clues, like 15a and 17d that were so good it seems unfair not to choose them as well.
    Thank you Dada if you were, indeed, the setter, I loved it. Thanks for your hints and tips Senf, and thanks too for bringing me to tears with the clip.

  21. That was a cracker but unusually if it really was a Dada product didn’t cause any “blood, toil, tears (or) sweat” (to quote our great wartime leader on this Remembrance Sunday). NW was last to crumble partly due to my being slow in the uptake on 11a which then had to be my Fav. Thank you Dada (?) for the fun and Senf particularly for the touching music – love all those hymns, etc.

  22. Surely not a Dada offering , I think I set a PB today. Not too much satisfaction however, it seems the majority say it was a piece of p….
    Thanks to setter and to Senf.

  23. Great fun as always….I am definitely a Dadaist…..held up a bit by 15a as I got ‘bounce’ from the checkers then couldn’t get it out of my head

  24. Fun. No-one’s complained about 18d but the homophone doesn’t work for me. Favourites 6 11 and 25a and 1 5 and 17d. Thanks Dada? and Senf.

  25. Coming in late. A nice straightforward puzzle. Most enjoyable. My one glitch is 11a.. It has to be what it is but even with Senf’s hint, I cannot parse it.

  26. Agree with the 9thers that this Dada was the quickest I have ever solved one of his.

    The clue I had most trouble parsing was the pesky 3 letter 12d….but I figured it in the end.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf

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