ST 3141 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3141 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3141 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A Happy New Year and a very good Sunday morning from Winterpeg where it is taters in extremis (= a high of -27C yesterday)!

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, Dada as friendly as he was last Sunday.  I counted a generous eight anagrams (three partials), two lurkers (both reversed), and one homophone – all in an 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 – 13a, 16a, 3d, 22d, and the Pun.

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:


1a Standard liquid for soup (5)
A double definition to start – the second can be obtained from simmering left over meat and bones.

10a Point in a cutter surprisingly cut! (8)
Guess a (compass) point and insert it into (in) an anagram (surprisingly) of A CUTTER.

13a Picture that’s the same, ruined (8)
A term that’s called out for ‘that’s the same’ in a (children’s) card game and a synonym of ruined.

16a A male perhaps heard schedule (6))
A from the clue and a homophone (although I don’t think it is actually a word) of what male is an example of (perhaps).

17a Fly has come back into widest estuary (6)
A reverse lurker (has come back into) found in two words of the clue.

19a Five back cut for sellers (7)
The Roman numeral for five and a 7 letter synonym of back with the last letter removed (cut).

21a Politician looking to the left in Qatar, comedian (8)
Another reverse lurker (looking to the left in) found in two words in the clue.

26a The woman seen by American court official (5)
The female genitive, dative, and accusative pronoun that indicates the woman placed after (seen by) two letters commonly used to indicate American.


2d Clothes, hardest to repair (7))
An anagram (to repair) of HARDEST.

3d Legitimate walk (14)
A double definition – the second is considered to be good for one’s health.

6d Ocean waves increase another time (4,5)
An anagram (waves) of OCEAN and a synonym of increase.

8d White powder for pastries pal scattered about (7,2,5)
An anagram (scattered about) of FOR PASTRIES PAL.

15d Duck and every cuckoo like a chicken, perhaps? (4-5)
A crickety duck and an anagram (cuckoo) of AND EVERY.

22d Scientist has dropped on amphibian (4)
A famous scientist with the ON in his name removed (has dropped).

For all those who complain that some prize puzzle illustrations are too ‘direct’.

(If you decide to comment on the illustration, remember it is a Prize Puzzle and be careful what you say – the ‘electronic blue pencil’ has been sharpened and is at the ready.)

Quick Crossword Pun:


Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES OR HINTS in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

Over here, at least, Christmas is The Nutcracker ballet season. This is an extract from The Nutcracker Suite which itself is ‘extracted’ from the ballet music. It is a ‘jazzed up’ arrangement played by the Horn Section of the Berliner Philharmoniker:

55 comments on “ST 3141 (Hints)

  1. Many thanks, Senf and Dada for a nice straightforward start to the cruciverbal year. I had a bit of difficulty sorting out 10a and the homonym part of 16a but the rest flowed smoothly. 3d was my favourite today.
    Not including a hint for 12a may hopefully stop the debate in blogs passim from spilling over here and allow your blue pencil a rest.
    Is Balvanie still your Malt du Jour? – I am currently enjoying a Bunnahabhain. I will raise a glass in your general direction when next at the bottle. Sun is nowhere near enough the yardarm here at the moment.

    1. Balvenie or Dalwhinnie – but I have had to be a little more frugal during Covid and, at the moment, I am drinking a Lowland example – Auchentoshan. Apparently the distillery is in Glasgow, I just hope that the water is not being taken straight from the Clyde!

      Additionally, the distillery is owned by a sub-unit of Suntory so it might even be Japanese Whisky with a Scottiish label!

    2. Am I right in thinking that Bunnahabhain is an Islay without overtones of peat, John?

      1. Yes Steve the one I am testing is unpeated but still has lots of “seaweedy” overtones a bit like the Talisker I finished last year. I have (as yet unopened) Port Charlotte to go next and that is advertised as Heavily peated so am looking forward to tasting the difference.

        1. In which case, I must give it a try. I like Talisker so Bunnahabhain sounds like a good bet. I have a bottle of Lagavulin awaiting but that is really peaty so I take it little and often.

          It will all have to wait though because the holiday finishes tomorrow and I will return to not drinking at all. :sad:

    3. Regrettably I had to desist from drinking any form of whisky, or whiskey, 40 odd years ago, as it affected me in a socially unacceptable way. I envy your ability to discuss and sample the various distilleries’ products. Happy New Year to you!

  2. Can’t quite believe I’m about to say this about a Dada puzzle but the easiest of the week for me. Perfectly pleasant but all over far too quickly for a Sunday & with no particular favourites. Such benevolence unlikely to last methinks.
    Thanks to D&S

  3. A great puzzle, which was most enjoyable. However, I am totally beaten by 25a. All I can come up with is an obscure battle that resulted in the end of an empire. Despite that, I have ticks by a good many clues – 16a, 23a, 24a, 4d and 22d but my COTD is 18d because of the forehead slap and and loud “doh” it gave me.

    13a is bang up to date but I don’t agree with it. :grin:

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun. Thanks also to Senf and please stay warm.

    1. Fear of Senf’s blue pencil and the Naughty step precludes me from saying too much, but either you are overthinking it or the checkers are wrong.

        1. Definitely must be, Brian. Although not many comments yet do you may find some on your wavelength later.
          Sorry, I’ve put this in the wrong place. Meant for Brian.

    2. I don’t like 25a which was my penultimate in. www Hope I’ve got it right. I have a homonym with two completely different meanings. If you’ve not worked it out yet look at the BRB for definitions of crooked.

  4. Thanks Dada and Happy New Year to you and Senf. Not sure about your illustration after the last hint. This was a steady solve until I got to my last one in 10a. For no particular reason that one took me ages. It was not helped by the fact I solved 7d backwards. Once I rearranged the first three letters I was there! Favourites 23a and 3, 5, 6, 9, 18 and 22d. Looking forward to a good crosswording year. Let’s hope we can meet again in person before too long.

    1. I will explain the illustration after the last hint in a comment to the full review when it appears on the 12th.

      1. Whilst hopefully avoiding the naughty step I am fascinated by the significance of the photo but can only wonder whether perhaps Boris Johnson’s accusation comes into it?

  5. This was remarkably light for a Sunday puzzle and, apart from a loud “yuk” for 12a, it was great fun.

    3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Re 12a, I think we flogged that one to death a few days ago. Doesn’t make it any less ghastly though.

  6. Top puzzle from a top setter.
    Funny how a certain clue came up after Friday’s discussion. I wonder if Dada read the blog?
    As ever on Sunday I liked lots but on the basis that they made me smile my ticks go to 21(clever use of “to the left”), 23&24a plus 4&15d with top spot to my LOI 13a. Great stuff.
    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  7. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle but a shame about 12a. I enjoyed the lurker at 21a, 21a and the great double meaning at 25a. The most cruciverbal fun for a week I think , as some of the last week’s puzzles have been as heavy and inigestible as some shop bought Christmas Puddings. Many thanks to Dada for adding leavening to the dough and to Senf for the hints.

  8. Just that awkward 25a that gave pause for thought in an otherwise very benign puzzle.
    3d gets my vote for favourite – a word my godfather was very fond of using although I suspect that in his case it actually referred to his walking upstairs to have a nap after Sunday lunch!

    Thanks to Dada for his first puzzle of the new year and to Senf for the excellent selection of hints and the most enjoyable pieces from the Horncracker Suite.

  9. No sweat today although I did stupidly fail to parse 19d and 22d. Agree with RD re 12a but it does avoid discussion about man or woman! Fav was 18d – clever. Thank you Dada for your leniency today and Senf for being there in case of need.

  10. Elegant puzzle.
    Nicely completed in ** time.
    Spent too much time, though, on 3d which, of course, it could only have been.
    Many thanks to Dada for the enjoyment and thanks to Senf

  11. 10a my final entry in what was by any standards a fairly rapid solve. Having done a long 3d this morning I will nominate that as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf. Re the picture for 22d, I saw him give a talk in the City in the early 90s looking just as in the image above, a few weeks after being given the Tieman of the Year award.

  12. A very enjoyable fast solve for me. My favourite was 18D with 4A a close runner up.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf. Happy New Year to all of the Big Dave community.

  13. Wondered at one point if I’d picked up a Monday puzzle, this was so generously gentle from Dada.

    Loved the lurker in 21a and the concise simplicity of 3d, but my COTD goes to 18d which prompted a good chuckle – v clever!

    1* / 3*

    Thank you to Dada and to Senf

  14. Yes, a delightful puzzle for a wet Sunday here in Cambridge. Stars for 10, 21a and 5,15 and 22d. 25a was the last in because, as someone said, I was overthinking it. I couldn’t justify my answer for 22a but felt it had to be. Many thanks to Senf and Dada(?) and I enjoyed the discussions about the whisky! We are rather partial to a wee dram.

    1. How weird DG, we are just up the road, so to speak, and have had a lovely, sunny day but started raining about an hour ago. Rain knocks out BBC1 and BBC2 and am so fed up with it will get Sky as soon as the hols are over. We will then be able to get Look East which is vastly superior to Look North which we are lumbered with at present! Thanks to all for a great puzzle today.

      1. After many years trying to persuade talk talk to fix our appalling (750 kbps) “fast broadband”, and a final row with a manager in South Africa, we now have BT fast fibre 50 Mbps. It is fantastic, and only a fiver more per month. We are now thinking of dumping sky, because we can get everything and more on um firestick?.
        Not only that, BT have credited £100 because they didn’t connect when they said they would. Win all round. £28 a month with phones

  15. Unlike most contributors we found this a bit tricky, particularly in the NE, although having got the answers it was hard to see why. Hey ho! Favourite was 2d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. A sparkling Dada for the new year, with 2022 off to a good start for me. 10a held me up a bit (and was my LOI) but the rest gelled quite well, especially 18d, 21a (yay, with a big D!), & 10a. Thanks and Happy New Year to Senf and Dada. ** / ****

  17. A surprising Sunday gift from Dada today. I so nearly finished unaided, just defeated by 25a having spent too much time trying to find a crime to fit the clue. But my goodness, never thought I would get this far with a Dada, so very happy today. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Now what will I do over lunch?

  18. Lots to like in this relatively gentle Dada puzzle today. Lots of clever as well as misdirecting clues.
    2.5*/4* for me today. Clues for favourites are many, but the top 5 for me are 14a, 22a, 24a, 3d & 5d
    Thanks to Dada for the fun solve and to Senf for the hints

  19. Good puzzle Dada and thank you Senf – very smooth clueing with 23a and my cotd is the brilliant 18d

  20. I never thought this day would come … what a corker, loved it all! As it is a Dada, I did have to get a little help along the way, I was stuck on 20d, I forgot that person loved, and I almost DNF with 7d when I had my “road to Damascus” moment at the very last minute. Fave was 21a, as Robert says, capped, but there was so much to enjoy here.
    Thanks Dada for all the fun, remembering your first Sunday, how far I’ve come! Not forgetting my thanks to Senf for some help along the way.

  21. 3 & 8d provided the scaffold for an hashish ride until I ground to a halt and no amount of head scratching would reveal 10 or 25a. Tiny bit of ehelp got me over the line so a DNF really. Thanks Senf for th amphibian.

  22. I was expecting a giant cryptic over the holiday period, but either I’ve missed it in the paper version, or it was only online, or there wasn’t one. The Times came to the rescue yesterday, but does anyone know of a giant crossword in the telegraph? Thanks all. HNY

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