ST 3143 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3143 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3143 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where I have no idea of what is happening or supposed to be happening and I don’t think the Province does either!

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, Dada not as friendly as he been for the last several Sundays.  I counted four anagrams (three partials), 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.

Candidates for favourite – 17a, 20a, 3d, and 7d.

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 Trump crude, reportedly? (4)
Absolutely nothing to do with The Orange One – a homophone (reportedly) of a synonym of crude – not necessarily an oldie but goodie, but we have seen this before.

10a A peak quantity (6)
A from the clue and a synonym of peak.

13a Rule three was broken touring nick (4,3,8)
An anagram (broken) of THREE WAS containing (touring) a synonym of nick (as in steal).

17a Train heading for Exeter expected to carry animal (7)
The first letter of (heading for) Exeter, a three letter synonym of expected containing (to carry) an animal (of a domestic variety).

23a Left locked in closet, for thrills (3,5)
A lurker (locked in) found in three words in the clue.

25a A meal in odd bits of grub, sweet food (6)
A from the clue and a three letter meal all contained by (in) the ‘odd’ letters (bits) of GrUb.

28a Deity hurting back (4)
A synonym of hurting reversed (back).


1d Strength shown by leaders in Scottish church inspired by cross (6)
The first letters (leaders in) of Scottish and Church inserted into (inspired by) an animal that is a cross(-breed).

4d Relative ignoring a book, fiction (7)
A (female) relative with her letter A removed (ignoring) and a book from the first part of the Bible (OT).

5d Dressmaker perhaps: in fairness he’d go for tailoring (7,8)
An anagram (for tailoring) of IN FAIRNESS HE’D GO.

7d Responsibility no one else’s? (4)
Written as (2,2) a phrase equivalent to no one else’s?

18d Regions free within island (8)
A verbal synonym of free (from bindings?) inserted into (within) one of the spellings of a Greek island.

19d Old weapon broken by the new weapon (7)
An old (mediaeval?) weapon containing (broken by) an anagram (new) of THE.

24d Wicked, with an audience upstanding (4)
A descriptive term for a show, say, with an audience reversed (upstanding).

Quick Crossword Pun:


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An der schönen, blauen Donau by Johann Strauss, Sohn is the traditional first encore at the New Year’s Day Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. This is from this year’s concert with the Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim:

76 comments on “ST 3143 (Hints)

  1. Thanks Senf.
    I get on well with Dada as I am used to him and always have a go at his alter ego in the Guardian.
    So I had no problem whereas the last three days I have struggled to get a clue. All about wavelength.
    Far too many good clues to pick a favourite.
    Thanks Dada.

  2. I seem to have gotten into the habit of starting crosswords in bed on the puzzles site and waking up to finish them off. I still had a fair bit to do this morning. I can’t put my finger on it but I had several clues where I thought “it has to be that but I can’t work out why” 13a being an example – missed the nick part.
    Looking again post-coffee and toast I can parse them all now. I guess I need to be caffeinated when I do crosswords and get out of the habit of doing them nocturnally.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada time for more coffee I think.

      1. I suppose the brain must be ticking over when I am asleep but thankfully I have set up all my devices to turn off if I am inactive for more than 10 mins. I still have to remember to remove my glasses as they dig into my temples if I forget.

        1. It is remembering where I put my glasses that is my problem, both my distance and reading glasses. I have walked miles around our house many times.

            1. I do that. It’s when you’ve got your hand down the side of the couch looking for the mobile when you’re on it that you know that you’re really in trouble.

              1. Mobile, specs., remotes, even “iPad” searches occur daily here at Château Biggles.

                1. Not forgetting car keys – What am I talking about!! I ALWAYS forget where my car keys are.

  3. 2.5*/4.5*. I really enjoyed this but it was very strange in terms of my progress. I made a very slow start before getting onto the right wavelength. After that it almost all fell into place quickly except for 23a and 19d, which took an age before both pennies dropped.

    My top three were 17a, 20a & 23a.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  4. As entertaining as ever from the Sunday maestro, a perfect pre porridge solve.
    Favourite has to be the brilliant 13a though the superbly disguised 23a ran it close with 6&22d also getting big ticks. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  5. I was rhe ooposite to RD. I made a quicjmi start and then atalled on a few head-scratchers. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed this wily puzzle (3.5*/5*). My candidates for a mention were the 5d anagram, the ceyptic definition at 20a and 18d. Many thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for another fine Sunday Prize Crossword.

  6. Thanks Dada and Senf, an entertaining brain-stretch on a flat morning. As SL says, lovely disguised 23a got a grown and a smile. 13a took a while to drop in as I broke the clue down every which way but right.

  7. A pleasantly fiendish concoction from our regular Sunday setter that had several moments of head-scratching before completing the grid. 6d was my final entry, and trying to pick a favourite from such a great selection was tough, but I went for 13a.

    Thanks to Dada for the excellent challenge and to Senf.

  8. Did fairly well on this but still struggling with the wordplay for 12A — figured it out from the checking letters / definition, but the wordplay beat me.

  9. I am gradually getting used to dada puzzles which will always be tough but fair (unlike parts of yesterdays).
    However, I cannot find the synonym of nick in 13a, 12a wordplay has me totally stumped and I really did not like 8a at all probably because it is not a word I am familiar with.
    My fav was 20a, another oldie but goodie.
    Thx to all

    1. Nick in 13a – BRB (Revised 13th Edition, Page 1673), under the headword of the plural of the word required for the answer, with a little lateral thinking, voilà!

      And, not the first time that we have seen it.

  10. A tricky one from Dada today I thought so took some time to unravel. I managed to get over the line with a couple of hints and there were a few great moments such having two avian beings fighting each other at 16d. Solving 15a settled it. Other clues that took my fancy were 13a, 20a and 4d but my COTD and one that raised a smile is 3d.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge. Grateful thanks to Senf for the hints and pointing me in the right direction for a couple.

  11. Vintage Dada for me took time to get going then became a steady solve. I would say “difficult but fair” with nothing obscure nor too stretched.
    Favourite was 22d, although it I seem to recall it coming up some time ago.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Wordle Scraped in with 6 .

  12. Busy this morning playing ‘drawing’ with my granddaughter of 19 months – not easy via Skype! Cover mummy in stickers turned out to be much easier until said stickers started to lose their stickiness. Ah, the ‘joys’ of having little ones around!
    As a result, today’s puzzle was done in fits and starts but fortunately didn’t cause too many problems.
    A couple of the long ones earned the biggest ticks – 20a & 3d, which were joined on the podium by 23a – a tricky ‘hidden’ if ever there was one.

    Thanks to Dada for the enjoyment and to Senf for the hints and ballroom music, I feel a waltz coming on!

    1. The stickiness of labels is inversely proportional to the stickiness of the child applying them.

    2. I do envy you having granddaughters. I love the grandsons of course but you can’t make them pretty clothes!

      1. I only have one, DG. Her brother arrived first, courtesy of three rounds of IVF, and I was resigned to the idea of never having a granddaughter but then young Isabella came along as a complete surprise to all of us. Having been a singleton myself and then having two daughters, I was over the moon to have another little girl to deck out in frocks and furnish with dolls! I’m afraid I get completely nonplussed when it comes to trains, cars and the assorted paraphernalia that comes with little boys.

      2. But that only lasts until they are in their teens, and then all bets are off as to what they will choose to wear.

        1. My granddaughter has become fascinated by the squares that I am knitting to make a blanket for the Special Care Baby Unit at the JR Hospital in Oxford. She had knitting, pom pom making and sewing kits for birthday and Christmas. I am thoroughly enjoying passing handicraft skills to her just as older members of the family did for me.

          1. I might have to wait a little while before introducing those kits, Chris, she’s only 19 months old!

  13. I rather enjoyed this – started off by bunging in the wee three letter answers and built on from there.
    Day five of my isolation and I’m rather enjoying that aspect – I’m quite a misanthropic person and enjoy solitude (oh, but may I have my books, and sport on the television though, please?)

    Thanks to The Miff for recommending a lovely piece from Mick Brown, about the lifetime commitment one has to a football club (regularly tested to the limits; loyalty is often a one way street in football).

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Todd Rundgren – Parallel Lines

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. But Terence – you are not alone! You are surely being kept company by the lovely Lola and I bet Mrs T is fussing round you with hot possets etc.

  14. A terrific puzzle to end what has been a real high quality seven back pagers this week. For the second day running my solving skills seem to have deserted me. This took me into Toughie territory once again due to an inability to see the obvious (23a lurker case in point) for what seemed an eternity. Anyway got there unaided eventually & all parsed satisfactorily so happy enough. Pick of the clues for me – 13,15,17&20a.
    Thanks to D&S

      1. I assume that you are referring to Huntsman’s reference to the 23a lurker. But, as I identified it as such in the hints he is ‘safe.’ Although, it would be interesting to know if he had read the hints before writing his comment.

        1. I did boss – just to make sure I was on safe ground & with Tilsit’s stern warning of yesterday fresh in the memory.

  15. A few ums to start with. Then I solved 10a. I always work round the word I have just solved. It then began to unravel quite quickly. Except for three 23a, 6d and 19d. Even with the hint I had no idea, but then it came to me in a flash. I’m not sure this is actually a weapon more like say, a large spanner or hammer that could be used as a weapon (like almost anything really, including a pillow case). The lurker was well hidden and then I remembered what “comes to” means in this context.
    Thanks both

      1. I agree it is a tool and a weapon, Senf, but more suited to hacking vegetation than undoing bolts?

        1. SC. You can be “tooled-up with a weapon” but being “armed with a pillow case” is stretching things a bit. :-)

  16. I found this incredibly difficult today and have only just finished – not on my wavelength at all. Thanks to all and I look forward to reading the review to see if a couple were correct as cannot parse them at all. Wordle completed in 3.

  17. I thought that this Dada was absolutely brilliant, frankly, and I was all over the grid dealing with some very UKish terms that, luckily, have become quite accessible to this old Anglophile. 13a heads the pack of big winners for me, with 3d (!!!), 17a, 20a, & 15a jockeying for posts on the podium. I really enjoyed this, having arrived very late this morning on a wet and windy Carolina Sunday morning where we are being battered by the elements. So far, no loss of power but the upstate has a foot of snow and some icy conditions. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / *****

  18. No problems for us this afternoon, the four three letter ones giving starts all over the place. Favourite was 3d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. I was definitely on wavelength today, and had this knocked off in ** time. Most unusual for a Sunday.

    We have had the ‘nick’ in 13a before. I think it is a London or southern expression.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Nicely constructed puzzle. I feel silly now, having read the hints, because 23a was a complete guess from the checkers and my last one in and I had no idea why it should be. How can you miss a lurker? When all else fails…. **/*** Favourite 19d. Thanks to all.

  21. Enjoyable as usual Dada, many thanks. And thanks too to Senf for explaining 13a – I am a Londoner (Cockney even, by birth) but have never heard anyone use that phrase. Like RD I was held up by 23a and 19d but they fell eventually. I thought the lurker very well hidden. Where has the week gone?

  22. Thoroughly enjoyed this despite a couple of “head scratching…followed by…Doh!” moments! 😜
    As always, many thanks to Dada for the enjoyable challenge and to Senf for another great blog ‘n hints. 👍

  23. I do enjoy a good Dada, & found this excellent. Clever clueing, some borderline fiendish!
    3*/5* .. too many top rate clues to pick a favourite.
    Many thanks to Senf for his help & Dada for this superb Sunday tester.

  24. Definitely a tougher Dada puzzle this week as far as I am concerned. Some head scratchers and the odd PDM clue too. Favourites include 20a, 23a, 3d, 6d & 7d with winner 20a

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the fun puzzle and the explanations

  25. When I eventually found the wavelength it was an enjoyable solve beginning with the more friendly Southern region. I do however have to admit to some bung-ins as per 1d and 4d (how slow can I get?!). 18d hung fire as I think of the island beginning with K. Joint Favs 13a, 3d and 7d. Thank you Dada and Senf. Now for the Wordle – still having problem reaching Wheeldle.

      1. it’s the same as Wordle but it is continuous play. I prefer Wordle but I cannot give a reason why.

      1. Thanks so much Steve C. That’s exactly what I have been trying via Google Chrome without success but continuously get message “Requires HTML5”. Don’t understand why it’s not already there. I do however have to admit to being a bit of a luddite!

        1. You will probably not see this Steve but just wanted to say thanks again. I now have lift-off for Wheeldle and am hooked!

  26. Well after the last three splendid days, I suspected today would be tougher, so no surprise. About a third went in, with the rest following with head scratching and some hints. Not sure I understand 1a, and 12a was an enigma. COTD was 20a. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Forecast is for stormy, wet and windy here this afternoon, with the possibility of tornadoes here in Palm Beach County, so staying home.

  27. I must be “getting” Dada’s wavelength, I found this delightful. I like phrases and here we have four, three of them Brit. Full disclosure, I still have to use e-help when I get bogged down. I try to solve the easier ones first and then use the checkers to see what fits. I used to play bridge so 8a was a write in. I couldn’t get 23a and 19d, I bunged them in finally so thank you Senf for explaining those. I had lots of stand outs, the four long ‘uns for a start, but I think fave is 17a.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and Senf for unravelling so much, still don’t get the nick!

  28. Beaten by 6d, but otherwise no great problems, although that said, I’m with the several who cannot fully parse 12a. I liked 13, but to be totally honest it was a bung in, as there is something there that I don’t quite understand. A pleasant enough puzzle in which to drop in and out of while cooking jerked chicken and southern wedges. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  29. I found this easier to get into than most Sunday Dada puzzles — some long answers that aren’t anagrams helping a lot — and from there it went in reasonably steadily.

    22d was my favourite, for its definition; 21d also made me smile. Thank you, Dada. And thank you, Senf, for explaining 7d and 19d — very handy that you’ve hinted the only ones I hadn’t fully parsed!

    Anybody else initially find a different synonym of the definition for 8a, but be surprised Dada could get away with this in the Telegraph (rather than as his alter egos in certain other outlets)?

    1. Oh yes – My inner child so wanted it to be something else but reluctantly conceded that the Telegraph wouldn’t allow that word.

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