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ST 3145 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3145 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we are on track for above average snow fall this winter.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, Dada more friendly than he was last Sunday, perhaps, but I doubt it, silly me, he is making allowances for the appearance of the first ever Sunday Toughie.  I counted a very generous 8 anagrams (four partials), one lurker, and no homophones, with four 12 letter clues (all hinted) to provide plenty of checkers – all in a symmetric 36 clues; with 16 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 30a, 5d, 7d, 11d, and 18d.

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 Gutless Swiss caught by sword remains petrified? (6)
SwisS with all the interior letters removed (gutless) contained (caught) by a type of sword.

10a Step welcomed by wise contemporary (5-3)
A synonym of step contained (welcomed) by a synonym of wise.

14a Very rare offensive (4)
A double definition – the first may refer to a cut of meat that might only have been carried through a hot kitchen.

17a Stuck in ditch, an outing ruined for climber (8,4)
A back-to front clue – an anagram (ruined) of AN OUTING inserted into (stuck in) a type of ditch (surrounding a castle?).

20a Name in heading dead stupid, reason kept secret (6,6)
The single letter for Name inserted into (in) and anagram (stupid) of HEADING DEAD.

28a Names changed, including individual plants (8)
An anagram (changed) of NAMES containing (including) a three letter synonym of individual.

29a Unknown number visiting European city retire (4,2)
The single letter for an unknown number (rather than an unknown?) inserted into (visiting) a European City (which used to have an unusual vehicle test track) – Beware – any mention of a particular film will probably be redacted.

31a Pen top on rubber in shade of pink (6)
The first letter (top on) of Rubber inserted into (in) a shade of pink.


1d Acceptable target in ‘Test Your Strength’ or ‘Hook a Duck’? (4,4)
Where one might find and a descriptive term for the quoted activities.

2d Counterfeit note of debtor banked by team (8)
Three letters that indicate a note of debtor contained (banked) by a particular (North London) team which, if memory serves, is our dear leader’s favourite.

5d Double jeopardy has caught people almost entirely off guard, initially (12)
A synonym of jeopardy containing (has caught) all of an anagram (off) of PEOPLe with the last letter removed (almost entirely) and the first letter (initially) of Guard.

7d Black bird, hunter (6)
I can confidently say not a double definition – the single letter for Black and a large bird of prey (gives a hunter whose followers are on foot rather than riding).

11d Let your hair down more, chaps, little time for feeling of uncertainty! (12)
A (2,6) expression for let your hair down more, a three letter synonym of chaps, and the single letter (little) for Time.

19d Alarming shifts, disputable (8)
An anagram (shifts) of ALARMING.

22d Empty sheet, paper for school class (6)
SheeT with the interior letters removed (empty) and a term for a quantity of paper.

27d Cuddle old author (4)
A three letter synonym of cuddle and the single letter for Old.

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.

Phil Collins, drummer, singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor (he was the Artful Dodger in the West End production of Oliver! as a 13 year-old), is 71 today.  Probably best known as the drummer/singer of the rock band Genesis from 1970 to 1996, this is both an album track and a single from 1983:

98 comments on “ST 3145 (Hints)

  1. Well what an anticlimax. All set for battle number 3 with proXimal & the much heralded Sunday Toughie hasn’t been included in the digital edition contrary to what I seem to recall CL stated.
    As for Dada I’d agree with Senf that it was the easier end but still very enjoyable indeed. The downs at 1,2&11 the pick of the clues for me.
    Thanks to D&S

    1. In last Monday’s Newsletter, CL wrote:

      “As hinted at in last week’s newsletter, we are pleased to announce that from this coming weekend, we are doubling the number of puzzles pages in both our Saturday and Sunday print editions.

      Sundays will see a new prize Sunday Toughie Crossword, which will also be available on the Telegraph Puzzles website.”

      Make of it what you will, but he only seems to be referring to the dead tree edition and the puzzles website, not across all platforms.

      1. I stand corrected then. Fortunately my subscription package (which I checked after MP detailed the surprisingly low cost of the basic digital one) provides free access to the puzzles website but I much prefer to solve on the digital paper app. Presumably the basic package doesn’t give access to the site. Given that after a lengthy campaign the 4 midweek Toughies are now finally in the digital edition surely today’s omission is just an oversight.
        Anyway the X-man has thankfully gone a good bit easier on us so we’ll worth a look.

    2. I have just spent a precious hour of my life doing the toughie thinking it was the Sunday Prize which, against all expectations, is now hidden in the main section of the ST two pages from the back. Disgruntled !

    3. Is there a Crossword newsletter because if so I have not been receiving it, can anyone help me or tell me who to contact.

      TIA Worworcrossol

  2. Quite tricky but hugely enjoyable Dada this morning giving rise to the sound of one or two pennies dropping over the early mornings cups of tea.
    Had to confirm one of the meanings of 14a but I was pretty confident I had it.
    As is usually the case with this setter I’ve ticks against several, including 4,23&31a plus the superb 5&11d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

    No Toughie as yet on the Telegraph App but will try uninstalling and downloading again to see if that fixes it.

  3. 1*/4*. This was great fun with 1d & 11d my joint favourites. I seemed to drop onto the right wavelength from the word go and this was probably my fastest Sunday solve in the Dada era.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    P.S. It was good to find this in the main paper albeit three pages from the back.
    P.P.S Now for the inaugural Sunday Toughie.

  4. I found this a little trickier than our esteemed blogger, but that was probably more result of a surfeit of Malbec and staying up to watch the cricket from Barbados. Still mightily enjoyable though, with 1d the pick of many fine clues.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf. Disappointed not to see the Toughie in the digital edition too.

  5. For me DADA at his most intense. Gradual perseverance yielded the answers (no hints for the ones I needed!). No real favs as generally it was just a slog that was completed because I didn’t want to be beaten. What a contrast to yesterdays super puzzle.
    Thx to all

  6. I still found that a little tricky for Dada so if he was going easier on us I didn’t notice it. The corners were easier than the middle and finally cracking some of the long ones helped me over the line.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada. I noticed Big Dave’s favourite team got a mention – a deliberate nod from Dada perhaps.

    Not had a look at our new toughie yet [Redacted per your comment below.]

  7. I often find the Sunday cryptic rather tricky so i was pleased to finish this one without any hair-pulling. I thought each of the twelve letter clues were exceptionally well constructed.

    All this talk of a newsletter! No matter who I ask, humbly, to be included, I never see it. I have given up on the Telegraph puzzles people as they told me the fault in software that stops me receiving the newsletter is beyond their ability to fix.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

    How I miss Prince! One of the greatest live performers I have ever seen (London, August 2007).

    Thanks to Dada and Snowy Senf.

    1. Underneath the Quick Crossword in yesterday’s paper it says

      For the latest puzzles news, tricks and tips, exclusive prize puzzles and our clue-writing contens, sign up for our weekly puzzles newsletter at

      which does work – which it did for me anyway

      1. Sue – I wish it did for me. I have exchanged several cheery emails with the Telegraph in which they tell me I am unable to receive the newsletter due to a technical glitch that they cannot fix. I was told BD has a mailing list and sends the newsletter to some people, so I sent a message a week or two ago, but haven’t, as yet, received a reply.

        1. Same for me Terence. I have tried everything but nothing has resulted in me getting on the circulation list. To add insult to injury I have been a digital subscriber for over 5 years.

    2. Only saw him the once T – at The Camden Palace in 88 on the Love Sexy Tour with Ronnie Wood guesting – one of my favourite ever gigs & I’m not really a fan.

      1. There is a rather good version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” performed as a tribute to George Harrison with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison, which becomes superlative when Prince joins in… ( About 3:30 if impatient )

  8. Took a while for the penny to drop over 2d, not helped by the fact that I’d made an incorrect guess at 12a.
    Fairly smooth solve elsewhere and my top three were 1a plus 1&11d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – nice to hear Phil Collins again, his ‘No Jacket Required’ album was a firm favourite of mine some years ago.

    1. Well it won’t be me today. I remember Big Dave mentioning it recently but I don’t know if we have a new blogger in the wings.

      1. Thanks MP, I’ll give it a lash anyway. BTW how are the grandkids? We’re expecting another baby girl in April. When I say “we” I mean that my eldest son’s wife is with child. My days of procreation are a distant memory.

        1. Harrison and Ethan are fine. They spend hours fighting Grandad two on one. Each visit exhausting me slightly more than the last.

  9. I’m afraid Dada beat me today. I needed hints galore and found some clues quite impenetrable. Too much of a struggle to be enjoyable for me. The only thing I liked is the new set up in the paper, which makes the lay out of the Sunday puzzle the same as during the week with the Quickie beneath it.

    The Quickie pun did not quite work for me although I could see what it meant. I suppose it depends on how the first word is pronounced.

    Thanks, Dada for the thrashing – I must try harder – and many thanks to Senf for making sense of some of it for me.

    Wordle in 5 because I chose the wrong vowel at the fourth go

  10. I stared at 14a until I was 14a in the face, at which point the penny finally dropped, though it remains a semi-bungin. Otherwise, a good steady solve, with 11d, 1d, 5d, & 2d (knew the team!) taking top honours. As always, for me, Dada requires two cups of coffee–and a wing and a prayer–but also, as always, most enjoyable. 2.5* / 4*

    It’s 24F here in Charleston at 7.30 this Sunday morning, and I hope that Merusa is braving it, whingeinglessly, down in Miami. Stay warm, Merusa! You too, BusyLizzie!

    1. Merusa is probably busy watching her gin soaked raisins and wondering if they are ready yet! Go girl, go.

    2. Later…Rafa has just won hist 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open!
      And…I found today’s Toughie by the X-man quite tough indeed. Anyone else?

      1. I’m stuck with 3 to go in the SW but am going to resist the urge to reveal a letter & have another look later – not hopeful though.

          1. I got there in the end – 20d & 23a pennies dropped which left 15d as a total bung in with not a clue how it’s parsed.

            1. Me too- Third letter of the oriental and a synonym of greet with the initial letter moved down one is how I parsed it ( eventually)

              1. Oh of course – should have twigged that but was nowhere near.
                Paul’s prize in the Graun is great fun if Shakespeare is your thing. I’m sure Robert had a field day.

                1. Saving the Paul for post-NFL playoffs that begin in 45 minutes. Go KC! Go SF* Re the Toughie: it took all of my 5 reveals and then some to finish, but I do have a full grid; it was the SW that also held me up, with my last three 23a, 25a, & 15d.

      2. I wonder if ‘The Joke’ was watching from wherever he has crept off to!

        It was good to see that an Aussie won the Women’s Singles for the first time in a long time.

      3. Yes indeed what a terrific match and I am exhausted after watching the 5.1/2 hour second longest final in Grand Slam history which ended after 1.00 a.m Australia time. Huge congratulations to Rafa who worked so hard for his victory. Hope he recovers OK.

    3. Not whingeless in Miami! We were in the 30sF this morning, the heat in the house is on at 80F, I’m not cold but my hands and feet hurt! Somehow, as hot as I make the house, they know it’s freezing outside. Didn’t anyone tell them this is Florida? This torment has got to end soon. I could, of course, put some socks and a pullover on but wouldn’t know where to find any, so it’s cotton frock and sandals … is that enough ranting! Please give me back my heat and humidity!

      1. Yes, I didn’t do my back any favours yesterday by bringing in 13 orchids and shifting rest of pots to under cover, where they will stay for the next couple of days. But small problems compared with the poor farmers, looking at losing their citrus and corn crops. We had to give in and out our heat on. But I do confess to enjoy wearing jumpers for a real change.

  11. After tracking down the crossword in its new position I was pleased to see the fold in the paper no longer obliterates the top row of the grid! I managed to complete this apart from 13A which is still holding out.

    I have also attempted my first ever Toughie, hoping I might solve one or two clues, but have so far managed to solve 11 which I’m very pleased with!

    Thanks to Senf, Dada and my new nemesis proXimal.

    1. I quite agree re the fold hiding parts of puzzles etc. I’ve moaned about this for a long time. I was delighted to find the cryptic puzzle where it should be. Didn’t know there was a Sunday toughie til I read the blog, so I’m going to look for that now. Must finish No 1 !

  12. I nearly always find Dada tricky and this was no exception. A little bit easier perhaps but it was 24a before I managed one solution. Then followed a steady solve. Needed Senfs help to parse 5d and missed the meaning of “more” in 11d. On re-reading the clues everything was there but not necessarily in the right order.
    Thanks both

  13. I haven’t got the Toughie with the digital version but I am not a subscriber to the Puzzles but I do think ordinary subscribers ought to be able to see it. Lovely puzzle today although like Jon above, 13a held out for ages until I checked the spelling for 5d and realised my mistake. Otherwise a fairly smooth ride. Not sure I know the film that Senf is referring to in 29a, still thanks to him and to the setter – Dada? Wordle in 4 today – 2 page article in the Sunday Times about it.

    1. As I have done before, I will explain the film reference in a comment on Rahmat Ali’s full review on February 9th.

    2. Agreed, really disappointed not ro get the Toughie today on the app. At least there was a super double helping of proXimal earlier in the week. And this one from Dada also lots of fun, many thanks to setter and Senf. 10a, 17a and 5d faves.

          1. One of the vowels in 5d does have an umlaut, but not in the English spelling which, of course, applies here.

            1. Thanks Senf. I’ve checked it all out and you’re correct. The English would not normally know how to pronounce an ä unless they’d studied German. Your moniker has intrigued me for years – I just bought a jar to rekindle the taste of Frankfurter mit Kartoffelsalat, and very good it was too! Or am I on the wrong track

              1. Your are on the right track. My alias is the German translation of a corrupted spelling of my surname which is French in origin and nothing to do with hot and spicy.

                1. Well, I’ve thought long and hard for several seconds, but can’t come up with a solution. A bit like an Elgar clue! Maybe we’ll meet one day at a BD do!

            2. And any accents are never shown in the crossword so far as I know including French acutes.

    3. You’ll certainly be familiar with the film Senf is referring to. It was shot on location but one of the famous stunt sequences was shot in Coventry of all places – I bet MP remembers it.

      1. I certainly do although I fail to see how the clue or the answer suggest the film. My cousins and I cycled through the tunnels before filming. Scary but fun.

  14. Another Dada puzzle this week that I felt not quite as benevolent. Found some of the clues required a far bit of head scratching to get to the thought process. A tad quirky, one may say in spots. 2.5*/4* today
    Podium contenders include 17a, 1d, 2d, 3d & 11d with winner toss-up between 1d & 2d
    11d made me laugh as did 18d & 23a
    Lots to like in this one.

    Thanks for the enjoyment Dada and Senf for hints

  15. We fell into the 5d spelling trap, 13a was obvious once that was corrected. Apart from that no real problems but a few head scratchers. Favourite was 11d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. As I said, my gruntle is upset and I don’t have time now to do 3145 as DD2 is doing a birthday meal for George at 5.30. I would not go so far as to say that I am set in my ways but to secrete the crossword two pages back in the main section when they are advertising the biggest puzzle pullout on the front is enough to ruffle my feathers or should I say upset my petals. This will now have to be done later in the bath. The good news is – glorious sunshine. 😊

    1. My bathwater would have gone cold by the time I finished this. I was expecting the strange sudoku where the cryptic is now. And very pleased about it. I never read the next pages.

  17. Tough for me. Normally I can relate to RD’s star ratings (RD 1or 2) but not today. Like Brian sheer bloody-mindedness got me over the line. However it was a satisfying and enjoyable solve.
    Thank you to Dada and Senf.
    Still no WiFi as wind damaged he transmitter masts and expecting another battering tonight. Pity those without power.
    Wordle in 4.

  18. Either I am getting the hang of Dada (famous last words) or he was truly benevolent today as I did almost all of this without the hints. Lots of lovely clues, but 14a was a bung in, and not sure if it is right. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. I’ve done my whinge above, so I can settle down and comment.
    This was no walk in the park but I did enjoy it, lots of good stuff. I got stuck in the SW and almost went for a hint, but with e-help I got going again. The 9a are raining in Miami, as we get colder, they can’t move and fall out of the trees, as soon as it warms up they come back to life. They showed some 4-footers that looked stoned drunk! Poor things, thank goodness not in my yard. Hard to choose a fave, 11d amused, but 1d opened up that corner for me, for which I’m grateful!
    Thank you Dada, when you’re tops you’re tops, much appreciation to Senf for unravelling a few.

    1. Oh, how could I forget, Wordle in 3! I’m all over the place, flameout one day, then 5, then 4, now 3.

  20. A cracking Sunday morning in VB listening to Johnnie Walker’s Sound of the 70s while solving another brilliant Dada puzzle!
    Realise I must be a true eccentric (weirdo…?😜) to regularly be on Dada’s wavelength despite, at first glance, being pretty stumped then, slowly, the clever mis-directions and subterfuge start to reveal themselves – genuine applause for 5D & 11D amongst several others 👏 – thank you Sir!
    And thanks also to Senf for another great blog ‘n hints 👍

      1. Thanks Robert, last weekend we got about 4-6 inches = a sore back from shovelling the drive on Saturday morning! This weekend it wasn’t so much snow (only 1-2 inches max) but accompanied by some v strong winds overnight Fri/Sat making for very icy / dangerous conditions yesterday (but no shovelling required😜) – wind all died down today so Mrs H & I enjoyed a brisk but very pleasant walk in the winter sun along the VB boardwalk earlier…earned ourselves a decent coffee & cake after 👍
        Hope all well down in your area.

        1. Very good. Chilly here but a warmer week ahead. That’s quite a handsome boardwalk you have there. Haven’t been in Tidewater VA in 15 years. Great memories, though.
          Take care of your back!

  21. Am I being utterly blind? Where is the Toughie in the dead-tree version, I can’t see it.

    1. Ah, silly me, I was looking in Saturdays puzzle section.

      Now I’ve got to solve a Toughie, cook and eat dinner, write a quiz and get to the pub to present it. Busy evening ahead! Oh, there the cricket on TV too.

  22. Took ages for the penny to drop in 24a. D”oh.
    Liked the little story in 17a.
    Got one to go in Toughie No 1.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  23. Thanks for all the comments on today’s puzzles. Hopefully the Sunday Prize Toughie is a welcome addition! Answering a few queries:

    – The Sunday Toughie is at present available in the print edition and on the puzzles website (and thus available to DigitalPlus subscribers). It should be available in the digital edition of the paper in the next few weeks, once we have finished testing.

    – The closing date for prize Toughie entries (by post or email) is the same as for the other prize Sunday puzzles, so 10 days after publication.

    – Apologies to anyone who is having trouble receiving the weekly Monday puzzles newsletter. In the majority of cases where this happens, we find that it is being delivered to spam, so can be located in your spam mailbox. If this isn’t the case, then a common fix is to unregister from receiving the newsletter, wait 24 hours, then register again. If this doesn’t work, then registering using a different email address often does the trick.

    1. I’m pleased about today’s position of the cryptic. However yesterday’s GK puzzle clues with the pinkish background make it hard to read for um more elderly people. Black on white is good. Pink is a waste of ink!

      1. Have just located the the new Sunday toughie, CL. Great. Huge grid – too big, but excellent nonetheless. The clues in comparison are tiny, and are hidden within this stupid pink background. Who makes all this up? Not knowing the age of your eyes, you wait til you’re in your 60’s. or more in my case, and things get harder to distinguish! Just do away with the pink. I hope you respond

  24. Spelling 5d didn’t help, as I stared at 13a for ages. Once I realised, 13a became obvious.
    Easier Dada than last Sunday, easier than yesterday.
    Thanks both.

  25. I did better than I usually do with Dada today, but needed Senf’s help with 5d and 14a.

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    No damage so far here in Dundee , unless you count bins being blown over and some rubbish scattered through the garden. Waiting for the next onslaught now. So sorry for those without power as we have damp penetrating cold here.

  26. Phew, quite a struggle for me so I was quite relieved to find it was the same for SC. South came in ahead of North. 17a unparsed. Favs 1d once liver had been discounted and 8d. Not keen on 5d. 17a a bung-in. Sort of thank you Dada (!) and Senf.

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