ST 3147 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3147 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3147 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, with a little over two weeks of meteorological winter to go, Mother Nature has been ‘throwing’ everything at us – wind, rain, snow, blowing snow, extreme cold . . .

Keep staying safe everyone.

I might have been having a bad day so I am going to reserve judgement on this one.  I counted five anagrams (one partial), two lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone – all in a symmetric 26 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 – 7a, 15a, 5d, and 13d.

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 Red vehicle carrying number in reverse (7)
A type of vehicle (that runs on rails) containing (carrying) a three letter number all reversed (in reverse).

10a Meat available, bottle it (7,3)
A type of meat and a three letter synonym of available.

14a Whole piece of paper, it nearly flipped over (6)
The reversed lurker (piece of . . . flipped over) found in three words in the clue.

15a Hit American man on head (11)
A six letter form of (informal?) address to an American man placed after (on) a synonym of head (which someone might threaten to knock off).

19a Business problem (6)
A double definition – the first relates to an item of business rather than to an organization..

20a Coffee or tea, for example — something else! (3,5)
How one might describe tea or coffee when it is made with water from a kettle.

26a Youth in want (7)
IN from the clue and a verbal synonym of want – I don’t know what Thesaurus Dada is using but I cannot envisage one that ‘links’ the definition and the answer.


1d Explosive gas available primarily in hospital room (7)
The chemical symbol for the first of the noble gases and the first letter (primarily) of Available all inserted into (in) a type of room in a hospital.

3d General bitten by snake, dead to the world (6)
The surname of a (American Confederate) General contained (bitten) by a three letter snake.

5d Illicit TS? (10)
An adjectival term that can be obtained by an instruction to reverse and what is the result when that instruction is applied to TS from the clue and is unabbreviated.

13d Treatment for user in Eurasian winter? (4,6)
How one might describe the impact of winter in a Eurasian country.

9d All of a sudden advance beginning to decelerate: courageous defending eh? (2,3,6)
A financial advance, the first letter (beginning to) of Decelerate, and a four letter synonym of courageous containing (defending) EH from the clue.

17d Racing, spirited and smart (7)
A triple definition – the first relates to racing as an indication of speed.

24d Bellow unrefined, by the sound of it? (4)
We finish with the homophone (by the sound of it) of a synonym of unrefined.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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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.

Not a video video, just stills.  Number one for one week starting 45 years ago yesterday, the original recording of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, composed and written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, sung by Julie Covington for the 1976 concept album Evita, then released as a single, and later included in the 1978 musical of the same name:

102 comments on “ST 3147 (Hints)

  1. 4*/4*. I thought this was at the tougher end of Dada’s spectrum but I did enjoy the battle with 7a, 8a & 17d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. Tricky Dada today but absolutely top class, as we have come to expect from this setter.
    I liked several but my selected highlights are 8&26a plus the outstanding 5,9&17d. Great stuff.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf for brightening a foul morning here on the SW coast.

  3. It’s good to get a proper ‘prize’ puzzle at the weekend – thanks to Dada and Senf.
    My selections for the podium were 5d, 13d and 17d.

    1. Gazza
      With the Prize Toughie and this offering upper decile solvers got two for the price of one today.. Lowest quartile solvers like me get nothing.
      Seems illogical but I expect the occasional DNF & Wales won yesterday so life could be a lot worse!

      1. My view is, and always has been, that if something is labelled ‘prize’ it should be a bit special. Dada, even though he’s obviously been constrained in his Sunday puzzles, occasionally gives us something that makes us think a bit more and I welcome that.

        I share your delight at the Wales victory and am now quite confident that they will go on to win the Six Nations again!

  4. Interesting puzzle with a mixture of understandable and the fiendish. I am unsure is 5d is the cleverest clue ever or simply a dreadful one, if the ,T, had been lowercase I would opt for the first as it is I come down for the second.
    Dada is always interesting but always very tricky.
    One to solve for satisfaction rather than enjoyment.

    1. I opt for the first. As we know, use of capitals or not, ditto punctuation, is there to stretch, or even confuse, us but always fair.

  5. What a humdinger this was! Dada in his element, pushing me to the outer limits of solving and timing, but quite thrilling at the same time. Exquisite and witty, if sometimes madcap, clueing, with 5d, 8d, & 8a soaring above the rest, all of them however worthy of honourable mentions. The best Dada I can remember. Thanks to Senf for the hints, which I’ll read now, and to Dada. **** / *****

  6. Trickier than I usually find Dada. 5d made me laugh-groan when I finally got it, though on reflection it’s possibly more of a Dingbat than a cryptic crossword clue. 4d (“lock”) was my favourite.

    I have a question about 22a, which I’ll try to remember for a week on Wednesday. And I can think of a sentence in which 26a and its definition could be used interchangeably, but it’s probably wise not to mention that now either.

    Thank you Senf for the hints — I needed one to get unstuck in the bottom-right corner. Have a good Sunday everybody.

    1. I’ve tied a virtual knot in my virtual handkerchief to remind me that I don’t understand 22a. Hopefully, everything will become clear before the full review.

      1. The answer is half of a longer word. On reading your post I realised I had not parsed it but obvious with the checkers. I’ve now tried to parse it and have found two ways to do it, both of which seem valid to me. I shall remember to check to see what CS made of it.

          1. Possibly a good thing because I’m on the side of those who found the crossword very tricky, not very enjoyable, and have only just seen how 22a works!

      2. Finally, I understand 22a … very disappointed that it took me so long!

        Where is my handkerchief? No idea!

  7. Definitely a teaser this one. I can’t remember ever before pencilling in so many answers as I couldn’t be sure. I had a slow start and even slower finish with spurts in the middle. The SW came last and I confess to resorting to the BRB for the second word of 13d. Once I spotted it I realised why it was right and all my other thoughts were wrong. I give it one of my top spots together with 13 and 17 in the downs. 15 must be top of the horizontals along with 7 and 8. Thank you Dada and Senf too. I’ve read your introduction but not the hints yet. Definitely not you having a bad day!

  8. I’m obviously sharing your bad day, Senf, so having finally completed this maybe I should quit whilst I’m ahead and leave the Toughie alone!
    Quite a lot of humour thrown in alongside the head-scratchers as we’ve come to expect from our Sunday setter. I handed out podium places to 10a plus 5&13d but could easily have selected several others.

    Thanks to Dada for the wake-up call and to Senf for what was doubtless a challenging stint this week!

  9. Didn’t need Senf’s help (which I will shortly peruse) but by ‘eck, this was a struggle. Darn near 4* solving time but fun. And if you thought this one was Tough… nuff said.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  10. Definitely a Toughie for me, and not very enjoyable, completed only with some google help.

  11. I too found this tough and I hope the new toughie is not even tougher than this. I made so many mistakes that my grid is an unsubmittable mess, and as it is a prize I won’t elaborate further. I did however, enjoy it – both 8a and d and 5d (as Robert) tickled my funny bone today. The clever triple def at 17d and 5d sent me to listen to this;

    Thanks to Senf and Dada I am heading to the toughie more in hope than expectation

      1. Me too – Professor Roy Bittan is a favourite ivory tickler, and the rest of the E St band are just as good.

  12. A struggle and beyond my level of ‘skill’; I managed about half before reaching for Senf’s invaluable help.

    Chelsea are the World Club Champions. We recorded it so we could have an early supper with the young one (she’s 29!), and avoided all news, social media, and phones. We began watching at about 10pm and then… with two minutes to play… the recording ceased. Normally the recording software automatically allows additional time for live events. Not this time. However, this is indeed a first world problem, and the key point is that Chelsea are top of the world (temporarily).

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Cecilia Bartoli – Voi che sapete

    Thanks to Dada and The Wizard Of Winnipeg.

    1. Ah, that’s Jean-Yves Thibaudet accompanying Cecilia. Mozart at his most sublime, even in a trouser role!

  13. Relieved to find I wasn’t alone in finding this tough going and no lol’s to lighten the load. Is 19a necessarily a problem? Never heard of 2d suit. Thought I had tackle using different flyer for 11a but no! Surely 8a is more than a country. I will call it a day before Manders accuses me of nit-picking again! Fav 9d. TVM Dada and Senf.

    1. The definition for 8a is just the first word of the clue. Country (with backing) refers to the the first two letters of the answer.

      For 19a, I consider that it is an example of all X are Y but not all Y are X.

      1. I still maintain that the ‘backed’ country used in the first two letters of the answer is in fact four countries – or am I continuing to miss something?

        1. Wikipedia believes it is a country and perhaps that is the source that Dada uses.

          (And we might be getting close to redaction.)

          1. Wikipedia is frequently inaccurate. My original comment was phrased in such a way as to hopefully avoid redaction.

  14. Well, it appears from everyone’s comments that, if I was having a bad day, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. One of Dada’s toughest of his 170 Sunday puzzles. He certainly crammed a lot into 26 clues!

  15. This was like the bad old days when Dada first started in the DT.
    I will persevere, but I think a difficult ‘Paul’ from the Graun got in the envelope marked DT by mistake.

  16. I really enjoyed this one. Last in was 8A, but like 5D I laughed once I got it.

    22A is obvious once you see it, but I am not going to make the mistake of giving a hint, after my last dressing down.

    Many thanks to Dada and as always to Senf.

  17. I found this really really difficult, in fact not terribly enjoyable. I have finished by I don’t think my answer is correct for 22a. I could go further which would see me mirroring Angellov’s general comment yesterday so would have to call myself a nit-picker! I mean 26a is certainly not a youth. Anyway thanks to the setter and Senf. Wordle in 3 having nothing at the first pass. All guesswork.

    1. Which mill is it in your avatar, Manders? I am reading a book set in the Norfolk Broads and it keeps talking about a prominent mill.

      1. Cley Mill, Steve. Used to be in James Blunt’s family. Run as a B and B. N Norfolk coast next to our little harbour which is really no more than a quay but very pretty.

        1. Thanks, Manders. Off the top of my head, I cannot recall the name of the mill in the book but I know it’s not that one.

  18. Oh dear. A problem free solve (or so I thought) until 17d where I simply couldn’t come up with a plausible synonym for any of the 3 so left it for a look later on after dropping friends at Heathrow. Still no joy so in desperation revealed the first letter & immediately realised I had 22a wrong which I’ve now bunged in but can’t parse it. My first DNF unaided with Dada for some time so very disappointing. As ever thought the puzzle a belter with ticks aplenty- 8,10,15&20a plus 1,3,5&13d the standouts for me.
    Thanks to D&S
    Wordle in 4

  19. To quote NogBad – by ‘eck! Cor luv us mate this was tricky. I had earlier spent half an hour gazing at the Toughie without a single glimmer of inspiration having forgotten the new formula of the prize puzzle being back in the main paper, so here I am belatedly crossing the finishing line. George has gone with the lads to watch Rugby on a big screen somewhere. It is sleeting with rain and I am going to retire to the sofa under my new plush heated throw and try to get last week out of my head. But not before saying thanks to Dada for an excruciating puzzle, 9d being brilliant, and to the indefatigable Senf for the hints – I am still bemused by 21d though I do have an answer. I also liked 5d. Sorry, the sofa beckons.

  20. I was intrigued when I pulled this puzzle up as it had the distinct look of a Ray T. offering as far as the the brevity of the clues was concerned, but still had some multiple word answers, that is not in his repertoire.
    Therefore I think it is still a Dada puzzle, but with a twist. Challenging himself perhaps??
    Anyway found this a 1.5*/4* today.
    Favourites include 7a, 10a, 15a, 20a, 9d & 13d
    Liked this puzzle and not quirky other than what is mentioned in the start of this commentary.

    Thanks to Dada and of course Senf for his double duty this weekend.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the 6 Nation games on Saturday …
    Watching Italy and England now

    1. A relief to see that England are not following the example of the Under-20s against Italy on Friday evening.

  21. Ive been strugglung for afew weeks, both tofinish puzzles and to comment, having broken my left wrist whilst out walking but tbis wily Dada was well worth the effort. What a corker (4*/5*) is all I can say. 5d was a great clue.

    1. Who would have thought walking was a dangerous occupation! I suspect you had a fall? either way, it must be
      a great frustration – can you dress yourself? ☺

        1. Of course I would help Chris, but not you – cheeky!

          (Well, of course I am assuming that Chris is feminine😉)

      1. An old lodge , whichhas been converted into flats, now has a car park fronting onto the footpath on the A417,, which was covered in liqiud mud. Islipped and put my hand out to break my fall ( (radius and ulna broken so I had an op to insert a metal plat. I am to zome exttent ambidextrous, so I’m sort of coping and canm dress and do some food prep. I have tl as my hubby is not very mobile.

    2. Sorry to hear that CC. I do hope that you’re on the mend & back to posting early & daily soon.

    3. I dread slipping and falling with all the mud that is around at present. Sorry to hear you have had a mishap, CC and I hope you get better soon.

  22. Found this on the tricky side. And despite reading all the comments about 22a we’re still in the dark on this one.

  23. Above my pay grade today….only managed to get 8 answers in before throwing in the towel and looking at Senf’s most excellent hints…..and he hinted 4 of the answers I had already got.
    A lot of fiddling about with word wizard, so not a lot of pleasure for me. When there is a Sunday Toughie now, does Dada have to be so difficult?
    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    Absolutely miserable weather here….cold sleety rain. Daisygirl has the right idea.

    1. Unfortunately Ora I could not drop off to sleep – nagging at the back of my head were the WI committee minutes waiting to be done since last Tuesday
      so I decided to get those out of the way. It was my Christmas present to me, from John Lewis and it is
      oh so cosy! I have suddenly become like the princess and the pea – every draught finds me. Must be my age.

      1. Sorry you couldn’t drop off, Daisy. I must investigate heated throws…..didn’t know about them.
        Know what you mean about draughts.

        1. On the JL website you will find electric ‘throws’ – they are not electric blankets to lie
          on but you can drape them over you. Mine is a gorgeous blue with a plushy chevron
          pattern – I love it. Other websites are available…..
          And Manders, I would normally get the minutes out of the way asap but sometimes
          circumstances are agin it. My father made me (or should I say suggested) I did a secretarial course when a bad case of Glandular Fever stopped me going off to Uni and I have to say it has been extremely useful all my life. I expect, like me, because you can type and do shorthand you always get stuck with being secretary. I do remember Dear Sir and Yours faithfully, neither of which are much use nowadays.

      2. I do the WI Minutes and the Art Society minutes straight away while I remember what happened as my shorthand is not much cop these days but I don’t send them out for about a week hoping everyone will have forgotten if I have missed something. Seems to work!

  24. Way above my pay grade, I only got 3 at first pass, and even the hints only helped me fill in another 7. Probably one of the trickiest I have seen from Dada, harking back to when they first appeared. Unnecessarily tough today for us lesser mortals as there is now a Sunday Toughie supplied, so perhaps in future we can hope for a bit more of a balance on Sundays. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

  25. Completed in reasonable time, but I found it pretty hard going to begin with. I thought 5d quite brilliant as was 22a which I parsed long after bunging it in. I can’t make much sense of 20a, but it has to be what it is, nor can I completely unpick 20d, but once again the answer can only be what it is. No great enjoyment, but more than satisfied to have completed it – albeit with a wee bit of help. Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Wordle in 4, so I’m content with that too :-)

  26. Thanks to Dada and Senf. A real brain teaser. Needed the hints or the blog for 7,9,10, 26a & 1d. LOI was 5d, which I got from the checkers, I found the hint incomprehensible! 12a made me laugh, but my favourite was 9d. What a fantastic puzzle. Was 5*/4* for me.

  27. What a puzzle!
    Brilliant mix of all sorts.
    A real tester.
    So many pennies dropped resoundingly eg 2d and the brilliant 5d.
    Certainly ****/*****plus.
    Many thanks, indeed, Dada and Senf, but, happily, not referred to.

  28. Not that great for me, 17d and 22a didn’t click nicely into place and I will have to see if they are right when the later review appears. But thanks to Senf and the setter.

  29. Came late to this and found it like an early Dada for difficulty, with the SW corner proving the most troublesome. The pesky 22a was my final entry, and I thought it was quite brilliant once it had resolved itself.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  30. Enough in this crossword to keep me occupied for a while.
    Good thing I started with toughie n°3 as it obviously activated my brain cells.
    Needed my trusted thesaurus for 17d and 22a was a leap of faith.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

    1. I tried doing this and toughie 3 together and soon found them quite tough indeed. I got across the line with this one first but had quite a lot of help from Senf (TYVM by the way to Senf and Dada) – toughie 3 took a tonne of help from Mr Google but that too succumbed eventually – thanks to Mr Google and proXimal

      1. Crikey. Well done on Toughie 3. I’ve the top half bar 1a complete but can’t parse a couple of them. As for the south – fuggedaboutit…..
        Though I’ll probably have another look later.

        1. I have a full grid and puzzles site that doesn’t disagree with my answers but parsing all of them is another bouilloire de poissons.

        2. Finished all but one clue in the T#3 last night but it took all 5 of my Reveals to do so, and I saved the very best for the very last, which I solved only after sleeping on it a bit–that 28a dragon.

          I wish that you two chaps also did the NYT Sunday jumbos. Today’s was a lovely study in double entendres, not the toughest of a NYT week but often the most playful.

          1. Inspired by John I had another bash while watching the snooker. Managed to finish without any reveals but can’t claim unaided. Couldn’t see 1a so pressed submit which told me my 3d bung in was incorrect so no wonder – it was like Dada revisited.
            Hardest so far.

  31. Done most of this but even reading comments still stuck on 19a, the oft mentioned 22a and 17d. Don’t want to give up so near the end. Any hints within the rules?

    1. There are hints for 19a and 17d and Weekend Wanda’s statement of ‘half of a longer word’ in Comment 6 should help with 22a.

            1. Glad you said that LROK. To be fair I can see both the 5 letter and 8 letter word working equally well. In fact the words I can think of are synonyms, but I think the convention of shortening words tends to be knocking just one letter off rather than half a word. It will be interesting to see what Rahmat says in the official blog, and actually to know what Dada originally intended.

            2. I can see both an 8 letter drawing (medium) and a 5 letter sort of drawing but I don’t see what taking the last letter off the 5 letter one has to do with power. maybe I have the wrong 5 letter word.

              I think Senf is asleep or taking a rest as he is wear(ing) several hats this weekend. otherwise, I think this thread would have been redacted some time ago.

              1. Both 5 letter and 8 letter words are an example of drawing power. Nuff said, I think JB, let’s wait and see what the official parsing is. Sleep well.

      1. WW’s helpful hint also convinced me that I was right in my earlier parsing, so thanks, WW!

  32. In common with the majority I found this beyond me and recorded a rare DNF even with Senf’s hints.

    I found last week’s tougher than usual too and it seems to me completely perverse that the introduction of the Sunday Prize Toughie has been accompanied by an increase in difficulty of the “normal” Sunday Prize Puzzle.

    Too hard to be fun. Thanks for producing the puzzle Dada. Senf thanks for the hints even a couple were incapable of penetrating the fog that has descended on the grey matter today.

  33. Wow…that was a special Dada type of tough today! Eventually finished after leaving it a while and coming back afresh. Must heartily agree with many others that 5D was just brilliant! 👍👍👍
    Also agree with several re 22A – didn’t really know if I was parsing it correctly, but a few comments re-‘half’ seem to confirm it!
    Thanks Dada for a cracking ‘head scratcher’ and, of course, to Senf for another great blog ‘n hints. Roll on Spring 🌞

    1. It is one of those clues, which is in my view, so hard to hint without telling you the answer. It is actually very clever. You need quite a bit of lateral thinking in order to parse your answer,

  34. DNF. Like so many stuck on 17d, 22a, 19a so needed Senf’s hints. 5d brilliant and my favourite. *****/***

  35. Gosh, that was a properly challenging prize puzzle, and a notch or two up the diffiulty scale from Dada so far as I was concerned: this puzzle would not have been out of place as a mid-week Toughie. Very satisfying.

    Not convinced 8a is Asian but loved the structure of the clue. Lots of ticks, too many to list, but 5d the COTD.

    4* / 4*

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  36. Well, I finished it a day later. Goodness that was hard. Not sure why 22a is so controversial — that was what got me a handle on the tricky SW corner. Last one in 5d (utterly groanworthy). Favourite clue 9d.

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