ST 3148 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3148 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3148 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, on our local TV news on Thursday evening, we were told that, so far this month, we have already had double the average snowfall for February and more was added on Friday and yesterday.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, chalk and cheese compared to last week – plenty of African places, one of which generated an amount of discussion last time it appeared.  I counted a generous 8 anagrams (4 partials), one lurker, and no homophones – all in a very slightly asymmetric 30 clues; with 15 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, 19a, 28a, 1d, and 22d.

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 Leaders in different division hosted by affiliates playing very well (3,2,1,6)
The first letters (leaders) of Different and Division contained (hosted by) an anagram (playing) of AFFILIATES.

9a Lake ever so fresh, one between rivers (9)
An anagram (fresh) of EVER SO followed by the Roman numeral for one all inserted into (between) two of the single letter for river (rivers).

12a Pause having grabbed team cap (5-3)
A recent repeat but I still had to think about it – a synonym of pause containing (having grabbed) a synonym of team.

13a Clean domesticated animal, dear little thing (6)
A synonym of clean (which uses an implement with the same word as its name) and a generic term for a domesticated animal.

19a Figure disappeared into middle of shantytown (6)
A four letter synonym of disappeared inserted into the middle (two letters) of shantytown.

21a Wickedness on the other hand in hatred (8)
A two letter word for on the other hand inserted into (in) a synonym of hatred.

28a Dazzling fall of old Peruvian? (12)
One of Dada’s back to front clues – start with an old Peruvian and follow it with a nounal synonym of fall.


1d Part of body, organ in shape (7)
An organ (of the body) inserted into (in) a synonym of shape.

2d Temporarily incapacitate some bandit, as errant (5)
The lurker (some) found in three words in the clue.

5d Straight line into city, red originally (8)
The single letter for line inserted into an anagram (originally?) of CITY, RED – I am not convinced of originally as an anagram indicator but that is what the Puzzles Web Site had at midnight – if the clue is different in any other source please advise in a comment.

6d Drink second, not last (5)
A six letter synonym of second with its last letter removed (not last).

14d Sorrow about awfully long animal often trafficked (8)
A synonym of sorrow containing an anagram (awfully) of long – education as well as entertainment, change often to most for more accuracy.

16d Disappearas might dog and owner? (2,7)
A double definition(?) – an informal term for exercising together.

22d 1320 yards? An Italian city (5)
Step by step – calculate what fraction 1320 yards is of one unit of a measure then take that fraction of the letters of that measure and add AN from the clue – brilliant!

25d Vegetable, initially swede, parsnip under discussion (4)
The first letters (initially) of four words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Buffy Sainte-Marie, CC (born Beverly Sainte-Marie, c. February 20, 1941), an Indigenous Canadian-American singer, songwriter, and musician, is 81 years young today.  In 1983, she became the first Indigenous person to win an Oscar for the song Up Where We Belong, co-written with Jack Nitzsche and Will Jennings for the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.  Performed on the film soundtrack as a duet by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, and many times since, this recording is from 1992 in Antwerp. Jennifer Warnes was chosen to sing because of her previous soundtrack successes, and she had the idea for the song to be a duet that she would perform with Joe Cocker whom she had been a fan of since her teens:

61 comments on “ST 3148 (Hints)

  1. n absorbing puzzle with some African anagrams, which were great fun (2*/4*. 28a was my pick of the clues. Thanks to Dada for his consistently great Sunday puzzles and to Senf for the hints.

  2. I loved this despite some rather obvious repetition with the African clues. On first read through I thought it was going to be trickier than it turned out to be and in the end I completed it quite swiftly in about 2* time.
    Ticks aplenty as ever on Sunday including 13,19&21a plus 20d but top spot is shared by 1&28a, super clues. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the early Sunday morning entertainment.

      1. I think “originally” is fine as an anagram indicator. It is of course, perhaps deliberately, misleading as my first thought was first letter. As soon as I thought of original meaning different or novel I got it.

      2. Thanks, and to WW. If I have seen ‘originally’ as an anagram indicator before it did not ‘register’ with me. Like WW, the obvious thought is a first letter indicator.

        I am not sure that there is anything else I can ‘erase’ from my memory to make space for it.

  3. Well this took me at least twice as long as yesterday and not as much fun. However, thanks to Dada for the brain workout. Favourites 12 23 and 28a and 22d. Last of those was novel to me and therefore the best. Last three in were 21a and 18 and 17d. A few at the top took me a while too. 1a took longer than it should as did 1d. Not quite sure why there was a focus on Africa which is not my specialist subject. Thanks also to Senf for sterling efforts. I’ll now have a look at hints and hope that certain answers I gave are right.

    1. I think Dada has been relaxing with an African atlas! Been once as was appalled by the level of poverty in central Africa.

  4. 2.5*/3.5*. Good fun – a very enjoyable challenge although I didn’t finish having entered a double definition for 26a which was equally plausible to me and this scuppered any chance of solving 18d.

    28a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  5. A bit slow out of the stalls but a reasonably brisk finish in just over ** time. Entertaining as ever without reaching the heights of some of his recent puzzles. Surprised nobody has mentioned 18d where I thought the answer ‘less obvious’ in terms being synonymous with the definition. I could say the same of 21a but that’s clearly just my ignorance. Picks for me – 1&28a plus 16&22d.
    Thanks to D& particularly S for doing double duty once more.
    Wordle in 4

    1. Wordle was 4 for me too. Interestingly I had the three middle letters at the third attempt and after that word there was only one other word that would fit. Crossword- I agree with you about 21a. I had not thought of that word as a synonym for wickedness but haven’t checked the dictionary yet.

  6. Turned out to be not as tricky as it first appeared esp in the South. However, I thought 12a and 18d both awful clues with very weak synonyms. I did like 23a, 15a and my fav was 22d which was brilliant.
    Overall enjoyable just rather spoilt by the two weak clues.
    Thx to all

  7. Just a quick observation, Senf. You have named 2d as 4d. Apologies if this has already been flagged up.

    1. Thanks Steve. My eye-finger coordination was a bit off last night; I found two more errors myself this morning.

      I will have to give my proof reader a 27a and implement an alcohol ban, for him but not for me, on blogging days!

  8. Didn’t find this easy at all overall. 80% was straightforward but the last 20 took ages..
    28a was my COTD.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Brilliant performance by our curling team – now I can get back to trying to solve crosswords.
    Found out the “wokeness” of Wordle the other day. It rejects “slave” but allows plurals of all notorious four letter words I tried!

  9. I wasn’t able to finish this one but I have lots of other things on my mind at present so not really worried. What is on my mind is nothing serious – just a load of post graduate diploma essay that need to be marked by a deadline. Back to the puzzle. I loved what I managed to solve and I will come back to it later if preparing the pork in oranges we are having for dinner lets me. I had not come across 13a before having always used a different first letter but you live and learn. My absolute favourite and COTD (so far) is 22d.

    Many thanks to Dada for the entertaining challenge and, of course grateful thanks to Senf for the hints.

    Wet and windy with nothing but mud, turnips and sheep as far as the eye can see here in The Marches

    A Worldle fail today so back to square one.

    1. Flameout yesterday and Wordle in 3 today, ergo, there’s a huge element of luck rather than good management in this.

      1. Yeay, I wordled in 3 today as well! Some of the words are surprising, I wonder if they are chosen electronically? I cannot imagine that Mr Wardle choses it every evening before getting into bed!

  10. Got off to a slow start with this one and a couple of synonyms (11a&18d) took a while to occur to me.
    Some great clues to be found, 27a was very neat and tidy, 13a raised a smile and my favourite was definitely 28a.
    Always so sad to read about the on-going plight of the creature at 14d – their captors deserve an equally cruel fate.

    Thanks to Dada and to our diligent weekend hinter, Senf. Thank you also for one of my all-time favourite songs – must watch the film again although I’m always in tears by the end!

    1. I’m always upset when I think about the plight of 14d, let’s start a movement to hunt the hunters instead?

  11. I forgot to add to my post that the Quickie pun didn’t work for me. I suppose it is down to how the second word is pronounced.

    1. It was one of my favourite quickie puns in ages — I like it when they’re a bit strained.

      But now I’m trying to work out how else the second word can be pronounced. Oxford/Lexico has UK as /ˈɡəʊfə/ and USA (change the drop-down thingy to the left of the search box to ‘USA Dictionary’) as /ˈɡōfər/ or /ˈɡoʊfər/, but pressing the 🔊 icons sounds pretty similar to me.

  12. I found this Dada amusing, exciting, and just plain wonderful last night after toiling over a very testing NYT jumbo…and not quite finishing Toughie4. So much to admire, beginning with 1a and ending with 28a, and just about everything inbetween, but my top picks are 22d, 21a, 16d, & 19a, with a special Clarkie to 23a which tickled my old funny bone. Thanks to Senf and Dada. **/*****

    My special thoughts and prayers this morning go out to The Queen.

    1. Indeed, Robert – our Queen is a wonderful lady and I too wish her all the very best and a speedy recovery.

      1. In the news today it was reported that she only has cold symptoms, I hope that’s correct. Feel better Ma’am!

    2. Wondering what your Shakespeare count was in Brummie’s Graun Prize, assuming you’ve done it.

      1. Good question, H ! Depends on how one ‘counts’, doesn’t it? Direct: 2d, 10a, 11a, 13a, 6d, 8d, 16d, 19d, 22d, 27d (mostly, and altogether = 2 here). So, unless I’ve overlooked someone, 10. Or if I count two references in 27d, there are 11. As Stephen L would say, Good Stuff!

        Is that your count?

        1. Actually, for sheer numbers, 13a is 3 or multiples of that. I fear that I am suddenly overwhelmed by the count!

        2. Not surprisingly less than yours. I was just happy to finish after abject failures the previous 2 weeks.

    3. There was a wonderful piece on BBC on Friday I think about a bridegroom jokingly writing to HM when he heard she was visiting his city on his wedding day. He invited her to the wedding and received a charming acknowledgment declining the invitation but wishing them well. However, on the day the Queen did turn up briefly to everyone’s astonishment. A lovely story.

  13. A steady enjoyable solve. I enjoyed seeing 21a, so many seem to believe it merely relates to size. 2d will take quite a bit of beating and is my COTD.

  14. I struggled a bit with this, I will blame distractions elsewhere, and I feel like I was back in a double geography lesson today.
    22d has to be my favourite.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  15. Started very slowly today but picked up speed as I went along. Agree with Jane about the poor creatures in 14d. I haven’t got the puzzle to hand but had not heard of the word for posh before but Mr Google told me I was correct. Have just picked up a parcel from Blakeney Spar, a mile away. For some reason if Amazon send it here I have to pay p & p of £4.99 but free to be sent to Spar. Seems bazaar. Only found out about the Queen from comments above, the poor lady, that’s all she needs. Thanks to all. Wordle in 3.

  16. We started steadily and finished in a rush. Favourite was 15a. Quickie pun didn’t work for us either. I’ve remembered to use our joint name today. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. Great puzzle to relax with after Eunice has (hopefully) packed up and gone home. Loved 22d, and 14d hit the heartstrings.

      1. I was wondering which paper Franklin sets for, and whether they’re a pseudonym of a Telegraph setter — clearly must be tricky, given your warning — until I eventually realized what Franklin must be. D’oh!

  18. Started slowly today with some quirkiness I thought compared to recent offerings. Finished west first and the the NE was last to surrender, with a lot of effort and brain cells and a few hints. 3*/4* today.
    Favourites for me today include 1a, 28a, 1d, 16d & 22d with winner 22d … very clever clue.
    Didn’t know the animal or word in 14d and don’t really understand the parsing for 20d. Weird one, that.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for double duty this weekend.
    Wordle in 3 today

  19. Well, I for one don’t believe this was a Dada offering, it was fun all the way, I loved it. First, I like geography and second, I like animals, we couldn’t have had more of those. We had 12a recently, so that helped. I did have to use e-help for 18d and then google, but it was smile worthy. I’ve got ticks all over the place, 16d, 14d, and 10a was a guffaw, but for sheer cleverness, you can’t beat 22d, and what about 28a! Stars galore.
    If it was you Dada, thanks bundles for my Sunday amusement, and Senf for unravelling some. Wordle in 3.

  20. What a relief after last week’s horror. Actually managed most of this without help.
    Got stuck on 12a ….though as several have pointed out it has been used recently so I should have remembered it…and on 13a …a new word for me and I too would have had a different start letter to make the definition.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    Bracing for storm Franklin now… hoping that we escape the worst as we did with Eunice and Dudley….but 3 in a week seems a little unfair.
    Well done the curlers!

    1. at first, I thought you were thanking hairstylists for keeping barnets in order through the storms. but congrats indeed to the only Uk medals at the Olympics.

      1. That was why I used curling team in my post John. It was fantastic to watch John & the men didn’t lose the medal, Sweden won it.
        Well done on the hints on the Toughie I will try to improve by going through them fully later.

  21. East was less troublesome half but in fact West wasn’t too far behind. As Huntsman has mentioned, IMHO 18d is only vaguely posh. 5d originally escaped me so bunged in. Fav was 28a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  22. Coming to the blog so late means I have little to add to the consensus view, other than to agree that 22d was genius, and to thank Dada and Senf.

  23. Thanks Dada, and Send for the extra shifts. My runners up, 1a and 28a plus the African cities provided th skeleton on which to hang the remainder of the solve. I queried a few parsings as have others, but having cooled off, I’m allowing them all! COD 18d, you beauty.

  24. My quickest Dada solve for some weeks – loved 22d, what an original clue. 19a also appealed to me. An entertaining solve on a really dismal, wet and windy, mucky, February Shropshire afternoon. Thanks to Dada and Senf. You brightened my day :-)
    Wordle in 4 today.

  25. Out to a lazy lunch at the Ickleton Lion – I must remember to ask for a child’s portion next time. Joined by DD2 and her husband so a delightful way to spend, as Shropshire Bloke says, a miserably grey, wet and windy day. Thanks to Dada and the ever conscientious Senf, Antiques Roadshow and Midwives to look forward to and a nice log fire. It seems quite a few of us got Wordle in 3. And hearty congratulations to our only gold medalists!

  26. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. I enjoyed this, but found the top half very tricky. Needed the hints for 1a, once solved, all the others fell into place. Joint favourites were 23&28a. Great fun, was 3* / 4* for me.

  27. Didn’t get to this until lunch time, which for some reason means I can never concentrate enough. Probably because by the. I just don’t have enough time left to devote to the crossword. I struggled more than I should. Never heard 18d used to mean posh. But thanks to Dada and Senf, especially as he pulled another double shift.

  28. I enjoyed solving this before breakfast, then got busy. Like so many others above, I was impressed with the cleverness of 22d [redacted – you have included information that relates to the answer and it is a prize puzzle], and 28a made me laugh.

    Very much my sort of crossword. Cheers, all.

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