ST 3150 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 3150 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3150 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, while the meteorologists believe that Spring began on the first of the month, Mother Nature knows that there are two more weeks of Winter to go and plenty of time for more snow!

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, back to the chalky end of the chalk and cheese spectrum, but we are all different.  I counted 4 anagrams (1 partial), 2 lurkers (1 reversed), and one homophone – all in a symmetric 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.  The lurkers are not hinted so you will have to remember the mantra – if all else fails, look for a . . .

Candidates for favourite – 7a, 4d, 6d, and 23d.

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 Former leader of Christian body in a bad way (9)
A single word for Christian body (of people) and a single word for in a bad way.

11a Number of boards where leader gets behind strategy (8)
A leader (of a country) placed after (gets behind) a synonym of strategy.

14a Canine attached to sheep (6)
A slang synonym of canine (animal) and a two letter term for attached to.

16a School finished off, reportedly? (4)
The homophone (reportedly?) of a single word for finished off.

21a Wood where coloured egg rolled over (6)
Let’s start with egg – the sort of egg that the school nurse used to, still does for all I know, look for preceded by a colour used as an adjective all reversed (rolled over).

24a Very hot always inside cold-blooded animal (8)
A synonym of always placed inside a cold-blooded animal (one with fins rather than legs).

26a Flap cut back in marsupial (6)
A type of flap and a synonym of cut (grass) all reversed (back).

28a Slicer: one formed marks on board (9)
An anagram (formed) of SLICER: ONE.


1d Feature covering a series (5)
A (facial) feature containing (covering) A from the clue.

2d Tories welcomed by peer turned up in seaside resort (8)
A term for which ‘side’ the Tories are on contained (welcomed) by the reversal (turned up) of an informal nounal synonym of peer.

6d A strong drink, then pursue battle (9)
A from the clue, a ‘strong’ three letter drink, and (then) a synonym of pursue (romantically).

13d Swimmer gave off nasty odour (5)
A double definition – the second is a past participle.

15d Fastener fixing plugs, neat! (6,3)
An anagram (fixing) of PLUGS, NEAT.

23d For a start, sinner isn’t — one of these? (5)
The first letter (for a start) of Sinner and an informal equivalent of isn’t.

25d White joint (4)
A double definition to finish – the second could be found in a butchers.

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.

Pauline Matthews, 75 years young today and better known by her stage name Kiki Dee, is an English singer known for her blue-eyed soul vocals. She was the first female singer from the UK to sign with Motown’s Tamla Records. In 1976 she recorded a duet with Elton John, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, which went to number 1, but we had the video for that in September 2018. So here is a second duet that they recorded in 1993, which reached number 2, True Love written by Cole Porter in 1956 for the film High Society:

43 comments on “ST 3150 (Hints)

  1. Thank you Senf for putting me out of my misery re 21a. Hold ups at 8a and 28a otherwise a delight.

  2. 2*/4*. Very enjoyable. I didn’t know that 14a could be used as a synonym of sheep until I checked my BRB this morning.

    Many thanks to Dada for the Sunday fun, and to Senf for the review.

    1. I’m surprised about that. I expected people would be less familiar with the synonym for dog. I am not sure whether it is universal.

  3. Dada at his most fiendish I thought. Really needed the invaluable hints for some clues today to even get close to this very tricky puzzle. Not sure I would say it was an enjoyable solve but it was a satisfying one.
    Although completed I must admit to googling 3d. I thought 22d was a very sneaky clue and the lurker in 27a was tough to find.
    My fav was def 26a.
    Thx to all but a plea to Dada to make next Sundays just a little easier!
    Thx to all

  4. I had most of this in in really good time but hit a brick wall with half a dozen to go. Went for a walk and a coffee, came back and reappraised my thoughts on the definitions and voila, they all went in. I thought there was nice misdirection throughout and agree with Senf, it was at the tricky end of Dada’s spectrum.
    26a my favourite followed by the cheeky 23d.
    Many thanks to our setter and blogger.

  5. I was left with two to do 8a and 21a, but after a 45 minute Facetime with my grandson they came straight to me. I thought very good and not too tough. I needed no hints but always read and enjoy them. Thanks Dada and Mr K.

  6. Off to Lisbon for a few days golf so I’ll save Dada for the plane but just popped in to say proXimal has been reasonably gentle with us so Sunday Toughie No 6 is reasonably accessible for those able to access it – very welcome for those like me suffering brain fatigue after an unequal struggle with Radler’s NTSPP yesterday.
    Wordle in 3 – lost a coin toss again for 2.

  7. Heading for * time then a shuddering halt at 21a, 28a and 25d.
    After an age, constructed correctly 25d but unaware of its second meaning.
    Then pennies dropped resoundingly for the other two.
    So, ****/*****
    All very good fun.
    Many thanks Dada and senf.

  8. A couple in the SE that caused a hold-up and I hate the use of 17d, but fairly smooth sailing elsewhere.
    Top marks went to 8a & 22d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints – didn’t think that duet was the finest hour for either of the artists concerned!

      1. Thank you, I’m in need of something enjoyable to read. I’ve been wading through The Promise by Damon Galgut and not enjoying it at all!

    1. I agree with you Jane re 17d which I am surprised to find is a dictionary word and sweet for 18a is nearly as bad – grr!

  9. The SE corner held out for quite a while but got there in the end. It is exactly a year to the day since my horrid accident and everything is more or less fine except I have a huge smiley face scar on my left leg. Good things come from bad things and the amount of support I received from fellow puzzlers on this site was wonderful including some beautiful flowers from Miff, so thank you all. Thanks also to Dada and Senf for today’s offering.

    1. Goodness, Manders, hard to believe it was a year ago. I suppose if you had to be left with a scar, a smiley face is about the best you could ask for!

      1. Glad to hear that you have recovered so well, Manders. It has been such an eventful year for tje world at large and for me personally that it doesn’t seem that long ago.What is that double edged saying, “May you live in interesting times”.
        Hope things will calm down now.

  10. Like others I ended up with a couple of stubborn clues, incliding 21a. It was a long winded solve and some of the clues kept me litetally guessing for a while (5*/3*). The pick of the clues were 7a, 11d and13d. Thanks to the compiler and to Senf for the hints. I see an American politician has suggested that we need a Russian needs to fill the role of Brutus to Putin as Julius Caesar


  11. I found this quite tough so not a great deal of enjoyment to be had for me, I’m afraid. I cannot get 27a at all so I have to record a DNF. I found it such a struggle that I have neither favourite clues nor a COTD.

    Many thanks to Dada but you beat me today – I must try harder! Thank you to Senf for explaining quite a number of the clues for me.

    Another sunny day in The Marches but the cold wind is still active. Not as bad as yesterday so the garden is getting some attention.

    Wordle in 4.

  12. I needed a hint for a couple and made a self-inflicted cock up with 13d ( memo to self don’t just find the definition and bung in the first thing that comes to mind) I also had two answers for 18a and needed checkers to see that only one was cryptic.
    7a and 6d share honours here, with 2d getting the bronze.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  13. Not all plain-sailing so good grey matter exercise. Due to chores awaiting attention (day of rest?!) I sought some help to finish off SE mainly due to 21a hanging fire. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  14. Glad I was not the only one who found this quite difficult. Having finished it, I can only surmise that I was not not quite at my sharpest as none of the clues were particularly obtuse or overly fiendish.

    My thanks to Dada for what turned out to be a most enjoyable challenge, and to Senf.

    Wordle in 2 today. That takes my winning streak up to 52.

    1. Wordle in 4 today, but horror of horrors, discovered Quordle yesterday when you do 4 at once and have 9 shots. Both yesterday and today took all 9 goes but I have a winning streak of 2! which I don’t think will last long. Try it.

      1. If you wordle the words FORUM TYING and DALES in the first three rows you should be able to work out the answer to put in row four. It won’t work every time but it will most times

      2. Manders, I don’t dare look at Quordle, I’ve become so addicted to Wordle, one is enough.

        1. Give it a go Merusa, it’s quite challenging and you don’t have to do it every day!

  15. I needed a fair amount of hints and three Google searches to finish, so a bit too much like hard work for me and not much satisfaction today, other than actually finishing. But I still have my euphoria from yesterday’s puzzle. Plus Wordle in 2 yesterday, though sadly dismal with finishing at 5 today. The 26a is such an attractive little furry animal. Also bunged in wrong answer for 26a, not seeing it was an anagram. Oh dear. Thanks to Dada for the challenge, and to Senf. Every morning I wake up hoping to hear someone has come to their senses in Russia, the pictures of the fleeing residents, with their children and pets, is so heartbreaking.

  16. Only hold up was in the SE with 21a, 22d and 26a being the culprits, the later being the key to solving it thus becoming COTD. The others followed quickly. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. Phew! Finally finished. Last two in 26a and 21a – both rather good clues I thought.

  18. Way beyond me, I was DNF in the north but completed in the south with much e-help.
    I find the Ukraine news gets more and more depressing, the children and pets will take a very, very long time to recover. My admiration for President Zelenskyy is huge. What a brave man, such an inspiration for those poor Ukrainians. “‘Im lickle but ‘im tallawah.”
    Thank you Dada, you won, much appreciation to Senf for taking me over the finishing line. Wordle in 4.

  19. Surprised to see some thought this on the tough side as I found it at the easier end of the Dada spectrum. Just got on wavelength early I guess.
    Didn’t think there were any outstanding or LOL clues.
    Thank you Dada and Senf for getting what has turned out to be a gloriously sunny day off to a lovely start. Quite warm too so Biggles enjoyed a dip in the sea.

  20. Lots to like here in this mostly non-quirky puzzle from Dada today.
    2.5*/4* for my rating.
    Candidates for favourites include 1a, 2d, 17d, 20d & 22d … there were lots of other great clues too.
    A nice Sunday morning solve with full on sunshine on the West Coast today, even if a chilly 1C morning dog walk.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints of which I did need a couple to verify my “bung in” answer was correct.

  21. Another Dada offering that I thoroughly enjoyed completing 👍
    Not for the first time, once I got going, I found I could rattle through the clues at a fair pace, often with a wry smile at Dada’s mis-direction and clever clueing. Like others, it’s clearly a ‘wavelength’ thing where our brain can’t trust an initial surface reading without immediately seeking alternatives for each of his few words! 🤪
    Lots of great clues today but my fave was probably 2D that made me smile!
    Thanks Dada – keep ‘em coming and, as always, thanks to Senf for another great blog ‘n hints!

  22. My struggles with Dada continue, alas. I did manage to finish but only with some letter-reveals in the NW and NE, after the bottom half filled in quickly. Just could not overcome my physical and mental lassitude last night. Maybe I need a little sabbatical time. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  23. With three unsolved, I put this aside for a while and they fell into place when I came back to it. So no hints needed but I always enjoy reading the blog and others’ comments. My pick today is 7A. Thanks Senf and Dada

  24. A few old chestnuts combined with a number of very tricky clues… always with Dada, a mental work-out with some v enjoyable mind stretching required…..thanks to all

  25. Ditto Stephen L- all went swimmingly until the last 6 in, which took ages. But got there in the end. Favorite 19a.

Comments are closed.