ST 3152 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3152 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3152 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where the thaw has begun, but that means all the dirt, rubbish, and goodness knows what else in the road-side snow banks becomes visible and adds to the clean-up requirements!

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, this was chalky.  I counted 3 anagrams (1 partial), 1 lurker (reversed), and one (partial) 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 – 24a, 6d, 7d, and 8d.

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 Meeting finding improbable treatment for software? (11)
Start with the abbreviated name of a type of software (that we eagerly download to our smart phones) and follow it with a type of treatment (in a tube) that may be prescribed by a doctor which would make it improbable for software.

10a Chatterbox adoring senseless babbling, initially breaking silence (6)
The first letters (initially) of Adoring Senseless and Babbling inserted into (breaking) a verbal synonym of silence.

12a Stop chorus (7)
A double definition – the second refers to a part of a song that is repeated.

15a A rave gone mad, usually (2,7)
An anagram (mad) of A RAVE GONE.

22a Snacks primate found in tins (7)
A primate animal contained by (found in) a synonym of tins.

24a Container seen through opening, illuminated (7)
A type of container (used for cooking?) contained by (seen through) a narrow opening.

27a Originally –
Items here collected by mum and dad, afterthoughts (11)
A demonstrative adjective or pronoun for items here inserted into (collected by) a plural noun for mum and dad. [This clue is flawed as one letter in the answer is clued twice.]

Revised to:
New items here in spare ground, afterthoughts (11)
So – the single letter for New and a demonstrative adjective or pronoun for items here inserted into (collected by) an anagram (ground) of SPARE.


2d Narrated story of wolf blowing houses down? That’s hairy! (7)
Written as (3,4), a homophone (narrated) of a synonym of story that related to the owners of the houses that the wolf blew down.

6d A steeplechaser at the back, once more upended, falls (7)
A from the clue, the last letter (at the back) of steeplechaseR, and the single word that means once more all reversed (upended).

7d Every diamond, for example, in area on ship? (11)
Written as (7,4) how one might describe, for example, a set of every diamond card as a proportion of all the cards.

11d Big names born in Leicester, I gathered (11)
The single letter for born inserted into (in) an anagram (gathered) of LEICESTER, I.

16d Comic operas, brilliant atmosphere (9)
An anagram (comic) of OPERAS and a synonym of brilliant – verified, to my amazement, by the BRB.

20d Word in mantra brought into force (7)
A two letter word, which, in Hinduism and other religions chiefly of India, is a sacred syllable that is considered to be the greatest of all the mantras inserted into (brought into) a synonym of force.

23d Separate city in Croatia (5)
We finish with a double definition – the second is a coastal resort city.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Some lateral thinking required – Norwegian playwright, he of crossword fame, Henrik Ibsen was born on this day in 1828. One of his well-known works is Peer Gynt which was written in verse and published in 1867 but not premiered until 1876. Ibsen asked Edvard Grieg to write some incidental music to accompany the play, which he did. One of the most recognisable pieces from the incidental music is In the Hall of the Mountain King’ played here by the Seattle Symphony with a more and more animated conductor, Thomas Dausgaard:

66 comments on “ST 3152 (Hints)

  1. At the gentler end of the spectrum, but very enjoyable.

    I still cannot get 27a to work, unless I am being dim.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

            1. Your comment went into moderation because you used a different alias compared to your first comment – both should work from now on.

            2. Same here. I put the right answer in because on a word search engine with the checkers there is no alternative but couldn’t work out why. The rest was very enjoyable and relatively benign for Dada. Thanks to him and Senf.

    1. In the cold light of day (well, it’s still dark because of the idiocy of Daylight Savings Time) I now see that the 27a wordplay generates 12 letters but only 11 are required for the answer which, according to the Puzzles Web Site, is correct.

      I was somewhat distracted by the whimsical nature (to use Gazza’s term) of 2d to notice last night.

      Tut tut Dada and CL.

      1. Welcome to the blog Jeff. Please don’t address queries to specific commenters.

        18 Chap oddly claiming a foul after cut in card game (7)
        Put the odd letters of ChAp around (claiming) the A from the clue and most of (after cut) an adjective meaning foul

  2. Dada’s being quite whimsical today – thanks to him and Senf.
    I’ll single out 20a, 2d and 7d.

  3. Very enjoyable, some amusing clues, perhaps a little more about it than of late, and the better for it
    I particularly liked 2,3,6,7&8d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the early Sunday morning entertainment.

  4. Yes there were some quite whimsicsl synonyms here today but it wss an enyertaining puzzle (3.5*_/4*. Iliked the geographical clues, 6d and 23d but 7d was my favourite though it took a while for the penny to drop. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. I hated all the mucky snow piled up ialongvthe roadside when i lived in London but my husband lived to be grateful for it, when it broke his fall after he sailed over the handlebars of his bike, while braking behind a London bus making an unsignalled stop.

  5. A speedy solve until 16d&24a. With the latter I spent too much time trying to justify my first definition synonym thought & with the other I was wrongly convinced a 2 letter synonym for brilliant kicked it off. Anyway the pennies dropped for a ** time completion with all parsed other than the 27a ? Fairly gentle but very entertaining & with some excellent clues, the picks of which for me all in the downs – 2,6,7&16.
    Thanks to D&S
    Wordle in 4

    1. You did well with Wordle. I was 6 for only the second time. I’m usually a 3 or 4!with the occasional 2.

      1. I’ve only managed 2 twice & have 10 phews so you’re better than me. Still 56 since start & no blow out yet.

  6. I didn’t find this puzzle quite the breeze that others have noted above. I became very bogged down with 27a and still don’t quite ‘get it’. It was the parsing generally. I figured out the probable answer but couldn’t understand how I got there.

    Much to my joy, H has proposed we stay in today and binge on the cavalcade of football matches on TV. That sounds good to me.

    Thanks to Dada ‘n’ Senf.

  7. Another Dada finish for me, whoopee! Two Sundays in a row. The Downs all rule today, with 2d, 6d, 7d, & 16d taking top honours. Re 27a, well, even Homer (they say) nodded, and I think Stephen is right, that the xxx is doing double-duty. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / ****

    Finished Toughie6, but still trying to parse a couple. Looking forward to SJB’s blog. The Guardian Everyman today is quite a treat. I recommend it.

    1. Robert you said you were a couple shy of yesterday’s Graun prize. Still the case & are they 24a & 22d perchance ?

      1. Yes to 24a, but I solved 22d early on, as a Beaujolais lover. It was 25d which held me up a while. Have you solved them? 24a remains blank.

        1. 22d so obvious but got it into my the artist was Royal Academician reversed. Never heard of 24a but eventually twigged via the wordplay (synonyms for invalid & soldier around I) then confirmed.
          Thought the Everyman was great but don’t really get the Spoonerism (assuming my answer correct) & still shy of 7d – harder than Zandio I found. The film clue was great.

          1. It’s very late your time, but I’ve been away from everything electronic, sleeping and reading Slough House, but here goes: thanks for 24a (altogether new to me but should have worked it out); ‘set a date’ is quasi-Spoonerist, I guess, for the answer; 7d is a European passerine ‘singer’ found in the UK only in Scotland (around Inverness apparently, in the ‘ancient woods’!)–an anagram of the 2nd and 3rd word.

            Yes, I inwardly cheered when I twigged that film. Like you, I first toyed with RA for the Beaujolais clue.

  8. I had the same issue as everyone else with 27A which cast a bit of a shadow over an otherwise enjoyable puzzle. My picks are 2D, 7D and 16D. Thanks anyway Dada, and thanks of course to Senf. I agree with you about DST.

  9. That wasn’t plain-sailing for me but I hung in there and all’s well that ends well so overall it was quite an enjoyable challenge. I agree re 27a which I don’t think really works anyway I gave up trying to fully parse and just enlarged on mum and dad. W easier going than the E. Fav 6d for its surface. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  10. Very enjoyable. Last one in 27a and I can’t even blame the missing letter as I didn’t notice it. I did have trouble with some of the parsing eg 1a and 10a. Favourites 13 and 17a and 2 5 and 6d

  11. 2.5*/3.5*. Good fun although the gloss was taken off it a bit by 27a and I’m not totally convinced that the answer for 9a is a synonym of “cheerful”.

    My podium consists of 1a, 2d & 16d (I didn’t know that the answer could mean atmosphere but the BRB assured me that it does).

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I’m with you on 9a, and with everyone on 27a. Always nice to be reassured.
      Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    2. Agree. A 9a person is not necessarily cheerful. Often quite the opposite in my experience.

      1. Me too on the 9a and 27a issue. I put it down to befuddlement after a rather good lunch at the Pig & Abbott.

    3. As pointed out by Fez, in a reply to Jane (Comment 21), 9a is not a double definition. It is a charade with a definition of like some pianos.

      1. Yes, Fez is absolutely ,right. Given his explanation I am more than happy with that clue.

  12. I didn’t get on with today’s Dada as others have done. I needed several hints to get me over the line so not a great deal of enjoyment. Ah well, as the saying goes – tomorrow is another day.

    Many thanks to Dada for the thrashing and Senf for helping to make sense of it.

    Beautiful, sunny day in The Marches so the veggie bed has been prepared and grass given its second mowing.

    Wordle in 4.

  13. All very straightforward apart from the aforementioned 27a with the unclued double duty which I took to be an editing error. Favourite was 2d thanks to Dada and Senf.

  14. I found this quite challenging.
    24a, 27a and 20d put me well into *** time.
    But we got there.
    So, ***/****
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  15. Apart from the dodgy 27a which had me thinking for far too long, this was a fairly gentle and enjoyable stroll in the park. 16d proved to be my favourite clue this afternoon.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. I came here to ask where the extra xxx in 27a went but see that it has been much discussed up there a bit, and put down to a quirky Dada. My new nickname leads me to 25a as my favourite today, but many others ran it close.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.
    I hope Robert hasn’t spent too long on toughie 6 that was a fortnight ago :p

    1. Oops: My faulty vision on this little tablet. Thought it said Toughie 6! #6 was much more accessible than #8.

  17. I enjoyed this puzzle and managed to complete it with the exception of the controversial 27A which I couldn’t allow myself to put in as it didn’t seem to parse satisfactorily. My favourite was 17A. Many thanks to Senf and Dada.

  18. I didn’t get 27a totally correct at first. Then I realised it was plural! Otherwise a very enjoyable crossword

    1. Your comment went into moderation as you used another variant of your alias – no initial letter of your surname.

    2. IMHO even using the plural it doesn’t work. (In the singular) of 27a I have only just read CS’ comment at 25.

  19. Must admit to be beaten by this one. Parts were quite gentle but others were beyond me. Got left 16d, 20d and 27a. Even with the hints these are a mystery to me.
    Not my favourite dada.

  20. Late in today having spent most of the morning on Skype to my young grandchildren who are due to descend on Anglesey next weekend for their annual visit. All precious items gradually being safely stored away in preparation!
    I had the same doubts as others over a couple of clues – 27a would seem to be a glaring error on the part of setter and editor whilst 9a is one for which I can’t find any justification.
    Enjoyable fare elsewhere and my podium comprises 24a plus 2&7d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the display from a conductor who was really ‘giving it his all’!

    1. Seen a few comments on 9a but not sure of problem – 2-letter synonym for cheerful, 5-letter synonym for just, and a definition? I had this amongst my favourites.

      1. Bang on Fez. A nice use of comma placement too. An excellent clue. Wrongly maligned above.

  21. Not a walk in the park for me, but then, Dada never is. I had to bungin far too many without understanding them, yes, 27a included, and in the end I was left with five or so that I needed e-help for. I think my 20d bungin is wrong, but I’ll have to research Hindu sacred syllables when I hang up here. There was a lot I enjoyed, all in all a fun start to my day. Fave was 6d.
    Thanks Dada, and much gratefulness to Senf for unravelling so much. Loved the Peer Gynt. Wordle in 5.

  22. I didn’t enjoy this much, not really sure why but I simply wasn’t on the right wavelength although finished OK in the end. Wordle in 3 and Quordle in 9. Thanks to the setter and Senf

  23. A relatively tame Sunday puzzle from Dada today with the usual tricky bits in there, too.
    2.5*/4* for me.
    Favourites today 10a, 17a, 24a, 2d &6d with winner 2d
    10a & 22a made me smile.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf
    Wordle in 5 … ugh

  24. The clue for 27a has now been changed to

    27. New items here in spare ground, afterthoughts (11)

  25. Glad to say I almost finished this on my own, very unusual but satisfying for a Sunday puzzle. I had no trouble with 27a, one of my first in, but wasn’t very happy that 9a fits the definition. My parents and grandparents used to play 18d. Thanks to Dada for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to Senf.

    1. We used to play 18d at our tennis club. We had those and bridge tables, played by the hour, even had our own rules!

    2. We still do play on a regular basis and have an ongoing score which is now into the many thousands. It is good fun and not as serious Bridge which still remains Number One.

  26. Decided to go straight to the end of the week to catch up with you lot.
    Found 7d quite clever once I twigged.
    10a made me laugh.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for the hints.
    Haven’t seen the sun for nearly two weeks down here. And still no rain. Very eerie atmosphere.

  27. Oh dear, very late here and I spent far too much time in the police force at 20d when I should have been doing my Yoga. Drinking at lunchtime is not a good thing if you have a SPP to do. Many thanks to Setter and Hinter. I am still fulminating about not getting all my Saturday paper.

  28. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. I found most of this quite straightforward, but as was said above, there is a letter missing in 27a. It took me ages to solve the last 3 clues, 11&16d and 24a. Good fun, was 3* /3* for me. Favourite was 22a.

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