ST 3153 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3153 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3153 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where Mother Nature has reminded us that the change of Seasons is not a ‘step function’ like turning a light on or off rather it is a gradual process during which there may be some regression to the previous season’s weather such as we have had for the last three or four days!

Keep staying safe everyone.  And, I hope that all those members of our company on the RH side of the pond remembered to Spring Forward in the middle of the night.

For me, a slow start and a slightly faster finish so I am not sure how to describe it.  I counted a plethora of 9 anagrams (5 partials), 2 lurkers (1 reversed), and no homophones – all in a very asymmetric 29 clues; with 15 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.  You might be pleased to know that I have hinted all three 15-letter clues in the Acrosses.

Candidates for favourite – 11a, 13a, 26a, and 6d.

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:


8a Go for each prize — might one be on the table? (6,3)
A three letter synonym of go, a three letter preposition equivalent to for each, and a three letter prize.

11a Christian symbol on floor, oath inscribed — this (9,6)
The most common(?) Christian symbol placed before (on) a synonym of floor (as in flummox) with a synonym of oath inserted (inscribed).

13a With golden river, a small country (7)
Four pieces of Lego in a 6 word clue – a synonym of with, heraldic golden, the single letter for river, and A from the clue.

15a Receptacle: strange item in container for politician (7,8)
A type of receptacle (for unwanted paper?) and an anagram (strange) of ITEM all inserted into (in) a type of (storage) container.

24a Mature bird at sea with fish in Atlantic region (7,8)
An anagram (at sea) of MATURE BIRD and (with) a verbal synonym of fish.

27a See motel breakfast finally cooked — egg dishes (9)
An anagram (cooked) of SEE MOTEL and the last letter (finally) of breakfasT.


1d Great bit of prep I completed (4)
The lurker (bit of) found in three words of the clue.

2d (Very!) high society? (3,3)
The ‘society’ that travels by the means illustrated.

5d Prayer guides an oddball (5,3)
An anagram (oddball) of GUIDES AN – some knowledge of Latin will help!

9d Saw dog restrained by lead (7)
A (familiar) name for a dog contained (restrained) by the chemical symbol for lead – no complaints, we have seen this before and it is BRB verified.

12d Bones found in jar, casually tipped over (5)
The reversed lurker (found in . . . tipped over) found in two words in the clue – but it is my understanding that we only have one of these in our bodies.

16d US return surprisingly offers encouragement (8)
An anagram (surprisingly) of US RETURN.

18d As this day ends, cricket side accommodated in snug (7)
One of the crickety sides (of the pitch) contained by (accommodated in) a synonym of snug.

23d Put in order, administration finally finished off (6)
The last letter (finally) of administration and a single word for finished off (applied to a meal?).

25d Relax when letters read out? (4)
Guess a letter (one of the vowels) then find a word for more than one being read out.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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A random selection today – The Lawrence of Arabia Theme, composed by Michel Jarre, played at the 2007 Proms by the BBC Concert Orchestra with two timpanists getting a good work out:

39 comments on “ST 3153 (Hints)

  1. Super Dada puzzle, thankfully not too much of a head scratcher after an hour’s less sleep (when are we going to end this ridiculous charade).
    My ticks go to 11&22a plus 9,17&18d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. You should join me twice each year at Stonehenge and Avebury on Salisbury Plain when we move the stones to suit British Summer Time or British Standard Time. We’ve finished Stonehenge and are just starting at Avebury

      1. D’ya think we’re all stoopid? It’s common knowledge that the stones at both locations were digitised in 1999 and now adjust themselves automatically!

  2. After a very slow start, which is always the way with Dada, clues began to fall into place steadily. Not that it was straight forward by any means. A great deal of pondering and staring into the distance was needed for practically every clue. This did give rise to many penny drop moments and smiles as meanings became clear. I have ticks all over the paper – 8a and 22a to name two. However, my COTD is 9d because of the surface and great misdirection.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun challenge and to Senf for the hints.

    Misty start in The Marches but the sun is breaking through. Great day for sowing seeds in trays.

    Wordle in a phew.

      1. My first three guesses revealed no letters at all, Huntsman so I was expecting failure. The fact that all vowels had been used up helped.

  3. So many ‘old friends’ that the whole thing didn’t take very long at all to finish

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf

    Happy Mothering Sunday to all

  4. My fastest Dada finish ever, and a joy to work. So much to like, especially 22a, 9d, 11a, & 18d, just for starters. Thanks to Senf and Dada. * / ****

  5. An interesting puzzle I haven’t finished yet. I came to check Senf and I hadn’t picked the same piece of music (we hadn’t) but I did notice we both had the same answer to hint (13a here – 9a in the toughie)
    15a is short of a definition but goes on my list of favourites so far along with 11d – how long will the list be by the time I finish?

    1. Finished – The three long ones would grace any podium but I will include 5d and 8a too.
      Thanks to Dada and Senf. (Nice music too, I half expected some Barry Manilow for 24a but thankfully we were spared that.)

      1. Thankfully, your ‘half expectation’ for 24a never entered my mind and 15a now has a definition.

  6. Well that was a game of two halves, the top super apart from 7d which was weak. The bottom, however, presented a much greater challenge made more difficult by not having any hints for the most difficult ones.
    Never heard of 5d (thx Google) but I did like 24a and 6d (an old chestnut I know but fun).
    Thx to all
    Top **/****, bottom ****/**

  7. Good fun with some nice lego clues. Top three for me were 22a plus 9&20d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Busy now humming the theme to Lawrence of Arabia and remembering the sight of Peter O’Toole in flowing robes galloping across the desert on his white horse………

  8. A most enjoyable solve after an initial hesitancy.
    As is the way with a Dada puzzle.
    Loved 8a, a gem.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  9. Anicely challenging puzzle for Mothering Sunday. I too started alowly (4(/6*) and speeded up.though it’s hard to pick a few clues out of auch a collection bot my xhoice is 24a, 8a 11a,13a and 5d). Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for the puzzle. Its moist and misty here, like Autumn, so your meteorological observations were on point Senf1

  10. Had a suspicion that a few of these may have been ‘old friends’ but I don’t recall ever meeting them so it was a very enjoyable puzzle for me despite not being particularly challenging. Plenty of ticks on my page – 8,11,22&24a plus 9,17&18d.
    Thanks to D&S

  11. Good crossword; no Chinese dynasties. My last one in was the four letter 7d. I thought I was going to be defeated by one tidgy word but then I worked through the alphabet (I had the two checking letters) and all became clear.

    Late in last night after collecting The Youngster who was caught out by railway line closures, so now I have the absurd job of going round changing the times on all of the clocks. What a loopy palaver this is, every six months.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  12. How I hate to lose an hour sleep.
    But it was nice to wake up to this lovely Dada.
    Most of it went straight in.
    Thanks to one of my favourite setter and to Senf for the hints.

  13. I would agree that this was a fairly benign Dada this morning, but there were still some excellent clues to maintain the interest throughout. I shall nominate 9d as my COTD. I usually pick a cricketing clue as a favourite, but the news from the Windies is so depressing I shall refrain from doing so.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  14. All done, but slowly and interrupted by trying to get my coffee pot to work. No real favorites. Thanks, Dada and Senf.

    Happy Mothering Sunday to the ladies. Our Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May when it should be warm enough to get out and enjoy it.

  15. As usual Dada kept the mind concentrating. Wonder if 19a is necessarily a lover. 8a took bit of parsing as did 15a. Here we go again with cheers being grateful as per 4d. Fav was 9d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  16. To echo the sentiments of many….another brilliant Sunday offering by Dada!👍👍👍
    Like Steve, I always seem to start slowly trying to get ‘on wavelength’, manage to solve a couple of clues here and there, when suddenly the lights seem to come on and a couple of the larger clues fall into place. From then on (with a few 😏 and occasional 😅) the rest managed to fall into place! Today’s ‘moment’ was with 11A, 24A and 15A which led the way!
    Thoroughly enjoyed – thanks, as ever, to Senf for another great blog ‘n hints, and to Dada – keep ‘em coming!

  17. My goodness, can’t get to grips with Dada today, so went off for a bit of respite to tackle today’s Wordle. Phew, that was even tough today, and managed to scrape by on the fifth try. Hope to get back to Dada, time permitting later.

    1. I again chose my seed word in the middle of the night when I was trying to get back to sleep and it worked out fine, I Wordled in 3. Am I getting subconscious vibes?

        1. I knew certain combinations of letters had to be in the Wordle but just couldn’t get it in the early hours. When I woke I was convinced I had it but must have been a dream. Eventually I stopped trying to give hymn five letters and I was there.

  18. Started this Dada puzzle slowly and then suddenly things began to fall into place. Rate this 2.5*/4* today.
    Favourites include 10a, 11a, 26a, 6d & 20d with winner 11a
    8a, 2d & 20d made me smile as the penny dropped.

    Thanks to Dada and snowed in Senf in Winterpeg!

  19. As usual, I struggled with Dada. I solved enough clues to give me scattered checking letters so was able to use e-help to keep me going whenever I got stuck. I liked the long ones, I was able to solve them from the checkers but I needed Senf to unravel them. I’m not certain all my answers are correct, they just “fit”, e.g. 7d. Fave was 8a, yum yum, delish.
    Thanks Dada, and much appreciated your help Senf. Wordle in 3.

  20. Anyone heard from LrOK? We haven’t seen him for a few days. If we don’t hear tomorrow, perhaps someone could check.

    1. Merusa
      Thanks for the concern but I am OK & have been posting late when I do. Everything has been said by then (like today).
      Family commitments meant I got 3 days behind as well – managed to catch up on Friday).
      Hoofit hopefully is in one of his “silent” phases, or with the weather he’s perhaps golfing a lot.

  21. Just fine today’s puzzle. Didn’t feel like a Dada. Some throwaway clues and all fell together. Enjoyed it. First week in ages I’ve not done every puzzle but been in a bit of a daze since having my broken arm operated on.

  22. Lovely puzzle, the right level to challenge me, completed unaided, but not without much thought.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.


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