ST 3156 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3156 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3156 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where those fine(?), very generous(?) people in Colorado sent us one of their famous Low Pressure weather systems which meant, thankfully not as bad as the original forecast, over 48 hours and 30cms of fluffy white stuff with no way for us to send it back!  (With more, from a different system forecast for today).

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, all I can say about today’s Dada is that when completed my reaction was an overall Hmm.  I counted 7 anagrams (5 partials), 1 lurker, and two homophones – all in a slightly asymmetric 28 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, 20a, 28a, and 14d.

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 Fighter beaten up was hot (8)
We start with an anagram (beaten) of UP WAS HOT.

11a Drop, then fix, mug (8)
A three letter synonym of drop (as in gently, into a liquid?) and (then) a five letter synonym of fix (as in put parts back together).

12a Cold ice on can sprayed around middle of dirty dish (6,3,5)
A nounal synonym of a (medical) cold followed by an anagram (sprayed) of ICE ON CAN containing (around) the middle letter of diRty.

17a Flower in back of plot, unwanted plant (5)
This all depends on the pronunciation of the definition – the last letter (back) of plot and the term for an unwanted plant.

20a Comprehensive where castle may have gone? (6-3-5)
This clue will probably get one of our company mounting his noble steed and riding off to look for a windmill – the castle is a piece that is named something else and can move a long way.

25a Failing, move to the other side (6)
A double definition – the second used to happen quite a lot during the Cold War.

28a Article stopping tooth decay in birds (8)
One of the indefinite articles inserted into (stopping) a single word term for tooth decay.


1d Pit animal working in extremes of poverty (4)
The two letter synonym of working contained by (in) the first and last letters (extremes) of PovertY.

3d Outstanding poem recited? (4)
One of the homophones (recited) of a type of poem.

6d Old capital lifts heart of Dutch queen (10)
A synonym of lifts (mechanically), the middle letter (heart) of DuTch, and HM’s regnal cypher.

8d Loyalist group kept in touch (7)
A small (musical?) group inserted into (kept in) a three letter synonym of touch.

13d Penny in Angola, the new 50p is like this (10)
The single letter for Penny (coin) inserted into (in) an anagram (new) of ANGOLA, THE.

21d Icy edge in sight (6)
A three letter edge inserted into (in) a verbal synonym of sight.

22d Rowing crew steer ahead of bridge (6)
A two letter type of steer (animal) placed before (ahead of) a type of water crossing that may not be a bridge.

26d Cook a little quiche, finally (4)
We finish with the lurker (a little) found in two words in the clue.

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.

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Chris Barber, jazz musician, best known as a bandleader and trombonist, was born on this day in 1930.  The video is of a live performance for a long running Dutch Radio show from 1997. The tune is Just A Closer Walk With Thee, a traditional gospel song which was included in the soundtrack for the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. I like the nickname of the drummer shown in the credits at the beginning and it is interesting to note the technique of the players of the reeded instruments:

43 comments on “ST 3156 (Hints)

  1. Wow … lots of issues getting into the site today.
    Happy Easter to all.

    Found this a relatively non quirky puzzle for Dada this week. Rate this as 2*/4.5*
    Favourites include 11a, 20a, 27a, 13d & 16d with winner 20a and 27a a close second.
    A fun solve and time well spent.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf but did not need the hints this week.

    Wordle in 5 and Canuckle in 3

  2. Great puzzle but no time to comment just now as I’m preparing Beef Wellington for tonight. Usually post in the morning but, of course, site was down.

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

    Wordle in 3 and Canuckle in 4.

    I see the “plus” has returned. :scratch:

    Happy Easter everyone! :good:

    1. Wordle 3, Canuckle 3, Canoodle 3(rd base). :-)

      Our American friends will get that one. I know, will I ever grow up …

  3. Found this dada at his tough end. First pass gave one answer and a sinking feeling. Put it down and returned later and things began to drop into place but generally it fought me hard all the way. Very little to enjoy, far too tricky for that but I thought the best clue was 16d.
    No hints today with the site issues, shame as it may have helped my blood pressure.
    Thx to all

  4. Steady and enjoyable solve.
    Loved 16d and 22d
    And some excellent anagrams eg 7a.
    So, **/*****
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  5. Like Brian above, very slow to get going and only about 5 completed with my cuppa in bed. Came back to it after lunch and it was a steady solve although I am not completely sure I have 27a correct. Last one in 16d which is also my COTD. Thanks to all. Wordle in 4 and Quordle in 9.

    1. Well done you for completing Quordle – I had never heard of the final word which I now gather is a US term (NYT!).

      1. Actually did Quordle in 8, just checked. If the top two are 1 and 2 and bottom 2 are 3 and 4, my last one was 3. I had a look today at Canukle but it’s the same as Wordle, rather boring. I have to have a pen and paper to do Quordle.

  6. So relieved when I was finally able to access the site. And to compound things, I couldn’t even open the DT puzzle site at first. Just kept on trying to load. Thankfully both now working, especially as I really needed the hints today, as this was definitely a strange and tricky one today. Two phrases not used over here, and which I pulled out of the dim recesses, were 10a and 11a. Don’t understand 17a? COTD to 20a, a clever cryptic clue. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Hopefully all the gremlins have gone away.

  7. I was pleased to see all is now well with site. As for the puzzle, a typical Dadaesque production that went in very smoothly, with the clever 20a my COTD.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

    1. Your comment went into moderation, probably because you have ‘acquired’ the infamous ‘+’ – there should be no problems in the future.

  8. Thanks to BD for working whatever magic was needed to get the site back ‘up.’

    Fortunately, I had finished the blog and made my final update around 3:00am UK time so I had nothing left to do but wait like everyone else.

  9. Nice Dada today solved while BD did his magic.10a and 6d my top today.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada and big thanks to BD for dealing with the gremlins.

  10. It’s Dada, which it means it’s tricky and DNF in the SE, thanks for the hints Senf. There are others that are bung ins and I have no idea if they’re right, probably not, e.g. 16d. Fave was 12a, one of my first solves and I could unravel it, 28a also earns brownie points.
    Thanks Dada, and Senf for taking me past the finish line. Wordle in 5.

  11. Yes well done BD. No problems solving today. Favourite was 20a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  12. Was unaware of site problem as have only just logged in but thanks anyway BD for sorting it out (on a public holiday too!). Nothing special to comment on today so just my thanks to Dada and Senf. If pressed would nominate 20a as Fav.

  13. Glad to see the site is back up. A very enjoyable puzzle, my COTD was 16D which I though was genius! Thanks to Senf, Dada and BD for the on-call tech support.

    1. Seconded, however, I’m so slow, I was late getting up and barely noticed there as a problem!

  14. Managed to finish with only a small helping of electronics which was good as three anagrams were again hinted.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Without apology, when 25% of the clues are anagrams, complete or partial, then a few will be hinted. As far as today is concerned:

      7a – per the instructions given to me by our Dear Leader, the first, and last, clue in each direction gets hinted regardless. So, if any of those are anagrams . . .

      12a and 13d – both partial anagrams with, I thought, well disguised indicators and ‘non-anagram’ partial elements and merited hinting.

  15. Quite bereft having no BD for much of the day but I probably got through more ‘other stuff’ than I would have otherwise done!
    Just a couple of hold-ups in the NE, otherwise a smooth run from our Sunday setter. No particular favourite although I did smile at the happy Dutch queen and the unwanted flower.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and music. Well done to BD for getting the technical issues sorted out.

  16. Excellent Sunday fare, Dada on top form.
    10&20a plus16(lol) & 22d all floated my boat but top spot goes the very funny 11a. Special Sunday booby prize goes to 9a.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf and a big dose of appreciation to BD for his efforts in getting the site back up and running

    1. I did raise an eyebrow at 9a but I presume that the puzzle was prepared some while ago and, even on final edit, it was considered ‘harmless’ enough to remain.

      1. My comment wasn’t a dig at the setter or the editor, it was aimed firmly at the country!

        1. Neither was mine aimed at Dada or CL. Rather, I was thinking of CL’s editorial in the March 14th Puzzles Newsletter in which he discussed puzzles which presage or have elements that coincide with current events. Like it or not, 9a is one of those elements but it would appear that it was acceptable enough to remain in today’s puzzle.

          Personally, I would have excluded it.

          If you disagree you might consider writing to CL at

  17. As a techno numpty no idea what work is involved to get the site back up & running but very pleased & grateful to see it back. I didn’t think this was a top drawer Dada puzzle but I thought a few clues rescued it so it’d be *** for me on the enjoyment scale. 22d my clear favourite & the wordplay at 6d made up for my lack of GK & Mr G kindly confirmed the fact. Pretty straightforward & brisk solve though I did have to write out the letters at 7a.
    Thanks to D&as
    Yet another phew in Wordle.

  18. Now that the Cowling family are safely wrapped round the Beef Wellington, I can comment on the puzzle. Must admit to finding it harder than usual and I had to resort to the excellent hints from Senf. I agree with Huntsman in that 22d is my COTD.

    Once again, many thanks to Dada and Senf. Also, huge thanks to BD for getting the site back up and running. Above and beyond the call of duty on Easter Sunday.

    We only had three spears each but I could not let Faye go back to Oz without tasting the first of the asparagus. 👍

  19. LOI is me today, combination of busy, tired and a lunchtime beer, plus a determination to finish without hints. Still needed Senf, thanks, for explaining 8d. Favourites 13 & 16d, lovely fun Jay.

    1. Your comment went into moderation, probably because you have ‘acquired’ the infamous ‘+’ – there should be no problems in the future.

  20. As Senf I had reservations in 22d but on wiki [Redacted – as you rightly state below, it’s a prize puzzle.] connection was made.
    Enjoyed this crossword muchly.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Oops. It’s a prize. Good thing I went into moderation with that + sign.
      Sorry for having to edit me.

    2. Like a couple of others, your comment went into moderation, probably because you have ‘acquired’ the infamous ‘+’ – there should be no problems in the future.

  21. Didn’t expect to be tackling this on my phone in a waiting room at the vets late on a Sunday evening while one of the dogs had a deep wound dealt with. The puzzle proved a most enjoyable distraction while it lasted, and I thought Dada was being rather gentle, and generous with all those anagrams.

    Some super clues, and some odd surface readings. Hon mentions to 10a and 25a.

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  22. Even though it’s Monday afternoon over there, I feel obliged to comment on yesterday’s Dada and to thank the powers-that-be for restoring the site. I was quite alarmed (and even considered ringing the local Geek Squad) at the incoherent notices I kept receiving on my gizmo, but glad that all seems well again. I did indeed enjoy the Dada (my 5th Dada in a row to have finished on my own), and liked 22d best of all. I struggled with the NE corner a bit but finally got there as 11a, my LOI, made his appearance. Thanks to Senf and Dada. *** / ***

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