ST 3157 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3157 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3157 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where we have been ‘blessed’ with another Colorado Low :negative: but warm enough :roll: that it was mostly rain, at least 50mm, enhanced by thunder, for the three days it was here.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, it seemed like Dada is almost turning the clock back to November 18th, 2018.  Another anagram-fest with 7 (6 partials), no lurkers, and one (partial) homophone – all in a symmetric 26 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 – 12a, 1d, 6d, 18d, and the Quickie Pun.

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 Long snakes crushed by serpent somewhere in Italy (7)
An anagram (snakes) of LONG contained (crushed) by a three letter serpent (snake).

8a Fitness system good, least bad (7)
The two letter term for good, that we are all familiar with, and an anagram (bad) of LEAST.

12a An acknowledgement of minor explosion? (5,3)
An acknowledgement (or response) that one might give to another who has experienced a minor explosion (in the form of a sudden, involuntary, and audible expiration – straight out of the BRB).

14a Conservative figure (6)
A double definition that is a bit of an oldie but goodie – the first probably dates back to the 1950s and 1960s when teenagers used it to describe their parents.

20a Lesson sorted out in test (8)
An anagram (sorted) of OUT (as much as we can have an anagram of three letters)  inserted into (in) a type of test.

23a Break, then pull on plant (10)
A synonym of break followed by (then) a synonym of pull and ON from the clue.

26a Electronic images bound to fill shopping trolley (4,3)
A three letter nounal synonym of bound (I think) inserted into (to fill) a four letter term for a shopping trolley.


1d Extra large, large round cherry (7)
Four pieces of Lego in a five word clue – a synonym of extra, the single letter for large, the single letter for large, and the letter that can represent round.

3d Popular group of twelve hurt (6)
The two letter term for popular and a term for a group of twelve good people.

5d Contact artist in fascinating book (4-6)
A synonym for contact (when wishing to pass a message) and a particular artist well known for the painting below.

9d Meaty serving, microscopic share for the auditor? (6,5)
A synonym of microscopic and a homophone (for the auditor) of a synonym of share.

13d Flat not in need of exorcism? (10)
A double definition(?) – the second is a term that might indicate what is absent and therefore there is no need of exorcism.

17d Semi-precious stone, one stored in unusual red pot (6)
The Roman numeral for one contained by (in) an anagram (unusual) of RED POT.

24d Range and location probably sensed, first of all (4)
The initial letters (first of all) of four words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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In ‘celebration’ of the 50mm of rain from the aforementioned <em>Colorado Low</em>:

45 comments on “ST 3157 (Hints)

  1. Dada employing some cunning misdirection (and all the better for it) this morning, enjoyed it a lot.
    8,12&19a plus 5 (is that method of contact still used, I guess so) 6&9d all stood out for me.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the top notch entertainment.

  2. It took me ages to get started but once underway, relatively smooth sailing. Favourite was 7a.

    1. Your comment went into moderation because you have used a different alias. Both should work from now on.

  3. What a doozy this one was–pushing me into *** time–but I thoroughly enjoyed it. At one point, I had only six clues solved and began to fear a wipeout, but solving 10a, 15a, and 9d suddenly gave me enough checking letters to proceed to a very gratifying finish. Many favourites, especially 1a, 13d, 12a, with 18d my COTD. Loved this one. Thanks to Senf, whose hints I’ll read now, and Dada. *** / ****

    4 to go still on the Sunday Toughie….

    1. I have finished the toughie but it has taken awhile. I still have lots more than 4 to do here.

  4. Never before have I been in greater need of the excellent hints than today. A very clever but very tricky Dada offering.
    Some stretched synonyms 22a and 26a and especially in 8a (the 2 letter synonym beat me all ends up but could see it when the clue was solved). I loved 15a and 18d but my favourite was 12a.
    Thx to all

  5. I found this one on the difficult end of Dada’s spectrum. I forgot the god and the exercise system as well as the gem. I struggled from start to finish but managed to get across the finish line gasping for breath. The two highlights for me were 12a and 5d both of which vied for COTD. I ended up awarding it to 5d. Can 21d be a baby?

    Many thanks to Dada for the brow beating. Thanks to Senf for the hints.

    Blustery but sunny in The Marches so perhaps the grass will get a trim.

  6. I wonder how many people apart from Senf can remember what they were doing on November 18th 2018? :unsure:

    My rating for an enjoyable and challenging puzzle today is 3*/4* with 5d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. As it was a Sunday, I was recovering from solving and hinting Dada’s first Sunday puzzle the evening before and ‘mourning’ the retirement of Virgilius as Sunday setter.

      And, believe it or not, I do have a life outside of cruciverbalism and that weekend I was involved in an event that has good memories for me and ‘helps’ me to remember Dada’s first.

    2. I write up my diary ever single night and could tell you precisely what I did and what the weather was like – if I could be bothered to get up and go into the study! Am I not boring?!

  7. I took a while to get going but once I did, it all fell into place in about 2.5* time. Thanks to Dada and Senf

    Lovely sunny day today and a good morning for a walk despite the cool wind from the coast. Did our monthly litter pick along the marsh road, interrupted by lots of cyclists who’d come from Betteshanger as part of a ‘sportif’ (which I had to look up when I got home.

    Anyone wishing to ‘cast a clout’ can do so safely as the may trees are in full bloom. We are also having the first few sprigs of asparagus and a second picking of the rhubarb.

      1. Just planted four new crowns. We’ll be self sufficient in Asparagus in a couple of years

          1. Loads of growers round here but this year its really expensive at 5 pounds a bunch and quite woody. Had 2 bunches of English asparagus on my Tesco delivery for 3.50 on Thursday – the best yet amazingly.

  8. Apart from accidentally seeing 1d whilst experimenting with various constructions, completed unaided.
    Very clever throughout.
    Loved 7a, 3d and 5d especially.
    In a solid *** time and ***** for enjoyment.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  9. This was great. We are going out to lunch on the village at one so I thought I would have a lazy extended coffee break and get the crossword done. 8a was very clever as was 7a 12a and 1,6&18d but the all sparkled just like the sun here in Cambridge. I still have not filled in 22a as I cannot quite commit myself to such a simple answer but I guess it is what it is. I lit a candle in church this morning for lovely DDI and a breeze promptly blew it out. I was unduly upset by that😕Many thanks to the Setter and Hinter.

  10. A most enjoyable spell this morning tackling yesterday’s and today’s PPs. Thought Dada in benign mood today (for him) and the generous dollop of anagrams and lack of unusual words meant this fell swiftly. Some lovely misdirection and allusions, although a eyebrow-raising surfaces. Took some mulling to parse 26a, but ended up with various ticks scattered all over the place – HMs to 12a, 15a, 19a and 18d, with COTD to 5d.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  11. Definitely thought this one had escaped from Dada’s Toughie envelope, first run through produced almost nothing in the way of answers and I was feeling very sorry for Senf! The old grey matter finally awakened and I made the finish line with a huge sigh of relief.
    I have a distinct aversion to that term for a shopping trolley beloved by websites these days – always sets my teeth on edge. Think my favourite was 12a and I rather liked the short 2d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the Gene Kelly rain dance which has certainly stood the test of time.

  12. I don’t know on what date we did Dada’s first Sunday crossword, but I remember it well (still mildly scarred from the experience of such a heavy defeat). Today just as I started to fear that we were going to struggle, things started falling into place with increasing pace. All-in-all, an enjoyable puzzle completed in ** time.

  13. Very slow start but picked up speed along the way. 19a loi but my cotd. Delish seafood platter last night but, sorry, MP, had half eaten it before remembering to take a photo! Took along a huge bunch of my wild garlic as I have a bumper crop this year – Alan was delighted. I’m running out of ideas for it, so far made soup, pesto and wild garlic butter. Suggestions very welcome. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

    1. Wild garlic leaves, shredded and stirred through a seasoned beaten egg mixture, make for a delicious omelette.

      If you’re roasting a chicken, season the skin as usual and then bard it with wild garlic leaves – they crisp up beautifully, sharing their scent with the chicken, and taking in some of the delicious seasoned chicken flavours. Remove part way through cooking at the point they have crisped up, and before they burn – this allows the skin itself to finish.

      Bon ap.!

  14. A relative Gallup after last night’s toughie. I remember the first Dada Sunday but find it hard to believe it is that long ago. The trepidation I felt then is now reserved for toughies like today’s.
    5d is my favourite too.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. Read through the clues twice without coming up with a single solution however third time around was more productive particularly in the West. I agree with Daisygirl in that 22a does seem rather puny. Checkers ensured I didn’t misspell 4d. Struggled to parse bound in 26a. Joint Favs 12a and 15a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  16. Another fine Dada challenge!
    As ever, a slow start with much ‘head-scratching’ with only a couple falling into place, before the lights slowly, but surely, started illuminating and the rest appeared with several ‘doh!’ moments!
    Thanks to Senf for another fine blog ‘n hints.

  17. We found this difficult and rather stumbled over the line. Favourite was 15a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  18. Slow start, so I put it aside for a while. Second go round everything fell nicely into place. Top picks are 15 A and 13D. Thanks to Senf and the setter.

  19. Took me a while to get going on this one. Started in the NW and that went well then took a long time to get moving again. All ended up well though, with my rating 3*/4.5* today.
    Favourites 12a, 14a, 5d, 13d & 21d with winner 12a
    Thought 11a & 22a were ‘hmm’ clues. Not the best two I thought.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  20. I was in the camp that thought this was more like Dada of old, with some quite testing clues to confuse us. Great fun and rewarding to complete, though, with 5d my clear winner.

    Top entertainment from Dada, to whom I offer many thanks, and to Senf.

  21. I only solved five clues and was swimming in molasses again. I have to concede, I have other things to do, like going in the pool to exercise. I thought I’d got the hang of Dada, better luck next time.
    Thanks Dada, you won, many thanks to Senf for the hints. Wordle in 4.

  22. This one took some teasing out and not being into fitness systems that one got me. Not sure Favourites 10 12 and 25a and 9 and 18d. Answer in 26 a obvious but not the parsing. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  23. Yesterday’s booster shot brain fog having now cleared, I actually finished this. I thought it was going to be a DNF, decidedly tricky and I fell for every misdirection. But a break and a second coffee and a handful of hints helped me see the light. I don’t quite understand 9d, and 19a took me ages, but very enjoyable nonetheless. COTD definitely 15a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  24. Slow start but a fast finish for a ** time late solve as just back from a hugely enjoyable 3 days golf in sunny but very blustery Suffolk. A tad trickier than the last couple of Sundays maybe & very enjoyable as ever. 5d my clear favourite.
    Thanks to D&S
    Wordle in 4

  25. Thought this was going to be impossible but fell steadily into place after a slow start. Good fun.

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