ST 3158 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3158 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3158 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where we are ‘suffering’ the third Colorado Low in as many weeks.  This one giving us another 25-50mm of rain and more flooding.

Keep staying safe everyone.

For me, nothing like the dark place Dada took us to last week.  I counted five anagrams (with three partials), one lurker, and two homophones – all in a very asymmetric 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 – 12a, 24a, 8d, and 19d.

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 Bridge across one country (5)
A synonym for bridge, or part of a bridge, containing (across) the Roman numeral for one.

10a Offensive item in news report (8)
What can be considered an offensive item and IN from the clue.

13a Friendly leaders of African tribe parting eventually (8)
The first letters (leaders) of African and Tribe inserted into (parting) a (2,4) synonymic phrase for eventually.

16a Fancy ‘ooter polished off (6)
A synonym of ‘ooter, also with its aspirate removed, and a three letter term for polished off (as in consumed).

17a Part of song about Egyptian god (6)
The single letter for a synonym of about (borrowed from Latin) and the Egyptian god of kingship and the sky.

22a Drink with tongue, did you say? (6)
One of the homophones (did you say) of a slang or informal term for tongue.

24a Those on trolley perhaps, anxious when lying back (8)
A synonym of anxious reversed (when lying back).

26a Partial input, terrible total (5)
The lurker (partial) found in two words in the clue.


2d Judicious puritan not disheartened (7)
A synonym of puritan and NoT with the middle letter removed (disheartened).

3d Without supposedly responsible adults driving train, pair sent off the rails (2,4,8)
A (2,4) phrase equivalent to driving train (sort of) and an anagram (off the rails) of PAIR SENT.

5d Sport that may be dividing neighbours? (7)
A type of partitioning between adjoining properties.

8d Invasion and occupation: boy on mission to claim crown, primarily (6,8)
I don’t think that we have had ‘guess a boy’s name’ for a while but we have one today. This is followed by ON from the clue and a synonym of mission. The whole phrase then contains (to claim) the first letter (primarily) of Crown.

19d Carefully look boy up, newspaper seller? (7)
A single word for carefully look and a synonym of boy reversed (up).

22d Rich drunkard (4)
We finish with a reasonably straightforward double definition – the first might refer to vegetation.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Another in the Whatever were we thinking category.  Number one for two weeks starting on this day in 1971:

46 comments on “ST 3158 (Hints)

  1. 2*/3.5*. A pleasant and light Sunday puzzle with the gloss slightly taken off for me by the appearance of the vague boy in 8d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    P.S. Senf, the quickie pun is three words.

    1. Thanks on the Quickie Pun, a problem for me with no italicisation of the pun clues in the web site puzzle. Third word added.

      1. It appears to be standard practice for setters to ask us to guess a boy’s, or a girl’s, name rather than an adult’s.

        1. I guess a man called that was a boy when they were assigned their name?

          Like how there’s an industry of books and websites on ‘baby names’ rather than ‘people names’, as though new parents should just pick a name that works for a baby, ignoring that it will also apply for the rest of their life as well.

  2. Cracking Dada puzzle that came together quite nicely with a just a touch of lateral thinking required, very enjoyable.
    In a strong field my podium places are 16a plus 6&19d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the fun.

  3. Either Dada is being kind today or I am getting much better at his crosswords because I loved this. Some wonderful clues dotted about the grid and I had ticks all over the paper. My favourites are 12a, 17a, 6d and 19d. However, my absolute favourite and COTD is 13a because I loved the way it was put together.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun challenge. Also, thank you to Senf for the hints.

    1. Steve, don’t relax, Dada has done this before, very benevolent for a week or two and then throws us a curveball.

  4. *Yes, three words in the quickie pun*

    Terrific crossword, undertaken whilst enjoying toast, and orange juice with no bits. As when I had Covid (flu this time), Lola is at my side 24 hours a day. She is like a feline nurse, albeit a nurse who sticks her nose in your face thirty times during the night.
    I hope I am able to stay awake during the Everton v (The Mighty) Chelsea match later today.
    Meanwhile… where’s that box of tissues…

    Thanks to Dada and The Wizard From Winnipeg.

  5. Not quite the quick finish I had yesterday but nearly. I think that if the is Dada it is unusually benign. Getting 22a helped me to get 8d. I would not have got it without the middle letter of the second word. 9d took a while until I realised why rocks was there. I have 15d but can’t parse assuming I’m right. Favourites 11 16 21 and 24 and 6d. Thanks Setter and Senf.

  6. Like Steve either it’s a case of finally getting better at coping with Dada or far more probably the difficulty level has been considerably dialled down (with the odd exception) over the last few months. This one a brisk solve in Campbell time but still very enjoyable while it lasted. Won a small mental side bet that RD wouldn’t resist a comment about 8d, which along with 3&6 was my pick of the downs. A close call for top spot between 16&24a.
    Thanks as ever to D&S

  7. Super puzzle that needs thinking about but with clever and elegant clues. My favs are 3d and 6d.
    Dada in a more benevolent mood for which I am profoundly grateful. Hears hoping for a better week than the last (at least for those of us that struggle with Toughies).
    Thx to all

  8. An enjoyable finish to the week. Had an incorrect answer for 22d until checkers put me right. Favourites were 8d and 18d with an honourable mention for the apposite 19d.

  9. No problems to report, Dada definitely feeling benign.
    Top two here were the news related ones – 10a & 19d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints – although possibly not the ‘music’!

  10. It always seems to be the way that when the weather is poor, and I therefore have time on my hands, the crosswords are at the easier end of the spectrum. That was certainly the case today with this pleasantly-clued but otherwise comfortable puzzle. 13a was my top clue because it read so well, although 19d deserves a mention in dispatches.

    Thanks to Dada for the fun, and to Senf.

  11. An enjoyable crossword to brighten up a dull morning in East Kent – although hearing the (very late) first cuckoo of the season was good too. The house martins are very late, I do hope they haven’t got lost on the way

    Thanks to Dada and Senf – I don’t know about flooding, we are promised rain today but it has been so long since we had any rain, that even a few spots would do!

    1. It arrived here yesterday, CS, so maybe it’s travelling slowly across to you.

  12. Favourite 12a. Very clever
    Found this so straightforward that I couldn’t believe it was Dada.
    I really enjoyed this
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  13. Like Steve and Huntsman I do seem to be finding Dada’s wavelength and I certainly enjoyed his puzzle today. Last in was 23a as I failed to twig sozzled. Joint Favs, 22a and 19d, provided grinworthy moments. Quickie pun a bit iffy. Thank you Dada and Senf (just now we could use a little of your rain although I see local forecast speaks of drizzle for next hour – no sign yet).

    1. I have commented before that, when it comes to the puns, not all setters are equal and I would put Dada in the middle of the pack.

      Today, we have three answers from the puzzle that result in a three word pun while yesterday Cephas used three answers for a two word pun much better in my view. And, then there’s Campbell on Mondays!

    2. Here in West Sussex we did in fact eventually get a few drops but certainly nothing to write home about.

  14. Dada in v benign mood this morning, I thought. A gentle and pleasant diversion while it lasted. COTD 8d with HMs to 12a, 15d and 19d.

    2* / 2.5*

    Thank you to Dada and to Senf.

  15. My fleetest-ever finish with a Dada but nonetheless enjoyable for that. 19d was clearly my COTD but I also liked 16a, 24a, and 12a, with 23a getting a Clarkie for making me laugh. Thanks again to Senf for a double-duty weekend and to Dada. 1* / 4*

    Very enjoyable Sunday Toughie too, with another (relatively) fast finish.

  16. Our doing-the-crossword-on-the-right-day streak foundered after a week and a half (I blame the snooker plus the smallest hint of a social life), but we’re temporarily back on track. Agree that Dada was relatively benign today; I had to nip away to tend to some pizza dough part way through, and returned to find Mick had rattled through the rest by himself. Favourite for me today: 16a.

  17. Another great puzzle today so thanks to all. No rain on the horizon here but back to being overcast and chilly. Still the painters won’t be back until Tuesday, I hope.

  18. Somewhat benevolent Dada offering. Accessable enjoyale and absorbing with not too much head scratching.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the review,
    Waiting for the invite for jag 4 from the Health Authority. It looks like at 80 & after finishing chemo officially highly vulnerable I am not thought of as priority so am over the six month waiting time. Doctor can’t do anything apparently

    1. I would recommend going on the NHS website and you should be able to access list of places in your area. You do not have to wait to receive official notification.

        1. Hadn’t thought about that Senf! LrOK please let us know how you get on.

        2. Och aye Senf there are.
          Hilary, thanks , but we are under different rules up here . Its up to NHS Highland to tell me & they appear to be uncontactable. Anyway they are in the middle of lambing time so presumably they are all on leave counting sheep.

  19. Benign and enjoyable for us too today. Favourite was 12a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. I am finding it rather nice to defer the Sunday Dada until after I have blogged the toughie. For me the left half came easily but having Senf’s help on hand, to find the nameless boy and the Tanzanian Seven (sounds like an Afro Jazz Fusion Combo) got me over the line. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  21. Plain sailing until the last three, which held me up for a while. Tops for me were 6D and 19D. Thanks, Senf and Dada.

    Quickie next and I might even try the toughie.

  22. A non-quirky offering today from Dada compared to last week. 2.5*/4* for me.
    Favourites include 11a, 12a, 22a, 8d & 19d with winner 8d.
    11a, 12a & 22a all made me chuckle too.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    Wordle in 4 and Canuckle in 3

  23. Thankful for a benevolent Dada today. Still took some thinking, and checkers helped me out a lot. Loved 12a, 3d and 8d, despite having the dreaded “boy’s name”. One you had the second word the first was clearl. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  24. Agree with the consensus of a friendly Dada. I needed word search for 6d, I’m cross with myself for that otherwise I might have had my first unaided Dada. I didn’t mind the vague boy’s name at 8d as I had solved the second word first. Natch, I had to confirm the team at 18d, does that break the unaided rule? Giggled at 12a and 16a, but I also liked a lot more.
    Thanks Dada for being kind after a fraught week, and much appreciation to Senf for some unravelling. Wordle a phew at 6.

    1. For 18d, as far as I am concerned, after the fact confirmation of a plausible GK answer is quite OK.

      1. I too did have to verify that, but was quite proud of myself that I even thought of that, being such a non sporty person.

    2. Agree, I was close to an unaided finish, a real event for me with a Dada puzzle. And on reflection, I cannot understand why I took so long to fathom out 6d, which ended up being one of my favourite clues. Wordle at 5 after much thought, it was tough today. I thought I was going to flame out and spoil my run of 79.

  25. A pleasant and steady flow until last in, 16a and 19d.
    Pondered too long perhaps until pennies dropped.
    Both very clever.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  26. Thank you to Dada — a puzzle at about my level, with the popular 19D also being my favourite.

    For anybody wanting to meet Dada on a video chat, his next one is tomorrow, at 19:30 UK time. Sign up on his website to get the Zoom link. The discussion will start with the Paul crossword from yesterday’s Guardian, but it isn’t necessary to have solved (or even seen) that puzzle to enjoy the call.

    And thank you to Senf for hinting the one I hadn’t parsed.

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