ST 3162 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 3162 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3162 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where we have had a very Spring-like start to the weekend but wetter and cooler conditions are on their way for a few days.

For me, reasonably straightforward and solved with the assistance of a wee dram; no tea cakes this week.  I did consider ‘dunking’ Walkers Shortbread Fingers but decided against it, I am not sure that Drs Cameron and Finlay would approve (see today’s video).  Dada has given us an anagram fest, although one of them involves only three letters (move one letter) as half of an answer, eight altogether (with three partials), one lurker (reversed), and two homophones – all in a symmetric 32 clues; with 16 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 14a, 18a, 25a, 5d, and 23d.

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 Change behind counter emptied out, money in the bank (6)
A synonym of change (referring to a document?) placed after (behind) CounterR with its interior letters removed (emptied out).

11a A relation’s skewed thinking (9)
An anagram (skewed) of A RELATION – without the contractive apostrophe and S.

12a Check fly, say, with pants originally buttoned up (7)
What a fly is an example of (say) and (with) containing (buttoned up) the first letter (originally) of Pants.

18a I’d put in stake behind washer! (5)
I’D from the clue inserted into (put in) a synonym of stake – perhaps what HM might do on Saturday.

23a Canine hurt, darling (7)
A verbal synonym of hurt (using a particular device) and a three letter synonym of darling (as a term of endearment).

25a Moment where learner cuts identical card (9)
The single letter for Learner inserted into (where . . . cuts) a term for, say, an identical sibling and a (playing) card.

26a Effect in fact can echo back (5)
The reversed lurker (in . . . back) found in three words in the clue.

28a Bottom three frantic by end of season (6)
An anagram (frantic) of THREE placed after (by) the last letter (end) of seasoN.


2d Background, where tracks heard? (5)
The first homophone (where . . . heard) of a synonym of tracks.

4d Pack first of oranges inside pastry case (5)
The first letter of Oranges inserted into (inside) a single word for a pastry case (usually with the filling as far as I am concerned).

5d Electrical work interrupted by the scornful (9)
A particular type of electrical work (for example, when completing a new house) containing (interrupted by) THE from the clue.

9d Great big toe? (6)
Hmm – when written as (3,3) this could indicate, at least Dada thinks it does, a big toe.

15d Journalist entering fray, cut (9)
Our favourite two letter journalist inserted into (entering) a synonym of fray (not as in material showing signs of wear).

22d In which one might have a straight index finger, perhaps? (5)
A double definition – the second could perhaps refer to an index finger when it is being used as a ‘weapon’?

23d Footballer’s partner riding horse-drawn vehicle (5)
Oh dear – a term for a footballer’s partner, possibly/probably now considered as pejorative, especially with the recent court case which is still awaiting a verdict, and a two letter synonym for riding.

24d Flier unremarkable, by the sound of it? (5)
We finish with the second homophone (by the sound of it?) of a synonym of unremarkable.

Quick Crossword Pun:


Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

Prompted by author A J Cronin appearing in a puzzle two or three weeks ago – in 1959, English composer Trevor Duncan wrote his Little Suite.  He probably had no inkling that three years later the first movement of the suite March would be selected as the theme music for the very popular BBC Series Dr Finlay’s Casebook which was broadcast from 1962 to 1971:

51 comments on “ST 3162 (Hints)

  1. 2.5*/4*. This was a lot of fun as ever on a Sunday in spite of a sprinkling of slightly strange surfaces.

    By courtesy of its splendid definition,18a gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to our very hard-working weekend blogger.

  2. For me a top notch Dada, very enjoyable, completed prior to a bracing sea swim.
    I liked several but my podium is 18a&20d with top spot shared by the the excellent 25a and 22d.
    Many thanks to our esteemed setter and Senf for his “double duty”.
    Ps…a nice Hypnos puzzle in the Indie if anyone wants another light one.

  3. I completely agree with RD about proposing 18a as the COTD: outrageously clever. I felt the puzzle needed a bit more thought and lateral thinking than a typical Sunday offering, but it was all the more enjoyable as a result. Great fun.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf. I was delighted to get Wordle in three today; I won’t say any more in case it spoils the fun for others, but fellow commentators may agree with me later.

      1. Your comment went into moderation as you ‘introduced’ a third alias! All three should work from now on.

    1. Also got Wordle in three, much to my delight, got lucky with two good first guesses

      1. I got very lucky today with Wordle courtesy of being a Roy Orbison fan, and got it in two.

            1. Wordle in 4, not heard of the word before. When my extraordinarily long run ends I shall stop Wordling but I do enjoy Quordle and managed that in 7 today.

        1. When I looked at Wordle int he early hours I thought there were going to be a lot of cross people

  4. Enjoyable solve with a couple of oddities thrown in for good measure, one of which -9d – was the last to fall here.
    Top three for me were 18&25a plus 5d.

    Thanks to Dada and to our hard-working weekend hinter. Made me smile to see Janet in action again!

    1. I have another Proustian TV moment for children of the 60’s on the toughie. The theme to Robinson Crusoe.

  5. For me, in this wittily amusing Dada, four standout clues, and hard to pick the best. Each one made me chuckle and even laugh out loud in one case: 18a, 14a, 5d, & 25a (guess which one made me LOL). I also liked 9 & 20d. Lots of fun today. Thanks to Senf and Dada. 2*/4*

  6. Clever crossword, it lets you in without too much trouble then gets really tricky (as always no hints for the tricky ones except for 2d which I didn’t understand).
    I found 20d very difficult, 2d just a poor clue but 9d was excellent.
    Thanks to DADA for an enjoyable contest (apart from 2d).
    Thx for the hints

    1. I was going to put 2d on my podium, excellent clue.
      “Odd how we all see things differently” 😉

  7. A great puzzle from Dada and very enjoyable. Like others, I do like the cheeky 18a and is my COTD but I also like 20d and 25a, which almost made the podium.

    As Brian said, “Odd how we see things differently” – I had no problem at all with 2d.

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

    1. I agree. NW happened to be last in but that was just how I worked my way round. Needed the checkers for 2d as difficult to get with none but nothing wrong with the clue. 20d one of my favourites. Nothing difficult about 20d. Great clue so long as you think outside the box.

  8. To think I finished a Dada puzzle without needing hints and parsing them all correctly. I hope it doesn’t signal a successful day ahead for my team in the Championship play-off final this afternoon. I still haven’t recovered from the drubbing we got between 2017-2019 which puts us in third place in the worst Premiership competition. If we go up today we will surely have won that competition by the end of next season. .I suppose if we do then Carlos Corberan will become a great big toe. Best wishes to Forest for a successful afternoon

    12 and 14a, 5 and 17d my favourites today. Many thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. As a Fulham supporter I sympathise with your dilemma – a ticket to the promised land, only to get battered every week, or another season in the most competitive and best league in the world (IMHO)

      1. You’ve looked good all season giving us a thrashing last August and being up with the pack and ahead of it. Best of luck next season. I will be watching to see you settling in and getting back to the good old days.

    2. I also sympathise. From over here, I follow the (mis-)fortunes of Fulham and Norwich City who have spent the last several seasons trading places in May.

      1. I am sure Fulham will get it right next season. On this year’s form they well deserve to be there.

        1. I remember the good old days when Fulham were the ‘strongest’ team in the First Division (holding the rest up) for most of the season and then they performed the ‘Houdini magic’ and escaped from the relegation zone just in time!

  9. I really enjoyed this, with 18a and 9d particularly tickling my fancy.
    I can’t fully parse 20d, I think have the right answer based on the first three words in the clue, but can’t make sense of the rest.
    I did expect 23d to raise an eyebrow, so Senf didn’t disappoint there.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

    1. In 20d, the first three words are the definition and the last word is not being used in the sense of for example.

  10. Another witty and wily SPP from Dada woth fascinating twists and turns. We were spoilt for choice for clever clues. My choice would be 16d, 9d, 21a and 25a, the latter being COTD. Many thanks to Dada for another enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Senf for doing a double shift on the hints, like Brian, however, I didn’t really understand the parsing of 2d.

  11. Warmest in the North but South soon acquiesced as well. 9d raised a giggle and with 23d became joint Fav. Particularly liked today’s Quickie which also had a slightly cryptic feel about it. Thank you Dada for a pleasant constitutional and Senf for once more being there for us.

  12. Straightforward solve today with no hints necessary.
    Lots of chestnuts here but cleverly clued by the Sunday master. Particularly liked 14a & 25a
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  13. I thought this was extremely witty. Lots to like but favourites have to be 18a, 9d and 25a. Many thanks to Dada for the amusement and Senf for the hard work.

  14. I don’t always get on with Dada but this was a delight (naturally I say this as I solved it unaided). To add to my joy there were no Japanese aprons.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. Great fund today – 18a my COTD and 9d my LOI by a country mile but solved with a smile. Thanks to Dada and Senf. To Terence above my Orange Juice (with bits) delivered yesterday, usually have sugar free cranberry juice but thought I’d treat myself! We don’t seem, to have heard from Daisy Girl lately – hope all is well with her and George.

    1. I was thinking that DG had gone AWOL but then she commented yesterday – actually perhaps the day before that – so all OK, I think – certainly recently!

  16. I couldn’t get started with today’s crossword and then did quite well (for me on a Sunday anyway) – I’ve still got three problems and will carry on a bit later in the hopes of a flash of inspiration.
    I think we’ve had 28a quite recently.
    I spent far too long trying to justify a wrong biscuit for 14a – well, it had the right number of letters!
    My favourite was 23d but lots of other good ones too.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  17. A fairly typical Dada for Sunday with some quirky clues and head scratchers. 3*/4* for me.
    SW last area completed today.
    Podium contenders are many but my top five include 19a, 23a, 25a, 5d & 22d
    9d got a chuckle and so did 22d

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for another weekend of double duty.
    Could have had a 14a with your wee dram … but then again …

  18. No problems for us this afternoon with 25a being favourite. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Finished alone and unaided which is rare for me on a Sunday. Hurrah! Covid brain fog must be abating at last.

    Loved 9d…

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  20. First time in a while I’ve been able to sit and enjoy another brilliant Dada puzzle!
    Certainly not disappointed with this offering which caused enough 🤪 and 🤦🏼‍♂️ moments but also 😁 when the penny dropped!
    9D was my last one in, which even Mrs H agreed was ‘very Dada!’ 🤣
    Thanks, as ever, to Senf for the excellent blog ‘n hints, and to Dada 👍👍👍

  21. I thought brilliant. When I look back to early Dada I can hardly believe it. This would be one of my swiftest solves. I thought I was going to be annoyed as one corner may prove to be elusive but no such thing. It made up for today’s Wordle. I had so many favourites I had to stop circling them. I shall leave it at 14 and 19a and 5 15 20 and 23d. Thanks Dada and Senf who is on double time. Did not need hints but pleased to read and confirm parsing.

  22. As usual with Dada, it takes 10 minutes to actually get started.
    Then, a virtual whoosh, this time.
    18a made me LOL.
    Great clueing eg 23d
    Last in 4d.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  23. Dada of late is getting to be a case of Monday come a day early – he’s certainly dialled back the difficulty level. A brisk 1.5* time & great fun while it lasted. 18a & 23d share the honours for me with nods to 14&25a plus 5&22d.
    Thanks to D&S

  24. Nice Dada,with lots of his typical risque moments, ( bums and blue jokes and stolen kisses) but lots to admire too. I would have got it all right in one go but for the fact that as it wasn’t a checker I put an acute accent where it should be and the DT rejected it as incorrect. 7d particularly interesting as the same answer is in the toughie.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada. I am a bit crossword out and start a new job tomorrow.

  25. Rather smooth solve on a sunny Sunday afternoon as I recall.
    Forgot about the toughie and threw the paper in the recycling bin. Silly me.
    But my head was elsewhere as No1 only daughter had to fly back to Paris as chaos erupted at Dublin airport.
    She managed to get home all right though as by 6pm things had cooled down.
    Thanks to Dada for the crossword and to Senf for the hints.

  26. Agree with Hrothgar, it took a while to get started, then everything fell into place.

Comments are closed.