ST 3163 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 3163 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3163 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where the ‘rain numbers’ are in for the three months of Meteorological Spring – 299mm compared to an average of 123mm, the second ‘wettest’ Spring in the last 150 years and most of that fell in April and May as a result of six back to back Colorado Lows.

For me, Dada reasonably gentle with a sprinkling of oldies but goodies and 35% of the clues being anagrams (full or partials), nine altogether (with four partials), one lurker, and no homophones – all in a symmetric 26 clues; with 13 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, 19a, 25a, 9d, 17d, and 21d.

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 Chip worktop (7)
Who doesn’t like a straightforward double definition to start? The first is used singly or in multiples by a player in any number of games.

10a Turning circle, more or less (10)
Another double definition – the second indicates a, perhaps, rough estimate of a quantity.

14a Pace of horse entering American territory (6)
If all else fails look for a you know what (entering) the last two words in the clue.

15a Container filled with grit, else toxic spirit (11)
A three letter container, used in cookery, containing (filled with) an anagram (toxic) of GRIT, ELSE.

19a For example, a gramophone record artist (6)
Another double definition, I suppose – the first could be applied to a gramophone record as it does do what is implied while it is being played.

25a Member welcomed by man — top, say? (7)
A member, as in a limb, as part of our bodies inserted into (welcomed by) a four letter synonym of man.

26a Blade caused injury to female (7)
A three letter term equivalent to caused injury and a generic type of (young) female – guess a girl comes later.


1d Certainly not a hundred drunk by spy, single glass (7)
A two letter simpler way of saying certainly not and a Roman hundred all contained (drunk) by a synonym of spy.

4d Something to climb over drunk locates round back of pub (8)
An anagram (drunk) of LOCATES containing (round) the last letter (back) of puB.

9d The two are not, I gathered, rats! (11)
A single word equivalent to the two and an anagram (gathered) of ARE NOT I.

16d Fielder’s skill is absent in this sport (8)
Start by removing (absent in) is from THis and add a sport that requires the self-propulsion of oneself, and team-mates if applicable, forwards while looking backwards across a watery surface – Completely re-written after my first attempt, too much vino collapso I suspect. See My respone to Fez at Comment 1.

17d Joke about girl, prude (7)
Guess a girl time is here – when you have guessed, she should then be inserted into the type of joke that we generate from two or three answers in the Quick Puzzle (about) – apparently the people of that ilk like beer and doing what comes naturally!

24d Clever board has sacked leader (4)
A synonym of board with the first letter removed (has sacked leader).

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.

Another track from the first collaborative album, Raising Sand released in in2007, from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Rich Woman written and first recorded by Dorothy LaBostrie and McKinley Millet in 1955:

52 comments on “ST 3163 (Hints)

  1. Thanks Dada and Senf, a fun puzzle with plenty of helpful anagrams Senf, in 16d I think the parsing is: IS “absent in” TH(IS) another “sport” xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; it was also my favourite clue!

    Redacted as it is a Prize Puzzle

    1. Thank you Fez, and Gazza and Jepi. I have deleted my abysmal attempt from last night, I am trying to blame an excess of vino collapso, and replaced it with something that reflects your comments.

  2. Thanks to Dada for an entertaining puzzle (although I do think that 5 anagrams in consecutive clues is rather OTT) and to Senf for the hints.
    My favourite clue was 16d.

    There is some wordplay in 16d with the sport being just the final 6 letters.

  3. A very classy Dada production, I really enjoyed this.
    I liked the exclamations plus 19&20a but top two for me were the cleverly constructed 6&16d. Great stuff.
    Thanks to Dada for a top puzzle and to Senf too.

  4. 16d My interpretation: remove “is” from “this’ then add a sport.

    Oops! Fez and Gazza beat me to it.

  5. 16d was one of my final entries, parsed as above, and proved to be my COTD. I thought overall this was one of Dada’s best puzzles for a while, pleasingly awkward in places, yet very doable if you follow the instructions. Highly enjoyable.

    My thanks to Dada and Senf.

  6. A typical Dada in that it began slowly, picked up speed, then crawled over the finish line. It was enjoyable, though but the pacific region caused me problems. I was held up for a long time by the SW corner especially 25a, which just would not surrender. My favourite and COTD because of the parsing and the fact it is a terrific word is 9d.

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

    1. Hi Steve, haven’t looked at the puzzle yet but here is my first Spanish omelette for today’s Jubilee picnic in the rain!

      1. That looks delicious! If you keep sending these pics of your lovely food, Manders you could well find me knocking at your door!. :grin:

            1. Just back and now to start the puzzle. Amazingly the dolmas were utterly delicious and didn’t unravel, phew.

  7. Very pleased to see that others managed to sort out 16d, I’ve been staring at my unparsed answer for quite a while and vaguely wondering whether it involved wellies as demonstrated on Countryfile recently.
    No problems elsewhere and my favourite was 9d – a word that has increasingly gained currency since my grandchildren reached the age where they trot out so many of the words they hear spoken!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the Sunday hints.

  8. That was hard! For me Dada at his devilish best. Imho 16d and 25a were dreadful clues (I detest ‘inferred’ clues) but I did like 26a.
    Thx for the much needed hints. Probably outside my solving unaided scope.
    Thx to all

  9. A very surreal Dada in that I finished it, helped on the way by the plethora of anagrams and very fair clueing. A super Sunday among the dross of the extended weekend jubilee celebrations. I am always fooled by 1a wording and today was no exception. 6d, 9d and 23a were my favourite anagrams with 10a my clue of the day.

    Thanks to Senf and an unqualified thank you to Dada.

    1. Forgot to mention : has anyone tried Absurdle? Wonderful algorithm which changes the answer after every entry until only one answer is possible. Clever programming by someone.

      1. Just tried it Corky, very clever. Having just weened myself off quordle and octurdle, I’ll add this to my daily list as a new variant! Cheers

      2. I’ve tried to find it, Corky but there seem to be numerous sites. What is the web address, please?

        1. Steve

          Not very IT savvy ; my page comes from the DORDLE site referencee is

          Hope you can find it.


          1. I found it, Corky – many thanks. Not sure I have grasped it yet because I got the word but it still said I failed! 😳

  10. A very friendly Sunday puzzle, probably helped by the considerable number of anagrams

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  11. This slotted together nicely, with 10a and 16d my favourites.
    The “straightforward double definition” at 1a was actually my LOI, funny how you just can’t see things sometimes.
    Thanks to Dada for the entertainment and Senf for the hints.

  12. Thoroughly enjoyable and very satisfying to complete.
    Some real gems, eg 10a, 19a, 25a 6d and 16d.
    And some very juicy anagrams.
    So, ***/*****
    Many thanks, indeed, Dada and Senf.

  13. Anagrams or not (and why are they in such disfavour?), I found this among the most challenging but best of Dada’s recent gems, as I was pushed into 3.5* time. Very pleased to finish, though, with 16d, 19a, 10a, 2d, & 9d (my COTD) among those that pleased me most. Didn’t much care for 18d. Thanks to Senf and Dada. 3.5* / 4.5*

    I have really enjoyed the four days of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, especially the delightful Paddington Bear having Tea with The Queen.

    1. Anagrams aren’t in disfavour at all, just that today there were quite a few

      I thought Paddington and Her Majesty were wonderful. We’ll never have to wonder what she keeps in her handbag ever again :)

    2. Nine anagrams in a puzzle, especially in one with only 26 clues, possibly/probably exceeds the DT’s House Rules for compilers. And, as Gazza said above, five in a row is a bit OTT.

  14. A fun puzzle in which I triumphed about the same time as Joe Root did.
    However unlike Joe Root I needed helo – to solve 1d, my last one in. Then kicked myself for not seeing the solution first.
    Favourite clue was 16d as I thought it rather clever and and fitted with my simultaneous viewing.
    Thanks to all.

  15. I came in earlier to see what others had thought of the puzzle I’d worked quite hard to complete, and was bemused to read Senf’s comment that Dada had been “reasonably gentle” … realised I’d been labouring over the Toughie and not the Dada. A Doh! moment.

    However the Dada grid was indeed “reasonably gentle”, I thought, even if with only 26 clues it felt that we had been a bit short-changed, and 9 anagrams is at least 3 too many for so few clues. But, what super clues, all eminently fair, some great surfaces, and with sufficient red herrings to cater for a family supper. Hon Mentions to 11a (my LOI), 19a, 1d and 9d, with COTD to the quite wonderful 16d.

    2.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks indeed to Dada and to Senf

  16. And thank you to Senf for the Alison Krauss / Robert Plant track – she’s got a great voice. Her recordings with Union Station are tremendous.

  17. An enjoyable romp. I like a good dollop of anagrams every now and then.
    Alison Krauss and Robert Plant are an excellent duo. As Mustafa says, her earlier work is worth exploring.

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba.

  18. The SW corner was really hard. I got stuck thinking of a politician for 25a. All solved now. Apparently I was heard practicing 9d as a small child so, yes, it was a long time ago!

  19. Late on parade today due to a visit from my son, hiswife and my grandson and granddaughter with lunch followed by a rousi g game of Kerplunk. A nicely wily Dada puzzle with some great anagrams and a good geographical clue. Most enjoyable. I liked 5a, 3a, 1d and 5d. Many thanks t our Sunday compiler and to Se f for the hints.

  20. After spending Saturday afternoon watching the Platinum Party at the Palace, which I thought was really awesome, especially the from the point of view of the palace front being used as a huge Imax screen and the visual effects overall, I started on Dada’s puzzle.
    I practically whizzed through it as not a hint of quirkiness anywhere. Solidly straightforward. 1*/5* for me.
    Favourites include 10a, 11a, 15a, 19a, 1d & 13d with winner 10a

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  21. SW last in for us but no real hold ups. Best clues were 15a and 9d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  22. I didn’t notice too many anagrams and rather enjoyed the solve. An irritating crease through 2 and 13d persuaded me to move to the app rather than the dead tree. I had the wrong snooker ball for a while and that induced an error in 11a. 9d and 15a tied for COTD.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  23. Late to this one having been up with lark & divotting the front 9 in prep for next week’s tournament. More than happy to see another gentle Dada puzzle which yielded very quickly. Agree it was a tad anagram heavy but very enjoyable nonetheless. The downs took the podium for me – 6,9&15 my favourites.
    Thanks to D&S
    May look at Robyn’s Toughie later after some shuteye & a soak in the tub that my back is demanding

  24. No hold ups for me and really enjoyed this. I love anagrams and they give one a good start. God bless Her Maj and glad she made it on to the balconey today is her gorgeous green outfit. Felt sorry for George and Charlotte last night, probably 2 – 3 hours of hell for them. Anyway thanks to Dada and Senf and well done Root!

  25. I have no problem with there being several anagrams. They often help me get a foothold on days when I am otherwise mystified. Today’s Dada seemed quite benevolent, although I wasted a lot of time trying to come up with a sport for 16d. The answer is just not a sport in my mind. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. If you review the hint for 16d, you will see that the answer is a skill not a sport.

  26. Great fun from Dada. I have no issue with the high anagram quotient. After last 2 days’ struggles to get my cruciverbial brain in gear while on holiday, I was very pleased to solve this sweetie. Thanks Senf, always love a bit of Plant and Krauss.

  27. Apart from the concentration of anagrams and the vague girl in 17d, this was a lot of fun with 16d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf,

  28. I am surprised to gather this is a Dada offering because it really felt a bit provincial however perhaps it’s just not my cup of tea or possibly my solving was affected by days of Jubilee saturation (all very well-deserved by Her Majesty). Thank you anyway Dada for another creation on our behalf and also Senf for continuing to be there for us.

Comments are closed.