ST 3166 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3166 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3166 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where I am now double boosted or should it be quadruple vaxed – the terms appear to be interchangeable.

For me,  as for last week, slightly quirky with some Dada-esque synonyms with five anagrams (four partials), two lurkers (none reversed), and no homophones – all in a slightly 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, 25a, 2d, and 5d.

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 Two alcoholic drinks, I say, for game (3,5)
Two three letter alcoholic drinks and a two letter interjection equivalent to I say also being used as an interjection.

11a Increase number within layer (8)
A five letter number contained by (within) a feathered layer.

12a Supporting part of garment, spare tights apt when elasticated (9,5)
An anagram (when elasticated) of SPARE TIGHTS APT.

17a Canine eluding odontologist’s embedded (5)
One of the lurkers (embedded) found in two words of the clue.

20a Man squeezed into lift closer, unfortunately, for the present (8,6)
A regal man, of which there are two among thirty-two men on a board, inserted (squeezed) into an anagram (unfortunately) of LIFT CLOSER.

25a One making marks and so forth, that woman (6)
The abbreviated form of a term borrowed from Latin that is equivalent to and so forth followed by the female genitive, dative, and accusative pronoun.

28a Further into sea, offered care and protection (8)
A synonym of further contained by (into) the abbreviated form of the name of a sea.


1d Penalty nothing to worry about (4)
A double definition – the second may be a somewhat irritated response to persistent requests for progress on a project.

2d Loose sovereign, round item (6)
The regnal cypher of HM and a round item gives a term that may be an indication of behaviour.

5d Joiner keeping job, held down (8)
A conjunction (joiner) containing (keeping) a household(?) job.

13d Step ahead of dog, one temporarily leading (4-6)
A synonym of step placed before (ahead of) a type of dog bred as a gundog.

18d Unusual, not on strike (7)
Not a double definition – a single word for not on and a synonym of strike.

22d Beaten, as ninety-nine may have been? (6)
A double definition(?) – the illustration should help for the second – OK, I admit that I included this one so that I could use the illustration.

26d Somewhat neglected, English garden (4)
The second lurker to finish (somewhat) found in two words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:

COURT + OFFISH = CAUGHT A FISHwell, that’s my guess, if anyone has any better ideas please make a suggestion in the comments.

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I have no recollection of this, although I have been told I should have – apparently it started three weeks at number one on June 26, 1976 (probably around the time of the start of the summer of ’76), British Soul (which seems to be an oxymoron) group The Real Thing:

26 comments on “ST 3166 (Hints)

    1. It’s a girl thing, Square Leg and they can be quite uncomfortable to wear, although they look nice on the right person.

  1. I found rhis quite challenging and there were several clues where I put a question mark because I wasn’t t dure if I was on the right track. Once again, perseverance won the day and it fell into place once the checkers went in., even the deadly12a , a really good clue, rivalled only by 11a; they were my joint COTD’s. Tha ks to Dada for a good challenge and to Senf for the hints. Off to weed the garden now before it gets too hot. Monty Don teminded us on Friday that it’s time to pick gooseberries too but my fridge is already full of strawberries and tayberries. I must freeze some!

  2. 1.5*/3.5*. This was as light a Sunday puzzle as I can remember with only 5d, my last one in, taking my time over 1*. There were a few strange surfaces in evidence but overall it was good fun.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. Very enjoyable, mostly very straightforward indeed but the NE took a bit of teasing out. I don’t think I’ve come across the “joiner” before but very clever so 5d goes on my podium along with 9 and 28a with a special mention the lol 22d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Pretty much agree with all of that StephenL, so saved myself some typing.
      Thanks to Dad and Senf

  4. For me, the best Dada in weeks, with 5d and 2d holding out the longest–and so my top two. I enjoyed the two long ones (12 & 20a), also, but remain unsure about the ‘ninety-nine’ reference in 22d or what Senf’s illustration (even when enlarged) is all about, or am I just too dim this morning? Anyway, lots of fun, as was trying to finish the quickie, which I did with a bit of online help (e.g., the spelling of a sneeze-sound, which is very different here in the rapidly declining days of America). Thanks to Senf and Dada. 2.5* / 4.5*

    1. Got it, the ‘ninety-nine’ that is. Not an American thing, as far as I know. Wish I had one, though.

      1. Definitely a very UK-centric item with a name whose derivation has been ‘lost in the mists of time’ according to the results of an e-search I did.

  5. Challenging but fun. Never heard of 12a and neither had my wife. Don’t make the connection between ‘loose’ and the answer to 2d and thought 6d was clumsy. However, overall a good puzzle.
    Thx to all

  6. Certainly a challenge.
    Worked steadily through with 12a, 2,5, and 22d to go.
    Guessed 12a correctly, quite unknown to me yet the first word often appears in various contexts in puzzles.
    Slowly the remainder fell.
    So, 3*/*****
    Gold to 5d which just pipped 2d.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  7. I do like our reviewer’s allusion to Dada-esque synonyms – polite but accurate! This one gave a bright and breezy start to my Sunday along with the change in temperature and the rain that the garden has been crying out for recently.
    Packed podium this morning hosting 11&19a plus 5,16&22d. I remember always being offered the addition of a swirl of ‘dragon’s blood’ with a 22d – happy days!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and for the music which took me back to that carefree year as a ‘young married’ before the responsibilities of parenthood crept into the equation.

  8. Breezy, light, straightforward and enjoyable, with Dada being surprisingly gentle with us today, I thought. Can’t decide between 25a and 22d for COTD – both quite superb clues, with an Hon Mention to 20a.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  9. 12a was unknown to me, but as Chris notes above, approximately 50% of the population might not have encountered it/them. I am within the group that would not be expected to be an expert in such matters.
    We were up late last night watching (on TV) Sir Paul at Glastonbury. Wonderful from first note to last. An absolute treat.

    Lovely crossword. Knowledge of the Hanseatic League not required.

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba

  10. If it is not a sexist remark, the ladies probably get the 12a type clues as easily as the men get the crickety/footbally ones so it is horses for courses. 20a was my favourite I think with several close runners up. Steve Cowling you are a hard man commenting that I had my hands on the ground. Fancy you noticing! I could say I was trying to keep elevated from the dry, prickly grass. I’ll remember to have arms aloft next time, if there is a next time. Many thanks to Dada? and to Senf, doing sterling work for our peace of mind.

    1. Given some of his recent ‘fashion-based’ clues, I am surprised that Dada knew about 12a and came up with reasonable clue.

    2. I was merely pointing out, DG that in your avatar your arms are parallel to the ground as well. I wasn’t trying to belittle your excellent effort by pointing it out – I couldn’t get anywhere near performing the feat myself so who am I to talk? 😀

  11. Seems like Dada back to his benevolent self this week.
    Rate this as 1.5*/4*
    Nothing to frighten the horses or the ponies here. Nothing quirky either.
    Favourite contenders include 11a, 12a, 25a, 13d & 22d with winner 13d

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf on his second hint/blog of the weekend.

  12. A thoughtful & I found slightly challenging Dada today, but most enjoyable.
    CoD 2d & 6d.

    Many thanks to Dada for the mind stretching & Senf for review.

    Keep staying safe everyone the wards are busier again!

  13. I found Dada a bit of a struggle today but perseverance got me there in the end. I too had never heard of 12a and I wanted to put in another first word but it didn’t fit. I have seen 4d in many forms during working life so that clue was not a problem. My COTD is 22d because it had me trying to work out where one short of a century came into it. 😏

    Many thanks to Dada for the head scratching and huge thanks to Senf for the hints.

    I only managed about half the Quickie but I thought the pun was really quirky.

  14. 2/4. Enjoyable and steady solve, definitely at the easier end of the spectrum. No stand out favourites. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. Straightforward until it wasn’t. Couldn’t see the synonyms for 28a and 2d so were bung ins, still don’t really see them. Neither of us had heard of 12a. Favourite if we had to pick one would be 11a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Just challenging enough, less difficult than many a Dada.


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