ST 3168 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3168 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3168 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, on Friday, we found out how ‘fragile’ Canada’s wireless network is when a major problem at one provider shut down debit and credit card processing, and associated on-line banking activities, and more, across the country, and a major part of the wireless telephone system was also ‘down’ for over twelve hours.

For me, Dada quite generous with four non-anagram long ‘uns, three anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone – all in a symmetric 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 – 10a, 15a, 23a, 2d, 3d, and 18d.

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:


8a Mouth opening in Iraq, seeing desert (4)
A slang synonym of mouth and the first letter (opening in) of Iraq – if you have never heard of the answer it is in northern China and southern Mongolia.

10a Somehow at home, and otherwise? (2,1,3)
The two letter word for at home and a four letter word which is the opposite (and otherwise) of at home.

13a That tickling must stop — pah! (4,4,2,5)
A request(?) for tickling to stop because of what it might cause to happen.

15a Tempestuous movement split a party (7)
A synonym of split (as a past participle), A from the clue, and our favourite two letter party.

20a Accept that’s what to do with beard-grooming product? (4,2,2,3,4)
Where on one’s face one might ‘apply’ a beard-grooming product.

23a Old coin, item out of reach? (8)
Written as (3,5), a term meaning out of reach and a synonym of item.

28a Unique item of footwear (4)
A double definition – the second is an item which is part of (a piece of) footwear.


1d One touring a cold country (6)
A four letter combining form used to indicate one (or single), containing (touring) A from the clue and the single letter for Cold.

3d American flier looks to cover beaches on holiday (5,3,7)
A synonym of looks (as in with a fixed gaze) containing (to cover) a synonym of beaches (based on what they can consist of) and a synonym of holiday – phew!

5d Ordinary location of jaywalker? (6-2-3-4)
A double definition(?) – the second references where a jaywalker might be, but shouldn’t be.

16d Eggs finished, did you say? (3)
The homophone (did you say?) of a synonym of finished.

18d Outsiders in league have penned type of clue for sport (8)
The first and last letters (outsiders in) of LeaguE containing (have penned) a type of clue (in terms of direction).

21d Net mate almost hauled up (6)
A synonym of mate with its last letter removed (almost) and then reversed (hauled up).

24d Sadly in arrears, a labourer’s given up (4)
The reversed lurker (in . . . given up) found in three words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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One group of SW19 residents who are probably very happy that two weeks of purgatory will soon be over and they can return to peace and tranquility for the next fifty weeks:

42 comments on “ST 3168 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable indeed, quite cryptic but with only the NW causing pause for thought.
    13a “tickled” me as did 23a but it was all top notch.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the fun in the South Devon sun.

  2. Great fun, straightforward crossword for a hot Sunday morning, can’t choose a COTD as they are pretty much all in the running !

  3. I still have two to go. I have answers that fit but I cannot for the life of me parse them. I’ll keep persevering. As for the rest of the puzzle, it was a slightly easier Dada to my my mind and great fun. My COTD is 3d closely followed by 13a.

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

    Hot and sunny here on the Welsh border so a great day for tackling weeds!

      1. I am, DG. When I said “a great day for tackling weeds” I meant giving them a good talking to! :grin:

    1. I wonder if your two were the same as mine, 2d and 11a? And yet they were so obvious when I finally figured them out. I’m just taking a break from pruning and it’s currently 89F here.

      1. My two were 26a and 21d, BusyLizzie and, like you, I wondered why I had floundered once I had them solved. I decided against the garden today as it is 32C out there. Instead Mrs. C. and I took a trip up the beautiful Tanat Valley.

  4. Excellent crossword that beat me on one clue, 21d. Even with the hints I would not have associated the long word with mate although it is perfectly valid, just did not occur to me and the definition was too cryptic for my lesser brain. Had to Google the answer😞
    Apart from that very enjoyable esp my fav 19d.
    Thx to all

  5. Dada’s being pretty gentle today but as entertaining as ever – thanks to him and to Senf for the hints.
    As Senf notes Dada has clued all four of the 15-letter answers without needing to use long anagrams. How refreshing that is.
    The clues I liked best were 13a, 17a and 3d.

  6. Thank goodness for the hint for 21d. It was my last one in, I had the answer but could not for the life of me figure out why.
    Great puzzle today. Favourites were 18d and 19d because they made me laugh.

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada

  7. Dada being somewhat benevolent today but it still took me a while to sort out 21d and I wasn’t very persuaded by 28a being an item of footwear, surely more of a component part? Also, is it OK to use ‘leader on’ in 25a?
    Top clues for me were the topical 15a and the 23a coin.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints – those Wombles will have a lot of clearing up to do after this weekend!

      1. Probably the intention, Stephen, but it doesn’t really work for me. Perhaps I’m just in a bad mood courtesy of the heat!

    1. The brevity of 28a is somewhat misleading, which, no doubt, is what Dada intended causing a little more thought to be required, but I consider that my hint ‘stretches’ it out.

      I had no problems with ‘leader on’ in 25a – more Dada being Dada.

      1. Hi Senf, your hint for 28a does indeed ‘stretch’ it out but I remain steadfastly unconvinced, Dada’s lucky to have you standing up for him! As for 25a – I wonder whether Prolixic would wave it through in Rookie Corner?

      2. I agree, 28a is fine – as in the sense of piece, part, detail, component (of footwear).

  8. I, too, raced through this before coming to a juddering halt at 21d, the resulting answer not being a synonym I would have expected. Because it had me foxed for so long I will nominate it as my COTD, alongside 15a. Great entertainment all round.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. I agree with Jane (just above me here) – a benevolent and gentle crossword.
    It’s Sunday and it’s a glorious day (unless you are Lola who has returned to her old habit of hiding amongst the densest part of the garden to find cool and shade).

    We had a lovely evening last night – we went see a band (Los Pistoleros) in a splendid church in the Surrey Hills. I have known the guitarist for forty-nine years!

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba.

  10. Late on parade today due to a very early family visitor, which led me to a gardening working party ( my son, who is 6 ft 4, relieved me of some pruning of the tall shrubs,which I had been,dreading). A really enjoyable puzzle, with some elusive cryptic clues and some great geographical clues. I liked the long across clues, particularly 13a and the 6a, 2d an25a trio.18d and 23a completed my podium. Thanks to Senf for the hints and commiserations on Canada’s telecommunications woes. If you think your country is a mess, look at ours, Jeremy Hunt actually believes he might be a suitable prime-minister! Thank you to Dada for another classic Sunday Prize Puzzle.

  11. Not sure Dada gets anymore gentle than this one & very enjoyable it was too. The long uns had a bit of an Everyman puzzle feel to them & would be my picks.
    Thanks to D& S

  12. Pleasant diversion for a stewy sunday morning. East beat West to it. I remain with Jane re 28a not being an item of footwear in itself. Favs were 23a and 13a which I took a while to suss as also I did in fully parsing 3d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  13. Most enjoyable, straightforward and fair. That’s all I’ve done since I came back from church where at least it was cool, with first a cup of coffee and then an iced sherry – I am such a sybarite! Psyching myself up for an exhausting afternoon at the tennis court. Have I told you I went to school in Wimbledon so this fortnight always makes me nostalgic , Elys had their windows done in white, green and purple every year and we would hang around trying to spot our heroes.Back to the present, 23a is a very apt clue and of course the four 15 letter jobs were a help. 28a was last one in as it didn’t seem quite right, but I suppose it must be. Many thanks to Dada and Senf. who seems t be working very hard on our behalf.
    old cracker joke, but still good for a smile and 19d was fun also. Enjoy the tennis and a nice cool gin and tonic when it is over.

  14. Incredible crossword from Dada ; in other words reader I finished it. I have to lie down in a quiet room with a fan and a wet cloth over my head.

  15. So enjoyable.
    Such clever constructions.
    Gold to 3d
    All over too quickly
    So, */*****
    Many thanks Dada and Senf

  16. Very straightforward today apart from 21d and 10a. I could not get the last word. Needed the hints.

  17. I have to say this is the fastest solve I have ever done on a cryptic with no hints, (done at 5pm PDT), and I was done in less than 1* time and with enjoyment of 5*
    Absolutely no quirkiness at all.
    Fantastic puzzle … great compilation Dada.

    Favourites include 10a, 13a, 23a, 5d & 19d and they are all winners. It was a really great puzzle IMHO.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf whose hints I will read Sunday am

  18. Agree that this at the gentler end of the Dada spectrum although some of them had us scratching our heads for far too long, including the parsing of 21d which became our favourite once the penny dropped. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Brilliant puzzle. Total enjoyment from start to finish. Even the two that held out until the end were obvious when brain finally kicked in. Huge thank you to Dada and to Senf, although happily hints weren’t needed today.

  20. A most enjoyable and refreshingly gentle Dada last night, which I finished after a powerful electrical storm swept through the Carolina Lowcountry, knocking out our A/C, which Jimmy somehow managed to ‘reset’ and all seems well again. I especially enjoyed the long ones but, in its simple and catchy way, 10a is my favourite. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / ****

  21. I’m in agreement with the masses, excellent puzzle with lots to like so no one COTD for me. Perfect entertainment for a sunny afternoon on the garden.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  22. Completed on the rather warm beach at Thurlestone and despite the heat fell easily with some gentle long cryptic clues providing useful cross checkers. Like Brian I knew what 21d was but it took a minute or two to work out why! Thanks to Senf who can hopefully access his cash again and Dada.

  23. I really struggled with yesterday’s NTSPP and today’s SP, which I put down to my brain being addled lying in bed with a throat infection. However I decided nevertheless to give this Dada puzzle a go, and I am delighted to say it all fell into place very smoothly, with just a slight hold up working out the parsing for 3d, which gets the vote as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  24. 2/5. Great puzzle and very benign for a Dada offering – unless this was just up my street. Too many good clues to pick a favourite. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  25. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. All quite straightforward except for 21d, which I needed the hint to parse. I have no idea about 13a, despite reading the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle was 3* / 4* for me.

  26. Dada at his finest – not too difficult but entirely entertaining with a good few smiles (e.g. the longer clues) along the way!
    19D just brilliant! 😜
    I find myself looking forward to his excellent Sunday challengesfrom about Wednesday!
    Thanks as ever to Senf for another great blog ‘n hints 👍

  27. Favourites 5 18 and 19d. Held up by 21d. Finally cottoned on to what sort of net I was looking for but needed the hint to parse. Thanks Dada and Senf.

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