ST 3169 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3169 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3169 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, by comparison to UK standards, we are having a ‘very-warm-wave’ with temperatures in the middle/high 20s and low 30s but then of course there is the somewhat mythical heat index adding an unmeasurable amount of degrees to what can be measured.

For me, Dada quirky and he gives us only one long ‘un this week but it is a good non-anagram, nine eight, yes nine eight, anagrams (three partials), one lurker, and no homophones – all in a somewhat asymmetric 29 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 – 16a, 25a, 8d, and 13d.

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:


9a Supply on-line gag? (5)
Perhaps a little lateral thinking is required – written (1-4), the single letter that can indicate on-line and a type of gag.

11a Great Swiss hero wearing short Indian garment (7)
The surname of a famous Swiss folk-hero contained by (wearing) an Indian (female) garment with the last letter removed (short).

16a Rise in order to score — and hit the mark? (4,2,2,7)
A double definition (I think?) – the second might refer to achieving a required standard of performance.

19a Fluttering down first, cold particles piled up (9)
An anagram (fluttering) of down first, what cold particles may be combined to become.

25a A shade sinful? (7)
A shade of a colour that may be used as equivalent to sinful (particularly when describing a female).

28a Net empty (4)
A double definition – the first is in reference to business transactions.


1d County plots (4)
A double definition – the first is the abbreviated name of a (ceremonial) county North of London.

5d Craft with art seems crafty! (8)
An anagram (crafty) of ART SEEMS.

8d Bird in web? (10)
What could be an informal and descriptive synonym for the illustrated web.

13d Illicit support on way (10)
A synonym of support placed before (on) a synonym of way (for vehicles?) – not as good a clue as the first time he clued this definition in this manner.

17d Dark novel so solemn (8)
An anagram (novel) of SO SOLEMN.

18d Rite developed in the aforementioned decade (8)
An anagram (developed) of RITE inserted into (in) a demonstrative pronoun equivalent to the aforementioned – and, if you don’t know what a demonstrative pronoun is Google, or similar, is your friend.

24d Something formal on? Attend when on vacation (4)
A two letter synonym of attend and WheN from the clue with the interior letters removed (on vacation).

26d Cutting something for dessert? (4)
A double definition – the first might refer to remarks being said.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Lady Mendes*, better known as trumpet maestra, arranger, producer and music educator Alison Balsom performed Joseph Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in Eb at the Last Night of the Proms in 2009.  This is the First Movement (Allegro):

* Perhaps I should point out that she only became Lady Mendes when film and stage director husband Sam Mendes received a knighthood in the 2020 New Years Honours.


44 comments on “ST 3169 (Hints)
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  1. Very enjoyable and a bit more about it than of late, especially the SE where I was held up for a while.
    16a was great but top three for me were 11a plus 22d (great surface) with top spot going to the super clever 20d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. Senf, re 16a the definition I think is “hit the mark” the “score” referring to the final word of the solution.

      1. I had to think long and hard about 16a with a couple of attempts at deriving a hint for a standard wordplay and definition. Then, with contemplation during a visit to the ‘smallest room in the house’ I decided on a double definition with ‘AND’, being a conjunction, doing its duty of providing a smooth link between the two definitions.

        1. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one Senf as I see the first part of the clue as wordplay only. Thanks for your feedback though.

  2. Last in 4d and 20d.
    Too long on these put me into 3* time.
    19a brilliant.
    Always enjoy Dada’s quirkiness and originality.
    Many thanks and thanks to Senf.


    1. No I hadn’t, thank you. That’s what happens when one solves and hints without the assistance of alcohol!

      Appropriate amendments made to my preamble and the 19a hint.

  3. A surprisingly straightforward Sunday challenge from Dada, but nontheless very enjoyable. I count nine anagrams, which rather takes the edge off for me. Anyway, typically smooth surfaces and many smiles throughout. Hon Mentions to 9a, 4d & 20d; COTD to 8d – I’ve spent hours watching these little delights at work.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Dada & to Senf

  4. 2*/4*. I enjoyed this a lot, although I got distracted towards the end of the solve by looking for a non-existent pangram with 2 letters missing.

    I enjoyed the picture conjured up by 11a, imagining that Swiss hero wearing that particular garment.

    16a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  5. The best Dada in weeks for me, thanks to 19a, 25a, 11a, 13d, & 17d (like the one I just finished–I chose this for its surface and its timeliness for me). Loved this puzzle. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / *****

    The Sunday Toughie is quite doable and quite wonderful.

    We’ve had a solid week of torrential rain and electrical storms on the Carolina coast, with more today, and it’s not even hurricane season yet. So sorry about your terrible heat over there.

      1. You both get a mention in the blog publishing soon. Hope you enjoyed it. Can you make sense of 16d? I have an answer but no idea why.

        1. Snap. I have a question mark against 16d, and was waiting for your blog to shine light upon the darkness, SJB!

          1. Please don’t discuss clues from other puzzles on a blog – you may ruin the experience of others who have yet to solve it.

  6. Just nicely testing as accompaniment to a relaxed Sunday breakfast. 19a slid in without my realising an anagram was involved (thanks Jepi). SE was last to come on board due to having put wrong last letter for 28a making 26d unsolvable. Can’t really pick a Fav from a collection of ingenious clues. Thank you Dada (pleased to have found your wavelength) and Senf.

  7. A very enjoyable, if quirky, Dada puzzle, with lots of smasing anagrams to increase the pleasure and a fair bit of subtle misdirection, together with some more straightforward clues. My pick would be15d, 8d, 5d and COTD 22d. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for a most absorbing SPP. Very hot but at least there is a breeze to cool us down. Spent the morning, after the crossword, putting some free range chicken pieces in a Tandoori marinade for tonight’s evening meal. If it’s really hot then, its a quick cook and easy to eat with cold accompaniments. The idea of a roast in this heat doesn’t appeal somehow.

    1. I found one of the chillies in the garden had ripened so we had a welcome change from salad last night – Beef Dhansak. As you say, Chriscross, easy to cook and eat. Sadly, we’re back to rabbit food tonight. :grin:

      1. I have a really sunny lichen window sill but no greenhouse, Steve. Each year my son sows peppers, chillis, aubergines and tomatoes, some of which come my way. This year, I have picked several green chillis, one of which went into the TAndoori marinade. I have had half a dozen sweet yellow Romano peppers and there are 3 small aubergines coming. Inthe veg plot, I have some sweet corn, Marmande tomatoes, Tigerella tomatoes and LemonPear tomatoes, Blauhilde neans and rinner beans coming. The fruit has been great this year, masses of strawberries, gooseberries, tayberries and rhubarb.

        1. We too have curry this evening having missed lunch due to DD2 visiting between 12 and 2. Leftover chicken from last night being rehashed, just too hot to think about cooking much.

          1. A much x
            Better idea to jave curry. It works well in the heat. At least we have a bit of a breeze here in the Vale of White horse!

  8. That was fun and definitely on my level of ‘expertise’. My only two issues were 23a and 18d which I can’t fully parse.
    My fav was 20d.
    Thx to Dada for setting a very enjoyable puzzle and to Senf for the hints.

  9. Dada on top form this morning, giving us a puzzle that was difficult in places, such as the SE quadrant, yet most enjoyable and very well clued. I particularly liked 11a and 20d. Great fun.

    My thanks to the aforementioned and to Senf.

  10. Invariably something for everyone in a quirky Dada puzzle. My own picks today were 11&14a plus 3,8&22d. Only mistake along the way was a careless bung-in of the wrong ending in 19a – hadn’t spotted the anagram fodder.

    Thanks to Dada and also to Senf for the hints and music – a little odd to see an elegant young lady in a long evening dress playing a trumpet but she certainly made an excellent job of it.

  11. Very enjoyable and definitely on the easier side of Dada’s oeuvre. I did like the very short and neat 8d as well as 9a. However, my COTD is the clever 24d.

    Grateful thanks to Dada for the fun. Many thanks, Sense for the hints and Lady Mendes.

    The demon heat is approaching 30 in The Marches so short shady walks and plenty of water for Hudson and me. :phew:

    When it was as hot as this in 1976 nobody told us it was as hot as this. I am so glad we have now been told that it is as hot as this! :grin:

    1. And back in 1976, we worked out all on our own that it was very hot, that we should stay in the shade and drink lots of water, we didn’t need the Government to tell us that it was scorchio!

  12. Short and sweet.

    Has Dada become easier since the introduction of the Sunday Toughie?

    Thanks to Dada & Senf.

  13. An intriguing puzzle completed on a hot Thurlestone beach again – just like last week. I thought **/**** because of the accessible anagrams which gave all the cross checkers needed. Oddly I didn’t have a favourite clue and just thought all were excellent. Thanks to Senf for his work and the setter.

  14. Last in was 25a, no idea why, one of them has to be last. Good puzzle. Favourite was 8d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. Dada in kind mood this week so only needed two or three of Senf’s hints to finish. 25a my favourite.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. Another enjoyable Sunday solve from Dada!👍
    I’m probably over thinking it, but am struggling to parse the obvious (only with the correct checking letters) answer for 27A. It’s not clued by Senf, so not looking to get anyone in trouble – just can’t quite work it al through 🤪
    Anyway, thanks as ever to Dada for a great puzzle and to Senf for the blog ‘n hints.

    1. As much as you will get on a Sunday – 27a is one of the three, assuming I identified and counted correctly, partial anagrams.

      1. Senf – brilliant!
        Just got it – thanks for the quick response – saved me some more ‘head scratching’.
        Much appreciated – cheers! 👍

  17. Slightly surprised 19a hasn’t been much nominated as pick of the bunch. I thought the anagrind fitted in beautifully with the surface read. A lovely gentle puzzle that just required checking what 8d looked like. 16a (I’m with Stephen on the parsing) & 20d my other 2 ticks. Like RD I briefly thought a pangram a possibility.
    Thanks to D&S

  18. I made hard work of this, I’m blaming a combination of heat and being distracted by The Open golf. Anyway I got there in the end, so all good, and lots to like.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  19. Tricky enough on such a hot day – actually always tricky enough for me these days!!
    I can’t do 4 and 20d even with alternate letters in – too bad.
    I’m with Huntsman and surprised that 19a should have been nominated as the pick of the lot.
    Thanks Dada for the crossword and to Senf for the hints.

    1. Nice to see you, Kath. I found 4d and 20d tricky as well: with one of them, having the crossing letters actually made it harder, misleading me in a way I can’t explain until a week on Wednesday.

      20d was one of my top few once I finally got it, though. And the only reason 19a hadn’t made my list is that until reading Huntsman’s comment I’d completely missed that it was an anagram! Ooops.

  20. I looked at this after DD2 had departed and managed to fill in 12a. Then I went to sleep in the shade for two hours and when I awoke o had seen the light and it all seemed to fall into place. I’ve been spraying myself with water – very cooling – I keep trying to spray George but he won’t play! Our outside thermometer says 39’ and my runner beans have just given up. Disaaaster.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the distraction. 22d my favourite.

  21. A more benevolent Dada today, but not quite as good as last Sunday’s. A few clues were over my head and I needed help to finish. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Fingers crossed for a gentle start to the week.

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