ST 3170 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3170 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3170 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we have cooled down to the low/middle 20s.

For me, Dada providing a quirky puzzle of two halves, NW and SE, the latter being the more friendly, with, if I have counted correctly, eight anagrams, seven of them partials, one lurker (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 – 1a, 15a, 25a, 7d, and 19d.

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 Brief, politically, suits premier (7-4)
Part of a Cockney rhyming slang expression for suits (note the plural) and a three letter adjectival synonym of premier.

12a Trace item of underwear, in grey oddly (7)
An item of underwear and the odd letters of all of In GrEy.

15a Pest in male fish (9)
A synonym of male (usually applied to a feathered creature) and a type of (freshwater) fish.

17a Might I prefer half of wood chopped up? (9)
An anagram (chopped up) of I PREFER and half of WOod.

22a Crime a sailor reported (7)
The homophone (reported) of all of A from the clue and a synonym of sailor.

26a Islander, man transporting group back (7)
A four letter synonym of man containing (transporting) a synonym of group reversed (back).

27a Protestant writer travelling to castle (11)
A type of inanimate writer and an anagram (travelling) of TO CASTLE.


2d Potential victims, punched, keel over (3,4)
A synonym of punched and a single word term for keel over (nautically?).

4d Run away, far from criminal! (5)
A (3,2) term equivalent to run away combined into a single word!

7d Stubble forming on adult male initially, obliged to go in – for this? (7-4)
A synonym of obliged inserted into (to go in) the first letters (initially) of the first five words of the clue.

11d That male character will follow infant very closely (2,3,6)
A third person pronoun representing that male and a synonym of character (alphabetically) placed after (will follow) a three letter synonym of infant.

19d Drop fruit on police (7)
The illustrated fruit placed before (on) the informal abbreviated form of the capital’s police force.

20d Unremarkable article in large residence (7)
One of the indefinite articles inserted into (in) a type of large(?) residence.

23d Poisonous beef consumed by little jerk (5)
A two letter type of beef (its tail is what we mostly use) contained (consumed) by a little (nervous) jerk.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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The second of T. Rex’s four number ones, Mr K included the first in Tuesday’s blog, which reached that exalted position on this day in 1971 and stayed there for four weeks:


36 comments on “ST 3170 (Hints)

  1. 2.5*/4*. This was very good fun. I found the top half considerably more challenging than the bottom half but it all came together quite smoothly.

    For my podium choice, perm any three from 1a, 22a, 27a, 3d & 4d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  2. For me a top top Dada puzzle that came together smoothly rather than rapidly.
    I can see where the setter is coming from in 1a but I almost think “politically” is superfluous as I think the term has a wider context these days but no complaints, it helps the surface read and is a great clue.
    Ticks throughout the grid but I’ve also chosen to highlight 12,17&20a plus 4,20&23d. Great stuff.

    Many thanks to the Sunday maestro and Senf.

  3. A very enjoyable puzzle. My last one in was 1A. Although I arrived at the answer, I’m glad you gave the hint for it as I would never have understood the parsing otherwise! Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  4. We rarely disagree Senf, but I thought this was friendly in all quarters. I took longer to parse 7d than fill the grid this morning, Dada & I of a wavelength in our underwear. A welcome breeze after some fails/assisted over the line during the week. Smile of the day 20a.
    Many thanks both.

  5. Absolutely brilliant clueing, eg 1a, 4, 11 and 23d
    Job to get started.
    But when did, steady, laboured progress to a solid 3* time completion.
    Great fun and most enjoyable.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  6. Not easy but great clueing leading to a very enjoyable and fun puzzle. My favs were 2a and 6d but it is invidious to pick out just two amongst a plethora of excellent clues.
    Thx to all.

  7. Like others, I found it a challenging puzzle, particularly the top half, so I started at the bottom, got a few checkers in and, after that, it all came together nicely, alrhough it was quirky. There were so many good clues that it’s difficult to pick favourites. 1a was my COTD but 6d, 13a, 25a and 26a all appealed to me too—spoilt for choice. Thanks to Dada, this puzzle was great fun, and to Senf for the hints.

  8. Very slow to get 1a but once the penny dropped that gave me plenty of checkers to move on with the solve.
    Highlight for me were 1,12&15a plus 3,20&23d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and Sunday song.

  9. Let the bells ring out and let us strew the land with rose petals for I finished this one unaided. Please forgive my joy as I regularly fall one or two short and come a-calling to our splendid hinters and tippers.

    Once again I stayed up until the wee small hours watching (on TV) Chelsea playing a preseason friendly in America. We got walloped 4-0 by Arsenal (I know! The shame of it!) and played dreadfully. Having just stumped up for hospitality season tickets for the coming season, I feel my folly deep in my bones, and in my bank balance.

    Thanks to Dada, and The Man From Manitoba.

    1. … we’re a different team now, Terence, but I’m sure normal service will be resumed once the Season commences!

      Yours resignedly,

      A Gooner

  10. Enjoyable and light pre-prandial Sunday fare from Dada. I felt 1a was the weak link in an otherwise very good puzzle. Otherwise a very generous dollop of anagrams, nothing untoward, and some lovely clues: Hon Mentions to 15a, 25a, 27a & 23d, with COTD to the laugh-out-loud 3d.

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Naturally, for this American, 1a was the last to fall, actually along with 4d, as I only dimly remembered the Cockney slang. I worked my way, slowly and steadily up from the SE, zigzagging to the very top, and was quite happily relieved when the penny dropped on my last two. Typical Dada clueing thought, I thought, with 1a, 7d, & 11d making the podium followed by many contenders, as usual for this Sunday maestro. But 3d wins the Clarkie for, as Mustafa says, its ‘laugh-out loud’ bravado! Thanks to Senf and Dada. *** / ****

  11. A typical Dada for me in that solving it began slowly. Once it got going I found it most enjoyable with plenty of really good clues. In fact, there are too many to pick a favourite from but I do like 4d and this is my COTD.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun and the Quickie pun. Thank you, Senf for the hints.

    Raining here in The Marches so rebuilding the water feature in the garden is on hold. I will concentrate, instead, on making the dinner – pork in oranges.

  12. Agree this was a good solve with some clever clues. In fairness to those of us not born within the sound of Bow bells I would like to propose that we either do away with clues related to rhyming slang or have clues based on other regional dialects including Geordie, Scouse and Glaswegian. That would sort the men from the boys! Thanks to Senf and Dada for a very enjoyable puzzle.

      1. Scouse slang would be good, how about Jigger-Rabbit, Bizzie and Crimbo for starters.

        1. One lives and learns – not knowing Scouse I hadn’t heard of jigger-rabbit or bizzies but for some reason knew Crimbo!

  13. Interesting puzzle for which I needed Senf’s excellent hints, first to unravel several parsings and also to get behind the gnomic phrasing.

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    Good idea to ban the criminal argot from the Seven Dials area. Always a pain up north when a Londoner or some smart Alec northerner used it.

  14. Cracking entertainment all round from our regular Sunday setter that was pretty straightforward, apart from a couple that dragged their feet, and supremely enjoyable. Like others, 1a was one the laggards and became my favourite once the coin hit the floor. Nice Quickie pun too.

    Thanks Dada for the fun, and Senf for his helpful comments.

  15. No sweat today – in most instances one merely had to stick closely to the clues. South easier going than the North. I’m afraid I’m still waiting for the 1a penny to drop (d’oh I have just looked it up – what hope of solving this do non-Brits or even non-Londoners have?). Bunged in 20d as had forgotten it was unremarkable. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  16. Definitely on the harder end of Dada’s scale and I agree with Senf regarding NW & SE, with NW last to fall.
    3*/4* today

    Favourites today include 1a, 22a, 4d, 11d, 19d & 21d … edge goes to 19d as it made me smile, but all great clues.
    14a not a word I knew.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  17. I finished this unaided but yet again could not, and still cannot parse a couple of them. Lucky Steve, no rain here but boiling sun. Grass feels and looks like Weetabix (what a disgusting cereal). Pork in oranges sounds nice. Yesterday I bought 2 half lobsters, a huge mackerel and some monkfish fillets for just over a tenner, bargain. Back to the crossword, nicely tricky and very enjoyable so thanks to the setter and Senf. Our local butcher is selling squirrel – has anyone tried it? Wish they would shoot my increasing population of muntjac, I’m sure they are delicious.

    1. Muntjac can be eaten like all deer. Be wary of them as they can be quite aggressive and have been known to attack dogs.

      Pork in Oranges is lovely, Manders and we have it quite often. It’s a recipe I have not seen anywhere else.

  18. Perfect puzzle from Dada, not too easy, not too tough. Only 8d, my LI, stopped it from being all my own work, and I confess to having to google that one. So many great clues, but 11d goes to the top of the class. Thanks for a lot of fun to Dada, and to Senf.

  19. Very enjoyable, completed in fits and starts combined with my other Sunday afternoon activities.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 11d, and 20d – and the winner is 17a.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. As for others, last in was 1a and found the top half most difficult BUT a brilliant puzzle as usual from Dada, lateral thinking a-plenty….

  21. Late to this & most surprisingly given tiredness after a long day at the golf club quickly on wavelength for a brisk ** time finish & all parsed (7d the only head scratch). Too many crackers to pick a favourite. Top notch & great fun.
    Thanks to D&S

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