ST 3173 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3173 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3173 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we are in our longest rainless period, apart from a millimetre or two here and there, of the summer.  Thankfully, nowhere near as hot as last year and not as hot as most of the UK.  The farmers ought to be less unhappy as it should give them the magic amount of ‘Growing Degree Days‘ they need for crop ripening.

For me, after a 22d dinner and with a very nice 2016 Bordeaux at hand, Dada being reasonably friendly although his personal thesaurus might have been used a couple of times with eight anagrams (three partials), one lurker, 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 – 7a, 21a, 1d, 17d, and 20d.

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 Artificial image, latest captured (7)
A synonym of latest contained (captured) by an abbreviated synonym of image.

10a Theological studies topical in periodical (9)
The two letter abbreviation for (school) theological studies and a synonym of topical that is often used in conjunction with affairs.

15a Carrying Roo initially, Winnie the Pooh’s friend set off (7)
One of Pooh’s friends containing (carrying) the first letter (initially) of Roo – trivia time – Winnie the Pooh is actually named after a real bear named Winnie by a WW1 Canadian Army veterinarian who came from Winnipeg.

17a Parent tries playing aces (7)
The two letter form of a (female) parent and an anagram (playing) of TRIES.

21a Large animal like that filling waste basket (5)
A two letter term equivalent to like that inserted into (filling) a single word term for waste basket.

24a Calm priest introduced to half-cut reverend (7)
Our favourite three letter (biblical) priest inserted into (introduced to) half of REVEREND – but which half.

25a Terribly pleased — passed! (7)
An anagram (terribly) of PLEASED.


1d Striker takes position for game’s critical moment (5,5)
The illustrated striker followed by (takes) a synonym of position (in a discussion/argument or in cricket?).

3d Headline, one making a lot of noise? (8)
A double definition(?) – the first is a slang term for one that is sensational (so says the BRB).

6d One girl edges away from another! (4)
Oh dear, well here we go – a palindromic girl’s name with the first and last letters removed (edges away from another) – and, no surprises, what is left is also palindromic.

7d Six, say, tense before anaesthetic (7,6)
One of the verb tenses placed before a, probably informal, synonym of anaesthetic which we see quite often – if you want a good explanation of the answer find the first ever episode (Series 1 Episode 1/Pilot) of Lewis on YouTube and fast forward to 1:22:00. Dare I say that if Lewis could understand it anybody can.

14d Laboratory experiment, content of chemical it must establish (6,4)
The lurker (content of) found in the rest of the clue.

17d Teller of literary tale about popular hatter (8)
The occupation of the person telling a tale, about a carpenter and his wife, while travelling in a fictional group SE from London containing (about) a two letter synonym for popular.

22d One fish (4)
A double definition to finish – the second is illustrated.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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RIP – Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE

September 26, 1948 – August 8, 2022.

A recording from last year with her daughter Chloe Lattanzi:

47 comments on “ST 3173 (Hints)

  1. Most of this went in very smoothly with only a couple in the North West taking me into second cup of tea territory. Very enjoyable but unusually for Dada no standouts today.
    Many thanks to our esteemed setter and to Senf for the review and the nice tribute to ONJ.

  2. Most enjoyable over the morning coffee although there were a few that gave pause. For example, 17a was new to me but logically it shouldn’t be and in 6d I took ages to work out the borders. I did not know that particular use of 3d but it could be nothing else. All in all, a slightly easier Dada than normal I thought.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun and thank you, Senf for the hints.

  3. An enjoyably wily Dada puzzle, athough the
    alternative spelling of one place was not the one I normally use and gave me a fleeting moment of doubt. The xharade at 7d, together with the anagram at 9d were my joint Clues of the day with a nod to rhe clever combination of GK and Lego clue at 17d. Thlurker was pretty good too. I just loved the variety of clue types with a sprinkling of GK. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for tthe hints.

      1. That was the conclusion I came to: Google says both forms are accepable, so I moved on to another clue

  4. This was Dada on his best Sunday cryptic form. It was very entertaining with some excellent surfaces, and my rating is 2*/5*.

    I didn’t know the meaning needed for 3d, but wasn’t surprised to find that Collins describes it as US, Canadian and Australian slang. It is however, as Senf says, in the BRB.

    My top clues were 12a, 15a, 20a, 24a & 17d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf,

  5. Distinctly tricky I thought but at least I managed to complete todays unlike yesterdays challenge.
    Best clue for me 15a. 11a had me stumped for the ape, never realised that only half the usual name was acceptable.
    The answer to 7d was in yesterdays pub quiz.
    Elegant as Dadas puzzles always are but on the tricky end of the scale for me.
    Thx to all

  6. Hooray for an excellent crossword – I really enjoyed solving this one.
    Hold on, hold on – you’re only saying that because this is an example of the one in every hundred that you solve without help
    Well… yes… of course that may be so…

    Off to Stamford Bridge for the first home match of the season. It’s only Tottenham… what could possibly go wrong?

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba.

    1. Famous last words Terence. I remember my friens saying something similar at a West Ham home match with Tottenham some years ago.

  7. I think I said last week that Dada was being unusually kind and here he is again in the same friendly mood. Once again I have finished the puzzle without the hints and been able to parse the answers.

    I agree with Senf’s choices of clues to highlight but would add 9 and 19d to the list. My thanks to Self for his hints and comments and to Dada for a Sunday with pleasure rather than pain.

  8. I had a couple left in the NW area when my device shut down and when I restarted it I had to ‘log in’ to get my Telegraph and lo and behold there was a blank puzzle and I simply cannot be bothered to start from scratch but I was enjoying it and my COTD was the Winnie the Pooh clue. Thanks to the setter and Senf. Rod Liddle’s column in the Times today is interesting, especially about smart meters and the fact that he was discussing with his daughter what to give his wife for her birthday – a camera perhaps. His phone was in his pocket and he is now bombarded with ads for cameras. My Kindle Fire has been problematic for 2 or 3 days and suddenly I am getting ads for an upgraded Kindle. Big Brother is certainly watching us.

    1. Every time I do an image search for the blog I get bombarded with adverts for all sorts. A recent search for Ghandi’s Dhoti/loincloth has left adverts for Indian underwear all over the place.

  9. No real problems today although both 3&7d entailed guesswork.
    I’m always a sucker for Pooh so 15a went straight into my top three where it was joined by 12a & 17d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the tribute to Dame Olivia.

  10. Dada’s gentle Sunday challenge was good for waking up the brain and getting it ready for QC, which took a similar amount of time to unravel. As with other posters I was delayed in the NW, but otherwise it was very sympathetically clued with straightforward anagrams and nothing to alarm the equines. My podium top step is shared by 12a (which for some reason reminded me of our erstwhile PM) and 17d – which has left me with an earworm!

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

      1. Something nags at the back of my mind that “fandango” was a relatively recent answer to a clue (there was certainly a dance of that ilk clued), which made me wonder whether it was in another Dada puzzle, and if this was a continued tribute to PH’s late Gary Brooker – or indeed someone else, because I can recall PH (& That Song) being in the news in the last few months, but not why.

    1. Yes, Robert, you are correct. The first three across clues are italicised in the paper, but Senf is not afforded that luxury on line.

    2. Welcome from me also.

      Well, the pun might be EXPLAIN YOURSELF but, as an on-line solver, I don’t have the advantage of the ‘pun clues’ being italicised and I have to guess how many pun clues there are. If you are a ‘dead tree’ version user, or any other ‘dead tree’ version user, can confirm that there are three pun clues then I will make a revision.

  11. A few sticky patches but kept my head down and finally made it through. 6d baffles me as did parsing of 21a – d’oh! Altogether not one of my fav brain-teasers. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  12. I was bang on wavelength this morning so this went in without too much difficulty, but no less enjoyable for that.
    My favourite was the lurker at 14d, I always like a science clue.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  13. Another relaxing Sunday morning, enjoying solving Dada’s latest challenge with a smile on my face throughout! Many thanks again again, Sir, for your style and gentle humour 👍
    Thanks, as ever to Senf for the blog ‘n hints.

  14. Another friendly but excellent Dada, with the Quickie again taking more time than the Cryptic. I think I’ll go along with the two ‘artistic’ clues, 17a/17d, as my co-favourites today, with 7d rounding out the podium. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / ***

  15. Nothing to hold us up today, this did not detract from the enjoyment. Favourite was 9d. I’ve had experience of Manders comments at 8, very concerning. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. Nice and straightforward today. I particularly enjoyed both 17’s today (like Robert) and 21a reminded me of the old joke…
    [redacted – it’s a prize puzzle – read the instructions in RED below the hints]

    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

      1. I’m glad I read it before deletion! I thought it was very funny and didn’t even associate it with the answer.

      2. You’ll have to remember to tell that joke another day, John, so that we can all enjoy it along with Manders.

  17. 2/4. Very benign puzzle for a Dada but enjoyable nonetheless. No particular favourites this week strangely. Thanks to all.

  18. A slightly trickier than normal puzzle from Dada today, I thought.

    Favourites include 15a, 18a, 1d, 7d & 9d with winner 7d
    Like the Lewis episode too

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  19. Generous offering from Dada.
    No particular hesitations.
    Some excellent cryptic clues eg 7a and 6d.
    And clever anagrams eg 9d.
    So, */****
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  20. It has taken me a while to find Dada’s wavelength, but unless he has been unusually benevolent lately, I think (hope) I have recently got there. Today was very pleasant and enjoyable, with just a few more difficult clues to stretch the grey cells. It did take a while for me to spot the anagram in 13a, and the lurker in 14d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  21. Completed alone and unaided even managed the parsings…a red letter day for me.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  22. Great puzzle today. I thought there was some excellent surface reading. 17a took a while largely due to wondering which parent I was looking for. The plural also is not so familiar although we have had it lately. 17d and 5d were last two It. I thought 6d was very easy to spot. I haven’t noticed a place with an alternative spelling – oh yes I have if it is a nine letter which could be ten. Favourites 8 10 and 15a and 1 2 17 and 19d. 17d wins Gold. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  23. An excellent puzzle from Dada, probably the best (for me) since last Sunday’s Dada! Thanks to him. I liked the two science clues, 9 and 14d but especially the latter and of course the Pooh clue! Thanks to Senf.

  24. Lovely puzzle. 75% yielded with no trouble whatsoever but struggled badly in the NW. Had the wrong first word in my head for 1d which didn’t help & haven’t come across the term at 7d so that corner took 3 times as long as the rest. The lurker was my pick.
    Thanks to D&S

  25. My comment from earlier seems to have disappeared. I won’t repeat save to say I enjoyed and finished without difficulty.

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