ST 3174 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3174 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3174 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we continue to experience Summer Storms with a funnel cloud here and there but nothing more serious than that (fingers crossed).

For me, Dada being quite friendly with seven anagrams (two partials), one lurker, and no homophones – all in a very slightly asymmetric 27 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 – 20a, 23a, 6d, 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 Punt taken on fish shop (6)
A three letter term equivalent to punt taken (nothing to do water craft or kicking balls of various shapes – more to do with losing money) placed before (on) a type of fish (that ‘flies’ through the water).

4a Start of May, end of three months for elected representative (6)
The first letter (start) of May and the common end to three months of the year – easy enough to identify.

11a A picnic eaten at seaside, yummy first of all (4)
Selection of the initial letters (first of all) of four words in the clue.

12a Perfectly chaotic boarding jet (10)
A synonym of chaotic (as applied to the Wild West perhaps) inserted into (boarding) a verbal synonym of jet.

21a Company surrounded by money (4)
The usual two letter abbreviated form of company and a two letter term equivalent to surrounded by.

23a Item of clothing stolen by boy or dog (8)
An item of clothing (ladies intimate apparel) inserted into (stolen by) a synonym of boy followed by OR from the clue.

Poor old mum – 13 pups all of the black variety, but I expect dad had something to do with that!

25a Top island (6)
A double definition – the second is famous for its potatoes.


1d A French girl in East London location, small house (8)
A from the clue translated into French and a three letter synonym of girl all inserted into (in) an East London location (famous for its bells).

2d Minute within fifteen years (5)
The second, and real, lurker (within) found in two words in the clue.

6d Restaurant in old club welcoming queen (9))
An old (golf) club (equivalent to a modern 2 wood) containing (welcoming) HM indicated by her regnal cypher.

7d So, that seems unlikely (6)
A double definition (I think) – the second is an interjection expressing doubt.

15d Bitterness one day encapsulated by a lament (8)
The Roman numeral for one and the abbreviated form of a day of the week all contained (encapsulated) by A from the clue and a synonym of lament.

17d Rich, say: odd million invested in wine that’s brought over (7)
One of our popular synonyms for odd and the single letter for Million all inserted (invested) in a generic type of wine that has been reversed (that’s brought over).

21d Vulgar, vacuous character, fool (5)
CharacteR emptied of its interior letters (vacuous) and a three letter synonym of fool.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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A random selection for today – a Scottish tune composed by two Germans ( Highland Cathedral – Wikipedia ) being played by Australians – The Brisbane Boys’ College Pipe Band:

63 comments on “ST 3174 (Hints)
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  1. Cleverly clued, eg 15 and 17d.
    Last in, 12a and 3d.
    The latter popped me into 2* time.
    Novel use of the last word in the former clue.
    Many thanks, Dada for the enjoyment and thanks to Senf.

  2. I really enjoyed this Dada puzzle despite the fact that I found some of the clues very challenging, particularly in the SW. There were some really cracking clues. COTD for me was 17d, in which I puzzled about a synonym but finally remembered this clever trick coming up before. A close runner up is 14d, in which the answer is shown twice in the wordplay, very sly and a new word meaning for me. 5a, 9d, 2a were pretty good too, I’m spoilt for choice. Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. 2.5*/4*. Just the job for a Sunday prize puzzle – not too challenging and good fun.

    3d was my last one in and 1a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  4. Dada continues to produce the goods, enjoyable as ever.
    I thought the clever 1a set the tone, I also really liked 4&23a plus 3&7d.
    Many thanks to our esteemed Sunday setter and to Senf for the hints

          1. To be fair to Brian his comment is a reference to Senf’s original hint which subsequent to my comment has now been altered.

  5. A little difficult but enjoyable is my take on today’s Dada. As ever with this setter I began slowly, picked u speed then ambled to a finish. I collected many ticks along the way such as 4a, 23a, 17d and 18d. Difficult to pick a favourite but I just have to go with 23a.

    Many thanks, Dada for the fun challenge. Grateful thanks to Senf for the hints and I will now go and look up funnel cloud. It sounds horrendous – stay safe.

  6. Oh dear my comment seems lost in the ether so here we go again … I agree wholeheartedly with RD as I thoroughly enjoyed this Dada challenge which is unusual for me. SE was tightest corner. My Fav from several candidates was 1a once shop had dawned on me. 1d is often far from small these days! TVM Dada snd Senf (Loved the Highland
    Cathedral Bagpipes performance – what a combination of talents.

  7. I took ages to get into this but once I did it was an enjoyable solve. 3d was also my last one in. 23a my favourite. Thanks so Dada and Senf. David’s birthday so I suspect we will return to our fishy place for more goodies for lunch.

  8. Feeling gently stretched this morning, in a good way.. So many smiles but honours to 1, 12a, ,3 and my buddy 17d. Thanks Dada & Senf.

  9. Usual high standard of Dada clues EXCEPT for the dreadful 4a. Why use an obscure religious term, what’s wrong with burned wood? And according to the BRB even the Dada answer is incorrect without the addition of Days.
    Very poor indeed.
    Apart from 4a very enjoyable.
    Thx to all

    1. I thought it was a really clever clue if parsed as Stephen L above! Only had a quick look over breakfast so haven’t completed yet.

      1. The last five letters are days in quarterly periods of prayer and fasting in the liturgical calendar of Western Christian churches. Senf’s original hint referred to these (now altered), hence Brian’s comment.

  10. No walk in the park this, but pleasingly awkward in enough clues to make it a good steady solve. Like others, 3d proved to be my final entry, with the excellent 1a coming out on top of the pile ahead of 4a.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  11. I don’t think 11a is a lurker – it’s a ‘first letters’ clue.
    Many thanks to Dada for the usual enjoyment and to Senf for another busy weekend.

  12. Ah yes, the quintessence of Dada today, with my last two, 12a and 3d, about as good as clever clues come. Those two and 17d comprise my podium, but the entire puzzle seemed as snug as can be for me, a very comfortable solve, with a terrific quickie pun to boot. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / ****

    1. As Jean-Luc said the other day in his commendably heartening comments about some of us who have certain hangups, I’m the one who touts ‘unknown’ books! Well, today, I have a real find, and I’ll just whet some appetites by asking, “What if you combined crime noir geniuses William McIlvanney & Ian Rankin?” Stay tuned.

      1. Good grief Robert, are you serious? It’s not the first of April so you must be. Look forward to finding out.

        On another byway I have just come across Emily St John Mandel’s Station 11. What a find. I live in a dystopian haze so it is perfect. Picked up two others of hers.

      2. Hi just popped in to say I’ve just started reading The dark remains too. Will be interested to see what you think- just about to start the crossword and it seems to be going well for me. Thanks to Dada and Senf whose extra help I’m bound to need soon.

  13. Isn’t it frustrating when you get an answer lodged in your head, can’t parse it but can’t see past it! Happened to me with 12a and it took a second cup of coffee to clear the mind.
    17d was a ‘guess and look up’ and my favourite was 6d with a nod to the 20a urchin.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints – I did enjoy the pipe band and the baton twirling but the young lad given the ‘starring role’ looked as though he was about to burst into tears – nerves perhaps?

  14. Many thanks to Dada for a largely gentle Sunday stroll of a cruciverbal challenge, and to Senf for the review. Not convinced that 1d is necessarily a small house, though – I’ve seen and been in many quite considerable such buildings. I know my 17d is correct but still don’t understand why and will look forward to the eventual full review. LOI 3d with a raised eyebrow until checking it in the BRB and yep, it’s there. Of course.

    COTD 15d.

    2* / 2.5*

      1. I figured that, Steve, but thanks anyway – don’t worry about trying to hint further, it’s not worth you being confined to a certain step!

      2. SC. I knew you’d have no trouble with that particular Rich – re the film clip I posted on here some months ago.

        1. Been a favourite of mine since I first saw him on TV about forty years ago, Jose. One of the greats. I do remember your clip. :good:

    1. The way 17d is written makes it somewhat obscure GK. But, follow Manders’ suggestion and include your answer in the e-search and everything should become clear.

    2. Agree re 1d, it was the word small that threw me off at first. We’ve lived in three so far (called single family over here, much prefer [redacted – it’s a prize puzzle – read the instructions in RED below the hints]) and all have been bigger than the two houses we lived in early in our married life. But as a lot of people in the UK seem to try to downsize to one in the UK, must have led to the wording.

      1. Oops, sorry about that. Would never intentionally mention an answer on the weekend. Guess my mind was elsewhere. Again, apologies.

  15. Nice Sunday offering. Thanks to Dada and Senf. My COTD candidates are 16 and 20a and 9 and 17d. Also, I am a proud Old Boy of Brisbane Boys’ College (Known locally as BBC). The seniors are piped out at the final assembly of the year to Highland Cathedral, not a dry eye in the house, guaranteed🦇

  16. I’m nowhere near being able to solve a Paul crossword in The Guardian, so I do really appreciate that John Halpern also sets these Dada puzzles which are more at my level.

    I’m with Young Salopian in my favourite being 1a (“fish shop”) just ahead of 4a (“end of three months”, which, like several others above, I parsed without recourse to any obscure religious terms). I also appreciated the neatness of 19d’s vessels.

    I have comments about 17a, 18a, and 15d, which I shall attempt to remember to make on Cryptic Sue’s full review a week on Wednesday.

  17. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite difficult in places. Needed the hints for 12a&6d. Electronic help for the second word of 3d. Favourite was 1a. Was 4* / 4* for me.

  18. After sleeping the sleep of the just I see that I made a couple of faux pas, in 4a and 11a, now corrected – thanks to StephenL, CS, and Gazza.

  19. Managed to finish with a lot of electronic help as had enough checkers to give a limited number of options. 1a my favourite clue ; none of the others too my fancy. More difficult than last week.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  20. Nothing held us up for any length of time but lots to like. Favourite was 17d with a few running it close. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  21. For me, I found this Dada a little trickier than recent offerings.
    2.5*/3.5* today.

    Favourites include 13a, 20a, 25a, 2d & 3d with winner 13a
    Also thought 4a, 23a & 17d were great clues too
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  22. A bit more tricky than recent Dada offerings, with SW corner holding out the longest. Loved the picture at 23a, dog looks totally bemused, as if she can’t believe the pups are hers. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  23. whilst solving the general knowledge 1551 last night (I live in Vancouver) one of the clues answers was one of the crossword greats, 26a Spanish Cardinal, Statesman, and Grand Inquisitor (7), did anyone else notice this? It brought a smile to my face.

  24. I haven’t looked very closely at the puzzle yet, but I must say thanks for some superb pipe music Senf – it is one of our very favourite tunes :-)

  25. Either Dada is getting easier or I am getting better at understanding him..solved alone and unaided today. Had to check my answer to 17d was correct.
    And joy of joys..nothing cricketty…..or at least nothing that I noticed.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  26. Another great Dada puzzle – somewhat challenging in places needing a fair bit of ‘head-scratching/ working out but with the eventual ‘aha!’ Moment, usually with a smile at the clever mis-direction!
    Lots of great examples with 1A leading the way and 3D very good! 👍
    Thanks, as ever, to Senf for the blog ‘n hints – must admit the excellent video brought back some memories when I played in ships’ bands…got a tad ‘dusty’ in here for a moment! 🤧

  27. I agree with Senf – a benevolent Dada on duty today. I only made a meal of it because of an unnoticed typo in 3d. When I got home out of the glare I spotted it and the last couple flew in 12a.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada just the tonic I needed after the workout that proXimal gave me last night.

  28. It’s all been said really, a jolly fine Dada puzzle. The two across the top get my vote for clues of the day.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  29. Late today due to visit by DD2, husband, 2 schnauzers and chill bag with prosecco followed by brief visit to show our faces at Dahlia Day (no blooms to exhibit this year but have had several previous wins 🏆😌🌺)
    then a drink or three with young neighbours. So goes the day. Lovely crossword to round off the weekend, I agree with Manders that 23a is favourite just pipping 19d. Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  30. I can’t add much extra to what has already been said – this was an eminently solvable Dada puzzle which kept me occupied either side of our evening meal. Personal favourites were14 & 18d, with 16a running them close. I didn’t especially like 3d, that one was just a bit to clever for my brain to fathom. All in all though I thought this was good fun and certainly more gentle than some recent Sunday puzzles have been. Thank yous to Dada and Senf.

  31. A pretty gentle Dada puzzle today with limited head scratching required. 1a&d kicked things off nicely but 17d easily my favourite.
    Thanks to D&S

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