ST 3175 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3175 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3175 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where Summer is ‘hanging on’ for as long as possible.

For me, Dada less friendly than he has been recently with five anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and two homophones (one partial) – all in a symmetric 32 clues; with 16 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, 13a, 3d, 5d, and 7d.

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 Troublesome child in predicament? (6)
A double definition to start – I am not sure that I agree with the first but it is straight out of the BRB.

10a Very old style adopted by philosopher (5-3)
A synonym of style inserted into (adopted by) a generic term for a philosopher.

12a Steal bed (4)
Another double definition – the first probably applies to ‘sneaking a peek’ at someone else’s school assignment.

17a Tossing and turning irately, European heard wake-up call (7,5)
An anagram (tossing and turning) of IRATELY followed by a homophone (heard) of a resident of a central European country.

20a Hollow roar breaking boundaries when flying — at this? (5,7)
RoaR with its interior letters deleted (hollow) inserted into (breaking) an anagram (when flying) of BOUNDARIES.

24a Rabbit on jet (5)
Another double definition – the first, one of our company will be relieved to know, refers to speaking.

25a Margaret has missed starter — like a frittata? (4)
A five letter diminutive form of Margaret with the first letter removed (has missed starter).

31a Party including a show (6)
A type of party containing (including) A from the clue.


1d Eccentric type after job mailed item (8)
A single word synonym for eccentric type placed after a synonym of job.

2d Fashion designer pinning first of gems on a knitted garment (8)
An Italian-French fashion designer containing (pinning) the first letter of Gems with (on) A from the clue.

5d Wherefrom sunbeams descend without warning? (3,2,3,4)
Another double definition – the first perhaps refers to the sky.

8d Car, where wife put on shoes (6)
The single letter for Wife placed before (put on) a slang or informal term for said wife’s shoes.

11d Notepad’s pacy new IT tool (4-3-5)
An anagram (new) of NOTEPAD’S PACY.

18d Identify uplifting English tune, Help! (8)
The single letter for English, a tune with words, and a synonym of help all reversed (uplifting).

26d Label stew (4)
Another double definition – the second is as in a panic and the first might be a misprint – how does it appear in the dead tree version?

27d Eyeball, optical globe looking everywhere initially (4)
The first letters (initially) of four words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Canadian singer and songwriter Eilleen Regina “Shania” Twain, OC celebrates her 57th birthday today. Co-written with her first spouse, this is a live performance of a song from her fourth studio album Up!:

63 comments on “ST 3175 (Hints)

  1. As ever on Sunday very enjoyable indeed from the man who never disappoints.
    Thought some of the anagram indicators were very cleverly hidden in the surface reads (can’t specify otherwise I’ll get the red pen treatment!).
    Although it’s a bit old fashioned had to laugh at 25a, liked 18d but my favourite was 1a.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  2. Found this delightful puzzle bordering Toughie territory.
    Last in, to my shame, 1a and 3d.
    17 and 25a brought a smile.
    So, 4.5*/5*
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  3. Senf, 26a also appears in the paper as “label stew”. I too wondered if it might be a misprint but that would create a bizarre surface.

    1. I should add that I enjoyed the puzzle. It was certainly challenging and my rating is 4*/4*.

      Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    2. Thanks RD, and CS below. It must have come from Dada’s personal thesaurus as I couldn’t find supporting evidence in what I have available.

      1. I agree, Senf. Even the description “stretched” doesn’t seem to cover this, but I’d be very happy if someone can provide an example – not easy I know on a prize puzzle day.

      2. I took the label to be a definition by example. All I dare say, at the moment, is “T-shirt”.

  4. A friendly Dada just right for someone who has a busy morning as it is ‘do something with the peach mountain season’

    I too wondered about 26a but I came to the conclusion that a label could be described as the solution

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    PS If anyone with the paper could tell us who set the Sunday Toughie, that would be much appreciated.

          1. I have just finished the blog and can confirm it is at the gentler end of the Robyn spectrum.

            1. I agree. I finished it all on my own, but it took two sittings. Best Robyn I’ve ever worked.

      1. Good puzzle and review. Missed out the third word from the Quickie that makes the whole phrase ‘barbecue sauce’

        1. Senf does not have the advantage of the italics in his electronic version of the puzzle. I am sure as soon as he is able the quickie pun will be updated.

        2. Thanks for the info. As I have indicated before, as my source is the DT Puzzles Website, I do not have the benefit of italicised pun associated clues so I have to guess, usually incorrectly.

          Pun now updated.

  5. Very tough today esp the bottom left corner. I thought 21d was a poor anagram indicator and 1a a very poor clue indeed. Starting a puzzle with an obscure word is extremely underhand. Cannot understand my answer to 28a, it is correct according to Google but what it has to do with Adonis is beyond me. On the plus side I enjoyed 25a and 15d.
    A decent puzzle spoilt by some poor clues, not up to Dadas usual high standard in my opinion.
    Thx for the hints (shame there were few in the bottom left where they were most needed).

    1. look up Adonis in the dictionary, and then ask Mrs Brian what the solution has to do with the second definition

      1. Now I see it, if I lived to a 1000 that would never had occurred to me. I had tried every Greek I could think of but missed the modern version. Mrs B had no idea either.
        Thx for putting me out of my misery!

    2. We have had the anagram indicator in 21d before and, as I remember it well, it was probably in a Sunday Dada so I would expect to see it again.

  6. The first definition at 1a was a new one on me & I too pondered on 26d & came to the same conclusion as CS. Must just be me because I didn’t think this was one of his better puzzles but I’ll settle for a brisk solve with all satisfactorily parsed. 13&25a my top two.
    Thanks as ever to D&S

  7. An absorbing struggle in which the BRB and thesaurus came in handy, it was a bit more difficult than of late, with a mixture of lurker, lego clues, homophones, well-disguised anagrams and some GK. I liked 18d, my last one in and COTD for its ingenuity, 2d, 17a and 30a. Thanks to Dada for a well- balanced SPP with an interesting variety of clues and to Senf for the hints.

  8. 25a also made me laugh, SL! And I thought the two long middle clues were nicely (mostly) anagrammed, 17 & 20a. An enjoyable puzzle with only 26d holding me up a bit, and13a is my favourite. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / ****

    Last Sunday I mentioned the unlikely pairing of the very much alive Ian Rankin and the deceased (d. 2015) William McIlvanney, both masters of the Scottish (“Tartan”) Noir genre. Well, I have now had a chance to read this very interesting, quite gritty, & altogether fascinating hybrid, The Dark Remains (published in late 2021), which introduces us to Jack Laidlaw in this prequel to McIlvanney’s Laidlaw Trilogy. Apparently, Rankin has completed an unfinished book which introduced Laidlaw to the Glasgow scene, thus introducing me personally to the quirky detective–and I have now ordered the trilogy (finished in 1991). Every day’s a school day.

    1. Thankyou Robert for the recommendation I’ve downloaded it on to my IPad. Looking forward to starting it tonight.

    2. I have read the trilogy and it’s a pity there is only a trilogy. I read his 1975 novel Docherty about the struggles of a Glasgow family led by a tough Glaswegian which I enjoyed at the time. It won the Whitbread book award for 1975 and is still available.

      Did I mention McIvanney to you in an earlier post? If not I had meant to.

      1. You did mention him to me, Corky, and he was very much on my mind. So when I read about Rankin’s paying homage to him, I tabled some other reading matter, and the rest you know. Thanks!

  9. An absorbing struggle in which the BRB and thesaurus came in handy, it was a bit more difficult than of late, with a mixture of lurker, lego clues, homophones, well-disguised anagrams and some GK. I liked 18d, my last one in and COTD for its ingenuity, 2d, 17a and 30a. Thanks to Dada for a well- balanced SPPand to Senf for the hints.

  10. An enjoyable diversion from Dada while plugged into the platelet machine – a “shout out” to the wonderful Blood & Transplant teams across the country, and may I urge people to please consider donating whole blood or platelets if they’re able to do so: I’ve been doing both for 30+ years, and it’s both easy and nothing to be anxious about.

    Eyebrow lifted at 1a and 26d, but otherwise straightforward, fair, and accurately clued as ever.

    25a my COTD because it made me chuckle.

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Good on you. As a haemochromatosis sufferer (diagnosed over 30 years ago) I shudder to think how many venesections I’ve had. My blood fit only for the bin sadly.
      Hancock’s The Blood Donor one of my all time favourite comedy classics.

  11. Certainly Dada in rather tricky mode today and please add me to the list of those who were very un-persuaded by 26d.
    1a made me smile as it was one of the pet names my dear old dad used for me – kipper being the other one!
    Top three here were 17a plus 2&5d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the words and music – Ms Twain definitely has a ‘pretty face’.

  12. I enjoyed this a lot, although I needed a couple of the hints for the NW corner. Unlike Brian, I loved the anagram indicator in 21d – made me chuckle! Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  13. Phew – that was a bit of a struggle for me but got there unaided in the end. Needed the hints to explain the full parsing of 2d and I still don’t get 26d but can see I am not alone.

    Thank you for the hints

  14. I totally agree with regular members of the commentariat who found this a slightly stiffer challenge than a traditional Sunday. That said, it was top drawer entertainment, with only the pesky 26d causing any real headaches. From many candidates, my favourite was 21d.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. The dictionary/thesaurus needed a lot today, but I enjoyed the challenge. I found 2 lurkers, eventually. Thank you to Senf and Dada. Favourite probably 1a, but I also liked 19d having seen some a couple of days ago.

    1. Unlike the reversed lurker, I wrote the other lurker in so quickly it didn’t register!

      Preamble tally updated.

  16. Like Our Brian, I got lost down in the West Country, but once I (finally) sorted out the Adonis business, the checking letters enabled me to coast through Devon and Cornwall (21d had also left me floundering until checking letters once again brought the answer forward).

    Following Chelsea FC often leaves me wondering if I am paying for sins in a previous life. Once again my blood pressure was tested to full capacity as we clung on to win 2-1 yesterday, after having young Conor Gallagher sent off in the first half. An exhausting experience.

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba.

    1. Mr Chriscross says that following West Ham is no bed of roses either, Terence. We both grew up in Newham and I used to go to home matches at the old Boleyn ground as a girl. In in those days we stood on the terraces until, one match, a fight broke out further up the terraces and there was a great surge in the crowd. My friend ( 5ft 2 ins tall) was sqpt off her feet and, if her brother and hadn’t been able to hold her up by her elbows as we were swept out of the ground, she would have been trampled underfoot. I stopped going after that.

    2. Try following Tottenham, I must have done something very wrong in a past life by that reckoning. 🥴

      1. Oh no you don’t. Huddersfield Town. We have been in all four divisions/leagues and are one of the few to have won the first division three times in a row. But that was 1923-1925 and we sang ‘Those were the days’ as we slid further down the leagues in the 80s and 90s.

  17. I wondered if 26d was a misprint, but it seems the answer is a synonym for the first word.
    Otherwise an enjoyable solve with no problems.
    Off to the toughie now.
    Thanks senf and Dada

  18. This was fun fare to accompany late Sunday morning dose of caffeine plus toast and delicious Wilkin’s Tawny marmalade (regretfully don’t make homemade these days). Particularly liked 4a, 20a and 18d enigmas. IMHO 25a rather banal. Agree with 26d reservists. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  19. Some tricky ones without a doubt but enough straightforward clues to give lots of checkers. Neither of us had heard of the first definition for 1a and Mrs. TWLC didn’t like 26d. Favourite was 21d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. I think experience of the first definition of 1a will depend on where your granny or aunties came/come from – I can remember my brother being called this quite a lot :)

      1. There used to be an American sit com on ITV one day a week after the 6 o’clock news about a little boy who was called ***** the ******

  20. Favourites 4 and 25a and 5 7 18 and 22d. I was tossing and turning about 17a for ages, but once the penny dropped I was up and running again. SW was sticking point and 26d last to fall. So many words would have fitted, not of them having an ideal double definition. I think I’m right. Overall I thought it was a good workout. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  21. Maddeningly I put the paper in the car to do the crossword on the long journey up to see DD1 still in hospital, but put Fridays paper in the car. Grrrr. Most frustrating. On the way home now, exhausted after two hours – imagine the poor nurses who have to sit with these patients 24/7. There are three of them in the ward. Saints all of you. Huge respect. I might try and tackle the puzzle with a large gin and tonic when I get home!

    1. 🚸🍸 Cheers Daisy. I think you deserve it. Iwas bowled over by the nurses on the Neurology Ward, when my husband had his 4 bouts of encephalitis. They ere so patient even when some patients became aggressive. They all deserve a medal.

  22. Have to agree with Senf today that this was indeed less friendly than recent offerings from Dada. Hard to get going and when I did, solved from the centre outward with the NW last to fall.
    2.5*/4* today.

    Favourites include 17a, 20a, 24a, 5d & 11d
    Chuckles generated from 13a, 25a & 8d

    Even though this was tougher than some other Dada puzzles, it was a good solve that exercised the grey matter nicely today. Didn’t actually have to use the hints today either.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  23. Tough but chucklesome. No gripes with 1a, at least 3 generations have had this label around here. Which brings us to labels… I think I’m right (but then Mrs GD says I always do) with 26d.
    Many thanks Dada & Senf

  24. Funnily enough, we call our youngest a 1a on a regular basis!

    Agree with comments re 26d. 28a an interesting synonym but got there in the end.

    Harder for me today than yesterday, but thanks to Senf for the excellent hints!

  25. I got 1a as that is how we were called by my dad and he by his mother. I still say it to my dog when she is not behaving quite as I would like. General knowledge is rarely as general as people like to think!

  26. I couldn’t get on with this one at all today. Just not on Dada’s wavelength.
    (Especially 26d)

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf and here’s hoping next week’s will suit me better.

  27. Late on parade here as I was out ‘committing golf’ with Mrs H! Actually, we triumphed today in the 2-ball scramble format, so quite chuffed overall 😃 (she was a putting goddess today😜)!
    Like others, I found this challenge from Dada to be quite taxing and a couple n the NW (and of course 26D) held me up until finishing late this afternoon. But, as always, I doff my cap to the clever mis-directions and gentle humour in the short ‘n pithy clues from the Sunday master!👍
    Thanks also to Senf for helping to confirm some of the parsing – needed today!

  28. I tend to agree that 26d could be a misprint as I can’t find a synonym that fits. The rest of the puzzle was ok. 5d and 18d pleased the most.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  29. Very good Sunday entertainment. It took me into **** time but looking back on it I should have finished it much earlier. I liked 28d, 22d gave it away for me, but I can see how it may have caused some trouble. The outer word of this insertion clue does not get much use these days. The first time I heard it was when my father used it to describe the iconic dancer Cyd Charisse. As a child I thought it was strange that someone could be described as a piece of crockery (hope I’m not giving too much away there BD). Many thanks Dada and Senf🦇

  30. Bah, I need to take back my comment from last week (I’m glad Dada sets these Sunday puzzles that are at my level), because this clearly was way outside my abilities. Even with all Senf’s hints (thank you), it was a struggle to finish.

    I think 13a was probably my favourite. Thank you to Dada, and I still aspire to being able to solve this kind of crossword.

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