ST 3176 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3176 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3176 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we have had a mini-heatwave to end August and begin September at the start of a holiday weekend which is considered to signal the end of Summer mostly because the schools start the ‘new year’ on Tuesday.

For me, Dada back to friendly with seven anagrams (five 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, 25a, 7d, 9d, and 17d.

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 Not much of a difference for coppers (5,6)
A double definition to start – the second refers to currency.

11a Food processor undergoing trial in back of cafe (9)
A (2,4) synonymic phrase for undergoing trial, IN from the clue, and the last letter (back) of cafE.

16a Weirdly porcine, old cheese from sheep (8)
An anagram (weirdly) of PORCINE and the single letter for Old.

18a Article pains ham actor (8)
A definite article and an anagram (ham) of PAINS.

24a Father dead-headed rose in garden plot (9)
A synonym of rose (as in flower) with the first letter removed (dead-headed) contained by (in) a single word term for garden plot.

27a Broadcasting in Bulgarian, old revolutionary (2,3)
The reversed lurker (in . . . revolutionary) found in two words in the clue.

28a Ridiculously hot man, dense to put it mildly (3,4,4)
An anagram (ridiculously) of HOT MAN, DENSE.


2d Wash second baby (3,2)
A two letter synonym of second (in time) and a term for a baby (animal?).

3d Express didn’t have crew, they said (7)
The homophone (they said) of all of a single word for didn’t have and a (rowing) crew.

7d Modern nation frequently requiring compassion (5-2-3-3)
A synonym of nation (as a country), a three letter synonym of frequently, and (requiring) a synonym of compassion.

9d Rural county: cars let out south of this place (13)
Cars that originally came in any colour as long as it was black and a single word for let out all placed after (south of) a single word for this place.

17d Twist isn’t cosmetic (8)
A synonym of twist and an informal contracted form of isn’t gives an informal synonym of cosmetic(s).

19d Nerve required to climb over brave person in passenger seat (7)
A three letter synonym of nerve (as in impudence) reversed (to climb) placed before (over) a single word for a brave person.

25d Domain: actual kingdom, ultimately (5)
A synonym of actual and the last letter (ultimately) of kingdoM.

Quick Crossword Pun:


Perhaps Dada was thinking of this:

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I was bereft of ideas for some music for today so I ‘asked’ YouTube for ‘Music for September’ and top of the list was Jazz, R&B, Soul, Funk, Disco, Pop, EDM, Latin, and Afro pop band Earth, Wind & Fire with its number 3 hit from 1978 appropriately titled September:

47 comments on “ST 3176 (Hints)

  1. Loved it.
    Have to say I was surprised by 10a, this setter clued the same word in almost exactly the same way in his last outing. Forgiven though as the rest was so good.
    My winners are 14a plus 7(great fodder spot)&17d with top spot going to the super 6d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf, enjoyed the Earth Wind and Fire song.

  2. It’s that man Senf again. Thanks very much for all your tireless efforts on the blog.

    This was an absolute better of a puzzle from Dada (not withstanding the reappearance of 10a so soon), and my rating is 2*/5* with 12a, 24a, 3d, 7d & 17d the best of the bunch. Many thanks to him for our Sunday entertainment.

  3. Dada’s on top form today – thanks to him and Senf.
    From a long list of candidates I’ve selected 3d, 7d and 19d for my podium.

  4. A very tricky puzzle and a DnNF for me today, I’m afraid. There were so many brilliant clues that I can’t mention them all but 9d, 5d, 3d, 26a and 4d were among the best for me. Thanks to marathon hint-man Senf (when do you get time to sleep?) And to Dada for a challenging puzzle and one of the best homophones I’ve seen in a long while.

  5. What an absolute cracker of a puzzle for an overcast Sunday morning. Way too many top clues to pick an outright winner, so I will just thank Dada for an excellent and enjoyable challenge, and Senf for all his hard work on the site.

  6. This one has me beat even if I did solve a dreadful clue in 3d – ghastly!
    Way above my pay grade I’m afraid.
    Thx for the hints

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable.
    On course for 2* time finish.
    But held up by the very clever 11 and 14a.
    Pennies resoundingly dropped eventually.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  8. I agree with Senf that Dada was in friendly mood today. This was a fun challenge requiring perseverence in a few sticky patches. South was smoothest ride. 7d took a bit of sorting but became joint Fav with 9d. Took a while to suss nerve to parse 19d. 23a is a bit of a bad penny although with varying clues. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  9. Put me down as another who thought this was a superb puzzle. No chance of picking just one for the top spot but I will give special mention to 17d where the penny was very slow to drop.
    Thanks to Dada for the Sunday challenge and many thanks to Senf for taking on extra duties recently. I’m glad you found the Earth, Wind and Fire clip, another of those that takes me back to disco days!

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed this. I marked 11a, 3d, 6d and 17d as my stand-out clues, maybe influenced by the fact that the first three of those were also my last three in.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  11. Absolutely brilliant, the best Dada for me in many Sundays. 6d is my COTD, but 17d, 11a, 14a, & 24a are all close contenders for top honours. Loved this one. Thanks to Senf for his devotion to duty and to Dada. ** / *****

    Great Toughie today too!

    1. I agree with you on the Toughie today. I have just done the blog and although I solved it fairly quickly I had a blast doing so. I would put it at about a Tuesday/Weds toughie level.

  12. Oh I did enjoy that! So many good clues, but favourite is 11a, if only because I spent ages looking at all my kitchen gadgets before the penny finally dropped!

    Thanks to setter and Senf.

  13. I had to look the blog in order to check that Dada really did set today’s puzzle, as it provided me with my fastest Sunday solve ever. Personal favourite clues were 3d, 7d, and 9d – so i think my vote for cotd goes to 9d. Good fun all round. Thanks to all concerned.

  14. Took a bit of thinking & post lunch coffee but Dada did the magic again. I was at the limit of my operating capacity! But tremendous.
    Many thanks to Senf for necessary direction & to Dada for another cracker.

  15. Fairly straightforward with a couple of head scratchers. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. A very enjoyable solve for Sunday with a friendly Dada offering today.
    For me 1.5*/4.5*

    Some very excellent and though provoking clues today.
    Favourites were 1a, 11a, 28a, 3d, 4d & 9d — with winner 11a for the clever misdirection but really all of them were winners IMHO.

    Nothing to dislike in this puzzle … thoroughly enjoyed this one.

    Thanks to Dada and of course Senf

  17. All went swimmingly – perhaps it was the bottle of Weisserburgunder at lunch that did the trick. Perhaps Brian should try it ?

  18. What a small number of comments thus far. Best Dada puzzle for some time for me also & full of excellent clues. Big ticks for 1,11&24a plus 3(sorry Brian),6,7,9&17d. Good fun & top notch.
    Thanks to D&S

  19. I have sent an e-mail to our esteemed editor about the formatting of a puzzle print out on the ‘new’ puzzles web site. The text of the e-mail is as follows:

    Having found the new ‘DT Puzzles Site’ yesterday, I am really disappointed, as a dyed in the wool ‘paper and pencil’ solver, with the formatting of the new ‘back pager’ print-out, shown on the right in the attachment:
    An unnecessarily large grid.
    A Microscopic font (7pt Microsoft Sans Serif Bold, I believe) that needs a magnifying glass.
    An unnecessarily large ‘Notes’ area when, as you can see, there is plenty of ‘white space’ for notes and other scratchings on the old format.
    Whoever designed this format cannot be a regular solver of crosswords.
    Can you please get something done about the new format before, presumably, deleting the old format forever.

    The attachment is below.

    1. At the risk of tempting fate, I print mine off the DT site daily and it looks like the left hand picture. Including both the prize puzzle a d the toughie. I agree, right side style would be really annoying.

      On the crossword, great. Held up by 3 in the NE corner but a 5hr University related round trip to Falmouth and back cleared the synapses and they fell in quick succession on my return

    2. Senf, this came up last week and completely agree with your feedback. I have also sent an email to the puzzles site and the editor, I hope this gets resolved quickly. As you say, it’s so obvious to anyone that solves a crossword on paper that this format is wrong

      1. It would be good if CL made some comments on this in tomorrow’s newsletter but I won’t hold my breath!

    3. I agree with Senf 100% … the left hand picture of the print out is perfect the way it is. PLEASE do not change it.

    4. Whoever tested the new format must have shares in Specsavers. I presume that someone did actually test it!

      I never print the puzzle, but there is the same problem when doing it on line … the letters in the grid are microscopic.🔍🔍🔍

    5. Thanks, Senf. It’s clearly still a work in progress, so I expect that issue will be addressed. I hope they add a search function.

      Praise is due for making the online puzzle playable on a phone and also for enabling the use of italics in clues. Now online solvers won’t have to guess how many answers make up the Quick Crossword pun.

  20. Gosh…where did that week go! It’s already Sunday and time for another thoroughly enjoyable challenge from Dada…superb! 👍👍👍
    Really enjoyed this one which had my grey matter churning but eventually managing to solve & parse all the clues!
    Last one in was 3D, which (sorry Brian) actually made Mrs H & I both laugh when I was trying to parse the answer by saying it out loud…when suddenly the penny dropped! 😂 Ah well, there’s certainly no pleasing everyone…but this one certainly did for me!
    Thanks, as ever, to Senf for another fine blog ‘n hints 👍

  21. Hard going, but solvable. Just could have done with a hint for 14a, which naturally was absent ! Managed it solo in the end.

    ***/***. A good challenge.

    Thanks to all concerned.

    1. I too am struggling with 14a and came here to look for a hint. I will take it to bed tonight and think about what it might be.

      1. 14a is something of an oldie but goodie, but I don’t think we have seen it for a while and different clueing obviously. You are looking for an informal synonym of ‘large number.’

      2. Think of a synonym for rarely, minus its last letter, add the letter for zero and reverse it !
        Hope that helps and that it doesn’t overstep the rules !

  22. Dada in very friendly mood today which as you know well,
    means I managed to finish it.
    My thanks to Senf and Dada.

  23. Lovely puzzle. Haven’t finished it yet.

    However, and I understand this might not be the right place if so please edit or remove my post, I/we really dislike the new layout. We print our crosswords. Having a notes section is nice but the grid itself is huge, much too big, and the font for the clues is so tiny it is almost impossible to read. I am near sighted, anything more than a foot away is fuzzy, but my close vision is perfect so if I am struggling heaven knows how others are coping. Perhaps the Telegraph has bought shares in the magnifying glass industry?

      1. Thank you Senf for all your help. I have also emailed, as the Codewords have disappeared. As another ‘printer’, I need the site to remain usable otherwise my subscription will have to cease.

        1. Carolyn / Emperor – In the comments on Monday’s Campbell Cryptic I have posted what may be a possible temporary solution to the printing problem. Hopefully it will work for you both.

  24. And so ends a poor week of crosswording for me…DNF on a 5*/4*.

    The hints helped (I was totally off on 18a with a completely different answer I tried to convince myself parsed… Then I read the hint!)

    Even with the hints I still couldn’t finish.

    I enjoyed 1a, 28a and 4d the most and my DNF didn’t stop me enjoying what I could manage!

  25. What a brilliant puzzle! All of it was great, but I especially loved 11a, 3d, 7d, and the Quickie Pun.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  26. What is the new address for the puzzles as half are missing under the old one including the Sept 5th OLPP????

    Please and thanks

      1. Thank you Senf ….

        Finally got it to let me sign in.
        That’s a BLOODY awful change and I HATE it.
        Tiny little clues to read and a MASSIVE grid??!!??
        Just horrible.
        Hope CL gets the message and reverts it back.

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