ST 3177 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3177 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3177 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A good Sunday morning from Winnipeg.

For me, Dada not so friendly, perhaps my afternoon nap wasn’t long enough, with a sprinkling where it seemed that a synonym of a synonym was required, also known as Dada’s personal thesaurus – only four anagrams (three partials), one lurker, and one homophone – 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 – 16a, 24a, 4d, 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 Bottle that’s cold swigged by wife the same age as us (5,7)
The single letter for Cold contained (swigged) by the Cockney slang for wife and a (3,3) phrase equivalent to the same age as us where the first three letter word is the first person plural possessive pronoun.

9a Person going downhill after trip on the inside, more dangerous (7)
A person who enjoys going downhill (on snow) placed after the interior letters (on the inside) of tRIp.

12a Weapon hunt (5)
A double definition – the second is possibly a synonym of a synonym that I referenced in my preamble.

17a Person looking back feels differently having joined cricket side (7)
You can’t make this stuff up, it’s in the BRB – a reflexive (looking back) pronoun found from an anagram (differently) of FEELS placed after (having joined) the two letter crickety side (of the pitch).

21a Hit stuff (7)
A double definition – the second is a slang term for clothing – synonym of a synonym again?.

24a Jockey in condition? (5)
Another double definition – the second is a clause that is, for example, added to an already agreed and signed contract.

29a Bird or mouse? (7)
Another double definition – the second is in the sense of being afraid.

30a Go and live in a refuge (4,1,7)
I thought this might be yet another double definition but I don’t think it is – consider it as (2,2,1,7) – our favourite two letter synonym for live, a two letter synonym of in, A from the clue, and a synonym of refuge.


1d Dad is upset, in feeling of contempt (7)
An anagram (upset) of DAD IS followed by IN from the clue.

3d Dog, annoying type? (7)
Another double definition – we have seen the dog, which is a type of hound, before, how you can distinguish it from other hounds of a similar size I have no idea.

6d Ugly expression as I’m introduced to class (7)
I’M from the clue inserted into (introduced to) a synonym of class – Hmm, another one.

7d Shatter personal best, perhaps, early on? (9,4)
A five letter synonym of shatter and a (4,4) term equivalent to personal best (in an athletic event?).

8d Old method of transport requiring change before 1971? (5-8)
Dada is actually referencing a particular day in 1971, February 15th I believe, although the second part of the answer ceased to be legal tender in December 1960 – a self propelled method of transport.

19d Way higher than Himalayas, say, surreal (7)
A two letter abbreviated form of a type of way (for getting from one place to another) placed before (higher than) a collective noun for what the Himalayas are an example of (say).

21d Team members laid off in style (7)
A general term for (waterborne?) team members and a single word for laid off – interestingly the BRB shows the answer as (4,3).

27d A little straw in every drink (4)
We finish with the lurker (a little) found in three words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Some inspiration from I don’t know where – the first movement Allegro of J S Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number 3 played by Early Music ensemble Voices of Music:

34 comments on “ST 3177 (Hints)
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  1. Dada in very gentle mood I thought today, only just extending into the second cup of tea.
    Top clues for me were 9&30a plus 4&21d. Good stuff indeed..
    Many thanks to our setter and Senf for the pre-swim workout.

  2. 3*/2.5*. I found this not quite as enjoyable as usual for a Sunday back-pager, with a handful of less than satisfying clues, notably 12a, 17a & 21d as highlighted by Senf.

    4d was my favourite, closely followed by 30a.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf, especially for the Brandenburg Concerto.👍

  3. Very enjoyable Sunday exercise from Dada in a benign mood. My favs include 7d and 1a but many others could be mentioned. My only problem was with 14d, this grid makes these tricky square’s difficult esp when all you have to go on are vowels so no surprise it was my last in.
    Thx to all

  4. Agood challenge from Dada today with a few enigmatic synonyms, lots of good lego clues, double definitions, cryptic definitions and a soupcon of GK. I liked 1a, 7d, 4d6a and 8d. Just tthe sort of crossword I like. Thanks to Dada for another enjoyable puzzle a nd to the hard-working Senf for the hints. Meanwhile God Sa ve King Charles III, who has acceded to rhe throne in troubled times, both in the UK and iternationally. I shall raise a glass to him today. Good Health and Good Luck.

    1. Your comment went into moderation as you had done something rather strange with your alias which I have taken the liberty of changing back to your regular alias.

      1. Thanks Senf. Yesterday I asked someone about the gardens they had visited and typed rhe first part of my question next to my e-mail address by mistake.

  5. I found this challenging, particularly the SE corner, and I had to put it down and come back to it. However, an enjoyable and satisfying solve. LOI was 27a, if in doubt…
    Favourite was 7d.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  6. Like RD I didn’t think this one on a par with recent Sundays. Thought it a curious mixture of very obvious answers (4 letter ones particularly) where the clueing was a bit dull & then a couple of head scratchers (12a&14d) chucked in. I too thought the enumeration for 21d a bit iffy. That said I did quite like the 4 peripheral long ‘uns & my favourite was the surface read at 16a.
    Thanks to D&S.
    Ps As is often the case few comments on yesterday’s NTSPP by Starhorse which is really top notch & well worth a gander.

  7. I felt this was a rather dull crossword today, with a quite woolly SE corner, which was last in for me.
    Ah well, maybe it’s just me with the Sunday blues, roll on tomorrow……

  8. No great problems. Mostly enjoyable. NE was last to crack for me. I like the long ones. 8d took longer than the others. I got the reference to 1971 but firstly thought of something else which would fit but not parse. I also didn’t parse 17a but get it now having read the hint. Star prize to 8d and other favourites 1 9 16 and 30a and 7d. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  9. A satisfying solve, though not as stylishly tricky as some of this setter’s can be. (The quickie actually has more punch, I think.) I did, however, enjoy 4d, my COTD, as well as 21d (always one word over here), 16a (aha! ’round and round we go’!), & 8d (fall of 1971 was the beginning of my year lecturing at Nottingham U). Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / ***

    Very tough Toughie, so good luck, John Bee!

    1. Just finished the hints, as usual, half hints doesn’t cover all the difficulties.14a in particular still vexes me (so I have left it unhinted)

  10. Funny, took some time to find a way in.
    This was 7d.
    Then a steady slog to conclusion, albeit slightly slowed by the
    8d made me chuckle, remembering courses at work.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  11. I’m with Hrothgar, a steady slog. Like Brian I was held up by the vowel-only checkers at 14 & 15d. The longies were sweet with 7d my favourite, 22 LOI.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Apologies to Jane and everyone for my irreverence on Friday. Thanks Senf for your prompt redaction.

  12. An enormous sense of relief when I finally realised that the puzzle I was fighting with was actually the Toughie and not the back-pager!
    Quite liked the long foursome around the perimeter and my top two were 10&16a.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the words and music.
    PS Don’t think I’ve even reached the halfway point in the Toughie!

  13. Our regular Sunday compiler has consistently set his bar pretty high over the last few months, so it was perhaps inevitable that the odd puzzle should sparkle less than normal. That said, this was a pleasant enough and straightforward solve, yet completed without the usual feeling of reward. 30a was my favourite.

    My thanks to Dada and Senf.

  14. An ok crossword without too many hold-ups. Similar reservations to Senf in 6d. Favourite was 1a. Hanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. A DNF for me with 14d left with two vowel checkers and no idea what the clue is on about. Otherwise managed to solve the rest with 7d impressing me. Thanks to Senf for all the work he is doing to keep the blog going and to Dada for arranging a much better solve for me.

  16. Restricted cruciverbal application as I have tv running in the background hence I did find this quite challenging but East less so than West where 7d held out until last. My Fav was 22d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  17. Quite tricky today but we got there in the end. 14 &15d were last in, as it has been said, these little ones can be tricky. 16,24 &30a and 4 and 7d had daisies by them but I think 21d was favourite. Church this morning, a larger congregation than usual but still far from full. A lovely service and we sang the National Anthem at the end. Coming out of church we stood talking to our lovely non-Stipendary vicar when I was stung on the leg by a wasp! Unprovoked. I am allergic to wasp stings so am suffering greatly and sloshing on antihistamine cream. I can hear some folks saying that’s what you get for going to church! It’s just a horrid end to a horrid week. 🤕 Thanks as ever to Dada and Senf for providing some distraction. PS have we heard anything from Carolyn in her geodesic home lately?

    1. Disappointing about the church attendance. When watching TV today I was amazed how few were at St Martin in the Fields. Goodness knows how few there are when a monarch hasn’t died.

  18. Definitely a tougher Dada this week. I was at a DNF with 14d until I saw Senf’s hint in comment 16, and then the THUD with the PDM. Thanks Senf!

    Overall today this was 2.5*/3.5*

    Favourites for me today were 21a, 30a, 3d, 7d & 21d

    28a was a new word for me or if I did know it I had forgotten it. Certainly not in my everyday language.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints

  19. As others have said this was perhaps not Dada’s finest Sunday offering yet any Dada is enjoyable – thanks to him and to Senf for the hints.
    Co-favourite clues for me were 30a and 4d.

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