ST 3179 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3179 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3179 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where on Thursday, the last (partial) day of astronomical summer, we started off the day at a chilly plus 1 degree.

For me, Dada sort of friendly, although it took me a little while to ‘get going’ – six anagrams (two partials), one lurker, and one (doubtful) homophone – all in an asymmetric 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 – 10a, 13a, 19a, 3d, and 8d.

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 Cord with bits pulled back (5)
A synonym of bits reversed (pulled back).

10a Evening wear exactly right, laic surprisingly impressed (4,4)
An anagram (surprisingly) of LAIC inserted (impressed) into a (2,1,1) synonymic phrase equivalent to exactly right.

11a Wicked without gaps, did you say? (6)
The (doubtful) homophone (did you say) of a single, or perhaps hyphenated, word equivalent to without gaps.

14a Sadly, animal knocked over wine (7)
A synonym of sadly and a male (farm) animal all reversed (knocked over).

19a Vegetable, standard crop (7)
A three letter synonym of standard (commonly used in golf, for example) and a synonym of crop (but nothing to do with farming).

21a Clutch very bad, fragile thing (8)
A synonym of clutch, or what can be found in a clutch, and a single word for very bad (as in – it was . . . ).

22a Thug from Los Angeles in pool (6)
The two letter abbreviated form of Los Angeles and a synonym of thug.

26a Seize unlicensed stock, unloading remaining packages first of all (5)
The initial letters (first of all) of five words in the clue.


2d Where brew served up to me, or a fancy (3,4)
An anagram (fancy) of TO ME, OR A.

3d Where shelf stackers may be seen, everywhere (3,4,3,4)
Assuming the ‘supply chain’ is functioning correctly where, generally, shelf stackers may be seen carrying out their assigned duties.

5d Month before it turns up south of an island (7)
The abbreviated form of the month before the present one and IT from the clue all reversed and then placed under (south of), as it is a down clue, AN from the clue.

8d An egg that’s scrambled kept by Victor and girl in vessel (9,5)
An anagram (that’s scrambled) of AN EGG that is contained (kept) by a slang abbreviated form of a synonym of victor and a synonym of girl (not guess a name).

19d Beer bottles finished off, German exercises (7)
A type of beer that is a light coloured, flavoursome variety of lager contains (bottles) a three letter term equivalent to finished off – and if you are wondering where German comes into it – the exercises are named after their German inventor.

22d Upward spin for eye (4)
A synonym of spin reversed (upward).

Quick Crossword Pun:


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I could not find any decent birthdays or number ones for today’s date, so this is a number 3 from the Spring of 1978:

37 comments on “ST 3179 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable, completed prior to a bracing sea swim.
    I’d never heard of the fruit in 13a but what else could the solution be and the “German” aspect of 19d threw me for a while too
    Lots made me smile including 14&22a plus 2Od but the biggest was from 16d, great clue.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  2. Thanks Senf . Like you slow start but enjoyiment & momentum increased gradually . 18d my favourite as made me chuckle.
    A lot warmer here in Majorca than home and Canada .
    Well done , yet again , Dada .

  3. Great fun as usual from Dada – thanks to him and to Senf (and good luck with your scan result).
    I had to do some investigoogling to discover what German had to do with 19d.
    Top clues for me were 11a, 18d and 19d.

    1. My first (erroneous) thought was that German referred to the beer. Thanks to Senf for setting me straight.

    2. 19d’s German had me thinking for a while. If it related to the beer, which I had already ‘twigged’ from ‘Across checkers’, then two thoughts came to mind:

      1. It was a badly constructed clue, which would be most unusual for Dada.

      2. The beer is named for a town not in Germany.

      For me, the BRB resolved the problem on the exercises and provided the eloquent description of the beer in the hint.

      1. Cheers SJB. Iwent & did a few chores then came back & everything is fine. Do you know if the old site will be closed down eventually? I don’t like the new version as to me its neither user friendly nor printer efficient.

        1. I hope not. I use the 5 hints and submit to check progress facility quite often, and the new site doesn’t seem to have that feature. I didn’t need either for last night’s Toughie but that was more luck than skill on my part.

  4. 2*/5*. Excellent Sunday fare with far too many outstanding clues to pick a single favourite or even a podium selection.

    Luckily I was introduced to 19d by a colleague in Germany when I was working.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  5. A most demanding Dada puzzle today for me, with rather tricky wordplay and misdirection. I needed to use the thesaurus much more than I usually do but eventually finished it after a slow start. The evening wear clue solution puzzled me (10a) but that mY be because I have old fashioned notions about formal wear and I seemed to have a missing letter in 9d. However, I found it very absorbing solve. Favourites were 3d, which made me laugh, 5d, for reasons that will be clear to regularxreaders and 13a. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Da da tor a good challenge

      1. Yes, i could see the answer but not where the final lettter came from. Then, after lunch, looked at the puzzle again and the penny dropped. Doh,

  6. Dada is always a bit tough for me, and today’s proved likewise, taking me into *** time, but I always enjoy the challenge–especially so today with 8d, 18d, 20d, & 14a the stars in our Sunday master’s crown. Thanks to Senf and Dada. *** / ****

    Finished my first Vera Stanhope mystery (The Rising Tide) to add to the Shetland & Two Rivers series by Ann Cleeves, and have now moved on into the second novel of the Laidlaw Trilogy. I’m really sort of all over the UK, if not 3d!

  7. Great puzzle.
    Gathered pace as I progressed.
    Last in, 8d, due to clever misdirection.
    7d brought a smile.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  8. Had a blind spot where ‘clutch’ was concerned despite having realised what the answer had to be – silly girl!
    3&8d made me smile and my top two were 19a & 19d.

    Thanks to Dada for the entertainment and to Senf for the hints and the sounds of Baker Street.

  9. On the whole a good puzzle with 1a and 20d my favs BUT 24a and 19d are both clumsy clues and the less said about 11a the better.
    Overall better than some of Dadas but not as good as some.
    Thx for the hints

  10. I had 18d earmarked as my favourite well before finishing this excellent puzzle, and nothing came close to surpassing it. 11a was my last one in, and overall I found this to be a solid and rewarding solve with many inventive clues. Great stuff.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. A reasonably gentle Dada today I thought. The bottom half went in fairly smoothly and like others I did enjoy 18d. North East was last to fall as I was held up trying to find the first word of 8d until I looked past the clever misdirection. Like Chriscross in comment 8, I too had a hmm about the time of day for 10a in present times – if that’s not naughty step!

    Many thanks to Dada for his usual excellence and to Senf for the review, and (having missed out on yesterday’s blog) I’d like to add my congratulations to CS and MrCS on their anniversary this weekend

  12. As usual Dada was more than difficult for me but I finally got there. Unfortunately the trek through the puzzle removed any enjoyment except for a treasured football memory stirred by 12a. In 1970 I was visiting my then girlfriend, now my wife of over 50 years in Reading. Never having been to the Reading stadium I went on the Saturday afternoon to see them play Stockport County. A dire experience of lower league football except for one excellent player in the Stockport team.

    My thanks to Dada and Send.

    I hope that the puzzle police do not count what I have written above as giving away a prize puzzle answer. As it is I do not think 12a is too difficult.

    Congratulations to CS and MR CS on their anniversary. I hope it was an enjoyable and memorable event.

  13. Favourites 13a and 3 5 6 and 8d. Last ones in 21 and 26a and 18d. I did not have a problem with the homophone at 11a. It works for me. 10a took me a while. I had two different words for evening wear but luckily waited until I had the checkers. I do not associate this primarily with evening wear, whereas I instantly thought of the other (wrong) answer. Thanks Dada. Thanks Senf. I used your hint after the event to parse 10a. I must remember this particular device. Hoping for good news when you get your results. The worst bit is the waiting.

  14. Thanks Dada & Senf. Much fun and not too troubling this morning. Lots of originality (though 24a cropped up again) and wit.
    Like many others, I didn’t know the exercises were German and felt the beer was Czech so wasted a minute there.
    Loved 21, 22, 26a and 6, 8 & 18d.

  15. If this one was a little bit friendly then I’d rather steer clear of a grumpy one who’d got out of bed the wrong side this morning.
    I thought it was really difficult and I’ve still got two I can’t do – both in the bottom left corner and crossing over – oh dear!!
    No favourite clue today so thanks to Dada for the crossword and thanks to Senf for the much needed hints.

  16. Found this Dada puzzle today on the harder/quirkier side of his offerings. For me today 3*/3*
    Took me a while to get going and get some momentum happening.
    Last area completed was the NE with the last in being 7d in the NW. Didn’t know the word meant what it does in English, so I learnt something today.

    Favourites include 10a, 17a, 2d, 3d & 8d with winner 10a

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints I needed today.

  17. Needed a lot of help with this one from Senf and the electronic gizmos…so not my best day.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  18. Enjoyed this a lot but stuck on 24a for hours. Eventually realised my answer for 22d was completely wrong but made perfect sense at the time. Hey ho. I can’t see the puzzle at the/moment but I think it is 18d – I always thought it was a word with 7 letters with an extra letter in position 6, if that makes sense. Thanks to all and many congrats to CS and Mr CS on their milestone!

    1. Trying not to confuse you too much, the BRB shows 18d ‘as is’ and a hyphenated seven letter alternative where the extra letter is at the end.

      And, of course, it has to be ‘as is’ to satisfy the wordplay/parsing.

  19. I enjoyed today’s workout. My last two in 22d and 24 across ( I had completed the latter before realising it was an anagram). Many thanks to Dada and Senf. Hope all goes well tomorrow with your results Senf.

  20. Late to this & fortunately on wavelength for a brisk solve in ** time. Hadn’t realised 19d was introduced by a German but assumed it must have been. All my picks were in the downs – 18 my favourite & with ticks for 3,6&8. All good fun.
    Thanks to D&S

  21. Late start for me too due to prolonged viewing of final rounds of exciting Laver Cup tennis. Like Senf I took a while to get underway (weigh?) but eventualy top came good followed by bottom half. Not up in that type of team but I live quite near to 18d and 12a also rang a bell as my husband came from that neck of the woods. 18d for me is as bad as way cheers is often used these days. My Fav was the little 23a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

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