ST 3181 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3181 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3181 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where on Thursday we had our first day of the season with a single digit high temperature, and then plus, or is it minus, the ‘invisible’ wind chill.

For me, after Zandio’s Friday back pager, this was a ‘walk in the park’ but, then, I did have to solve only half of the puzzle to be able to provide the hints :wink: – five anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and no homophones – all in a very 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, 16a, 3d, 6d, 15d, and The Pun.

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 Meat’s lost on a Greek character (5)
A variety of ‘the other white meat’ with ON deleted (lost) followed by (on) A from the clue.

10a Bald head in heat, unpleasantly warm? (8)
The first letter (head in) Heat and a term that Dada thinks is equivalent to unpleasantly warm, hence the ‘?’ at the end of the clue.

13a Good friend on pitch, everywhere (8)
The single letter for Good followed by a synonym of friend placed after (on) a synonym of pitch – not one of Dada’s ‘finest’ as far as I am concerned.

14a Remove four, roughly, imprisoned by Egyptian king (4,3)
An anagram (roughly) of FOUR contained (imprisoned) by the abbreviated name of a well known Egyptian king.

19a Food like a lobster back in soup (7)
A synonym of food and the colour of (like) a lobster (when it is cooked) reversed (back)

23a Sticky material in novel crossword (6)
The (forward) lurker (in) found in two words in the clue – of course the answer is a trade name, but I suppose it has become like Hoover and Biro.

24a Florida island’s mood — everything depends on it (8)
One of Florida’s 800 islands, retaining the possessive S, and a synonym of mood.

26a Initially petty, impertinent moralist (5)
The first letter (initially) of Petty and a synonym of impertinent.


2d Firm uniting man and social worker (7)
The combination (uniting) of the name of (the first) man and a type of (six legged) social worker.

3d Collecting figures, score three races wrongly (6,8)
OK – who tried to make an anagram of 15 letters fit into 14 lights? – a four letter synonym of score and an anagram (wrongly) of THREE RACES.

6d Sensitive issue seeing King Edward in sauna? (3,6)
The condition of a King Edward variety of vegetable placed in a sauna.

8d Basic foods keep (5-3-6)
A double definition – the second refers to livelihood.

20d Sophisticated judge in journalist (7)
An abbreviated form of a type of judge (at a sporting event), IN from the clue, and our favourite two letter journalist.

22d Source of protein in mayo served up (4)
We finish with the reversed lurker (in . . . up) found in two words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun (for which I had to check the spelling):


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French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era, Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was born on this day in 1835.  One of his most well-known works is the suite The Carnival of the Animals from 1886.  This is Le Cygne (The Swan) played by cellist Tanja Derwahl supported by pianist Stephanie Detry, harp and strings from André Rieu’s orchestra, and two sets of ice dancers with a delightful interpretation (which probably rivals Torvill and Dean’s Bolero):

31 comments on “ST 3181 (Hints)
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  1. Very enjoyable, completed before a bracing sea swim (there won’t be many more this year).
    The NW held me up for a while but otherwise a relatively swift solve.
    As ever with this setter a lot of fun, my ticks go to 1,19&24a plus 6d and a cracking pun, with top spot going to the nicely misleading 10a.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

    Ps Senf, I don’t think “on” in 13a is a containment indicator, it just indicates that the friend is attached to or “on” the synonym of pitch.

    1. Thanks Stephen, hint for 13a revised. Not one of Dada’s ‘finest’ as far as I am concerned. Perhaps I was slightly befuddled by my fifth or sixth puzzle of the day and the second dose of a light and crisp, but young (last year) Sauvignon Blanc from the Bordeaux region.

  2. 2.5*/4*. Good fun despite having to guess a man and my repetition radar bleeping at the use of “ending” twice to indicate the last letter of a word.

    My top three were 1a, 4a & 6d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me that gets a repetition twitch. A glass of 2 of Senf’s sauvy b would probably address the symptoms.

  3. Enjoyable but perhaps not as much fun as we normally get from Dada – thanks to him and Senf.
    My favourite clue was 6d.

    I thoroughly recommend the Robyn Toughie which is superb.

  4. Flowed smoothly and enjoyably to completion.
    Encouraging start to the crossword week.
    1a COTD.
    So, */****
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  5. Going great guns until I hit the top left which had me stumped. Not sure 12a is a job and the hint for 1a only made sense to me when I had the answer.
    Real shame as the rest of it was super.
    Thx to all

  6. 1a tops them all in this pleasantly enjoyable, if lighter than usual, Sunday PP. 10a and 1a were my last two in and ultimately the two best of all. I also liked 3d, and yes, I tried to condense 15 into 14, to answer Senf’s query. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ** / ****

    I agree with Gazza about Robyn’s Toughie today: just wonderful!

  7. I will happily add my name to those who went for 6d as a favourite clue. The whole puzzle flowed nicely, with just 3d holding me up for the same reason already given by our blogger and Robert.

    Many thanks to Dada for the fun, and to Senf.

  8. Very enjoyable. Although I have an answer for 19d (I think, don’t have the paper to hand) – cannot see where tap water comes into it. Maybe I have the wrong answer. Thanks to Senf and the setter.

    1. You should probably concentrate on the second element of the 19d double definition. The ‘quite possibly’ applied to the first element is somewhat of an understatement.

      1. It seems the discussion is on 18 1/2 down?

        Delightful synaptic romp amongst tea and toast (with Dundee marmalade).

        Grateful Dead Fans.

        Mr & Mrs T

    2. Ugh. I didn’t like either 18 or 19d. Like Manders I have answers but there is no satisfaction that the double-definitions have been met.

  9. Very slow off the starting blocks today – I’m blaming it on Friday’s Covid booster which has really knocked me for six.
    Top two for me were 1&10a with a mention for 16a which describes just how I feel at the moment!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the delightful video clip, a bevy of excellent performers.

  10. Good straightforward Sunday fare, with Dada in a benign mood, I thought. Good surfaces, no duff clues, with special mentions to 1a, 24a and 26a.

    Senf – having done half the puzzle I can recommend you tackle the rest! 😉

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  11. A first for me. Completed all of the across clues in order before looking at the downs which were a real stroll in the park. Very gentle & though perfectly enjoyable not from his top drawer,
    Thanks to D&S

  12. I felt that it wasn’t cone of Dada’s best efforts but quite enjoyed doing the puzzle. The three clues that stood out were 15d, 14a and 19a. Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  13. Senf’s single digit temperatures are below – dropping to -2C (28F in old money). Made us smile to see it described in Winnipeg as only « Chilly ».

  14. Turned to this with relief after a read through of the Toughie. How SJB and others made head or tail of it is beyond me.

  15. 3/3. Reasonably straightforward puzzle from Dada except held up for ages by the NW corner. My favourite was 3d having tried to compress 15 letters into 14. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. I seemed to make heavy weather of this but maybe it was 2 gin & tonics with visiting DD2 and a very warm conservatory. G has given up and gone for a nap. I was really stuck on 12a which was stupid, I had thatch in my head when the answer was so simple. 18d seemed very odd as well but hey, I have finished it. I liked 1a, 14a and 19. Many thanks to Setter and Hinter, I cannot bear being cold – I don’t know how you cope with those low temperatures!🥶

  17. Not a barrowload of fun for me but then Dada isn’t always my cup of tea. NW least co-operative corner. Didn’t parse 17a or indeed first word of 3d which had to be (I in fact spent my whole working life involved in that). Slow in the uptake on 1a but it became Fav. Not sure about dancers with André Rieu being a match for Torvill and Dean. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  18. As ever, thoroughly enjoyable stuff from Dada – many thanks👍
    I genuinely look forward to the Sunday challenge – definitely a ‘wavelength’ thing!
    Thanks also to Senf for the blog ‘n hints.

  19. Late start to this one today. Seemed a relatively tame Dada to me.
    1.5*/3.5* today.

    Favourites include 14a, 17a, 22a, 6d & 15d with winner 6d

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Another warm sunny day on the West Coast today … the never ending summer

  20. Phew, got there in the end but still can’t figure out the parsing for 18D (worked it out from the letters I had plus the definition but can figure out the wordplay …)

  21. Unusually for a Dada I found 2 clues unsatisfactory – like others, 18d and 19d – but still finished in ** time, held up a little by the SE corner…..BUT confidence then shattered by first ever failure with Wordle….

  22. Did most late last night after a day at Calke Abbey. Left with NE like most people. Cracked 3d then the rest flowed. I had previously gone through all the characters for 1a but finally clicked. Favourites 1 and 10a and 5 8 and 15d. Thanks Dada and Senf. Didn’t need hints but always use to confirm and hadn’t been sure of some.

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