ST 3182 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3182 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3182 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, with some cool-ish temperatures, we have been enjoying ‘mixed’ precipitation.

For me, a slow start, a quick middle, and a slow finish not helped by a senior moment trying to make 9a (2,7) instead of its (3,6) – seven anagrams (four partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and no homophones – all in a slightly asymmetric 30 clues; with 15 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, 9a, 26a, 1d, and 5d.

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 Do — or do without hot food? (3,3,7)
A double definition to start – the second could refer to the ‘deletion of a condiment.’

9a An unreal plaything with no strings attached? (3,6)
An imaginary (unreal) instrument (plaything).

11a Flipped over say, darkish bug (5)
The reversal (flipped over) of all of the two letter Latin-based abbreviation equivalent for say and a synonym of darkish (which is one of Kath’s favourite words).

17a Word in poem is surprisingly about right (7)
An anagram (surprisingly) of POEM IS containing (about) the single letter for Right.

18a Ex-Wimbledon champ on team (7)
The illustrated ex-Wimbledon champ and ON from the clue.

22a Roman goddess requiring month off, originally (4)
The three letter short form of a (summer) month and the first letter (originally) of Off.

26a Leap over underground chamber (5)
A double definition – the second might refer to a place for the storage of valuables.

28a A stepladder designed to get me on board boat (6,7)
An anagram (designed) A STEPLADDER containing (to get . . . on board) ME from the clue.


1d Political campaign in March, terribly nasty (5,9)
An anagram (terribly) of MARCH and a synonym of nasty.

4d Not entirely uplifting process, it amuses artist (7)
The reversed lurker (not entirely uplifting) found in three words in the clue.

5d Secure wreck (5,2)
A double definition – the first (and the second!) might refer to assembling some IKEA furniture.

8d Mischievous child, one using cane on swimmer? (14)
A descriptive term for someone using a cane to administer punishment placed before (on) a swimmer native to the western Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

14d Opening part, representative (10)
Not a double definition – a facial opening and a synonym of part.

16d Evident getting behind, win at cards (9)
A synonym of evident (as in out in the open) followed by (getting) a synonym of behind.

25d Macho man leaving academic research unfinished (4)
A single word term for academic research with the last letter removed (leaving . . . unfinished).

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Tissues at the ready perhaps, prompted by Art Garfunkel’s ‘appearance’ in Monday’s back pager – ‘Bright Eyes’ from the 1978 animation of Richard Adams’ novel ‘Watership Down’:

39 comments on “ST 3182 (Hints)
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  1. Excellent puzzle, I thought slightly more difficult than recent weeks and all the better for it, 23a being the only slight dud in the grid.
    Loads to choose from for special mention but I’ll go for 1&18a plus 1&3d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  2. Thought this was at the easier end of Sunday range.
    We managed to this without hints over our morning coffee. Very enjoyable. Particularly liked 9 across and 1 across.

  3. 1*/4*. Probably the lightest Sunday puzzle I can remember but nevertheless very enjoyable.

    My top picks are 1a, 10a, 3d & 5d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  4. A question that is unrelated to today’s crossword, if I may?

    I always solve and enter the weekend prize crosswords. I have never won an Amazon voucher

    So, has anyone else on here?

    Would you need to be a subscriber to Telegraph Puzzles to be able to win?


    1. Over a period of about fifty years I have won a pack of cards (my bridge partners very impressed) a fountain pen & pencil and two notebooks with a biro! At least now you can enter on line, in the old days it was a stamp every week. I was not a subscriber until about 20 years ago so I don’t think it has any bearing!

  5. After a slow start, I found the clues came together more quickly as the checkers went in. Whilst it wasn’t exactly a vintage Sunday puzzle, and 1d didn’t ring true as a definition to me, there were some pretty good clues, including an ingenious reverse lurker and a very nice charade. Favourites for me were 1a, 4d, 6d 8d and 18a. Many thanks to Senf for the hints and to th compiler.

  6. Very enjoyable – thanks to Dada and Senf (I hope that 1a is not aimed at you!).
    The clues I liked best were 1a, 9a and 3d.

  7. Nice right hand side but the left I found extremely tricky. Grateful to Mrs B for getting 1a which I would not have got in a 1000 years!
    9a was very clever but I do not understand the ‘stealing’ in 15a.
    A clever and elegant puzzle from the Sunday master.
    Thx to all

      1. I’m sorry but your response makes little sense:
        To take, gain or win, by beguiling talk, by contrivance, unexpectedly, insidiously, gradually, or furtively
        Even your patronising response makes little sense.

  8. Most certainly at the much easier end of Sunday crossword difficulty as I have finished it but very pleasing all the same. This week I have found solving a little easier but that is probably because I can give it more attention because of not being able to work in the garden. Once fully recovered I will have to work twice as hard and will go back to my true duff self.

    9 and 18a my favourites today.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. Glad you’re feeling a bit better Corky. Once you get back in the garden, it,does wonders both physically and mentally after a debilitating illness.

  9. I couldn’t get 9a for love nor money, had convinced myself it was some kind of floating marionette, ah well… should have looked at all the alternatives!

  10. I, too, found this at the easier end of our regular Sunday setter’s spectrum, yet it was still a most enjoyable and rewarding solve, with 1a and the excellent reverse lurker my top picks this morning.

    My thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. Quite a gentle Sunday stroll with just 9a & 14d needing a bit of thought.
    Tops for me were 1a & 1d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints – sorry, couldn’t bring myself to watch the clip, a tear-jerker if ever there was one!

  12. Stupidly beaten by 14d.
    Perhaps I should have thought for longer.
    Otherwise, a quick solve.
    Smiled at the clever 18a.
    Many thanks Dada for the enjoyment and to Senf.

  13. So warm sitting here in the sun – I could go to sleep! Crossword finished with 3d last one in – very cheeky! I too liked the lurker and 1d. I even got the footbally one. George has had such a rotten cold and bad chesty cough since he had his Covid booster then flu jab – he has slept in his reclining chair all the week and this morning actually felt so rough he took a Covid test. Negative thank goodness. Anyway, that’s enough news from Cambridge, thanks to the setter and to Senf – our Hinters are doing sterling work filling gaps. Much appreciated.

  14. Good fair clues and lots of fun despite being pretty straightforward. Hard to pick a favourite but we’ll go with 9a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. I found this a bit of a hassle but made the grade. 1d definitely needed in politics at the moment! Afraid I had never heard of a 9a so a prompt was needed as for 14d which I should have sussed. Fav for me was 16d. Thank you Dada and part of 1a.

  16. A very pleasurable romp for me last night, with 9a and 2d my last two in and, along with 1a, my picks for the podium. Thanks to the ever-faithful Senf and the ever-clever Dada. ** / ****

    I finished a Zandio Toughie all on my own, in record time for me, and the rafters didn’t cave in.

  17. A relatively gentle Dada puzzle for Sunday again this week … with a few twists in the cluing that I enjoyed.
    2.5*/3.5* for me.

    1a and 9a gave me a laugh.

    Favourites include 1a, 9a, 15a, 5d & 20d

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints.

  18. For a while I didn’t think I was going to finish today.
    The top left corner was completely empty (of answers) for ages – all the other corners were fine but I couldn’t get going at all up there.
    It’s amazing a quick change of scenery does – I want for a walk and then everything just fell into place when I came back.
    I couldn’t do 22a – a wrong answer didn’t help – it was a different anagram and then it was fine – an anagram (taken for a spin) for unremarkable – oh well!
    I liked 10 and 20a and 5d and my favourite was 8d.
    Thanks for Dada and too Senf.
    Thanks too for the “Bright Eyes” – our Elder Lamb was born four months before that – I used to sing it to her when I took her for walks in her pram.

    1. You weren’t alone with the wrong anagram answer at 19d rendering 22a impossible – pleased to find myself in such good company….

  19. For a Dada, a relative breeze for me. I usually finish, or require one or two hints on a Sunday, but completed with comfort today.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.


  20. Despite initially diving in too quickly at 19d a very fast solve. Very enjoyable & nicely clued throughout but I do rather miss Dada in trickier mode which seems a bit of a rarity of late. Liked the 4 long ‘uns together with 9a&14d.
    Thanks to D&S

  21. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. I enjoyed this very much, but found it trickier than usual. Penultimate answer was 14d, LOI was 20d, had to rack my brains to get them both. Favourite was 9a, very original. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  22. Funny how a particular letter seems to be to the fore in a puzzle – ‘p’s seemed to be everywhere in this one! Anyway, I always enjoy Dada productions, with this no exception, though unlike others I didn’t find it particularly easy….

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