ST 3184 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3184 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3184 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where on Monday with 30mm plus of, thankfully, rainfall from our first Colorado Low of this Autumn/Winter season, and with two months of the year left, 2022 became the wettest year on record with a total, so far, of 740mm.

With the end of BST, I hope all the UK residents enjoyed their extra hour of sleep.  Ours is next weekend.

For me, a friendly anagram fest from Dada with 8 of them (3 partials), no lurkers, and one homophone 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 – 9a, 20a, 24a, 26a, 16d, and 23d.

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 Mark, comedian, probable loser? (11)
Synonyms of mark and comedian plus assistance from the illustration.

9a Result of stepping into boiling water in haste (7)
Written as (3,4) a descriptive phrase that can be applied to a part of the body after stepping into boiling water.

13a Lot more shaky — this sound? (7)
An anagram (shaky) of LOT MORE.

15a Nothing in paste’s OK when spread, as it were (2,2,5)
The letter that represents nothing inserted into (in) an anagram (when spread) of PASTE’S OK.

17a Comedy hit gets criticism (9)
A synonym of hit (with the hand) followed by (gets) a synonym of criticism.

24a Sneeze: and what I need for it when heard? (7)
A homophone (when heard) of a (1,6) term for what is needed for a sneeze.

27a Country music player in Terence animated old show (3,3,5)
A Middle Eastern (Persian Gulf) country and the abbreviated form of a (human) music player all inserted into (in) the familiar or informal form of Terence.


2d Refurbishment of loos etc, most sophisticated (7)
An anagram (refurbishment)of LOOS ETC.

5d Old ships, clippers (7)
A double definition – the first is illustrated.

7d Brief during political campaign the pits, slow unfortunately (7-4)
An anagram (unfortunately) of THE PITS, SLOW.

11d A little regular cash kept economy moving (6,5)
An anagram (moving) of KEPT ECONOMY.

19d Sovereign for fruit? (7)
A double definition – the first is a female sovereign and the second is a dried fruit.

20d Cheerful person carving block? (7)
A double definition(?) – the second could be a sculptor (in Dada’s personal thesaurus!).

23d Give in all that’s harvested (5)
Yet another double definition – the first is a form of surrender.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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I know thinking can be dangerous, but, in the middle of the week, I had a thought ‘out of nowhere’ and the result is, from 1969, the opening sequence of The Italian Job, without the titles overlay, but with the dulcet tones of Matt Monro:

41 comments on “ST 3184 (Hints)

  1. For me top-notch Dada today, very enjoyable indeed.
    It’s hard to look beyond the excellent 1a as favourite, but the very clever and well disguised 22a plus 7d were worthy runners up. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  2. 1.5*/4*. This was a fun puzzle at the easier end of Dada’s spectrum.

    My candidates for favourite were10a, 17a, 22a, 26a & 4d. I also liked the wordplay for 27a but its surface seemed rather odd.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. PS . I had a bizarre experience when I first logged on to the site this morning. The home page contained a message from BD in Latin posted in 2009.

      Logging off and then on again returned me to normality. :unsure:

  3. Great Sunday crossword, pitched at just the right level to be taxing but lots of fun. Last in for me was 1a which was only achieved after putting it down and going back some minutes later. Liked 9a the most, very funny! Thanks to today’s compiler.

  4. Solved alone and unaided today which is very unusual for me on a Sunday.Hurrah!

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

  5. Super puzzle today. Many thanks to DADA for a puzzle that not only read well but each clue made sense. After some of last weeks offerings that is a huge relief. My favs were 1a and 24a. I needed the excellent hints to solve 27a which was my only real problem.
    Let’s hope for a better week from the DT puzzles dept for those of us who do not want to be faced with two Toughies every day.
    Thx to all
    ***/***** (the extra * from me for difficulty of 27a)

  6. An enjoyable light and cheery puzzle – thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Top clues for me were 9a, 22a and the very neat anagram at 11d.

  7. I agree with Gazza, an enjoyable and fun puzzle just right to go with the Elgar S&B induced hangover.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    I will have a look at the toughie now but I still have quite a few synapses firing on less cylinders than normal. Looking forward to seeing how Gazza found it, as he has been most helpful in parsing failures in earlier Toughies.

  8. Great and enjoyable puzzle.
    Some brilliant clueing eg 9, 22 and 27a.
    So, 1.5*/5*
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  9. A fairly straightforward puzzle, though perhaps noot vintage Dada, with a few oddly quirky clues. Thebest clues, for me, were 7a and 7d. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for an approachable and enjoyable puzzle.

      1. It was supposed to read 27a, Angelov. I have problems proof-reading my contributions and frequently leave out the first letter of a word or first digit of a number due to visual field problems caused by a stroke last November.

  10. Super puzzle and lots of fun to solve on this chilly Maryland morning. Last answer in for me was 1A, perhaps due to the UK/US difference in terminology. 27A went in fairly easily but the parsing eluded me until the very end. It’s now on my leader board along with 22A and 11D. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  11. Dada is always difficult for me however many others say it was friendly or at the easier end of his spectrum so never any fun or enjoyment on Sundays. I dread to think what the other end of spectrum is like. Still I hate to have a DNF every Sunday so used electronic help to get about a third of them. I find looking at the clues again I am able to parse them but know I would never have got them on my own.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. I think I’m now at the stage where I nearly always agree with the hinters assessment of difficulty. I used to find these puzzle really annoying because of the way they were written. I now find this current batch reasonably easy after 10 years of solving. So either I’ve got better or the crosswords have got easier. I’m sure over time you may hopefully think the same.

    2. For me, the other end of the spectrum is ST 2978, November 18, 2018, Dada’s first Sunday Prize Puzzle indelibly ‘etched’ in my memory – a Toughie three and a bit years before the Sunday Toughie had been ‘invented’!

  12. Not one of my Favs mainly due to not being keen on an “anagram fest” in spite of today’s several unusual indicators. SE held out to the end but I still needed a prompt and 22a also baffles me. 24a chestnut amused as always. Thank you Dada and Senf.

    1. I thought I was being thick with 22a – I think I have an answer , well I do but I do not know why – which is very irritating. But Brian is a happy bunny.

      1. I’m entirely with you DG in feeling thick whilst not sussing one merely needs to look at the first clue word in verbal form.

  13. Great and clever fun as usual from our Sunday wizard. Such a pleasure to solve after some of this past week’s enigmas, especially with such standouts as 27a, 9a, 1a (the UK version, that is), 7d, & 24a (also the UK spelling), but my COTD is 22a. Thanks to Senf and to Dada. **/****

    Our baseball ‘World Series’ now shifts to Philadelphia, where the Phillies host the Houston Astros, with each team having won one game. Go, Phillies!

  14. For me a relatively easy Dada with a trace of quirkiness throughout, but not overly so.
    1.5*/4* today for me.

    Favourites include 1a, 10a, 15a, 24a, 16d & 20d — with winner 1a
    Smiles were elicited with 9a, 17a, 24a, 25a & 20d

    Overall a great offering and a pleasure to solve.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  15. Thoroughly enjoyable, full of amusing clues. First one in was 11d with an excellent surface read. No real struggles today and needed no electronic help or hints, though the initial phrase in 12a was new to me, but not to the better half! Really liked 1a, 17a, 7d and my favourite, 27a. Thanks to Dada and Senf – always enjoy your posts.

  16. I agree with Stephen L that 1a was very clever, but then so was 27a, and 9, and 20 – I could go on. Altogether satisfactory apart from 22a which gave me a bit of angst. Quite chilly here in Cambridge after the last week of warm weather. I really should go for a walk this afternoon but it will be an effort and George is reluctant to join me. Many thanks to Dada and to Senf, just remember we don’t want any more of our precious Hinters taking early retirement!

  17. This was certainly a friendly and accessible Sunday puzzle that was high on enjoyment. Like others, I liked 27a until I reread it and realised the surface was a little iffy. However, all was redeemed by the excellent 1a, my favourite.

    Thanks to Dada for the fun, and to Senf.

  18. Very enjoyable and not overly taxing but some really good clues, best of which was 27a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Very gentle today but top notch with some great clues – if they’re chestnuts I’ve not come across them before. Fav was 1a (never wasted my pennies on one) & thought the surface at 11d excellent. Ticks also for 9,24&27a.
    Thanks to D&S

  20. Dada seems to have become a lot easier since the introduction of the Sunday Toughie … 30th Jan 2022?

    1. Linked to my reply to Corky at Comment 11 – For me, Dada became a lot easier on November 25, 2018!

    2. Think I said a few weeks ago that Sunday is now Monday come early. He’s still as tricky as ever in the Graun though.

  21. I was very close, after hours of numerous permutations, combinations and head scratching, to running up the white flag on 1a.
    But I sensed it had to be a very special clue so I persevered and persevered.
    And persevered.
    Then the penny dropped.
    Not just today’s best clue but the best for many a year.
    My thanks to the setter and special thanks, again, to Senf, especially for explaining 9a.
    The answer was obvious but I was doing all sorts of contortions trying to incorporate ‘of’, in the clue, into hot water, H OO.
    As I was out and about on trains yesterday, I was unable to thank Tilsit in a timely fashion.
    Please allow me to belatedly thank him today for his very helpful, informative and enjoyable explanations during the time I have been lurking on the blog.
    Many thanks Tilsit.
    I hope that you will have a long, healthy and happy retirement.
    If I may paraphrase a famous prayer.
    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face.
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
    Go raibh mile math agat.

  22. A late addition but I am happy to have finished unaided. The fruit held me up and I bunged in an incorrect answer in which held me up with 22a and 25a.
    I loved 17a. Thanks for the, extended, for me at least, Sunday challenge.

  23. Late in but just wanted to add my thanks & appreciation to Dada for another great Sunday challenge👍👍👍
    Thanks as ever to Senf for the blog ‘n hints – enjoyed the musical selection & vid👍

  24. Completed early today but forgot to post I think. Mostly enjoyable but NW slowed me down. I have only just parsed 8d looking at it again. Not too fond of 22a as not a word I am familiar with. Favourites 1 17 and 27a. Thanks Dada and Senf.

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