ST 3188 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

ST 3188 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3188 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where the endless e-mails and advertisements promoting that dreadful concept, imported from our Southern neighbours, of Black Friday ‘deals’ is over for another year, but now we have to get past Cyber Monday; I wonder how much rest we will be allowed before similar activity begins for Boxing Day ‘sales’ – yes, we have it and them over here. Bah humbug!

For me, and I stress for me, Dada was quite friendly, although I did have a couple of Hmms, with a generous eight anagrams (three partials), three lurkers (one reversed), 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 – 9a, 12a, 7d, 14, 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 Scent wood inside solid figure (7)
Wood that has been ‘prepared’ for a fire inserted into (inside) a solid (tapering geometric) figure.

9a Hit knowing service easily broken? (9)
A slang term for a hit (on the lowest part of the face?) and a synonym of knowing.

12a Commendation priceless originally, it is beyond praise (7)
The first letter (originally) of Priceless, and then IT from the clue placed after (beyond) a synonym of praise.

16a Some thinner vessel, bottle (5)
A lurker (some) found in two words in the clue.

17a Sweet fighter, cut (5)
A type of fighter (I suppose), but I am not sure in what exact sense Dada is using it, with the last letter removed (cut) – I hope the illustration helps – and, if commenting, remember it’s a prize puzzle so the rules in RED under the hints apply.

21a Ice giant turning around rapidly, awesome initially (7)
An anagram (turning) of GIANT containing (around) the initial letters of Rapidly and Awesome.

26a Old Hollywood actor as central in play (9)
An anagram (in play) of AS CENTRAL for an actor who was apparently ‘initially known for playing tough guys with a tender heart’ – so says Wikipedia.

28a Fine petticoats, firstly, neatly embroidered (7)
The initial letter (firstly) of Petticoats and an anagram (embroidered) of NEATLY.


1d Tilt, then tilt upward, front of plane (7)
A four letter synonym of tilt followed by (then) a three letter synonym of tilt reversed (upward).

3d Slight injury in horses, did you say? (5)
The homophone (in . . . did you say) of the plural of a type of horse.

7d Washer beneath in concrete, lifted up (9)
A synonym of beneath inserted into (in) a synonym of concrete (as in actual) which has been reversed (lifted up).

14d Ceremony before a dreary do (9)
A synonym of (grand) ceremony placed before A from the clue and a synonym of dreary.

15d On camera, I mixed drink (9)
An anagram (mixed) of ON CAMERA I for a source of caffeine.

19d Each number raised, taken down (5,2)
The abbreviated form of each, the first double digit number, and a two letter synonym of raised.

20d Left on ship, fish for show (7)
Nautical left and a type of fish that seems to fly through the water.

24d Large building no longer available to rent, well upset (5)
The reversal (upset) of all of a simple three letter term for no longer available to rent and a two letter interjectional synonym of well.

Quick Crossword Pun:


Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES OR HINTS in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

In the middle of four weeks at Number One on this day in 1968, and, the Dowager Countess of Grantham makes a guest appearance!


46 comments on “ST 3188 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. For me Dada on top form with this hugely entertaining offering.
    I have ticks all over the grid but I’ll choose to highlight 9,13&28a plus 1,19&24d. Great stuff
    Many thanks to the Sunday maestro and Senf for his blog.

    Ps…to answer your question re 17a Senf….in the sense of an aircraft?

    1. SL, although that may well be the setter’s intention for 17a, I don’t think they are anything like synonymous even at a stretch.

      1. Hence my question mark RD. However Collins has fighter as an armed aircraft. May not be precise but I’ve seen stretchier synonyms.

      1. Generally referring to a fighter as a xxxxxx (my x’s) is wrong. It’s like calling a full-back a striker just because they are both human beings and play football. There are, as you suggest, specific combat aircraft that can accomplish both roles and these are called fighter-xxxxxxs. It’ll be interesting to see what the reviewer makes of this one.

    2. Based on my pedantry born from 24 years serving our dear departed HM, fighter and the word for the answer may be synonymous to Dada but not to me and that is what we are looking for – a synonym. That is why I included (I suppose) in the hint.

      In response to Brian – yes there are so-called multi-role aircraft but a squadron of aircraft tend to be allocated to one role so the result is sub-sets of designations.

      1. I have a theory that it isn’t a synonym of an aeroplane but of a person enaged as a particular type of fighter. Still equally obscure, though. Considering the improbability, I trust that’s not naughty-step worthy.

    3. I think the fighter in 17a here is referring to boxing…where there are some famous ones who were nicknamed… I do not think the reference is to aircraft… apologies if someone has made this same comment elsewhere.

      1. Good call, IanG. I suggested it was a synonym of a person (just above), but a different type to yours. You could well be right.

  2. This was enjoyable and mostly straightforward although it took me a while to equate the answer for 14d with the definition and 17a held me up for the reason mentioned by Senf.

    My podium comprises 9a, 28a, 1d & 14d.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  3. Didn’t like this one bit. Thought many of the clues were vague and needed a lot of guesswork. I’m still not sure a few are right or not, very frustrating.

  4. I shot through this then came a shuddering halt with five clues left to solve, two in the NW and three in the SW. They took as long as the rest of the grid to solve, but did contain my favourites, 9a and 14d. Great stuff.

    My thanks to Dada and Senf.

  5. Not quite the stroll of recent weeks for me with this one & all the better for requiring the occasional head scratch. Think that’s the second appearance this week for one of the great Hollywood actors. Last in was 9a so I’ll give that top billing. Very enjoyable.
    Thanks to D&S

  6. Dada at his toughest here though as always his clues are very logical. Learned a new word in 21a but Mrs B came to the rescue.
    Some really quirky synonyms and a couple of rather stretched ones too.
    However strangely enjoyable and certainly satisfying to complete with help from Mr Google.
    Thx to all

  7. As others seem to have found, this was easy enough until it wasn’t! My stumbling block was 28a where I was well off track for quite a while. I would agree that 17a was somewhat inaccurate and could have benefitted from a re-write.
    Topping my list was 28a along with 9a & 14d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and music. Still trying to figure out how the Dowager Countess of Grantham came to be in the video clip!

  8. I found this pretty tricky. Put completely the wrong answer for 21a and had the wrong spelling for 7d. Once I spotted my mistakes I managed to finish but actually didn’t enjoy it all that much, sorry. Thanks to all.

  9. Just took the right time or perhaps a little too quick. I was then held up with 14d and 17a. I was about to give in and look for the three letters I was missing in 14d. As soon as I typed in the checkers and the others I had guessed when the answer came to me. Thanks Senf for showing the significance of “do”. I then easily got 17a. Nothing wrong with it except there are so many sweets and fighters to choose from. My favourite was 12a.

  10. Oh dear, I had far too many bung-ins for this to be enjoyable. I’m still not sure all of my answers are correct and they are not hinted. Anyway, I sent it in with forlorn hope rather than certainty.
    Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. Usual very egnimatic clues from Dada.
    Great satisfaction in unraveling.
    Last in 9a and the longest time spent on.
    Many thanks and also to Senf.

  12. 9a and 14d my favourites as well. Would’ve preferred it to last a bit longer, but there’s the toughie to come after a short visit to the pub! And it’s still raining here.
    Thanks to Dada
    Thanks Senf, I like the 17a pic!

  13. I didn’t really enjoy this. Couldn’t see 1a immediately so in a bad mood from the start! Quickly completed the NE corner and worked my way clockwise around the grid. Not particularly difficult but too many anagrams for my liking. I did like 18a and 14d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  14. Well, definitely some quirkiness in this one from Dada. Found this a little more offbeat than usual for him, dare I say some quirky clues.
    2.5*/4* today, (or rather on my Saturday night), based on the SW holding me up due to the fact that 15d was not in either of my BRB volumes or the online one, yet it had to what it was as it was my last in.

    Favourites include 18a, 27a, 28a, 5d, 18d & 18d with winner toss-up between 27a & 5d

    Chuckles had with 5a, 10a, 22a, 28a & 18d

    Found this a fun solve even with the stumbling blocks and would not pick the drink in 18d … I’ll take the one in 23d thank you very much!!

    Thanks to Dada for the great puzzle and once again to Senf for the hints.

  15. I have o nly just finished this tricky little beast of a puzzle, after several episodes of keaving it and coming back to it, between feeding visitors and looking after my other half. It was a mystery wrapped up in an enigma disguised as a conundrum to me and much guesswork was involved together with3 help with 3 clues from my son. 9a and5a were good clues. Thanks to Senf for the much needed hints, I agreed with you about the rather dubious synonym of fighter in 17a too. Thanks to Dada, it was cert,ainly different as prize puzzles go.

  16. Found this one tough from Dada but very satisfying to complete.
    Like Brian, 21A was a new word to me and like others have slight doubts with 17A. Nevertheless, always thoroughly enjoy the Dad’s Sunday challenge – keep em coming Sir! 👍
    Thanks, as always, to Senf for the blog ‘n hints.

  17. Breezed through all of this tricky little devil except for the NW corner, and 9a specifically, until I just gave up and used a hint–never heard of that synonym for ‘hit’, and probably wouldn’t have in another 84 years. Sometimes, I just have to concede that I’m stuck. I did enjoy the tussle, though, and especially liked 12a, 14d, 23d, & 27a. Thanks to Senf and Dada. *****/***

  18. A few tricky ones but generally straightforward. Didn’t have a problem with 17a. Favourite was 14d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Defeated by 9A but otherwise reasonably straightforward for me and a nice diversion on this very rainy morning. My picks are 12A, 26A 14D and 19D. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  20. After a brief email teach-in by Mr K I am already feeling more positive about the DT puzzles. Very helpful advice which two days later is paying dividends in that I almost finished yesterday’s puzzle and today I finished a Dada all on my own with only a little electronic help needed. That’s quite surreal in my opinion. So many thanks to Mr K.

    14 and 18d are the ones that had a hesitant tick put by them.

    Many thanks to Senf for confirming my parsing and Dada for the puzzle.

  21. Often struggle to get alongside Dada and today was one of those days so didn’t really have much fun. North faster solve than South where SW hung fire. As for RC the 9a hit synonym is a new one on me but it had to be. Can’t believe I didn’t parse 3d. 14d relying on do alone is stretching it a bit as it would seem is hole in 18d. 12a was Fav. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  22. The usual very high quality from Dada.
    Needed the helpful hint with 21a, other than that, was well pleased to complete.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.


  23. Difficult for me and not very enjoyable I’m sorry to say. Just not on the wavelength today. Needed some of Senf’ s most excellent hints as well as the electronic gizmo.

    Have to say that the synonym for ‘dreary’ required for 14d is not a synonym for me. Unless of course I have got the answer wrong…..which is far from impossible, especially today.

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

  24. It has taken me all day,on and off, to complete this – but finish it I did – and without help. Had a visit from DD2 with dogs, several phone calls, a visit to the Christmas tree festival in the next village and a short nap! 6d gave me the most angst for some reason. Many thanks to the setter and to Senf for explaining 17a.

  25. Enjoyable solve. Wondered if 17a was a reference to Joe Louis and a few others in the same game, although that’s also a stretch. Favourite clue was 14d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. That is a stretch, but no more of a stretch than the assumed synonym. My theory is that a xxxxxx is also called a terrorist and such people are often referred to (especially by themselves) as “fighters” – as in freedom-fighers, guerillas, etc, who are all engaged in “irregular fighting”.

      1. I favour the aircraft, even if it’s not precisely correct. Dada has helpfully given us an example of the aircraft in 26a.

        1. Indeed, that is absolutely an example of a xxxxxx – but who would call it a fighter? Any xxxxxx is engaged in the activity of “fighting”, so I suppose you could (somewhat whimsically) call it a “fighter” in that sense. Maybe more fitting would be the fighter-xxxxxx, which could be a light xxxxxx by day and a fighter at night so, depending on it’s role, might be called either (probably not likely though). However, I do expect that Dada did intend the aircraft synonym, so we’ll have to accept that. These things need analysing, though …

          1. Oooops! I’ve gone and written most of the answer on the 4th line instead of xxxxxx. Could someone edit it, please (if required). Thank you.

  26. An overnight rest helped me solve remaining 6 clues except for 21a … new word for me. Belated thanks to Dada and Senf!

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.