ST 3190 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3190 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3190 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, at the beginning of the week, we ‘experienced’ our first (weakened) Polar Vortex of the season and, on Wednesday, we had a minimum temperature of minus 31 degrees and the maximum for the day, reached at 11:00pm, was minus 19 degrees.  But, it has warmed up since and yesterday we had a balmy t-shirt and shorts day of minus 1 degree.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada provided quite a head scratcher, with four long ‘uns, seven anagrams (three partials), one lurker, and one partial 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 – 1a, 17a, 23a, 1d, 17d, and 20d.

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 Good old fashion designer, stimulating (7)
One of the usual sets of two letters for good (which also make a Greek letter) and an old fashion designer – apparently she is so old, at 92 years young, that the only decent photos provided by Google are in B&W.

9a Our hero in a state unfortunately, appear distraught (4,4,4,3)
An anagram (unfortunately) of OUR HERO IN A STATE.

11a Choose stout (5)
A double definition – the second relates to body shape(?).

16a Builder of muscle in feeble editors (7)
In the last day or so, someone commented about the ingenuity of setters with anagram indicators. Well, here’s one I haven’t seen before – an anagram (feeble) of EDITORS.

17a Colourful band in front introduced by artist (7)
IN from the clue and a three letter term for describing front (of a house) all placed after (introduced by) the two letters for a noted artist.

19a Study country’s borders on arrival (7)
Here’s a variation on the ‘guess a’ theme – guess a (South American) country include the possessive S and finish with the outer letters (borders on) of ArrivaL.

26a Dizzying flight from Paris, as articles flying all over the place (6,9)
More ingenuity – an anagram (from . . . flying all over the place) of PARIS, AS ARTICLES.

28a Just punishment is required after revolutionary observed stealing millions (7)
IS from the clue follows (required after) a reversed (revolutionary) synonym of observed containing (stealing) the single letter for Millions – a definition of the answer that is new to me, but it’s in the BRB.


1d Track circuit breaker? (3,4)
A cryptic definition that could apply to Silverstone?.

2d District record broken by bit of a swimmer, a competitor as yet unbeaten? (7-8)
A synonym of district (as in a ‘specialised’ area of a city?) and a (1,4) type of record containing (broken by) a (dorsal?) bit of an (aquatic) swimmer.

4d Training device still wobbling, on being secured (7)
An anagram (wobbling) of STILL containing (being secured) our favourite two letters equivalent to on (as in concerning).

5d Noises made by animals importing meat in island country (7)
The noises made by the animals that provide us with wool containing (importing) a type of (salted and dried) meat.

7d Long time to wait for June’s ice cream, might you say? (1,5,2,7)
A (1, 5) description of June as part of a year and a pluralised homophone (might you say) of a type of ice cream.

18d Thingummy with a hollow shaft, broken (7)
An anagram (broken) of WITH A and ShafT with the interior letters removed (hollow)

20d Drunk missing the stage? (7)
Written as (3,4) a synonym for stage (of a race?) and a term that can indicate missing.

25d Unfinished theatrical production shot (4)
A type of theatrical production with the last letter deleted (unfinished) – what I need after completing these hints.

Quick Crossword Pun – Hmm:


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Little Miss Dynamite Brenda Lee is 78 years young today, this is her ‘famous’ Christmas hit from 1958 still heard today:


67 comments on “ST 3190 (Hints)
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  1. All the usual fun of the fair from the Sunday Maestro.
    I liked the (intentionally?) topical 2d but my extended podium is 2&28a plus 19d&24d. Good stuff indeed.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf (had a similar thought re the anagram indicator at 16a)

    1. Am sure it’s pure coincidence but 18d immediately made me check back to Mr H’s savoury themed Graun prize yesterday. If you’ve not checked it worth a look – it drove me potty & took umpteen stabs but very satisfying to complete

  2. Finished with a great deal of help. Most definitely NOT my favourite Dada, far too difficult and so many of the clues made little or no sense. Such a pity as I usually look forward to a Sunday Dada.
    Thx for the hints

  3. Great fun – thanks to our ever-reliable Sunday setter and Senf.
    I liked 5a, 7d and 20d but favourite has to be the excellent 2d.

  4. Thought our setter gave us plenty to think about this morning and a couple of the definitions jarred a little for me but there was much to enjoy.
    Need at least two podiums for my selection – 1,5,19&26a plus 3,18&20d.

    Thanks to Dada for the Sunday wake up call and to Senf for the hints and music. Still trying to decide whether the birthday girl was wearing a wig for that appearance!

    1. Re wig, I don’t think so. That was all the rage in the 60s and we all spent a fortune copying it. I have an old driver’s licence and my pic looks just like that!

  5. For everyone’s information, what some may consider as The Dream Team of Toughie setters coming up this week:

    Tuesday – 2973 Dada
    Wednesday – 2974 Logman
    Thursday – 2975 Beam
    Friday – 2976 Elgar

  6. This was certainly at the tougher end of our regular setter’s spectrum, with several clever misdirections and very tight clueing. 15a was my final entry, with the topical and witty 2d my favourite. An honourable mention too, for 26a.

    Thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf for his hints. I agree the lineup for the forthcoming week’s toughie setters looks very inspiring.

  7. Couldn’t do this for toffee.
    Needed almost all of Senf’s excellent hints then some more electronic assistance.
    Not a lot of fun for me today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    Got my wee car back with a new clutch….hurrah! At vast expense ….boo! But overall …..hurrah!

    1. Sorry about your car – ours is still parked in front of the bottle bank at the village hall to be picked up by the garage tomorrow, hopefully.

      1. Oh dear….I hope it is collected soon and survives the trip to the garage.

        Only problem I have now with the car is that the clutch is set for a boy racer, not an old lady.
        Nearly bumped into the car in front when I picked it up. I will have to practice hill starts again. 🤣

  8. One of those where it took a long time to get a foothold, then needed to retire and return to it two or three times.
    Brilliant and subtle clueing, though, which required a lot of head scratching.
    But satisfying to complete unaided.
    In a very strong field, 2d and 7d are my COTD.
    So, in summary, 5*/5*
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

    In a ver

  9. Took a long time but got there in the finish, last in was 3d which I thought was very clever and has to be my favourite today. Have to go now as a football’s just landed in the garden, think it’s Harry’s penalty from last night!

  10. 4*/4*. I found this pretty tough today but it was good fun despite a dubious anagram indicator in 16a and two inaccurate definitions with the answers to both 11a and 19d needing to be followed by another word to be synonymous with “choose” and “concern”. I’m not sure but I think those other words (“for” and “to”) are considered as prepositions even though paradoxically they come after each verb.

    My top picks today are 5a, 7d & my favourite 20d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

      1. I have never heard that word before, Stan, so I have done a bit of investigoogling, and can now inform (bore) everyone with my findings.

        Prepositions come before nouns and postpositions come after nouns, which is of course totally logical. So, my two examples really are prepositions because they each come before a noun. For example, in the sentence “I’ll 11a for him” (to mean “I’ll choose him”), the “for” is a preposition as it comes before him.

        There is a view that “ago” is the only postposition in English, as in “ten years ago”, which would explain why postposition is such a rarity in our language. Several other languages use postpositions much more frequently.

        If Robert reads this post, perhaps he can confirm what I am saying.

  11. Difficult but I got there in the end. I cannot see what the answer to 19d has to do with concern but I haven’t checked the BRB – no excuse really because it’s sitting on the coffee table beside me. I had forgotten the other meaning of 11a. I loved 18d because both the words in the clue and that in the answer are wonderful but my COTD is 4d. It had me searching for all kinds of gym equipment.

    Strange anagram indicator at 16a.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and huge thanks to Senf for the hints. It’s -1 here at the moment but that is paltry beside the temperatures you are experiencing. Stay warm.

    1. In response to your point on the answer to 19d, I suggest you search Beverley Hills Cop and then the word – there will be a youtube link to a very funny scene – I cannot put the link here without giving the answer away, but it is worth the search!

  12. Too difficult for me today. Finished about 75% then resorted to the hints (thanks) got a couple more and then had to use electronic help finish.

  13. Needed most of Senf’s hints and with my feeble (not an anagram indicator) effort today still a DNF with three left to do.

    Yesterday’s was finished too late to report as we went to our nearest cinema being very environmentally good citizens. We may take the car next time as we set off at 10.50 and arrived home at just after 18.00. We had a half hour wait at the stop where we changed buses going and it was nearly an hour on the way back. I only heard about 50% of the dialogue, my hearing has deteriorated greatly since the time I last went to the cinema but with Nighy doing nothing but twitching his facial muscles it was easy to follow. I note reviews in the posh papers have given it four or five stars ; they would have been more on point giving it four or five handkerchiefs. Two of these papers called it an understated performance. I’ll say it most certainly was. If he done any less it could have been shot with life size model of Nighy.

  14. Found this very tricky indeed. Last one in 15a and still don’t see where the jerks come into it. Made the mistake of looking up jerks in the dictionary, who knew!

  15. Dada definitely back on Sunday form with for me his 3rd good ‘un on the bounce. Apart from brain fog at last in 21a happily on wavelength for a brisk solve in ** time & very enjoyable it was too. 5,9&26 my pick of the across clues & 2,5,7&20 the downs. Had Stephen been reviewing suspect we may have had a clip of Ritchie Blackmore at 17a
    Thanks to D&S – thanks for Toughie setters info. Your comment about dream team made me think about mine. Very difficult because they’re all so talented but reckon I’d pencil in Silvanus, Django, Robyn & then perm 1 from at least half a dozen.

    1. Interesting re the Toughie setters Huntsman as we had your choice (in a slightly different order) for the first three days the week before last and I referred to it in my blog as “a stellar week in Toughie-land”. Next week is pretty good too, we’re blessed with some really good setters and not just the “usual suspects”.
      I don’t know about the music clip, I suspect it wouldn’t have gone down too well on here!

      1. Robyn is facing de-selection after today’s offering – my brain hurt after eventually completing the RHS & I need a lie down before venturing west

  16. Took me two visits–with two coffees as well–for a most satisfying finish in perhaps one of the toughest Dadas I’ve finished altogether on my own. But I loved every minute of it. I think that 15a, my LOI, is my favourite but I liked 20d, 1a, and 19a almost as well. As SL might say, great stuff! ****/*****

  17. I struggled again today. Quickly got two of the long ones – 9a and 7d, but it took me ages to see the other two. Solved slowly and haphazardly until I got completely stuck in the NW corner and had to resort to the hint for 1a, after which the rest fell fairly easily. Loved the misdirection at 4d, a real PDM. Favourites were 15a, 19a, 26a and 18d. Thanks to Dada for the challenge and Senf for the help which I needed today.

  18. I have to agree with Senfs’ thoughts on this Dada puzzle … quite a challenge as I did some of this Saturday night and then the bottom half Sunday morning.
    Some of the Dada quirkiness showing through today in clues, as well as in parsing and deliberate misdirection … like 4d for one.
    My rating 3*/3.5*

    Favourites today include 9a, 16a, 26a, 1d, 7d & 18d with my winner 18d

    Never heard of the word in 5a
    … and if wasn’t just 8am, I’d being having a 25d, (like Senf did), after ploughing through this puzzle!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  19. I think we made harder work of parts of this and couldn’t see why as we finished it quite easily in the end. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Well I never, this tiny brain found it quite doable until I got to the East, then I had to use copious ehelp in the SE. This does not mean I found it easy, just doable. I was lucky as the long ones were solved quite early on, giving a bunch of checkers. I also needed a lot of help from Senf to understand the “why” of some, eg 18d, and presuming I’ve got the right answer to 5a, don’t get that at all except that it’s a bird. I rather liked 3d, 7d and 13d (natch).
    Thank you Dada and Senf, I must say I would hibernate in temperatures like that.

  21. Definitely Dada flexing his muscles today – took me a very long time and still not quite finished even now.
    I appreciated the four long answers particularly 9a.
    Some of the four short answers have caused grief, and some still are!
    I’ve guessed 5a but can’t make sense of it – maybe it’s wrong!
    I think my favourite is 15a – 13d was good too.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  22. Needed a break from Christmas card writing but somehow my mind wasn’t fully on the job so don’t really feel qualified to comment on this (for me) demanding exercise and in fact DNF. East rather least taxing of the two halves. Struggled with 18d as alternative spelling came first to mind. 7d, 8d and 13d rather weak. Back to cards to hopefully meet tomorrow’s deadline for second class mail. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  23. I consider this an average Dada, only my opinion, of course. I was stuck in the SE corner, this took me longer than the other three quarters combined. Satisfying to complete, as it always is.

    Thanks to Dada for the consistent quality and to Senf for his (thankfully unneeded) hints.


  24. A slow grind to a finish for me today, requiring numerous hints and e-help along the way.

    It seemed more difficult than the usual Sunday affair, perhaps it was me on a different wavelength! It certainly left me feeling like 9a.

    Ty to Dada for the challenge and Senf for the help

  25. Hi, RD: There was a time, back in the mid-60s, when generative grammarians were calling such prepositions ‘partitives’–Noam
    Chomsky and his disciple Robert Lees toyed with the idea of naming those little post-verbal parts of speech ‘partitives’ (as part of a larger unit, I guess)–but that didn’t stick, and while I’ve lost track of the many directions that the nomenclature has taken by transformational grammarians, I’m quite happy with the term ‘postposition’; it makes sense to me. I love this kind of discussion, though.

    1. I meant for this comment to be a reply to Rabbit Dave’s disccussion of prepositions, etc., above. My tablet is acting quite strangely (that’s right, Bobby, blame it on the tablet!).

      1. Thanks for taking the trouble to reply, Robert (or do you prefer Bobby?) I agree with you that postposition is entirely logical, and I am surprised never to have encountered that term before.

  26. Properly testing Sunday backpager, good to exercise the little grey whojumaflips. Classy, well disguised clues, humorous and so very clever. From the quality of 1a, the puzzle just kept giving.

    3* / 4.5*

    Thank you so much to Dada, and of course to Senf

  27. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very tricky puzzle, I managed to grind most of it out, but I’m completely stuck on 17d and 21a. Any hints would be much appreciated. It certainly made me do a 9a 😁 was 4*/3* for me.

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      Without giving too much away as it is a Prize Puzzle, going ‘backwards’ there are on-line sources showing the 24d answer reversed (upset) and written as (1,3) being equivalent to quite.

      You should check the full review of the puzzle on the 21st.

  28. I have been lurking for some time now, struggling with many backpage toughies, but had to say today that I felt very pleased with myself, having completed this assisted by only two electronic aids. Some very clever clues and some very amusing ones as well. It was difficult but I enjoyed solving it. I will now read and enjoy the hints and comments. Thanks to Senf for all the hard work and to Dada for supplying all the hard work.

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