ST 3191 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3191 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3191 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where we have been ‘enjoying’ a slower moving than usual Colorado Low which, over three and a half days, added 25cms, plus or minus, to our snow on the ground.  Back into the deep freeze this week so it might be too cold for snow to fall on Christmas Day.

Well, I hope Dada remembers that it is the Season of Goodwill next weekend!  For me, and I stress for me, he provided another head scratcher, with six anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone, all 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 – 17a (with a groan), 25a, 8d, 16d, and 18d.

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:


7a Maestro adding last of paint to drunken cherubs (8)
The last letter of paint after (adding . . . to) an anagram (drunken) of CHERUBS.

12a Basic article in magazine, say (6)
A single word term for a basic article which, in one form, may be found in a type of magazine (say).

14a Vulnerable writer after extra opportunities, initially (4,4)
A type of writer (as in writing implement) placed after all of a crickety extra and the first letter (initially) of Opportunities.

17a Hollow weapon, it getting loaded with first of pellets (6)
A three letter synonym of weapon and IT from the clue containing (getting loaded with) the first letter of Pellets.

20a Physician, American senior in TV programme (8)
A portmanteau word (which in itself is a dreadful term) created from a familiar contraction of a synonym of physician, the two letters for American, and the three letter abbreviation for a UK senior – not the first time we have seen the answer which is in the BRB.

25a Dust and rock on the beach? (6)
A three letter synonym of dust and another three letter synonym of rock (as a source of minerals).

26a Hot current circling capital of Rwanda (8)
A synonym of current (as in items in the news) containing (circling) the first letter (capital) of Rwanda.


1d Railway staff in station, closer? (8)
A synonym of (railway?) staff inserted into a synonym of (railway?) station – in 214 Dada Sunday Prize Puzzles this must be one of his worst clues ever.

4d Fish: fifty caught by father (8)
The Roman numeral for fifty inserted into (caught by) a synonym of father (as in creator of a new organisation).

5d Sweet gag? (10)
A double definition? – the first is a large sweet (as in a large item of confectionery).

16d Decorative work bagging point, finally — mark on score (8)
Straight out of the BRB – decorative work consisting of intertwined loops, executed in wool or thread with a small hook containing (bagging) the last (finally) letter of poinT.

18d Short jacket on Welsh girl from North Africa (8)
A type of jacket (worn by soldiers?) with the last letter deleted (short) and guess a Welsh girl’s name.

22d Sweetheart wanting gold after diamonds, say (6)
Not Ray T’s sweetheart – heraldic gold placed after the collective noun for thirteen diamonds.

24d Lure, a bit fishy! (4)
An anagram (fishy) of A BIT.

Quick Crossword Pun – Hmm:


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.

Keith Richards, co-founder, guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of the Rolling Stones, is celebrating, presumably, his 79th birthday today. This is the first Rolling Stones number one written by him and Mick Jagger, with a nice guitar solo, being performed live on the Ed Sullivan Show in the USA in 1965:


48 comments on “ST 3191 (Hints)
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  1. For me, fiddly but largely satisfactory. I managed to put the 2 anagrams in the wrong places with checkers that fitted! That slowed me down a bit. Also had a perfectly well directioned answer to 10a which didn’t help with 1d. 24d COTD.

  2. For me, Dada in slightly cunning mood today resulting in some cracking clues.
    I particularly liked 22,24&26a plus 16&24d.
    Many thanks to the aforementioned setter and Senf.
    I think the excellent 24d could legitimately qualify as an &lit or all in one?

  3. Another non prize puzzle for digital subscribers. This one a bit chewier than usual extending the solve into ** time. In spite of the dog’s dinner at 1d & a few iffy surfaces elsewhere it was still enjoyable enough though far from his best in my view.
    Thanks to D&S

    1. I’ve reported the ongoing problems with the digital puzzles to the editor and he is getting the technical team to look at it

      1. Thanks Sue. It doesn’t bother me in the least – quite the opposite in fact because at least you get confirmation you’ve successfully completed. I know it will upset some however.

        1. Thanks from me too Sue – like Huntsman it doesn’t particularly bother me but it rather takes the challenge out of it.

      2. If the app code isn’t changing, it must be something like missed tags to indicate that it’s a prize crossword. Saturday’s was in the wrong place as well as not being submittable (i.e., first not last).

        1. Dave, I believe that submitting on the website does not enter the crossword into the prize draw. You have to screen-grab and submit by email, or print off and submit by snail mail (addresses in the FAQ section).

          On the plus side, despite being unable to enter via the app, I did get an automated response when I emailed (unlike Saturday’s – see the large number of comments there).

  4. Dada being a bit more cryptic than recently – that’s good in my book because I have the view that if you call a puzzle ‘prize’ it should make you work. Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Top clues for me were 12a, 17a, 1d and 5d.

  5. A grim little offering that just about matches the weather here in Sandhurst today, managed about two-thirds of it before giving it up as a bad job, hope others got on better than me.

  6. Great puzzle, it’s a shame that electronic version is still not a Prize Cryptic despite the DT listing it as such.
    Pathetic DT!
    Thx to setter and for the hints.

  7. I thought this was a pleasingly challenging non-SPP that was a step or two up in difficulty from previous weekend puzzles, and all the more enjoyable as a result. The delightfully concise 24d was a real contender for top spot, but that honour goes to 5d, such a brilliant word.

    Thanks Dada for the challenge, and thanks too, to Senf.

  8. Not one of my favourite puzzles but the fact that I hate words such as 20a probably didn’t help my mood. I would single out 23a for mention because my first pet was one of those (Pembroke variety) – my goodness, she was a vicious little madam!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and music – I’ve never been a Stones fan but have to confess that I watched ‘Cliff at Christmas’ last night!

    1. Must have been related to our first dog. It hated everyone in the house except Mama Bee and wasn’t shy about baring teeth at any passing toddlers toes, mine in particular. It bit me once too often so “went to live on a farm” where it was exchanged for our Lab, Kim after Kipling’s little friend to all the world.

  9. Great puzzle, I thought, stiffer than usual for me, pushing me into *** time because it takes me forever to remember what our ‘jawbreakers’ are called Across the Pond. 24d justifiably yearns to be the COTD, as others have mentioned, but 1d, 17a, 16d, & even 23a give it stiff competition. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ***/****

    Watched the sepulchrally ‘dark comedy’ “Banshees of Inisherin” last night with Colin Farrell giving his best performance since “In Bruges”…still, not Season’s Greetings stuff.

    1. Not seen it yet & am really looking forward to it. Love In Bruges but reckon his other films a tad overrated & much prefer his plays. Remember being blown away by the Beauty Queen of Leenane

  10. For me, this was a struggle and not that enjoyable because I needed far too much electronic help. Some very convoluted clues for the few grey cells I have left to be able to work out. The one I did like because of how the answer was built up from the clue is 20a but not a word I care for itself. Other than that, not a great puzzle. Of course, that is only my opinion and I am sure others delighted in it.

    Many thanks to Dada for the thrashing and many thanks to Senf for the hints and stay warm in your Colorado Low.

  11. A DNF for me today courtesy of the absolutely ghastly 20a. I should probably thank Senf for his explanation but I was probably better off remaining in blissful ignorance. 1d also earned a hmm but, those two aside,this was good fun although on the tougher end of Dada’s Sunday spectrum.

    Senf’s music choice provided a nostalgic memory as Brian Jones’ part was the first guitar riff I ever learned to play.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  12. Don’t know what’s happening at Telegraph Towers … but on the puzzles.telegraph site today, there is a “View Solution” button on the Quick, Cryptic and Toughie. However, it only reveals the solution to the Sunday Toughie.

    ps. Has anyone done today’s Everyman? Never seen a puzzle before when EVERY clue has a link to the theme!

        1. So did I, as well as 22a. Haven’t been doing the Everyman lately but couldn’t resist it after H’s and StanXYZ’s comments. What a feast, eh?

  13. Some really clever and very cunning clues eg 12 and 25a and 1d.
    Found this hard going but, happy, an unaided completion.
    So, 5*/5*.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  14. Thanks to Senf and Dada,
    I too was somewhat aghast at the closer in 1d but I am led to believe that some quite palatable wines come that way now, courtesy of the shortage of suitable traditional tree bark.

  15. This week’s Toughies:

    Tuesday – 2977 Chalicea
    Wednesday – 2978 Gila
    Thursday – 2979 Silvanus
    Friday – 2980 proXimal

    Must be someone’s dream team.

  16. Definitely a little trickier than normal Dada for me.
    2.5*/3.5* today

    Favourites today include 11a, 1d, 5d, 8d & 21a and winner today 1d
    It made me groan when the penny finally dropped, but also made me chuckle.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for hints.

  17. I found this a bit prosaic but pressed on regardless and did finally make it through. 17a made me cringe as did 20a (wonder to what exactly that refers). Broad definition of 3d as area took some fathoming and I feel 6d constituent is not necessarily good health as is the case with 22d and sweetheart. Thank you Dada for the workout and Senf for hints.

    1. I’m assuming that 20a could be a description of the Harry/Meghan soap … my thoughts regarding that word matches my opinion of them.

  18. Finally finished. 22a the last one – I had the wrong answer pencilled in. A bit of a duh moment when I got the right word. 17a my favourite, like others hate the 20a word.

  19. Finished, but agree this was one of Dada’s trickier puzzles with a couple of ‘Mehs’ and a few 🙄 moments…a fairly enjoyable challenge nonetheless which I was glad to complete.
    Thanks as always to our tricky setter and, of course, to Senf for another great blog ‘n hints! 👍
    Back to Blighty in a few days for some serious grandparentin’ 😜

  20. This puzzle reminded me of Dada’s first offering. Where on earth did this come from? Not from the Dada I’ve been enjoying. I liked 5d because I like the word, and that’s it. Really, words fail me. I solved 20a by following instructions and googling.
    I must thank Dada because a few have really enjoyed it, so on their behalf thanks. Senf, you’re a star, how on earth did you make heads or tails of this? So thank you.

  21. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite tricky in places. Managed to whittle it down to two answers missing. Needed the hints for 20a,and electronic help for 6d. Favourite was 18d. Very nice puzzle, was 4* / 4* for me.

  22. Not my cup of tea. Needed a lot of hints from Senf plus some electronic assistance, so not my finest hour.
    Did not enjoy it much I’m sorry to say.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  23. I found this very difficult indeed. Got there in the end, with the aid of Senf’s hints … apart from 22a. I have an answer but I can’t see any connection with the first two words of the clue. Perhaps it’s wrong. Can anyone help? Thanks to Dada for the brain exercise and to Senf for the hints.

      1. Thanks, Gazza. I still can’t see it – I must have the wrong word but can’t think of anything else that makes more sense. Perhaps I’ve got something else wrong. Oh well, I’ll have to wait for the full review.

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