ST 3192 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3192 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3192 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

ᒥᐊᓕ ᑲᓚᓯᒪᓯ

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg from where I would like wish a very Happy Christmas to my fellow bloggers, my fellow commenters, and to CL and his team in Telegraph Towers and his team of setters for all the fun and challenges they have provided over the last year.

Also, grateful thanks to CL for providing ‘early’ copies of today’s and tomorrow’s puzzles so that the bloggers involved could solve the puzzles and draft the blogs in advance (that explains why you probably received an erroneous e-mail from pommers, for DT 30180, around 5:30pm on Thursday).

Today, we have an on-line only prize puzzle, so the usual rules apply, using the normal numbering sequence – the 1000XX sequence for Christmas puzzles seems to have been abandoned.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada much more friendly than he has been for most of December but nothing to distinguish it as a Christmas puzzle with only a few clues that might be relevant, with seven anagrams (three partials), one lurker, and three homophones (two partials), 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 – 16a, 24a, 25a, 4d, and 10d.

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 Man heard in front of goalie, someone in blue cap? (11)
A homophone (heard) of a man (on a board – but one is female) placed before (in front of) another term for goalie.

9a One has ice cream exchanged for savoury dish (8,6)
An anagram (exchanged) of ONE HAS ICE CREAM.

16a Capital city where vehicle buried, did you say? (8)
A ‘double’ homophone (did you say?) of a type of vehicle and a burial place.

20a Check declaration of love for Cupid, possibly (8)
A synonym of check (when riding?) and a homophone (declaration of) of a synonym of love (as in an affectionate term of address?) – for the answer you need to be familiar with an animated film from 1964.

24a Turkey that’s dandy stuffed with last of offal (4)
Nothing to do with Christmas Dinner – a synonym of dandy (applied to a man) containing (stuffed with) the last letter of offaL.

27a Speeches by party backed by business partnerships (14)
A charade assembled from the end forwards – a synonym of speeches placed after (by) the reversal (backed) of a synonym of (usually very formal) party all placed after (by) the two letters frequently used by a business entity.

28a True love’s second present: true love’s third marginally different (11)
An anagram (different) of TRUE LOVE’S and the outer letters (marginally) of ThirD.


2d Concentrated liquid poured initially into dark meat, I love stirred up (10,4)
The first letter (initially) of Poured Inserted into an anagram (stirred up) DARK MEAT, I LOVE.

4d Result of final blow, a beauty (8)
A double definition – the first might refer to ‘the noble art.’

7d This lady’s fair bid explored, one proving debatable (8,6)
An anagram (proving debatable) of BID EXPLORED, ONE – some of the men might have to consult their better halves.

10d Hourly caller with crackers and punch (6,5)
A synonym of crackers (as in not all there) and a synonym of punch (nothing to do with an alcoholic mix).

18d Criminal escapes having stolen a painting (8)
An anagram (criminal) of ESCAPES containing (having stolen) A from the clue – Hmm – not much of an anagram when the result can be achieved by moving only one letter before the A is inserted, cycling would have been better.

21d Passage which is blocked by frog, sides cleared (6)
A synonym of which containing (blocked by) what remains after the outer letters of fROg are deleted (sides cleared).

26d A little Gavi, noxious wine (4)
We finish with the lurker (a little) found in two words in the clue – Gavi is apparently a ‘real’ word but I will leave you to research it for yourselves.

Quick Crossword Pun – Hmm, I would imagine that a certain amount of inebriation is required to ‘make the pun work’ or, perhaps Dada was inebriated when he devised it:


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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.

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Two maestri combine their considerable talents, with support from Canadian fiddler Natalie MacMaster, to perform a carol for today:


28 comments on “ST 3192 (Hints)
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  1. Excellent puzzle, for me top-notch Dada notwithstanding a “debatable” anagram indicator.
    From a plethora of winners my podium is 1&12a plus the lol 10d but top spot goes to the brilliant 21d. Great stuff.
    Thanks to our setter and Senf and felicitations all for the big day.

  2. A great puzzle – thanks to Dada and Senf and wishing them and everyone else a Happy Christmas.
    I ticked 1a, 27a and 10d but my favourite has to be 21d.

  3. A terrific puzzle for Christmas Day. As ever with Dada it was a slow start then a speed up followed by a slow finish but the journey was enjoyable. I had to do it on line of course and I found that awkward. What I didn’t realise was the the clues disappear when they are answered.

    Many thanks to Dada for the festive fun and Senf for the hints.

    Merry Christmas to all Compilers, bloggers, commentators (together with those who lurk) and to the terrific team that keep this wonderful blog going.

  4. Dada maintains his good run. I too thought this top drawer though unlike our reviewer far from straightforward for me. Only 2 of the 8 long ‘uns immediately apparent & the pennies reluctant to drop. Digital subscribers back in the proper prize format so happy I have it all solved & parsed but only time will tell. Little surprised 25d isn’t hinted as I suspect many, like me, will get it from the wordplay then seek confirmation. I’d add 16a to Stephen’s picks.
    Thanks to Dada & particularly to Senf for all of the extra blogging he’s done this year. It’s very much appreciated. Happy Christmas all.

    1. OK, 25d requires some geographic knowledge. It was on the ‘cut line’ for inclusion but, for me, the definition was so obvious, as an element of the clue, that it could ‘stand on its own’ in a Quickie puzzle. Consequently it dropped below the line.

  5. Dada at his most giving today, a lovely puzzle, with ticks all over the place. 28a (which held me up forever, it seemed), 21d, 1a, 16a, and 10d are the big stars today, but there’s not a dud in the grid. Merry Christmas to Senf and Dada–and to one and all. ***/*****

    It is now a few minutes before 6 am (0600) in Charleston, S Carolina, and the temperature just dipped another degree to 22F (-5.5C), but we are 5 degrees F warmer this morning than we were yesterday this time. We watched the Alastair Sim ‘Christmas Carol’ last night and loved it all over again.

  6. Slow to start but it got better and it was enjoyable. 20a and 28a the last two which might suggest I’m not in the appropriate festive frame of mind.
    A big thank you to everyone who contributes to this blog. It is my first port of call after I (eventually) complete the crossword and there is always something to learn and/or be amused by.
    Merry Christmas

  7. Dada keeps up his cracking form, not over christmassy but that is all the better for me.
    Thanks to Dada and all other setters and editors, Senf, fellow bloggers and lurkers to whom I shall be raising a glass of a rather nice Caol Ila a bit later (after I have driven Mama Bee to our Christmas dinner.) Hope you all have a good one.

    1. Don’t know the G&M bottling but a great malt – my fav Islay other than Lagavulin. Reckon Zandio’s Toughie much easier than his Friday cryptic to answer your question.

  8. Wonderful entertainment for a Christmas morning sandwiched between a smoked salmon and champagne breakfast and the traditional lunch later this afternoon. JS Bach Christmas cantatas playing in the background and a watery sun trying to permeate the blinds. 21d a clear winner from some very good seasonal clues.

    Thanks Dada for this and all your puzzles over the year, and to Senf for all his hard work on the site. And Merry Christmas to our online community.

  9. Curious mixture of clues and answers today – I guess our setter was trying to appeal to both the Christmas lovers and the ‘bah humbugs’!
    Top clues here were 17&27a plus 10d with festive nods nods to 20&28a.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and music – hope you both have an enjoyable Christmas Day.

  10. Not the speediest, but as well as being solo in my solving today, there were distractions. I was defeated by 28a, which turned into a laugh out loud when I read the hint and it finally clicked.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    (a rare day of doing the Crossword on the right day – I’ll be back to the end of November as of tomorrow)

  11. As cracking a puzzle as ever from Dada but unfortunately I failed as usual to crack it. Still not to worry it passed the morning with Petroc Trelawney playing on the radio. The earlier Breakfast on Three with Martin Handley was enjoyable too with Martin reporting on the Scrooge’s ringing in complaining they hadn’t tuned in to Three to listen to Christmas crap. I am sure Petroc got the same dullards texting in.

    A cracking Christmas and New Year to Dada with thanks to Senf for unravelling most Sundays the impenetrable Sunday crosswords with Season’s Greeting and best wishes for 2023.

  12. Merry Christmas Everyone! Hope you all have a great day.

    Managed this one with only a little help from Senf with 7d.
    A very enjoyable start to our Christmas day here in very snowy Norway. (Almost didn’t get here on Friday.) Everything is now sparkling and twinkling……although I suspect the Christmas spirit is helping a bit.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  13. Solved this On Saturday night as Sunday is not going to work.

    Liked the puzzle … no idea the setter.
    4 letters missing from a pangram.

    Liked the Christmas theme too.

    Favourites for me include 12a, 20a, 23a, 28a, 8d, 10d & my quaff for Xmas eve 26d

    Happy Christmas to all and have a brilliant day with family and friends.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf … and I trust you had a wee dram too Saturday night … as I did after the 26d.

  14. Memorised the reindeers’ names yesterday.
    Paid off today.
    A truly sparkling puzzle with much head-scratching.
    But completed unaided albeit in nearly 5* time.
    So many gems eg 1, 16 and 27a and 10d.
    Seasonal wishes and thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. Very cold here in Miami (for me, anything below 65F is cold), consequently I was late waking up. I was so pleasantly surprised by this friendly Dada, loved it. I only needed ehelp for 7d, dunno why! I find it hard to choose a fave, 16a is a contender, so is 10d and 20a, but there are lots more I could name.
    Having not eaten a meal since Covid in June, all food turns me off, I’m about to have some crunchy cheese crackers and an energy drink; natch chawclit. I’ll raise a glass of Famous Grouse later on to toast absent friends. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, wishing all good health and happiness for 2023! Thank you to everyone who keeps this blog going, very much appreciated.

  16. A perfect accompaniment whilst keeping one eye on Mark Gatiss’ excellent version of A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story. That’s my excuse for this Dada taking me into 4* time, but I’ll offer 4* for enjoyment, or rather satisfaction when I completed it. 1a last in with a huge penny drop moment, so I’ll choose that as favourite. Merry Christmas everyone.

  17. Called it a (Christmas) day yesterday but slightly clearer thinking this morning produced the goods bar 28a which I couldn’t fathom probably since I think of it as two words and 15d which also needed a prompt. Rest of puzzle was a bit of a struggle but fair enough. Thank you Dada and Senf for this exercise and help with it.

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