ST 3194 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3194 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3194(Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg – where, with ‘warmer’ temperatures on several days this week, we had foggy starts which resulted in picturesque rime ice formation on the ‘bare’ trees.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada back to where he was for most of December with five anagrams (two partials), one lurker, and no homophones, all in a symmetric 26 clues; with 13 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 10, 12a, 15a, 23a, 5d, and 13d.

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 Two banks managed by an Asian (7)
The Roman numeral for two contains (banks) a three letter synonym for managed all of which is followed by AN from the clue.

8a Fancy better edible grains (7)
A three letter synonym of better (as in outdo?) and a type of edible grains (grown in a paddy).

12a Item of underwear and stick returned by Los Angeles dog (8)
The abbreviated form of an item of (supportive) underwear, followed by a type of stick reversed (returned) all placed after (by) the abbreviated form of Los Angeles.

15a Port east of Verona transformed repeatedly (4,3,4)
A Channel Port placed after (east of) an anagram (transformed) of VERONA.

19a Tragedy allowed by amateurish thespian (6)
A synonym of allowed placed after (by) the term for an amateurish thespian.

23a Poet, epic chap (10)
A synonym of epic (in relation to time?) and a synonym of chap.

26a Freedom from partner of la bride? (7)
Consider this in two steps – the ‘partner’ of la (across the Channel) and the abbreviated form of the partner of the bride.


1d Lever in line with first of beams joining wheels (7)
A synonym of line and (with) the first letter of Beams inserted into (joining) what wheels is a slang or informal synonym of (as a mode of transport).

3d Cleaned, could he have been dirty originally? (6)
A (3,2) phrase equivalent to could he have been and the first letter (originally) of Dirty.

5d Dead excited? (10)
A double definition(?) – the second could relate to being anxious.

13d Turn right, then change (10)
The single letter for Right followed by (then) a synonym of change (Darwin style).

17d Playwright has inspired a creative type (7)
Guess a playwright (this one was British and a Nobel Prize winner) contains (has inspired) A from the clue.

24d Body of knowledge lost on religious experiences, primarily (4)
The initial letters (primarily) of four words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun (Many thanks to Gazza for responding to my SOS as my brain could not unscramble this one):


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English actor, composer, singer and writer, Ron Moody, probably best known for his portrayal of Fagin in the 1968 film version of Oliver! was born on this day in 1924 (passed away in 2015); this is from the film:


67 comments on “ST 3194 (Hints)
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  1. Excellent puzzle, Dada at his most imaginative. 22a made me laugh and 15a plus 3&21d were very smart but my Sunday honours go to 1&26a plus 4&6d.
    Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Dada (I’ll “see” you again on Tuesday) and Senf.

  2. Most enjoyable, with 7a my final answer, mainly because I struggle to believe that that country produces Asians. I am probably wrong though. The Quickie pun eluded me too. That aside, the grid was full of excellent clues, with 26a my favourite ahead of 4d.

    Thanks Dada for the challenge, and Senf for his hints.

  3. Didn’t take to this one at all at first, took a long while to get going and was
    getting annoyed with it. But gradually got into the swing, and just started to speed
    up until the end. Glad I stuck it out because some of the clues were very
    clever indeed. Just goes to show that first impressions are quite often wrong.
    My two favourites today were 26a and the wonderful 5d. Ta very much to our setter today.

  4. 3*/4*. Excellent Sunday fare with a nicely challenging mix of clue types.

    26a was my favourite after the penny drop groan.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  5. I aleays enjoy a Dada puzzle and this had some of his quirkier, lighthearted clues . It wasn’t simple or straightforward but it was, at least, approachable and, best of all, enjoyable. It certainly made me chuckle and was downright devious in places. 23a was my COTD, followed closely by 9d, 4d and 1d. Thanks to Dada fora puzzle with everything I like, geographical references, literary references, slyly disguisedanagrams and cryptic definitions. Thanks to Senf for the hints.

  6. A great start to the day. An enjoyable mix of clues that got the brain to do a bit of work. Last one in 17d and 23 my favourite. I agree with Young Salopian re: 7a but it had to be.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  7. Great fun from the ever-reliable Dada – thanks to him and to Senf for the hints.
    Top clues for me were 7a (not sure why anyone would doubt the definition), 26a and 3d.

  8. This took me longer than usual for a dada but I got there in the end. My only worry is 6d which was a bung in based on part of the clue but I cannot see what the rest of the clue has to do with the answer. When I checked my bung in against two of the on line crossword solvers they both came up with the same answer but both said they couldn’t explain it! If anyone can make suggestions that don’t put them on the naughty step I would be very grateful

  9. Time spent on last in, 4d, put me into 2* time.
    No excuse ss this is a crossword regular.
    Enjoyable solve throughout,
    19 and 23a and 6d stand out.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  10. More straightforward than a Dada puzzle often is for me. Thank you to Senf for explaining 8a (I still can’t quite make the ‘better’ fit) and to John Halpern for the entertainment. 26a (‘freedom’) was my favourite, with its sudden Epiphany!

    At Leeds City Varieties yesterday we saw the Rock n Roll Panto — Dick Whittington with all the actors also being musicians, performing well-known songs from the past few decades throughout the story, ranging from The Byrds to PJ & Duncan. The only one our children recognized was:

    [I thought YouTube links were supposed to embed a video automatically, but that one apparently isn’t doing for me.]

  11. This is my sort of Dada puzzle. Clever and elegant clues but with no leaps of faith and no religion.
    Last in was 4d which had me struggling for a while but my fav was 26a.
    Thx to all.

  12. 4d, which held me up at the end, is my COTD, but I laughed and chortled my way through this entirely enjoyable gift, with 3d, 26a, 6d,15a, & (‘By the Shores of Gitche Gumee, / By the shining Big-Sea-Water’) 23a–all getting big ticks. About as much fun as a cryptic on a Sunday morning can give. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ***/****

    Missed the quickie pun altogether.

  13. A fun puzzle made all the more enjoyable by having Dire Straits’ 1978 debut album playing in the background while I worked my way through the grid. Was held up slightly in the NE and NW corners but everything eventually shoehorned into place with 1d appropriately my LOI Loved 5d but my COTD is vingt six across. Now I’ve finished I might listen to Sultans of Swing again. I just don’t understand how my Taylor Swift loving daughter can say I am a musical dinosaur.

    1. Sultans of Swing was awesome but Brothers in Arms was peerless! Indeed it was the first album I bought – on CD! I still listen to it occasionally but I haven’t tried it alongside crosswords to see if it makes any difference to my solving ability :D

        1. Not the first album to be released on CD Steve, but Brothers in Arms has been credited with launching the mass market for CDs, a format now sadly consigned to obsolescence. BTW, my favourite is Making Movies. Maybe I’ll play that tomorrow at crossword o’clock.

          1. Making Movies was the first cd I ever bought. Still got, still play it and still enjoy it! It cost £12.99 which was probably quite a lot of money in 1980 something!

  14. A great puzzle but with other things occupying my mind at present I could not do it justice. I had to resort to the hints for a few so the elusive DT pen will elude me yet again. Some really fantastic clues and I had ticks all over the paper. 23a made me smile but the battle for COTD was fought by two – 26a and 5d. The contest was won by 26a, which I thought was a terrific clue.

    Many thanks to Dada and sorry I could not do your puzzle justice Thank you, Senf for making sense of it.

    I did not get the Quickie pun at all. Bit of a stretch, I thought.

  15. Definitely a challenge but so much fun once it began to give up its secrets. Plenty of ticks on my sheet but my top three are the ones that made me laugh the most – 23&26a along with 18d. The Quickie pun also raised a smile.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for both the review and the film clip – really enjoyed watching ‘Oliver!’ again.

  16. After the considerable discussion on Friday and some yesterday, I thought I would give a ‘potted’ history of my crosswording experience to show how this site helped me improve my solving abilities.

    Some while ago, or perhaps I should say once upon a time, when I was serving Her Majesty, crossword solving was frequently, probably usually, a ‘committee activity’ over tea and toast in the Ante Room at the end of the working day. The chances of a completed grid were not very good. None of us seemed to have understanding of the nuances of the construction of, or even the ability to identify the different types of clue. The only ‘solving aid’ was a well thumbed copy of a nondescript dictionary.

    Fast forward to the late 1990s and beyond, when I was residing in the USA, the DT, including the crossword, became available on-line and, as I recall, incorrectly perhaps, at first available without paid subscription. So, I was on my own for solving although at some point I ‘discovered’ the Chambers Crossword Dictionary and it became my go to ‘companion’ plus, of course, increasing use of e-resources as more and more became available. However, the nuances of clue construction etc were still somewhat of a mystery and completion of a full grid was quite a rare occurrence and a cause for great celebration.

    Then, in March 2012, in response to a Google search request, for something long forgotten, the third or fourth ‘suggestion’ involved visiting some web site or other, I don’t think I need to identify which one – manna from heaven! With the daily blog and advice and suggestions freely given my solving ability and knowledge of the nuances of clue construction etc increased by leaps and bounds until I considered myself brave enough to offer my services as a blogger which is where I am today. A confident solver but by no means an expert, with my solving times I won’t be participating in the Times Crossword Championship any time soon, and I am still learning.

    So, to all those considering throwing away the pen or pencil in whatever form you use it, use the resources that are now available including, if it is still available, our esteemed editor’s book How to Solve a Cryptic Crossword and I am sure that you will find your expertise improving.

    1. Thanks for this Senf, and all your hard work. I joined this blog about 10 years ago and never give up on a crossword even if it means coming back to it over a few days. It makes me a bit sad when people give up. An unfinished grid is a learning opportunity missed! There’s the hints plus anagram solvers plus if you get desperate Dan word.
      If I’m stuck I just look at the across hints then carry on.
      Thanks to Dada too. I will never forget his first Sunday puzzle which I completed over 3 days!

    2. Thanks Senf – always appreciated along with all the other contributors/bloggers!
      Oh, and Happy New Year as I missed last week 👍

  17. Thoroughly enjoyed this, plenty of penny-drop moments without requiring complex cluing. A joy on this thoroughly wet and miserable Sunday. Lots of top clues: 10a, 12a, 15a, 4d, 5d, 6d.. but no doubt the stand out is the magnificent 26a **/*****

    Ty Dada and Senf

  18. Appreciated this gentle solve after yet another 2 a.m start to my day watching United Cup tennis from Australia (phew final was today with USA win against Italy). NE corner last to fall mainly due to my having put 11a in wrong way round and 6d nasty synonym not occurring to me. 2d seems to be a useful setters’ tool. Fav 26a. Thank you Dada for your lenient enigma and Senf for being there in case of need.

  19. For me this week Dada relatively gentle and down to earth … with a couple of head scratchers thrown in … and some great humour too!
    1.5*/4.5* for me.

    Favourites include 10a, 12a, 15a, 26a, 5d & 6d — with winner 5d followed closely by 15a … both excellent.

    Chuckles came from 10a, 19a, 22a, 26a & 6d … again all good.

    Thanks to Dada for nice challenge and Senf for hints (not used on my Saturday night solve)

  20. Enjoyed today’s crossword. The Quickie Pun made me groan. Rather like one I saw many years ago: Chicane+ticker (Chicken tikka)!

  21. I found this quite tricky in places mainly because I had put in two wrong answers which took ages to spot. Otherwise a lovely puzzle with a lot of smiles. Thanks to all on a miserable overcast day.

  22. Went reasonably well here. Felt a bit dumb not understanding ‘Two banks’ in 7a although we’d managed to fill in the right answer and grudgingly accepted the definition in 8a eventually! As always very grateful for the explanations here when we have any doubts.

  23. Reasonably straightforward with enough head scratchers to make it interesting. Hard to pick a favourite but we’ll go with 8a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  24. Did better than I usually do with Dada today…only needed Senf’s excellent hints to confirm my thoughts for 7a and 8a. (And thanks also to RD for confirming 6d)
    Good fun on what was a dreich day here but is now looking to give a beautiful sunset.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  25. Delightful puzzles for our synapses – with tea and toast in bed on a glorious sunny morning here in the colonies (28F in old money).

    I seem to recall that it must be Dada’s DT anniversary soon. How we all squawked at the change from Mr Ron all those years ago.

    Mr & Mrs T

      1. Over four years ! How time flies.

        Senf: how we enjoyed your introduction to crossword addiction. … and half-a-crown* says you must have been in the HMDS judging by your sensitive handling of issues.

        * 12.5p in new money.

          1. I’m guessing Her/His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service?

            But maybe if you were in it, you would diplomatically feign ignorance…?

            1. And, I just had a PDM as well.

              So, no – you have lost your half-a-crown – I was in the RAF, starting off at the RAF College at Cranwell (where I was taught to be an officer and a gentleman?).

  26. Super puzzle. Last 2 in were 8a&6d pushing me just beyond ** time which was quicker than the first read through suggested it was going to be. All parsed ok though 6d was a head scratch. Plenty of ticks but if forced to choose only 3 I’d go for 22&26a plus 5d. Not only failed to twig the pun but couldn’t even finish the Quickie not knowing 10a was Jamaican pepper (I just bung in mixed herbs into most everything) & unable to think of the clout synonym.
    Thanks to D & S (an expert in my book)

  27. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Another excellent puzzle from Dada, great fun. I was beaten by 1d & 7a. Favourite was 19a. Was 3* / 4* for me. Well said Senf about the solving experience. Rings a bell with me, used to try and solve with colleagues during tea break, but I only improved as a solver once I’d discovered this site. Many thanks to Big Dave and all the people working behind the scenes.

  28. Needed the hints to finish so many thanks to Senf and also to Dada.

    Little pleasure in struggling with an octopus.

  29. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle – probably my most straightforward solve of the week. Lots of excellent clues. The only one I had real trouble with was 6d – I have an answer which I think must be right but am still not keen on it. Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  30. 3/4. I needed help to finish this otherwise enjoyable puzzle. My favourites were 12&15a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  31. Great puzzle, which I did at lunchtime but had to get back to my task of sorting hundreds of photographs all over the dining table. I also have to say that although I have been doing the DT crosswords for more years than I care to say, my solving skills improved in leaps and bounds after I joined this wonderful community. 26a was a laugh out loud moment and 4d was last one in I still cannot parse it but it is the only word which fits I shall be trying to work it out at 4am. Capital gains tax cut.
    ? Thanks to Messrs Setter and Hinter.
    Auto spell always turns that into Hunter!

  32. I do enjoy a good Dada puzzle and this certainly was one! Plenty to smile about and like many others I’ll go for 23a and 26a as my picks of the day.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  33. After a bit of a fight with proXimal last night I was going to give this a rest, but reading Senf’ and Toni’s fine comments persuaded me to have a go. I am so pleased to have done so. I have a rather nice leather bound copy of Hiawatha I inherited from Grandma Bee so 23a did it for me. Thanks to Senf and Dada.

    1. Had a 10 min glance at proXimal & got 3. Suspect another multiple session slog so expect my comment Tuesday or Wednesday. Rather you than me……

  34. HNY to all (apologies for missing last week – had to walk off a ‘sleepy head’ on the N Somerset coast after a very marvellous Hogmanay in an excellent local hostelry!)
    Thoroughly enjoyed this Sunday cracker from Dada – as ever, quite puzzling at first read through but, slowly and surely, it started to reveals itself with the classic nods and smiles that accompany Dada’s clever clues!
    Thanks again Sir and also to Senf for the usual brilliant blog ‘n hints 👍

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