ST 3200 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3200 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3200 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where our Winter Festival – le Festival du Voyageur – started on Friday with appropriate temperatures to ensure that the ice and snow sculptures will not ‘disappear’ during the course of the festival and our river skating and skiing trail has been in operation for several weeks (sorry Falcon).

For me, and I stress for me, Dada still quite friendly but with a soupçon of quirkiness again today, with six anagrams (three partials), one lurker (reversed), and no homophones, 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 – 9a, 27a, 8d, 19d, and 21d.

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 Food for cooking dinner gets prepared after one (11)
An anagram (prepared) of DINNER GETS placed after the Roman numeral for one.

9a In reverse, place a rock in wheels (7)
The reversal of all of (in reverse) a synonym of place, A from the clue, and a term for rock (or rocks) found in the SW.

13a Tailless insect absorbs second bodily substance (7)
A stinging insect (that is a type of wasp) with its last letter deleted (tailless) containing (absorbs) a two letter synonym of second (in time).

15a Islander, like chap I dressed in brown (9)
Synonyms of like and chap, and I from the clue all contained by (dressed in) a shade of brown.

20a Gift first of lemons in yellow (5)
The first letter of Lemons inserted into (in) a synonym of yellow (apparently).

24a Eject bags with shallow box (7)
A synonym of eject (from the mouth) contains (bags) a synonym of with.

27a Very little grain? (11)
A double definition – the second could be the staple diet for egg producers.


2d Green note (7)
A double definition (I think) – the second is a musical term and the first probably comes from Dada’s personal thesaurus.

5d Shops all opening, eight million people outside running in, apparently (7)
The initial letters (all opening) of seven words in the clue.

7d Unproven belief in fresh start under leader in parliament (11)
A single word term for fresh start (after a break?) placed after (under – it’s a Down Clue) the first letter of (leader in) Parliament.

11d Communist playing knotty roles (4,7)
An anagram (playing) KNOTTY ROLES.

19d Wandering casually initially, I had a day going uphill (7)
Another reversal (going uphill) of all of the first letter (initially) of Casually, the contracted form of I HAD, A from the clue, and the abbreviated form of a day of the week.

20d Back African party, well on the fringes (7)
The abbreviated form of an African (political) party surrounded by (on the fringes) a synonym of well.

23d Relative in fleece instantly turned up (5)
The reversed lurker (in . . . turned up) found in the words ‘sandwiched’ by the indicator.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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This is probably a mix of a one hit wonder and what were we thinking.  Chicory Tip, a group from Maidstone, achieved their only number one on this day in 1972 and it lasted for three weeks – Son of My Father:

69 comments on “ST 3200 (Hints)
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  1. Usual light Sunday excellence from Dada, his weekend offerings are a real joy.
    I particularly liked 24a plus 28d but favourite has to be 4d, “though not ready”……genius clue.
    Many thanks to the aforementioned setter and Senf.

  2. I found this puzzle quite challenging due to the unexpectedness of the clues and clever misdirection. It was most satisfying to finish it, although I had problems with parsing 17a and 20d. Favourites were 27a, 7a, 13a and, COTD, 5d. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for an intriguing puzzle.

  3. This was a mixed bag for me in terms of difficulty. Three quarters went in smoothly but I found the SE very challenging, partly because the synonym of yellow needed to solve 20a isn’t a synonym and nothing in Chambers and Collins suggests otherwise.

    No argument about today’s favourite – 4d wins hands down.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. The only justification I could find for ‘yellow’ in 20a is that it is listed in the entry for the word required for the answer in The Chambers Crossword Dictionary – how it got there is anybody’s guess.

    2. It might not be listed in those tomes (it is listed online in the Oxford Languages dictionary, though) but the synonym is quite obvious in the subject of xxxxxx xxxx. Can I say such a thing on a Sunday? (Nope!) If not, could I respectfully request a couple of Fry’s Turkish Delights – I’m not too fond of random cake. Cheers!

  4. I finished this very pleasant Dada with a big laugh at 27a, my favourite clue today, with another smile along the way at 24a and, earlier, a big guffaw at 4d. So I’m in a jolly mood, with Tom Lehrer’s ‘Be Prepared’ jingling its way, earwormishly, in my brain. And what’s more, today’s Toughie beautifully set the stage for a day of mirth and great satisfaction. Thanks to Senf for the hints, which I happily did not need, and to Dada. **/****

  5. A friendly Dada today so I will be able to send it off for the mythical pen. :grin: Like others, I struggled with the SE corner but, on the whole, an enjoyable solve. I liked 7d and the islander at 15a but my COTD is 27a.

    Many thanks, Dada for the fun and Senf for the hints.

  6. SE held out the longest for me too and I needed Sent’s hints to parse 24a. I’ve not heard of the version of cricket referenced in 17a either, but topical given England’s victory overnight. COTD for me was 8d. Thanks Dada, thanks Senf.

  7. Seemed a gentle puzzle and pleasant to complete. Either I am improving or this was straightforward?
    Favourite and took longest was 5 down.

  8. On the whole not a problem but I would take issue with the synonym for yellow in 20a and I just do not understand the synonym for fill in 25a! My fav was 17a.
    Thx to all

      1. Thanks. I did look up the word in question but missed the 3rd definition under part two. Not a meaning that I have ever come across before. Will try to remember it but at my age that is unlikely.

  9. Very friendly offering from the Sunday maestro. I like others agree that the SE needed a bit of unpicking & my last one in was my favourite the brilliant 27a. I must have stared at this for ages until the penny dropped eventually.


    Thanks to Dada & Senf

  10. Struggled to justify a couple of synonyms and only had a vague memory of the name of the cricket game – we used a rather different term in my childhood.
    Top three here were 4,7&8d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints although I’ll pass on the ‘music’ today if you don’t mind!

  11. For me this was a bit of a curate’s egg. Some clever clues and some which IMHO just missed the mark e.g. 1a (not necessarily food). I too found SE toughest corner. Thought of less familiar bird for 12a but 8d meant it had to be as per solution. Fav was 7d. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  12. No problems with this one once I had stretched a few synonyms. 25a was my final entry with 4d my favourite clue by a country mile. Good fun and not overly testing.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  13. For me, and I stress for me (!) this was rather challenging in places. I sailed along until I got to the half way mark and then the trickiness led me to consulting with Senf, for rebooting purposes.

    Another grim day at Stamford Bridge yesterday. My beloved Chelsea beaten by ‘bottom of the table’ Southampton. In reality, Chelsea should be paying us to go and watch this lot.

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba.

  14. *Does anyone know if Daisy is ok? I’m very fond of her and miss her when she isn’t hereabouts. I feel like we haven’t seen her for a week or so…*

    1. Think perhaps you need Specsavers, Terence. Daisy left five comments on yesterday’s puzzle – last seen tucking into smoked salmon and a glass of wine!

  15. Back after a week in Israel and what a relief to get back to pen and paper! Call me a Luddite if you must, but something about it definitely helps engage my brain, so this puzzle proved to be a delight.
    A fairly steady fill, with a few moments for pause, my favourite was 27a for the penny drop moment.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  16. For me this week a slightly more tricky puzzle … with a touch of Dada’s quirkiness thrown in … with the SE being the last to give in. That put my time up by .5*

    2*/4* for me today

    Podium contenders include half the puzzle but the top five I chose include 12a, 20a, 26a, 8d & 18d with winner 8d

    Overall a fun puzzle to tackle with satisfying results.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. The BRB is Chamber’s dictionary, Kaymar. It is big and red hence The Big Red Book. :grin:

      Always worth looking at the FAQ section for such terms as this are often explained.

      1. Thanks, Steve. I’m a bit old-fashioned in that, as far as possible, I prefer not to have to resort to dictionaries, t’internet or hints. Consequently there are occasionally one or two clues that I don’t finish, usually words I’ve never heard of, but it gives me a greater sense of satisfaction when it works. Still haven’t come up with a single word that accurately fits the double definition at 25a. It’s not keeping me awake, though.

  17. I didn’t find this so easy today – perhaps it was the stretched synonyms, perhaps it was too much sauce the night before celebrating Saint’s double over the misfiring Chelsea! ;) Even as a cricket fan I hadn’t heard of 17a, though “hit” as first word much more common. I did like 4d and 27a, but overall not to my taste today ***/** Thanks to Dada and Senf

  18. As others we struggled in the SE but got there in the end, the rest was fairly straightforward. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Really struggled today, just could not seem to get on the right band width at all. I have finally got letters in all the spaces but only with the help of Senf and checking several of the answers. I managed 17a but had never heard of it so had to check. I found several of the synonyms tricky eg 25a. I liked 27a once the penny dropped.
    I am hoping this is not the end of my luck and just an example of needing a clear head and needing to be in tune with the setter.

    Our 2 cats are chilling out having wangled some roast chicken from us! The next nagging will be teatime when they smell the butter is out.

    Many thanks to Senf and Dada

      1. It does seem to be universally popular, along with Lick e lix which seems to have the power of some sort of illicit drug. It’s a great bribe if you ever need cooperation from a feline! We have used if for 6 years to get the cat, who is way beyond her 9 lives, to take her medicine.

  20. Fairly relaxing stroll while out for coffee with Mama Bee, I to had a bit of difficulty in SE corner but got there with Senf’s help. 5d typical for me – not too difficult but a v satisfactory PDM
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

        1. Je pense que Dada n’a pas étudié le français quand il était à l’école et il ne comprends pas la différence entre masculin et féminin.

          1. You think Dada didn’t study French when he was in school and he doesn’t understand the difference between male and female, Senf? Given recent news, is there now any gender?

            Don’t get me started, 😡

        1. Thank you Senf I wasn’t too sure. Many thanks for your hints which I needed with some of the more obscure clues.

          Thanks also to the setter (Dada?) for an enjoyable solve but with a few head-scratching moments to add to the challenge.

          1. Hi, Hilary- it is always Dada on a Sunday.
            Mind you, there have been some seismic changes recently with setters disappearing and others arriving. 🤓

  21. I thought some very tricky today, others slotted in nicely. I agree Senf, not sure how yellow gets in there, hopefully my bungin is correct. This was a DNF as I missed two in the SE. Natch, I’d never heard of the crickety 17a but could only be one thing with the checkers, so thanks Mr. Google for your explanation. I liked 4d and 18d, but fave was 27a.
    Thank you Dada for the fun and Senf for helping me to finish and unravelling a few. Dragon lady is hovering to get me in the pool for my exercises!

  22. Most of it was OK for me but I resorted to the hint for 24a. Never heard of 17a but easy enough to work out. Took a while for me to parse 19d. Last one to fill in was 25a. Obvious for puzzle but not so for Fill. I have not checked BRB but have justified my answer when using the word in conjunction with another. 27a outstanding. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  23. Apart from a couple of synonym head scratches at 20&25a it was a pretty straightforward grid fill though despite being familiar with the answer at 17a I’m not sure I have it quite parsed properly. 27a my fav.
    Thanks to D&S

  24. One of those puzzles where the down clues were the way in, with the north east corner filling in first. Don’t understand how yellow fits with the answer in 20a, and didn’t know 17a, but looks like a cricket term, so like a foreign language to me. Did finish, but didn’t find it remotely light, but being a Dada day, didn’t expect to. Too much help needed to be pleased with my result. Hope I do better tomorrow.

  25. Thanks, as ever, to our master Sunday setter Mr D! 👍
    Have to agree that I too thought it a bit more ‘quirky’ in places, and took a bit longer than usual to complete…although that might have something to do with the distraction of the steel band and Carib beers as I sit under a sun umbrella on the beach…😜
    Back to reality next Sat, but in the meantime..

    1. Bruce! You do know how to make a bloke who has nothing but the prospect of work tomorrow feel good!
      Enjoy the steel band, beers and the sunny beach. 😎😎

  26. Dada was quite friendly for me today, favourites 20d and 13a. I rarely attempt the crossword until the evening so any comments will usually be late. Thanks to Dada and Senf

  27. I often attempt them the next day, especially at weekends, so any comments probably too late to be read
    Completed this in 2 sittings: Sun eve was a struggle but all became clearer on Monday
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  28. Just got round to this – good puzzle, stretching but not too difficult. Just what we need hiding away from Fasching/Carnaval.

  29. That was quick.
    Needed all the checkers before filling in 27a though.
    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for the hints.
    I don’t do the quickie so can’t comment on the ballerina.

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