ST 3209 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3209 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3209 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg with such variable weather that, ending up with yet another Colorado Low, it has been a week of what coat do I need to wear today.

For me, and I stress for me, a puzzle of two halves, NW and SE, with the SE being the trickier of the two – with six anagrams (three partials), one lurker, 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, 13a, 23a, 6d, 7d, 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:


1a Wise guy hurt, plonker initially poking nasty wound (11)
A five letter synonym of hurt followed by the first letter (initially) of Plonker inserted into (poking) an anagram (wound) of NASTY.

9a Play one of those perfect union men (2,5,7)
A two letter adjectival synonym of one, a synonym of perfect, and a ‘union’ man (for a play created by a former resident of Reading Gaol).

13a Cordial evidently unrefrigerated? (4)
A term that could describe the condition of something that is unrefrigerated.

19a Run through beginning of recitative in musical work (6)
The first letter (beginning) of Recitative inserted into (in) a generic term for a musical work.

23a Frightening, as armpits may be? (5)
What armpits become after puberty (may be) – I was going to provide an illustration but thought better of it!

27a Wonderful to be far from our home? (3,2,4,5)
A double definition(?) – in the second, our home can refer to our planet.

28a Easy job coming to stop in building unit (11)
A single word term for easy job (it’s a . . . ) followed by (coming to) a synonym of stop.


2d Football club, northern champions at the top in richest team formed ultimate in plutocracy? (10,4)
Not the better team in SW6, the first letters (at the top) of Norther Champions inserted into (in) an anagram of RICHEST TEAM followed by the last letter (ultimate in) plutocracY.

4d Eager boy finally in paid work (8)
The last letter (finally) of boY and a single word term for in paid work.

6d Exclamation of disapproval about a job (4)
A three letter all consonant exclamation of disapproval, often repeated, containing (about) A from the clue.

7d Politically unstable country needing a hand? (6,8)
A type of country (without a monarch) preceded by (needing) a type of fruit for which the collective noun is a hand.

14d Try joke (5)
A double definition – the first is a slang synonym.

18d Game over in league, stuffing knocked out (8)
A synonym of over (as in bridging?) inserted into (in) LeaguE with all the interior letters deleted (stuffing knocked out).

26d Bread bundle (4)
A reasonable straightforward double definition to finish – the first is not a loaf.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Pop duo Peter and Gordon (Peter Asher, older brother of Jane of that ilk, and Gordon Waller) had instant number one success with their first single on this day in 1964. It was their only UK number one but they did have three in Canada! Here it is:

63 comments on “ST 3209 (Hints)
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  1. Very enjoyable with a good mix of easy (possibly a little weak) clues and some real belters.
    7d was clever but my podium is 24a plus 15d with top spot going to the mighty 2d, despite the disrespectful and somewhat clumsy surface read!
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf and Happy St George’s Day everyone, I’m flying the flag.

    1. On this day every year, the first thing I do is replace the battered old English flag with a brand new one. My neighbours at the rear, whose back garden abuts mine, love my tall flagpole/flag so much that they insist on paying for 2 new flags each year!

      1. Today is also Mrs RD’s birthday. The first year when we met, I gave her a Happy St George’s Day card instead of a birthday card. That we later got married and have stayed together for over 20 years would seem to indicate she took it in good part.

    2. Thx Guys for trying to explain but still makes no sense to me. The only two letter word I can see has no relation to ‘through’ as far as I can make out. Will just have to wait for the solution.

  2. Absolute piece of cake this morning, nothing gave too much trouble, but very entertaining nonetheless. Getting all the long ‘un early on helped as the others just fell into place. If my team do well today we will encounter 2d for a real grudge match later on in June. Couple of favourites today 18d and 17a. Many thanks to our setter today.

  3. Tough as usual on a Sunday Dada but on the whole doable with perseverance. I am left with an incomplete explanation for 15d, Bent OK but Breaking Through?
    My personal fav was 23a, made me smile.
    Thx to all

      1. Redacted because you included an answer, plus a letter, from another clue and in 15d what is required is a two letter synonym of through.

  4. A very entertaining and enjoyable puzzle with some witty cryptic definitions and good lurkers. COTD’S for me were1a and 7d but there were good GK basesd clues at 20a and 7d. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dadaf for another winner of a SPP.

  5. 2*/4* today for a lighter than normal Sunday PP with only a couple clues in the SE needing teasing out.

    The surface of 2d is dreadful, and I’m not convinced by the first synonym in 14d.

    I still can’t decide if 26d is a DD or CD, or perhaps both?

    7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  6. Great mix of clues.
    Last in 1a
    In followed by LOL.
    Cunning anagram signals.
    Managed completion in 2* time.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  7. A few dodgy surface reads but an enjoyable Sunday puzzle.
    1a takes me back to primary school days and made me smile and I rather liked the 7d country that needed a hand.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and video clip – wonder who thought it was a good idea for the two boys to leave their stools and walk round in a circle!

  8. Good fun as usual for a Sunday morning with plenty to keep us entertained throughout the solve. 26d held me up for a while, and 7d was easily my favourite.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. I really enjoyed this as it progressed, quite quickly, to a finish. Definitely left me wanting a bit more! No favourites and no duds. Splendid.
    Thanks to setter.

  10. For me, and I stress for me ⟨™⟩ this was quite a cheery Dada guzzle. The clue for 2d was constructed most cleverly. I cannot put forward a case for my team.

    Thank you to all those who posted kind comments yesterday about H’s recovery. We did go for a lovely walk. Having read that the bluebells were out we duly set off in Abinger Roughs only to establish that the writer should have said “One per cent of bluebells are out in Abinger Roughs” but it was a lovely afternoon and we walked over a mile and a half which is good going since it was H’s first proper walk since her operation. We followed this with a quick drink in the White Horse in Shere. A man was raising the flag in the churchyard as we passed. I gave him a thumbs up and he said “It’s Saint Georges Day tomorrow, you know!”
    “Indeed it is,” I replied as we headed to the car.
    It struck me that he probably said that because so few people recognise the England ‘national day’ any more.

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba

    1. For myself, and I emphasise for myself, I think that plagiarising a colleagues’s catchphrase and legally registering/protecting it as your own with a trademark is somewhat cheeky! Pesumably, if S keeps blatantly and persistently using his own/ex catchphrase in a public forum, you will be issuing legal papers to safeguard your seized intellectual property? :-)

      1. I would nip in and place “For myself and I emphasise for myself” under copyright protection immediately, Jose

        1. Nah, don’t think I’ll bother. It didn’t work last century when I copyrighted the title: 21st Century Fox.

  11. Most enjoyable. Fav of the day has to be 9a as it brings back memories of touring the Scotish highlands over 50 years ago with my uni theatre company as stage manager and Mason the butler – my one and only acting part ever!
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  12. Dada well and truly got me at the very end since I’ve never heard of 28a (‘British English’ says Google). Oh, the things I’ve missed! But I very much enjoyed my first Dada in a couple of weeks, especially 7d, 17a (LOL!), & 24a. Thanks to Senf and Dada. ****/****

  13. For me, I found this week’s Dada puzzle a tad on the quirky side … required some lateral thinking.
    Nonetheless, it was a good puzzle to solve.
    I find that Dada never disappoints with his puzzles.

    2*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 23a, 2d, 6d & 21d with winner 1a
    Had to smile/chuckle at 23a, 6d, 7d & 21d

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for hints/blog

  14. Finally completed this fun but for me challenging puzzle, I always seem to take a while to get on the correct band width with Dada and did google a couple to check synonyms, Some great clues requiring lateral thinking 28a being last in. 7d was favourite once the penny dropped.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints and pics

  15. Thoroughly enjoyable. Dada at his most benign today I think, with some lovely long answers to get me off to a good start. Solved in a haphazard fashion but with no hold-ups. Lots to like, especially 1a, 9a and 7d. Favourite today was 8d for the mathematical input required. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. Not exactly a walk in the park but nothing like as difficult as most Sunday Dada’s crosswords are.
    I don’t quite ‘get’ 24a – maybe my answer is wrong.
    I appreciated (I’m fed-up with ‘liked’ but ‘appreciated’ isn’t quite right) the long answers round the outside and 27a and 7d.
    Thanks to Dad for the crossword and to Senf for hints.

    1. PS Thanks to Dada, rather than Dad! :oops:
      Also to Steve Cowling and to Chriscross for a couple of nice comments yesterday – I never got around to answering yesterday.

      1. Sorry Kath have only just read your 20 comment below – I rather expected to find myself in the naughty corner too!

  17. I can’t believe I’ve finished a Dada without help, except for 18d, I needed word search for that but still don’t get the “why”.
    I thought 1a was pretty slangy but I dare say it’s in the sainted BRB. I liked 9a and 27a, but fave was 7d, what we’re rapidly becoming here, guns galore.
    Thanks Dada for the benign offering, and, of course, the friendly Senf for his unravelling.

  18. Pleasantly surprised, actually amazed, that I actually finish a Dada puzzle, albeit with a few of Senf’s hints, thank you. Like Kath, I am not sure if my 24a is right, but I can’t see what else it could be. Apart from 24a, it was the 4 letter answers that gave me a way in, unlike yesterday when it was the 4 letter ones that held me up. Once the longer answers went in round the edge, plus 27a, it was full steam ahead. Big thank you to Dada for boosting my ego and providing a lot of enjoyment this morning.

    1. I’ve got 24a sorted out, I think – the definition is giant – squeeze is the first three letters and the final one is the last letter (toe) of massive.
      And if I get sent to the naughty corner I’m going to sulk . . .

  19. Only just got round to doing the guzzle, I seem to be one degree under – it’s either yesterday’s Booster jab or still recovering from standing waiting for an hour and a half for the Park & Ride bus on Friday. Traffic in Cambridge is appalling. I very much enjoyed this, although previous remarks have made me have second thoughts about 26d. 1a gets the Daisy but I am ashamed to say I completely missed the lurker. All done and dusted now though, I’ll just wait for the pen to arrive and I may well decide to donate it to Stephen. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Senf.

      1. My family are visiting so 4 mobile phones sounded off with such acoustic force that they could be heard at the end of the garden , where my son and I were re- hanging two pieces of trellis covered in white flowered Japonica and Honeysuckle Last week’s gales brought them down

        1. Just seen a girl being interviewed who was very emotionally distressed at her phone going off like that! What planet do these people come from that they haven’t heard all the warnings – turn the thing off if you are so fragile. I’m not in the fragile brigade but turned it off so save battery mostly.

  20. Straightforward for us with some good fun clues the best of them being 7d. Thanks to Dada and Senf. Note to self ‘remember to change to joint name’ which I failed to do yesterday thereby inadvertently claiming all the credit for myself.

  21. Other than a brief parsing head scratch for 18d & a bit of a pause at last in 26d this proved to be an unexpectedly straightforward solve on the phone between starting groups on a chilly first tee this morning. All very enjoyable though perhaps not up there with his Sunday best. 7d my clear fav.
    Thanks to D&S

  22. It’s all been said so there’s little I can add. Most enjoyable and I loved the Quickie pun.

    I have sent it off for the mythical.

    Many thanks to dada for the fun and Senf for the hints.

    1. I did say I might send mine on to you if I get another one. They do clutter up the place. Bit like Oscars I guess, though you can at least stick those in the downstairs loo.
      (It came out a PH instead of a V at 21)

      1. I know she has, Merusa and very kind of her it is. However, how do I know she hasn’t bought a biro and had it engraved? As the philosopher, George Berkeley said “Physical objects do not exist independently of the mind that perceives them”. Ergo, I cannot see this pen so it does not exist. 😎

        It’s been years since I saw the phrase “Dinna fash yersel!”

  23. I seemed to romp through over half of today’s puzzle but then had a few head-scratchers especially 8d and 15d. Got there in the end. Many thanks to Dada for the exercise and Senf for the hints.

  24. 4/4. Enjoyable if a little bit tricky in parts. My favourite was 8d closely followed by 23a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  25. Straightforward enought (by Dada standards I mean) and very pleasing to solve without referring to any hints – BUT, it might be just me and I often do get things very wrong, 28 across in my book is two separate words and not one eleven letter word – there again what do I know? Thanks Dada, much enjoyed and thank you Senf as well. PS, favourite clue was 2 down, despite the fact that I dislike them as much as I do their closest rivals :-( :-(

  26. Unusually enjoyed doing battle with this Dada product. NW last corner to acquiesce. 13a a bit simplistic. Yuck to 23a. 6d exclamation and 18d took while to parse. Fav 9a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  27. Quite a tricky little number.
    Some of the constructions were of toughie level imho.
    Reversed parsing in 18d, my last one in, as the game which I have only seen in crosswords or in some episode of St Trinian’s school for girls, just jumped at me.
    Thanks to Dada for the workout and to Senf for the hints.

  28. Done this am for anyone still around! Oddly I couldn’t get any of the long ones straight off so did the short ones to get some checkers. My last ones were worn the left hand side. I managed all the parsing. Oddly my favourites list agreed with Senf which is not usually the case. 1 9 13 22 and 28a and 7 and 21d. Thanks Dada and Senf.

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