ST 3211 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3211 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3211 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, on Wednesday, we had a high temperature of over plus 20 degrees; the first time that has happened since October 11th of last year.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada quite ‘friendly’ with an anagram fest – eight with two partials, one lurker, no homophones, and one long ‘un (hinted), all in a slightly asymmetric 29 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 – 13a, 25a, 3d, 13d, and 15d.

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:


9a Strike keeping Everton, initially, in lead (5)
A synonym of strike (with a whip?) containing (keeping) the initial letter of Everton.

13a Where boat may stop like a plane? (5)
A groanworthy and somewhat inaccurate double definition – the second could apply to a modern aircraft but the BRB shows it only applying to a gemstone.

14a Start and stop part of engine (5,4)
A synonym of start (as in animate?) and a synonym of stop (a leak?).

16a Union pass? (8-7)
A pass authorising the union of two people?

23a Beseech delicacy of headless chicken? (7)
Combine a three letter chicken with the first letter removed (headless) and a synonym of delicacy.

25a Figure that’s still in job after increase (7)
A synonym of job placed after a term for (lunar) increase.

28a Relative peace finally in part of France (5)
The last letter (finally) of peace inserted into (in) part of (a city in) France.


1d Down and dirty (4)
A double definition – the second applies to various types of publications.

3d Select the best fruit before harvest (6-4)
A type of fruit placed before a term for harvest.

5d Balloon, something round and white (8)
A double definition – the first is as a verb (and may be used in relation to debt?).

13d Start before then scoffing odd bits of grub — go early (4,3,3)
A synonym of start (as in involuntary movement) placed before THEN from the clue containing (scoffing) the odd letters (odd bits) of GrUb.

15d Case in quitting sport (4,6)
A type of case (as in container often made from wood) inserted into a synonym of quitting (a habit?).

20d Understand about wave, something nasty in the water? (6)
A three letter synonym of understand containing (about) a synonym of wave.

26d Hold keys, entering every pantry, first of all (4)
The initial letters (first of all) of four words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:

FUN + DREY + SING = FUND-RAISINGthe BRB indicates that as a noun the hyphenated form is correct

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The Searchers were an English Merseybeat group who emerged during the so-called British Invasion (of the USA) in the 1960s. They achieved their third of three UK number ones on this day in 1964:

37 comments on “ST 3211 (Hints)

  1. Tougher than a piece of topside from Aldi.
    I took one look at this and had to check the top of the page to see if I had printed the Toughie by mistake. On more than one occasion I came to a dead stop and was convinced that was the end of it. However, returned after a tea break and the rest magically fell into place. My favourite today was the witty 13a, many thanks to our setter for a real brain twister today, great fun (once it was over)

  2. Another super offering from the Dada production line, light and enjoyable.
    Thought 12a and 2d a bit weak and can’t decide whether I think 23a is good or bizarre but the rest top-notch.
    I liked the linked 11a/5d and I’ve also ticked 25a (excellent) plus 3,4&20d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  3. I found this a little tricky in places, but very enjoyable.
    One of my last few in, and my favourite, was 25a.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  4. Entertaining stuff – thanks to Dada and Senf.
    I originally put in the wrong ’round and white’ thing for 5d (which is presumably the misdirection that Dada intended) – it made the NE corner tricky until I realised my mistake.
    My ticks went to 13a, 14a, 25a and 3d.

  5. 2*/4*. Light and fun with 5a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  6. Slow start.
    Then moderate acceleration,
    Meeting old favourites,
    On the way
    eg 11 and 21a and 1 and 2d.
    So, **/4*
    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  7. I seemed to be on Dada’s wavelength from the off here and enjoyed a relatively head-scratch free romp through the grid. Liked the cryptic 16a but COTD for me, as with some others on this blog, was 13a. Thanks Dada and thanks to Senf for the hints – we are still only dreaming of Winnipeg temperatures here in showery UK where it rained on Charles’ parade yesterday. I felt for all those on The Mall in their cagoules and ponchos. Watching from my sofa was certainly a drier experience.

    1. Fun fact – according to our CBC commentary team, I think it was Dan Snow who came up with this gem, it has rained at every Coronation from Edward VII on.

      And, Wednesday was just an aberration on the part of Mother Nature as we were in the middle/high teens for most of the week.

  8. Our setter led me nicely down the garden path with 9a – resounding thud when that penny finally dropped – and there were other pauses for thought over the likes of 25a.
    Ticks went to 13&25a plus 3&5d with 3d taking the gold medal.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and another ‘blast from the past’ from The Searchers.

  9. Tricky but enjoyable except for 21a which I thought was two very stretched synonyms. My last in was 1d which was just me going down the wrong track.
    Thx to all

  10. I enjoyed this very much, enough misdirection and clever clues to keep me on my toes. My favourites were 25a and 13a but many others could have been chosen.

    Many thanks to Senf and Dada.

    I hope all of you who are having outside lunches today are blessed with fine weather and good health and those who have been unwell are recovering.

  11. Straightforward but enjoyable for us today with favourite being 3d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  12. Sleepy spring Sunday, sun shining and no television again today because it is contaminated by street parties for some reason. Usual Sunday setter with his special selection of clues seemingly undecipherable at first but on second sight some showing sense and others remaining strange. Still 9 and 25a with 5 and 15s certainly made sense.

    So thanks to Senf and the same to our Sunday setter.

    1. Certainly agree with indecipherable at first.
      Always with a Dada puzzle in my case.

  13. I found this on the tricky side and can’t say I enjoyed it much. That might be because I did a lot of work in the garden and it’s addled my brain. So, no favourites just happy to finish.

    Many thanks Dada for the beating and Senf for the helpful hints.

    Lovely day in The Marches, hence the gardening.

    1. If I am head down weeding in the garden it usually improves my solving 😊. Perhaps you just tired yourself out.

  14. I really think it was foolhardy of me to attempt this having risen at some ungodly hour to do our stint at the Sawston Fun Run, me registering the under 30 males and George riding round the course in a car exhorting people to come out and throw money in Rotary buckets. 1400 runners ! And it is amazing how many people either cannot read notices or genuinely are not sure how old they are. Or what sex. And after yesterdays marathon Coronation effort I am all in. However, after that trivia to let you know how the average OAP in the Shires spends his/hers/ their spare time, I did in fact finish this with few problems except that I could not quite see how 11a really linked with 5d. Tenuous? Anyway, great guzzle and 16a my favourite. And today the sun is shining, ironic after yesterday.
    Salutations to Messrs Setter & Solver.

    1. Daisy, you are amazing! You’re older than I am but I wouldn’t be able to do in a day what you do in five minutes! Keep it up, you’ll live to be 100.

  15. For me this Sunday, found Dada at the easy end of his scale … think he may have lost his personal thesaurus this week. Nothing tricky here and it was almost R&W except for a couple.

    1*/4* for me

    Favourites include 13a, 14a, 16a, 2d, 17d & 26d — with winner 16a/2d tie

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for hints / blog.

  16. A very slow solve for me last night–worn out by watching too much TV?–but very enjoyable indeed. Chuckled a bit over the slightly corny 13a but really oohed-and-aahed over 3d, 25a, and 15d: ergo, my podium today. Thanks to Senf and Dada. 3.5*/4.5*

  17. Pretty straightforward for a Dada SPP, I thought, but quite entertaining. The best of the clues were 25a,3d and 16a for me. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Off to ebtertain the family now. Hope King Charles and Queen Camillacslept well last night, one often can’t after a big occasion, however tieed one is.

  18. I smiled lots whilst solving the puzzle today 😊; thank you Dada and Senf.

  19. I guess this was friendly in that I did manage to finish, but I got only half way working with the clues. The rest came together mainly from the checkers. I still don’t understand what 11a has to do with 5d, I got both, but would have got 11a much earlier had I ignored the 5 down part of the clue. But thankful for small mercies and hoping for a gentle Monday please.

  20. Enjoying an exceptionally overpriced but enjoyable lager in the grounds of St Mary’s Church of Ireland in Donnybrook :o is that where the setter came from. Fellow travellers helped me finish this great puzzle.
    11a caused the most problems as I had a long cold drink rather than a small smelly preservative.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

    1. Apparently, a Donnybrook is “a rowdy brawl” according to Collins. I can’t picture NY Doorknob as such. Mind you, best not to delve too deeply.

      1. Having seen some of the drinking establishments around Donnybrook and Balls bridge Rowdy is a barely adequate adjective but exceedingly genial with it

  21. Good afternoon
    For the last few Sundays, since moving into our new house, wor lass and I have had company for Sunday dinner, so getting into the crozzie has been a foregone pleasure; today, though, it’s just her and me. So I’ve cracked it, albeit not without some head-scratching along the way.
    My thanks to our compiler and to Senf.

  22. An enjoyable light diversion from Dada to while away some enforced idleness this afternoon, starting and finishing somewere around the Thames Estuary. V generous on the anagram front, some gentle deception and typically smooth surfaces. Hon Mentions to 8d & 21a with COTD to 13a, something I always think of as being an ISIHAC-style clue.

    Thank you to Dada and to Senf

  23. Late on parade today as we were at New Road watching Worcestershire earn a fighting draw against a very good Sussex side. As for the puzzle, pretty Dadaesque and most enjoyable with very few hold ups.

    My thanks to the aforementioned and to Senf.

  24. So pleased to have a Dada that I could finish, albeit with some ehelp in the NW at the end. East was all done and dusted and then I was able to work on West with some checkers. I thought it was going to be a pangram which helped, eg 13d. I did enjoy it, lots of amusing stuff, 16a giggle worthy, also 5d and 25a, which I think is my fave.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for unravelling quite a few.

  25. 2/4. Enjoyable fare and made easier by the anagrams. I thought 13a was a bit of a stretch but I liked 25a and 13d. Thanks to Dada and Senf. The mention of my team in 5a reminded me they are close to being relegated from the Premiership (or past equivalents) in my lifetime.

  26. Late to this after a day seeing off a full field of golfers in glorious sunshine. I’m in the pretty straightforward camp with this one. Little head scratching involved in a brisk romp through but good fun while it lasted – ticks for 14,23&25a plus 3,5&15d
    Thanks to D&S

  27. I found this an enjoyably smooth ride with just a hmm for 13a. Hard to single out a Fav from today’s inventive selection but I will settle on 12a. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  28. Late to this –
    Just to say, I thought 13a fab and funny
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

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