ST 3228 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 3228 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3228 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, while the meteorologists consider that Autumn started on Friday, Summer is not ‘letting go’ yet – 28 degrees and sunshine on Friday, 36 degrees and sunshine yesterday, and 31 degrees and sunshine forecast for today.

Today is 84 years to the very day that the UK declared war on Germany.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada back to being unfriendly probably because, as far as I can see, there are no anagrams, but there are three lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone – all in a symmetric 32 clues; with 16 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid, you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 17a, 24a, 27a, 1d, 21d, and 25d.

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 the 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 Up the creek taking a steam bath? (2,3,5)
In a difficult situation when taking a steam bath? – I think.

11a Party bringing action with ugly fight (9)
A synonym of ugly and a mild (verbal) ‘fight.’

12a Sadden detective and spook (8)
The abbreviated form of the rank of the illustrated detective and a nounal synonym of spook.

15a PC in seaside resort doffing cap (5-2)
A South coast resort with the first letter removed (doffing cap).

19a Reportedly red-hot fruit (7)
The homophone (reportedly) of a synonym of red-hot (as in topical).

24a Austere day as little jerk (8)
The abbreviated form of the first (working) day of the week, AS from the clue, and a type of little (muscular?) jerk.

27a English after opening in ball game (9)
The single letter for English placed after all of an opening (in a fence?) inserted into (in) BALL from the clue.

30a Beauty in Romeo overcome by small-minded behaviour (10)
The letter represented by Romeo in the phonetic alphabet contained (overcome) by a single word term for small-minded behaviour.


1d Creep at the altar, say? (4)
Written as (2,2) where one would be to be at the altar with the second part being an abbreviation form of a building.

2d Knockout, low sound before bell? (9)
A low frequency sound, nothing to do with cattle, placed before a synonym of bell.

7d Lower in qualifying, I edge upwards (5)
The reversed lurker (in . . . upwards) found in three words in the clue.

9d Scale of crime otherwise confined to hostility (8)
The two letter synonym for otherwise contained by (confined to) a synonym of hostility – more or less straight out of the BRB.

16d Cross about U-turn of assistant ref, perversion of justice (8)
A synonym of cross (as in being annoyed) containing the reversal (U-turn) of the abbreviated form of the assistant ref(eree) who watches the game on TV – perhaps there should be a ‘?’ for definition by example as the BRB has a number of different meanings for the answer.

18d Feeling one put into words (9)
The Roman numeral for one inserted into (put into) a structured collection of words.

21d Show trick, surefire success (7)
A three letter synonym of trick and the abbreviated form of a single word term equivalent to surefire success.

26d What’s here in truth, I swear (4)
We finish with one of the lurkers (in) found in three words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

Birmingham based reggae and pop band UB40, formed in 1978, had two number ones.  Their most successful was their first which began three weeks at number one on this day in 1983 – Red Red Wine – this is an ‘extended’ version from a live performance in Montreux in 2002:

53 comments on “ST 3228 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable indeed.
    I have virtual ticks all over my virtual sheet of paper but I’ll mention 15a plus 1,4,16&18d with the well-crafted 27a and the lol 2d sharing top spot.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Ps..for those who want a slightly more challenging Dada he’s in the Toughie spot on Tuesday, give it a go.

  2. 3*/4*. This was challenging but good fun despite a few slightly strange surfaces along the way.

    25d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. Reasonably straightforward, a cracking puzzle, witty and amusing, requiring some lateral thinking. An admirably Bean-like absence of anagrams!

    Hon mentions to 12a, 30a, 1d, 8d, 16d. I could add a dozen more.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  4. On wavelength from the off for a swift problem free completion & didn’t notice the absence of anagrams. Very enjoyable. Thought 16d a 2d of a clue & my clear fav among a number of ticks
    Thanks to D&S

  5. Great puzzle. Just the right level for a ST prize cryptic. Some clever misdirection too. My LOI was 1d – it is often the little words that give you trouble.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf…

  6. Dada proves that you don’t need loads of anagrams (or indeed any) to make an entertaining puzzle – thanks to him and to Senf for the hints.
    It’s difficult to select a podium from so many fine clues – I’ll go for 11a, 15a and 2d.

  7. All came together
    Very nicely.
    Perhaps a milder Dada
    This Sunday.
    Last in, the ingenious 16d.
    24 and 27a and 25d almost
    Level pegging for Gold.
    The winner? 27a.
    Many thanks and also to Senf.

  8. As gentle as they come on a Sunday, but most enjoyable.
    Plenty to enjoy! Many thanks to Dada for the entertaining. 1*/4*

  9. Found this the toughest Dada in a long time. Managed about 1/2 then forced to admit defeat. When faced with clues such as 1d I knew I was beaten.
    Thx for the hints

  10. Slow ( and late) start but then steady progress to conclusion. It seemed just the right level of challenge for Sunday.
    Favourites 1d and 15 a.
    Thanks to setter.

  11. Good Sunday puzzle and can’t say that I noticed the absence of anagrams until our blogger mentioned it! Lots of ticks on my sheet with the rosettes going to three in the lower reaches – 16,18&21d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the blog’n’hints – nice to hear UB40 again.

    1. Agreed about 10a at first, then my dictionary gave the double definition. New one for me
      Te homophone raised a smile, with clever misdirection.

      1. Me too! I learnt something new, however, I think we had it before and I didn’t “know” it then.

  12. On the friendlier side of difficulty as managed to do this an the GO over (longish) breakfast. For the GK, just managed to beat Google!
    The one that really held me up was the parsing of (ultimately fave) 16d. The answer was obvious from the definition and the checkers but took me an age to get the ref, face-palm moment!. Not being a watcher of the game, I got the impression from written reports that it tended to overrule the main man, or is that some other “e-assistant”?
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf – for confirming 16d. Keep cool, Senf! It’s just starting to warm up again here in Frogland. Bon !dimanche, all

  13. I am proud that I finished this with only 1d being troublesome to parse but now I see from the hints why it is what it is. I just seemed to get on wavelength quickly today which is very unusual for me with Dada and of course may mean all my answers are wrong!

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  14. Well I definitely think Dada had his personal thesaurus at hand this week again. Yikes! Thought this a little trickier in his spectrum, with a smattering of quirkiness thrown in. Took forever to get started and then things fell into place bit by bit.
    In addition, until I read Senfs’ blog, I hadn’t realized there were no anagrams. Likely why it was it was trickier for me.

    2.5*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 11a, 21a, 2d, 4d & 26d with winner 2d …. I just like this word.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for hints/blog

  15. Good afternoon
    A good challenge today, with 1d and 10a the last to fall; I hadn’t heard of 10a in the context of flier, so that’s another little bit of GK added to the stock.
    16d is COTD for me, with a consolation prize of a Crikey! for 2d and 27a.
    Thank you to Dada and to Senf

  16. Although nothing held us up for long there were a number I personally wasn’t keen on, specifically 1a, 15a, 19a, 1d and 20d. I don’t have an outstanding favourite but Mrs. TWLC liked 2d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Welcome to the blog. The BRB is Chambers Dictionary, the preferred dictionary for crosswords. BRB is an abbreviation for Big Red Book which is a perfect description of the ‘appearance’ of Chambers.

      Now, please, do tell us what you thought of today’s puzzle.

      1. Many thanks.
        Managed to complete but struggled with a few. New to this although I did this many years ago

  17. This must have been a friendly Dada as I solved with only dictionary references. I did get stuck in the NW, so I left it for a bit and came back, as soon as 2d fell, the others followed. Two lovely words, 2d and 27a, such fun to say. I didn’t know the referee but 16d had to be, thanks for explaining that Senf. Two others amused, 15a and 14d, in fact, lots to like.
    Thank you Dada for the fun and Senf for unravelling a few. I started work with PanAm 66 years ago today, I remember it so well, a job with the grownups.

  18. I enjoyed this at a second sitting, stumped only by the 1d 10a combination punch. Thank you Dada and Senf

  19. I completely agree with Senf’s evaluation of “unfriendly”. I did get off to a good start at first, but it was a slog from there on. 10a was a complete unknown to me. At least Peter knew the name of 27a. Anyone remember shove halfpenny? Going to set aside and perhaps the rest will make sense to me later. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the very helpful hints.

    1. We played it all the time as children and I still have the board. Many a game played in the shelter waiting for the All Clear!
      You youngsters will not know what that means.

      1. I was one of the first Baby Boomers so didn’t hear the All Clear sirens but I do know what they are. My Gran had a shove halfpenny board which my brother and I enjoyed as children, and later Peter and I also enjoyed at one of the local pubs. She also taught Lawrence and me to play Gin Rummy. As she was an avid Bridge player, I now wish she had taught me that instead.

    2. Certainly I well remember Shove Ha’penny (shove 2p these days). In fact in his retirement my husband made Shove Ha’penny boards and supplied all branches of the family and indeed sold a few Online. Fun game.

  20. Tough but doable with perseverance is my take on Dada today. Plenty to like but after a tidying spree I have thrown the paper out so can’t comment further.

    Many thanks Dada for the fun challenge and, of course, Senf for the hints.

    I submitted for The Mythical but, yet again, no acknowledgment email. :sad:

    1. Thank you all for your concern. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I didn’t say anything about Lesley because I didn’t know anything. However, the consultant saw her today and he “thinks” she has an ulcer. Whether gastric or duodenal I have no idea.

      1. Poor Lesley, but I’m assuming that would be a somewhat better outcome than the cancer you were fearing?

      2. Thanks for the update. I hope we are not being a nuisance, I’m sure you have enough on your mind right now. Just know we are hoping that she will soon be home with you.

  21. A very enjoyable crossword. Finished without recourse to the hints which is unusual for me on a Sunday.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    Hope Steven C and Mrs C are doing better today.

  22. I did this excellent puzzle before going to watch a day of cricket at New Road, but left home before I could comment. Most enjoyable, a little tricky in places, but all fairly clued. No particular favourite, but my final two entries, 1d and 10a, took a while to parse.

    Thanks Dada for a terrific challenge, and to Senf.

  23. Only halfway through this as today was Dahlia Day – cream tea, Prosecco and the glory of winning the single bloom category. I have won several times over the years but today I was very surprised to win with this modest offering. Now armed with a stiff G’n T I shall try and complete the guzzle.

    1. As chance would have it I’m currently reading The Three Dahlias by Katy Watson – looks quite promising thus far!

    2. Well done! With all this flower-related news, I thought I was reading the Dahlia Telegraph 😉🏆🎉

  24. Late on parade today, due to visiting son, daughter-in-law and grandcildren. Never seen a plateful of Sugar and Spice Pinwheel Scones disappear so fast! I really enjoyed today’s SPP, which had a nice variety of clues. There were a lot of good lego clues, particularly 11a, 16d and 18d but the crypric dwfinition at 14d was my COTD. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for a super guzzle

  25. Took a long time to get on wavelength today. Only managed to get 3 in over breakfast, then had a few more glances at it through the day and only just got it finished. Missed the anagrams to get me going but glad I managed the challenge. Thanks Senf and Dada.

  26. I surprised myself by finishing this as I had made such heavy weather of it in the beginning and in point of fact overall didn’t much enjoy the solve. I too seemed to remember 10a from a previous occasion and 1d took a while to occur to me. None to nominate as Fav. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  27. That feeling when you’ve written a clue you’re rather proud of, then the same word appears just as you’re ready to submit the puzzle 😭😭😭😭😭

  28. Way late to this, but life gets in the way of crosswords sometimes. I noticed the absence of anagrams but thought this was about as friendly a Dada as they come. Thanks to Dada and Senf

Comments are closed.