ST 3232 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3232 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3232 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg and welcome to October – a few weeks ago it was ‘what jacket do I wear today?’, this week, in mostly very pleasant early Autumnal weather, it has been ‘do I need to wear a jacket today?’

For me, and I stress for me, Dada the friendliest he has been for quite a while – six anagrams (four partials), no lurkers, and no homophones – all in an economically 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 – 12a, 19a, 26a, 4d, 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 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:


7a Football club magazine (7)
A double definition to start – the first is in North London.

12a Line of bushes that man would expand round rear of house (8)
The abbreviated form of that man would (using the male form of the third person pronoun for that man), and a synonym for expand containing (round) the last letter (rear) of house.

14a More than one flower is seen around spring (6)
IS from the clue containing (seen around) a synonym of spring.

19a Gentle sound when strange drink knocked over (6)
A synonym of strange and a three letter (alcoholic) drink all reversed (when . . . knocked over) – and you should notice some similarity between the synonym for strange and the drink.

23a Lost at first, search in a different county (10)
The first letter of Lost and an anagram (different) of SEARCH IN A.

26a Wine secured by company credit cards (7)
The abbreviated name of our favourite sparkling wine contained (secured) by the three letters that indicate a company that offers shares to the public.


1d Carelessly throw away food (7)
A double definition – the first is often applied to money.

4d Five lines in wood pile (8)
A type of wood (tree) and a synonym of pile (that may be made up of hay) – the first of the five lines may be ‘There was a young man from . . .’

5d In disagreement, a certain VAR almost entirely inaccurate (2,8)
An anagram (inaccurate) of A CERTAIN VAr with the last letter deleted (almost entirely).

9d Immediately, party hosted by Carol getting hugely out of control (11)
A three letter synonym of immediately and a formal party contained (hosted) by a verbal synonym of carol (the upper case C in the clue is/could be deliberately misleading).

13d Common sense, something of concern to elderly people? (4,6)
A double definition(?) – the first can also be used for the active part of the brain.

18d Country in a state? (7)
A country which is also a state in another country.

24d Gardening implement into which fed small tube (4)
The single letter for Small inserted into (into which fed) a three letter gardening implement.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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French composer, critic, scholar and teacher, Paul Dukas was born on this day in 1865.  His best-known work is the orchestral piece The Sorcerer’s Apprentice popularised by being included in the Walt Disney classic animated musical anthology Fantasia. Here are just under the first four minutes of the piece (parts 2 and 3 can be found by searching for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in YouTube:

64 comments on “ST 3232 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable – completed in xxxxxxx so I agree – definitely on the friendlier side for me

    [It is the convention on this blog that we do not state solving times in order not to deter people who might take longer to solve a crossword]

  2. Mostly enjoyable.
    Wasn’t keen on1d (I know it’s in the BRB but who uses it without “away”) or 18d and can’t decide whether I like 14a or not but it’s very clever. 5d very topical.
    My picks are 15,19&26a.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  3. Uike Senf, I found this puzzle a bit of a stinker and it’s a DNF for me, with 7 missing clues . I definitely wasn’t on Dada’s wavelength today , possibly because I have a lot of things to do and haven’t the time to spend ages on a crossword. Disappointing , as I usually like Dada puzzles but rrthanks to him anyway and to Senf for the much needed hints.

    1. I’m with you here, the most difficult Dada for a long time for me. Crossword ease is like beauty and totally in the eye of the beholder. Def a DNF for me.
      Even with the excellent hints, it is way beyond me.

    2. You’ve cheered me up no end, as I’ve only got 6 left to get my head around 😊 and still pondering.

  4. I am not so sure about our esteemed blogger’s thoughts on the relative friendliness of this puzzle as I found half a dozen clues really quite testing, most notably 4d, my favourite, and 26a. As a challenge it was top notch, and helped to cheer up another lousy morning here in Shropshire.

    My thanks to Dada for the fun, and to Senf.

  5. Good fun as always from Dada – thanks to him and Senf.
    Top picks for me were 14a, 15a, 26a and 9d.

    The Toughie today is very entertaining and well worth a go.

  6. A friendly Dada until it wasn’t. I went through three quarters quite readily then came to a full stop so I can’t say it was all that friendly. It was enjoyable, though and I have ticks all over the paper. The party hosted by Carol raised a groan as did 12a. The company securing wine came close to being in the top spot but I have awarded that to 19a.

    Did anyone else try to work out an answer to 4d that included “LV”?

    Many thanks Dada, I got there in the end. Thank you, Senf for the hints.

    I received an acknowledgment today from Telegraph Towers to my submission for The Mythical. 🤞🤞🤞

    As Young Salesian says, it’s a foul, wet day in The Marches.

    1. Steven – you are a very naughty boy. I was reading back the news I missed and picked up on Merusa’s comments about your Spoonerism story. Of course, being a gentlewoman of sheltered upbringing I did not understand most of the innuendo, but it was very, very funny. I am also surprised that Jane didn’t smack you and sit you on the naughty stair. George is still laughing😂

      1. Sometimes, no matter how much sheltered “brought upsy” you have, something comes along that is so funny you can’t help but collapse in laughter!

    2. As I understand it you only get an acknowledgment of your submission for the first entry of in any 7day period, assuming you have a go at next Saturdays (or god forbid todays Toughie) you won’t get an email again until next Sunday

  7. I found this pretty tricky too. LOI was the litte 2d. Hadn’t heard that word before but googled it and there it was. Miserable day here too and will dismantle my tomato plants in a minute. My arm is slowly improving but gather this Covid jab is affecting loads of people, especially women for some reason. Thanks to Dada for the workout and Senf for some parsings. Found it quite funny yesterday someone querying ‘guzzle’ – I think I would have strung it out a bit!

    1. My tomatoes are still producing quite well so they are staying put for a while. Also the autumn raspberries still producing the odd gem. You are right about the Covid. I told the cardiologist that I had a Covid jab booked for the day after I came out of hospital and he said it would be OK but by jiminy I feel absolutely laid out today, cannot do a thing. Lousy. So you have my sympathy!

      1. I have some out door tomatoess still ripening too, a big plum tomato called Roma. I did pick all the remaining rhubarb, over 6 pounds of it, and made it into Rhubarb, Orange and Ginger Jam with some faded oranges from the fruit bowl and what was left of a jar preserved ginger in my stock cupboard. Nice on toast as a change feom marmalade.

        1. I love home made jam but my wretched new “ish” hob cuts out just before the rolling boil. It took me a couple of years to discover why my marmalade was not setting, now I have to prepare it all and cart it all over to my daughter’s state-of-the-art kitchen seven miles away.

          1. DG, I bought a portable induction job a few years ago in Larner’s sale, not expensive and very useful. Have a look on Amazon.

      1. I have had them this week and no problem apart from a very slightly sore Covid arm so hopefully you’ll be OK BL.

  8. Definitely a SPP to exercise the old 13d. Loved the challenge and some fun clues along the way. Fave of the day was 4d. Now to sit back and feast on golf for the day. Come on Europe!

  9. Just right for a Sunday morning and plenty of time for Lidl! PM bordering.
    I though 5d was a bit off but liked a lot else.
    Thanks to setter.

  10. A fun Sunday crossword. Highlights were 10A and 4D. For light relief I asked ChatGPT to come up with five lines about crosswords …

    In the realm of crosswords, I’m lost,
    Every puzzle’s a cryptic exhaust,
    But with patience and cheer,
    I’ll persevere, never fear,
    Till I solve them, at any cost!

  11. As our blogger said, this was Dada being kind to us which is just as well given that I slept in, having read until the wee small hours.
    Top of my pile was 12a with the remaining rosettes going to 15&19a plus 13d.

    Thanks to Dada for the easy ride and also to Senf for the hints and video clip – I love that Disney version and always felt sorry for the poor broom. Such a relief when it got it’s own back on the lazy apprentice!

    PS Totally off topic – amidst the usual assortment of rubbish in my junk mail today, I spotted an advert for ‘beautiful Ukrainian girls waiting for you’ – what a sad reflection of the world we live in.

  12. I am in the mostly friendly camp with a few being really tricky to get. 4d and 14a were last in and 16d was my favourite but took a while to fathom out.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  13. Came here after finishing The Toughie and can second Gazza’s recommendation (but he probably didn’t do half of it in the middle of the night.)

    This puzzle was a strange mixture of straightforward clues such as 11a and 21a as well as some real head scratchers too.

    Favourites include 12a, 3d and 9d.

    Bonny autumn day here in NE Scotland but a trifle breezy.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

      1. My brother used to be a policeman in Nairn so I hope your friend is a good, upstanding character! 🙂

  14. I’m in the friendly camp. An enjoyably brisk problem free solve with 15&26a + 9d nabbing the podium spots.
    Now back to the serious business of the Ryder Cup having paused the telly sufficiently to be able to fast forward through the next 3 ad breaks.
    Thanks to D&S

  15. Nice Sunday breakfast puzzle, if longish to get in tune. First answer on first glance through was 18d, but wasn’t sure enough to write in, just noted at the side. It was also my last in, as that was the only blank spot left!
    7a comes up a lot. Must say haven’t seen that variant of company before in Xwordland for 26a, so wasted time looking for the usual, but does get my vote for fave. 2nd place goes to the funny drink in 19a, and I’ll keep 18d on the podium too.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. Firstly thank you for your kind wishes. I’m afraid it is just this growing old business which I do not like and fight against. I mean, who would go out without mascara on? Feeling decidedly ‘langsam’ I’ve done nothing all morning but the guzzle and pretty much agree with Senf’s selection. But 4d has to be my favourite, stand out clue – Dada you are just brilliant. I also wanted to thank AgentB for his poem, wouldn’t it be funny if I did get a fourth prize! I am afraid the fountain pen is seldom used these days, although I did cling onto it for a long time much to the annoyance of people waiting for the ink on a cheque to dry. Where do you buy blotting paper nowadays? Do you remember when every pad of writing paper had a leaf of it? I must also say how much I enjoyed the had had had had tale – there are so many wonderful instances where the removal or addition of a comma alters the meaning completely. The English language is endlessly fascinating which is why I love it so. Many thanks to Dada and Senf, I might even look at the toughie if I don’t find the energy to cut out the skirt all pinned out on the conservatory table!

    1. I have just looked at yesterday’s blog and seen that you have been in hospital, DG.
      I do hope you are feeling better now and that there are no more trips to A and E or to cardiology.
      Maybe rest a bit more ?
      All the best.

  17. Pretty straightforward for us today despite the unfriendly grid. Lots to like. LOI was 18d just because it was. Favourite was the aforementioned 18d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  18. Quite tough for me today and I’m still struggling with 16d. I have an answer which fits, but I cannot parse it at all….so I may be wrong…..
    Needed the hints for 1d and 14a, so for a Dada , for me that’s not too bad.
    I’ll keep worrying away at 16d .

    Thanks to Senf and to Dada.

    After a brisk shower of rain this morning we have a lovely sunny day here now, though there may be some clouds gathering to the SW. Pleasant temperature for the 1st of October (white rabbits) and very little wind.

    1. It took some time to parse 16d, I’ll try without ruffling any feathers. It’s an anagram in what is “king say”, what 26a could be. I hope I’m OK.

  19. Yes, a friendlier guzzle today for me, dead on wavelength. A lot of good stuff here, all completed without help, not even the thesaurus or dictionary! I liked 19a best of all, but 4d and 9d were close behind.
    Thank you Dada for being kind, and Senf for your hints and pics. Loved the music clip!

  20. Found this friendlier than usual for a Dada, although I still have 6 empty slots to fill, which will hopefully resolve later. I don’t remember 14a showing up in the spring, but I was never a fan of them then. Now I love the white ones I have in my garden here. Thanks to Senf and Dada. Off to celebrate with dinner out for our 57th wedding anniversary today, cannot believe it’s been that long.

    1. Won’t forget this anniversary… found that chest freezer had tripped and completely defrosted. Had to throw everything out including home made ice cream and spaghetti bolognese…. Lots of fish and chicken, so really smelt awful…

  21. This was definitely at the easier end of Dada’s spectrum today. Not quirky and the personal thesaurus left on the bookshelf again.
    Lots to like here and nothing too obtuse today.

    1.5*/4* for me

    Favourites include 12a, 15a, 20a, 1d, 4d & 6d with winner 6d

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for hints/blog

  22. Not a lot easier than the Toughie for me, I struggled in the NE, thanks to Dada and Senf for explaining the final few

  23. I found this ok but haven’t a clue for 8a. Thanks to Senf for the hints particularly 1d which was a duh moment for me. Probably been distracted by the golf!

  24. Thank goodness some others found this tricky but also very good. Thank you Dada and Senf ps really like Daisygirl’s comments!

  25. Beaten by 18d
    Puzzled by the ‘in a…’
    Otherwise, a fast solve.
    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  26. 3*/4*. Once again I solved this at breakfast time and then went out for my final game of cricket for the season. On a very difficult wicket we struggled to finish on 138-8 after our allotted 40 overs. In the gathering gloom we managed to get our all out for 136 with seven balls to spare. An exciting and fitting finish to the season. However I was less than impressed to find part of the M20 at Maidstone reduced from 4 lanes to one and have only just returned home.

    Back to the puzzle! I agree with DaveP @13 that this puzzle was a strange mixture of straightforward clues as well as some real head scratchers too. 26a was my favourite with 4d running it close.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  27. I struggled with this this morning and gave up but a second go this evening was more productive with the South yielding first followed with a little electronic help by bottom half however not much fun to be had. I do quibble over a few – 10a, 20a, 1d and 13d. Such a pity 6d game and indeed other sports such as tennis are no longer played in white – a motley collection of gear has become de rigueur except at Wimbledon when regulation is “suitable attire that is almost entirely white” (a bit vague!). Thank you Dada and Senf.

  28. Kept this one over for Monday as there is no toughie. Fairly rattled in at the start but the last four took ages. Last one in 4d – easy when you see it. Favorite 19a.

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