ST 3240 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

ST 3240 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3240 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where Mother Nature is doing her best to put us into the deep freeze and leave us there until, probably, March of next year but so far without too much of the white stuff.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada probably the friendliest he has been for some time – economical with anagrams this week, five (one partial), one lurker (reversed), and one homophone (we hear), 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 – 16a, 26a, 10d, 15d, 19d, and 22d.

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 Bent over, tropical reptile that’s very old (12)
An anagram (bent) of OVER, TROPICAL.

8a Area is spread around you, land including Turkey (7)
An anagram (spread) of AREA IS containing (around) a single letter for you – should there be a homophone indicator for ‘you’?

9a Canny washer, say, after bath (7)
A descriptive term for a type (say) of washer (used in bolted assemblies?) placed after a three letter bath.

14a Divine Comedy primarily lies, tale made up (9)
An anagram (made up) of the first letter (primarily) of Comedy and LIES, TALE.

21a Sampling wine perhaps, it’s tipped back passing flavour around (7)
IT’S from the clue reversed (tipped back) and contained by (passing . . . around) a synonym of flavour.

23a English university examination (7)
A double definition – the only place I could find the second was in the Small Red Book.

26a Special message, a reminder of when delivered? (8,4)
A message, received annually, as a commemoration of one being delivered into the world.


1d Terrace queen found in royal museum (7)
The regnal cipher of our dear recently departed queen contained by (found in) the abbreviated form of a museum named for two royal personages – yes, as both are shown in the BRB, I know and I presume that Dada knows that there is also an 8 letter variant of the answer.

4d Bit of a step up in figures I recall (5)
The reversed lurker (up in) found in the last three words of the clue.

6d Folding payment up, could I be? (7)
The term for payment by transfer between banks or bank accounts reversed (up) and a (2,1) phrase equivalent to could I be.

10d Tripe eaten, say, nothing right (12)
Brilliant, a four piece Lego clue in five words – a synonym of eaten (hastily), the two letter Latin abbreviation for say, the letter that represents nothing, and the two letters that can represent right.

15d Sideways, last-minute improvement? (9)
A single word for last minute and a synonym of improvement (during recovery from an illness?).

19d Water gone here? (4,3)
A synonym of gone (no longer with us when referring to a person?) and a term for an expanse of water.

22d Overindulgence does maybe end in sobbing when upset (5)
The key is the ‘treatment’ (maybe) of does – here it is referring to the females of an animal from the Cervidae family which is followed by the last letter (end in) of sobbinG and then everything is reversed (when upset).

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.

‘Presented’ to me by YouTube, an ‘orchestra’ of 18 saxophones – soprano to contrabass (the one that needs a piano stool), from the University of Texas Saxophone Studio – playing the fourth movement Jupiter from Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite. Close your eyes and it sounds like a full orchestra:

72 comments on “ST 3240 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Very enjoyable.
    1a went straight in as, without saying anything more, it has a musical connection for me, giving a lot of useful checkers.
    Thought 24a a bit weak and there surely should be a homophone indicator in 8a?
    I particularly liked 26a plus 10&15d with top spot going to the super 6d.
    Many thanks to Dada (whom we have again on Tuesday) and Senf.

  2. 2*/4*. This was indeed very enjoyable apart from the schoolboy howler in 11a. The country which the answer refers to is not part of Scandinavia.

    Although I think there needs to be a homophone indicator in 8a, Collins lists the abbreviation with the rider: messaging and social media.

    My top picks were 19a, 23a, 26a & 10d plus, my favourite, 3d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. So, so far, two votes ‘yes’ for the question I asked in my italicised question in the hint for 8d. But, I suppose we might expect that ‘lazy English’ will start creeping into crosswords.

      1. Yes we clicked that one. George used to represent a company from that area. One of the most expensive places I’ve ever bidited but hospitable people.

            1. It’s been entered into my dictionary of Unwinesque typos, Daisy. I’m biditing my son’s family for Christmas (I quite like the larticiple form).

    2. Glad that you pointed out the howler in 11a, saved me the trouble! I first learned this not as a schoolboy but on my first visit in 1971!

      1. Funnily enough it was that visit that persuaded me to accept a job offer in Frogland a couple of years later and have been here ever since!

      1. But that is political, or pseudo-political, and ‘stretches’ as far as Greenland, whereas the ‘howler’ is based on geography.

  3. A lovely puzzle for Sunday morning – thanks to Dada and Senf.
    I ticked 19a, 26a and 7d with the top spot on the podium going to 3d.

  4. Well what a difference a day makes. Yesterday I had to grind through from start to finish (including an overnight break) as I was far off the setter’s wavelength, today I couldn’t have been more on his wavelength and I had a much more straight forward run through.
    That said it turns out my spelling of ancient reptiles was a bit off and I had not come across the word in 18D in this truncated form before. 19D was aided by the fact that I was there only 10 days ago so it was helpfully quick to mind!
    My stand out favourite was 10D
    thanks to the setter and to Senf for hints, tips and especially pictures…

  5. A very enjoyable SPP with a large number of good lego clues, such as 10d, 10d and 18d, together with a super anagram at 1a an my COTD, the homophone at 24a, with a clever GKVelement. Thanks to enf for the hints and to Dada for another fine gzzle.

  6. Fine Sunday fare although I’ll pass on the tripe, thank you!
    Favourite here was 15d with a nod to 19d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the amazing saxophone ‘orchestra’ – really enjoyed that rendition of Jupiter.

    1. I’m with you Jane re the tripe but I do remember regular visits with my father to Simpson’s Restaurant in the Strand, London, where he always ordered their tripe and onions – wasn’t allowed it at home – yuck!

      1. My mum was a fan of tripe and onions but both dad and I refused point blank to even try it! Years later, I did cook it for my deerhounds and they wolfed it down.

      2. My father took us to Simpsons also on a Saturday. He would go to his office (no five day week then) and mother and I would go shopping. Another favourite was Veraswamy off the bottom of Regent Street, a magnificently clad Indian standing outside.
        And tripe is delicious properly cooked.

        1. Simpsons has been closed for a while now but scheduled to re-open next year I believe. The Indian is still going strong though.

          1. I remember the Indian restaurant, delish food. I never went to Simpsons, despite living down the road in Buckingham Street.

            1. Definitely.
              Had lunch there when I came over for the coronation weekend in may.
              My favourite fish restaurant in town.

    2. Totally agree with all you say, Jane, re great crossword and hating tripe! Simpson’s and Veeraswamys – we loved going to these too and also the Trocadero (spelling?) Restaurant for mixed grill and chocolate eclairs – those indeed were the days!

  7. I agree with Senf that Dada was indeed more friendly today than usual beginning for me with a sail through the West but I really enjoyed this whole solve. Favs were 24a (dates me!) and 26a (increasingly electronically replaced) plus lovely 10d word. Never heard of 1a. Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  8. A more friendly puzzle today but needed the hint to understand 22d. Dearie me!

    Favourites for me 19a and 21a.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf. (Agree with u regarding 8a 🙂).

  9. Most enjoyable (except 11a). Spent ages looking for workshop tools in 19a, and again huge ton weight drop moment in parsing 22d! Gosh, hadn’t heard about the payment system in years, but fave du jour must be 10d, lovely answer and great clue!
    Many thanks to Dada and warmest wishes to Senf!

  10. A fun challenge that didn’t overexert the ageing grey matter. I thought there was clever misdirection sprinkled throughout the clues with my fave being 22d. Is it me or has the answer to 1d come up a number of times recently, with and without an ‘h’ at the end? I also have learnt something about the constitution of Scandinavia. I obviously wasn’t paying attention in Geography lessons at school. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to the setter.

  11. Another vote for 10d as a favourite from me although 3d ran it close. I also liked the long anagram at 1a. Apart from the 11a faux pas I thoroughly enjoyed this SPP which cheered up a cold, grey Shropshire morning.

    Thanks Dada for the fun, and to Senf.

  12. Finally felt up to tackling a cryptic crossword after being rushed to hospital on 3rd of November delirious and unable to stand. Except for two scary flashbacks remember nothing until the following Tuesday. Good job the doctors soon diagnosed what was wrong with me. I had Ecoli infection but it had got into the blood. Scary to read what could have happened.

    Dada was very friendly today as Senf said. Not that I found it easy. It took me into **** time but finishing it is reward enough. Favourites are the four long outside clues. My thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Good grief, Corky, what a dreadful time you’ve had – thank goodness the doctors were on the ball when it came to a diagnosis. Did you ever find out what was responsible for the infection?

    2. What an awful shock for you, I am glad you are on the mend. I am sure rest, warmth and cryptic puzzles are essential for recovery!

  13. I found this Sunday’s Dada puzzle for the most part at the easier end of his spectrum, but he certainly had his personal thesaurus out today. A touch of quirkiness raised its head too. Some fun clues in this and plenty to get a smile/chuckle out of me.

    2*/4* for me

    Favourites were plenty … but I picked 1a, 11a, 18a, 23a, 24a & 10d — with winner 24a
    10d made me laugh as did 24a, 26a & 19d

    … and yes Senf to answer your question in 8a, there should be a homophone indicator I believe … not 8d as you said at the start.

    Thanks to Dada & Senf for hints/blog

  14. Very enjoyable, particularly liked the lovely 10d and 1a. 26a was clever also. A bit easier than yesterday – I tackled it late at night in bed and thought I had a toughie by mistake! 19a was my LOI. Thanks to Messrs Setter & Senf. It’s getting pretty cold here in Cambridgeshire as well!

  15. Very cold here in the Chilterns at the moment with first real frost, nothing like Canada of course. I always struggle to get on wavelength with Dada but today I managed and did complete it, but not as easily as others, and I needed several visits. My favourite was 10d and I agree about 8a.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  16. Agree with our reviewer that this one was pretty gentle. The spelling at 10d, my fav, was a potential banana skin if you weren’t paying due attention with your lego – I’d instinctively opt for a Y rather than an E but now see the one required here is apparently the common spelling this side of the pond. 6d took a moment or two to parse & don’t think I’d ever heard of 1a until Jurassic Park & thought they were the scariest of the lot. Assumed the lack of a homophone indicator at 8a was because it was text speak but would certainly have preferred it had there been one.
    Thanks to D for an enjoyable puzzle & to S for the review & the wonderful music

  17. DNF here with 1a. I must have something wrong, I visited the hints but I put the letters in my anagram solver and it said no answers. Word search yielded nothing. I’ll have to wait for the full review. I think my 8d must be right, I hope Senf unravels it in the hints. Welcome back 3d and17d, it’s been a long time. Fave is 10d, again, a fun word is my first pick.
    Thanks Dada for the fun, and to Senf for your hints, which I’ll now read.

    Our lovely Steve says thanks to everyone for their best wishes. He’s getting there but slowly. Please, everyone, get vaccinated! Don’t let it happen to you.

  18. Parts of this we weren’t too keen on. The frequently mentioned 8a, 19a (rusty?), and the second word in 7d, also needed the hint to parse 6d. There was some good stuff in the rest particularly the other three long outside clues favourite of which was 10d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. It’s been quite a while since I’ve managed a complete Sunday crossword, even with a couple of hints.
    10d was brilliant and reminded me of the sort of answer that Jay used in his clues. Love it!
    I can’t quite make 24a a synonym of my answer although I’m pretty sure it’s right – maybe it isn’t!
    I liked particularly 12 and 16d and 1 and 22d. My favourite was 15d.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Well done, Kath. I thought of you when I solved 10d (what I mean is I thought you’d like it, not that I thought you talked it!).

  20. V straightforward for Dada.

    In reply to RabbitDave re 11a, the country he refers to is a member of the Nordic Council.

  21. Very enjoyable. Who would have thought 5 years ago I would be looking forward to Dada on Sundays when I found him so unfathomable for ages. Lots to like today, and only DNF because of 17d and 18d which were totally new to me. Had to play with 1a for a while as I tried to make it begin with Peri at first. A tie for COTD with 26a and 24a, with 1d a close runner up. Thanks to Dada for brightening my crossword week, and Senf.

  22. Another fine challenge from Dada. Took a while to get on the right wavelength but steady solving thereafter. Thoroughly enjoyed! Thanks, as always, to Senf for another great blog ‘n hints!

  23. I am not going to call this a curate’s egg, as that phrase must be understood by reference to a Punch magazine cartoon about a rotten egg. The egg was obviously completely rotten; that is where the humour comes from. Whereas this crossword wasn’t. However I struggled to take to it. I was starting to think this might be a crossword without unindicated Americanisms and slang, until I solved 10d, which my BRB app confirms to be US slang. But as Senf said, it is a 4 part Lego clue delivered in five words and I think it might have featured in a Carry On film clip featuring Stanley Unwin that was on this blog recently, so I’ll overlook that. On the subject of a consistent crossword ‘code’ (following on from whether indicating foreign words should be consistently applied) I would prefer to answer Senf’s italicised question about 8a in the affirmative, although the required abbreviation was used in texts when there was a character limit and probably was/is used in Tweets on what was Twitter. RD has already mentioned that the answer to 11a is not something from Scandinavia. The second word of 7d seems a bit off, even after consulting the BRB. My Oxford dictionary says 18d is archaic. But I got there with a few hints – thanks Senf. I think I will find the DT puzzle easier as I get older, or get to recognise the stuff that’s before my time as a fair amount of it seems to be recycled (e.g. the musical in 13a). But I didn’t find this one anywhere near as easy as some others appear to have done.

    1. Probably more correctly, my paper and electronic BRBs indicate 10d as ‘orig(inally) US slang’ – so, however reluctantly, it has been accepted into proper English.

      1. Thanks Senf. So it does. The ‘orig’ is in italicised white font, while the ‘US sl’ is in blue normal font. In haste I just saw the blue! I suppose you are right, if it remained slang perhaps it would have said ‘sl, orig US’.

  24. Finally back in crosswordland after a very busy season which lasted until mid November. Glorious weather the whole time. Quite scary however as rain made very few appearances.
    Glad to see that Dada is still on Sunday duties.
    Great fun as usual.
    Thanks to him and to send for the hints.

    1. Good to have you back in the fold, JL, and pleased to hear that you’ve had a busy season although I guess you’ll be ready for something of a rest now!

  25. What a relief! After the struggles I’ve had over the last ten days or so I was beginning to think that I was losing the crossword plot but, apart from a bit of a hold-up in the bottom right, I sailed through most of this and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to Dada and to Senf – I needed a couple of hints for confirmation.

  26. I flew out of the blocks and thought I was going to cross the finish line in record time. However I faltered with a few tricky ones in the East and along the way, discovered that I didn’t actually know the correct spelling of 24A.

    Very enjoyable, so many thanks to the compiler.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.