ST 3241 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3241 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3241 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where on Tuesday the CBC meteorologist told us that Winnipeg ranked first among Canadian cities for having a ‘White Christmas’ (defined as 2 cm or more of snow-cover at 7:00 am on Christmas morning) with a probability of 99%.  Then, on Wednesday, he started talking about us having a ‘Brown Christmas’ this year (no appreciable snow and the grass turned brown by frost).  He might be right as we have had very little snow, and, as Falcon might tell us tomorrow, there has been considerably more snowfall to the East of us.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada probably as friendly as he was last week – six anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone, 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 – 5a, 16a, 4d, 17d, and 24d.

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 Fearless Latvian on manoeuvres (7)
A ‘gimme’ anagram to start (on manoeuvres) of LATVIAN.

9a Great fun bottling our dairy product (4,5)
A single word equivalent to great fun containing (bottling) OUR from the clue.

12a Supply put down to the left (7)
The reversal (to the left) of a term for put down (with abusive language?) in the past tense.

16a … number in relationship originally concealed by you! (5)
The first letter (originally) of Relationship contained (concealed) by an archaic synonym of you.

21a Obtain work, and ask for new job? (7)
A synonym of obtain (an advantage or reward?) and a synonym of work (relating to a trade?).

22a Explorer backed by company leaves (7)
A 15th Century Italian explorer reversed (backed) followed by the two letter abbreviation for company (as in business).

27a Built before beginning of century, and oddly trendy (7)
A literary synonym of before, the first letter (beginning) of Century, and the odd letters (oddly) of TrEnDy.

28a Doctor in Welshman heading for Swansea for remedy (7)
The abbreviated form of doctor inserted into a common(?) four letter Welsh surname and the first letter of (heading for) Swansea.


1d Welcomed by Conservatives, personal service (7)
The (forward) lurker (welcomed by) found in two words in the clue – this may upset Brian.

2d Insect in shirt, initially unseen (5)
Completely rewritten after my first pathetic attempt, thanks to StephenL for being the first to point out what I had missed – Remove the first letter (initially unseen) from a ladies’ shirt.

6d Queen of puddings? (9)
A Georgian Queen who has a pudding named after her.

8d One stepping down on one boarding plane, say (7)
The two letter term that is equivalent to on and the Roman numeral for one inserted into (boarding) a type of plane (that does not fly!).

15d Fresh run for paper (9)
A three letter synonym of fresh and a synonym of run (fast).

17d Top champion on the board? (7)
Written as (4,3) a descriptive term for a champion on a particular type of board.

19d Situated in the garden, say, better alternative (7)
A verbal five letter synonym of better and a synonym(?) of alternative.

24d Country Siberian, did you say? (5)
A homophone (did you say) of how one might describe Siberian weather (in the summer?).

Quick Crossword Pun:

HEAD + TOMATOES = HEAD TO MY TOESnot one of Dada’s best!

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American singer Andy Williams was born on this day in 1927.  He is probably best known for recording albums, a total of 43 in his career, and a long-running TV show in the USA.  As we are entering the Season of Goodwill to all Mankind here is something that undoubtedly came from one of his TV shows:

63 comments on “ST 3241 (Hints)
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  1. Very enjoyable with a sprinkling of gentle misdirection throughout
    I thought 6d a bit weak and 8d was clever though I can’t make a lot of sense of the surface read. I’ll give podium spots 5&21a plus 7&17d (a very typical clue of this setter)
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  2. Brilliant fun, loved every minute of it. Some very clever and misleading clues today, my two favourites being 8d and the wonderful 17d.
    Off to the garden now to put out all the food for the birds, squirrels and foxes (and sometimes next door’s cat if he gets in quick enough). Many thanks to our setter for this one, great start to the day.

  3. Most enjoyable with some nice redirection. I had a different explanation for 2d which I thought the obvious one. A ladies “shirt” minus the initial letter….thats probably enough to avoid being banished.

  4. It took me a long time to get into this puzzle but I eventually finished it, althoug the parsing of some clues was a bit of a mystery. It was, however , a bit of a slog compared to other Dada Sunday puzzles 7d was a good lego clue but the 1d lurker was the best of the clues. Thanks to the compiler and to Senf for the hints.

  5. Typically Dadaesque, with a real mixture of clues. A couple in the SW quadrant held me up but they eventually yielded, with one of them, 17d, becoming my favourite. The Quickie pun didn’t work for me I’m afraid.

    My thanks to Dada and Senf.

  6. 2.5*/4.5*. I really enjoyed this. It all fell into place steadily with no real holdups.

    My top picks were 21a, 22a & 17d. Except for its strange surface, 8d would have deserved a podium place too.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  7. Much warmer (well not Siberian) on the first tee this morning. Reckon this one about as gentle as you’re likely to get from Dada but enjoyable nonetheless. Last in was 1d & it took a mo to twig the lurker & that the answer had nowt to do with motorbikes.
    Thanks to D&S

  8. I didn’t think that this was one of Dada’s better puzzles but it was still enjoyable – thanks to him and to Senf for the hints.
    As Senf says the Quickie pun is pretty poor (unless there’s a superior explanation).
    My rosettes were pinned on 5a, 18d and 19d.

  9. Overall a tough and rather poor puzzle esp 17d which was esp poor. However, I did like 22a.
    Not up to Dadas usual high standard IMHO.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Pretty sure that clue has cropped up a few times before. I’m curious Brian quite why you think it such a poor clue. I’m sure most would regard it otherwise.

      1. Probably because he didn’t parse it. Very good once I had looked at the hint. I was looking for a chess champion

  10. Bit slow here today but finished in the end! Still not sure of 8d- even after hints. Ignored everything but ‘ one stepping down” and hoped for the best!
    Remainder OK but some off beat definitions, I thought.28a and 13a my favourites.
    Thanks to Dada.

  11. A big difference in my solving time for this compared to yesterday’s puzzle. 4* yesterday, and 1* time for today. Horses for courses etc..

    The only one I had to confirm online was the pudding!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  12. I made slow progress with Dada’s offering today solving only two after the first pass. It is ever thus with me and Dada – they seem impenetrable to begin with but then emerge slowly. I managed to get 2d because it could be nothing else given the checkers. It only became clear once I’d seen the hints and comments. I didn’t think 4d was particularly cryptic but what do I know? My COTD is the freshly running paper at 15d.

    If I have it correct, I don’t understand 8d.

    Thank you, Dada for the challenge. Thank you, Senf for the hints.

    Snow in The Marches today but there’s not a lot of it. About a quarter of an inch.

    1. Re 8d, if you have it correct, it should parse as follows:
      A 2 letter abbreviation for on or about, and the remaining 5 letters are constructed by a 4 letter synonym of one of the definitions of plane (noun) which contains the roman number for one.

    2. I had the same problem with 8d, and I misunderstood the hint, which led me away from my answer. I stuck it in anyway.

  13. Our setter in friendly mode today, just 17d that gave me pause for thought but then became one of my favourites along with 9a & 7d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. Thanks also to Mr Williams for bringing some ‘cheesy’ festive cheer to a 24d day!

  14. Nicely puzzling for Sunday morning with a good mixture of clue types.

    Favourite has to be the appropriate 24d as it took ages to defrost the vehicles this morning.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    PS If you use the DuckDuckGo Web Browser the annoying ads are suppressed. I don’t know if this affects the revenue for this site.

  15. Good fun, this one. Head on table moment when I realised my last entry was a *expletive deleted* lurker!

    Nice pangrammatical, if tough, quickie, too.

  16. Well this Dada puzzle, for me , was at the hard end of his spectrum this week. Very difficult to get going and to crack into it. Some quirky parsing and clueing this week. Maybe it is just me today.

    3*/3* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 10a, 18a, 5d, 7d & 20d — with winner 7d
    Some good old chestnuts this week that helped me including 11a, 18a, 25a & 4d

    Thanks to Dada & Senf for hints/blog

  17. Really enjoyed this, seemed impenetrable to begin with, but NE went in first, then with a smattering of answers in across the rest of the grid, managed to crack the rest. Could have chosen several clues as favourites but will select 1d for its penny-drop moment and 15d.

  18. Maybe I’m getting on Dada’s wavelength but I’ve really enjoyed his last few. I find that if I write out the answers, they’re easier to understand and my page is littered with scratchings. Of course I was taken in by “plane” again, how many times does it take to sink in? I couldn’t work out the why for 1d and 17d, thanks Senf for that, I’m amazed I got them right. I liked 18a, as usual, my choice is because I like the sound of the word.
    Thank you Dada for the fun and Senf for his unravelling a few. I hope you get white rather than brown Christmas! I’m just thankful I’m nowhere near the stuff.

  19. We were held up in the SE for longer than we should have with 19d being the key clue, the rest followed quickly after that and was cotd. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. We slogged away at this over a hot bowl of mussel chowder, the fish must have helped the brain cells. Favourite was the explorer at 22a with 18a and 1d as second and third. After the latish lunch we drove to our sister church to see the wonderful Christmas Tree Festival by candlelight. Here is a photo of our WI tree Ribbon of Life. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Senf.

    1. Hi Daisy, no sign of your photo as yet but it will hopefully appear ‘ere long.
      Forgive me for asking but how old is DD1 now and how are her children coping with their mum’s absence from their lives?
      I do hope their father is up to the challenge of rearing them alone and eventually explaining the circumstances to them.
      A very tough call for all of you.

      1. At the risk of filling this site with my woes and probably annoying some people, my elder daughter was 64 on Friday. She was a ward sister at
        The Royal Free in London, married a boy from the village – much against our (unspoken) wishes. He did a degree in microbiology and
        then decided to become an accountant and DD1 supported him throughout that time. I thought they would never start a family.
        All went well, he was very canny financially, they had a holiday home on the borders, foreign holidays, private schooling etc. Then his father became ill
        with Huntingdon’s disease, an hereditary illness for which there is no cure. In due course her husband developed the disease as well but his mother said
        Oh she will cope, she is a nurse! But besides the physical decline there is often a complete mental change and such was the case here. He became
        very, very violent. to the extent that in due course our daughter developed cancer and had a 9 hour operation to remove her jaw and cheekbone
        following a bashing against a radiator. She left him and came home to us with the younger boy (they were living ooop north ). We had no idea about the incipient dementia or
        cancer of the face until she went into Addenbrookes for a minor operation and they called us in and revealed that they were very worried. Her husband
        poor soul, is completely helpless now and is in a home on the Welsh borders and my wonderful elder grandson does a 600 mile round journey to visit him once a month
        and visits his mother (who hardly knows him) twice a week. The younger boy cannot face the situation. Sorry – you did ask! If I could have replied to you privately I would have done.
        Kath knows and has been a tower of strength to me in the past. BUT when I think of small children and babies being killed, maimed, and orphaned at this very moment I give
        thanks that we had many happy years in the past which those poor mites have been denied. Huntingdon’s is a wicked, terrible hereditary curse unfortunately not that uncommon in this
        part of the world. It is a cruel, cruel world and I confess I struggle with my faith. I bet many of the other members of this wonderful blog have equally sad tales to tell. Right.
        End of. 35 minutes to a gin and tonic!

        1. Thank you for telling your story, Daisy. I’m sure a lot of us, me included, now realise how lucky we are to be able to glide into the sunset with only a few aches and pains. I feel like the luckiest old lady. God bless you and your family. We send love and best wishes, I wish I could do more.

          1. Oh dear DG, what a truly awful saga of woes, I’m surprised if you did not reach for a G & T a little earlier today, you certainly deserve it. All hugs

        2. Love and hugs from me too. You never fill this site with your woes. Quite the reverse – I admire your positivity and all you do for others enormously. You are a treasure. This site is blessed to have you.

            1. Hear hear from me too. I would love to meet Daisy and George. So sorry what with the pandemic and the passing of BD we no longer have the wonderful birthday bashes. I am sure they would attend.

        3. Thank you for giving us something of a bigger picture, Daisy, it doesn’t make any of it more bearable for you but at least we have a better understanding of the torment you have to live through. Little wonder that you channel so much of your energy into supporting your local community, you’re an extremely brave lady.

        4. DaisyG I always read your posts because you have such a positive attitude and it helps this old pessimist to make some effort towards a better attitude. So many thanks for that.

          What you describe is a family tragedy out of Eugene O’Neil and you have my deepest sympathy for all you must have suffered. As to the killing of young children and babies I share your horror and distress. My second daughter is a barrister who works in the Family Courts and when I mentioned the case of Arthur Lajinbo-Hughes and was close to tears she told me I should forget about it else it will haunt you for the rest of your life. She said she heard such stories in the cases she has been involved involved that if she kept them alive in her memory she wouldn’t be able to continue in her work. She was told this at the start of her career and so far she is managing.

          I agree with one’s faith being tested to destruction which has happened to mine. I wish it hadn’t but I can find no comfort in the Christian faith.

          But once again thank you for your daily posts and all my love to you.

        5. Oh my, Daisygirl! Your tale puts my moans to shame. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing.
          Lots of love.

        6. Can only echo the replies of Merusa, Manders, Sue, Jan, Carolyn, Jane, Corky & Steve. How you bear it all with such fortitude is beyond me.

        7. What distressful times you have been through and indeed must continue to bear. Your courage and constructive attitude really are exemplary and I can imagine what a tower of strength you must be to your whole family. With sympathetic thoughts and loving good wishes.

        8. My thoughts are with you DG.
          That truly is a sorry tale that you are bearing with immense fortitude and wonderful positivity.

          Keep well.

        9. Thanks for sharing this Daisy ….
          As for the puzzle ….
          3*/5* … tricky quickie though …
          liked 17D “Top champion on the board? (7)” ,,,once I twigged the parsing.

  21. Nothing to write home about but it was just a case of softly, softly catchee monkey with a couple of exceptions. 4d only works if apron is treated adjectivally. 17d took while to dawn as did 19d due to my initial failure to parse but it then became my Fav. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  22. No chance of a white Christmas here. The nearest we had was a hard frost in January 1983. Most of my neighbours did not know what that white stuff outside was, and were shocked when many of our tropical plants turned black. But back to Dada. I found him a bit more difficult this week, but LOL at 17d. Once I got it, it seemed obvious but it took a while. A mixed bag of clues I enjoyed and some that defeated me. Off to our wonderful library now (yes, they are open on Sundays). Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  23. Really enjoyed this puzzle. I was very slow but the answers came steadily with some great clues already highlighted by others. Was going to say I didn’t like 19d as the word felt odd in the singular but the penny has dropped (it’s a perfectly normal adjective) and I can see it’s a clever clue. Thanks Dada and Senf

  24. Thanks as ever to all involved. I am still struggling with it a bit but it is an enjoyable struggle on this dismal damp day. We had some snow earlier in the week, then freezing rain, back to snow and then those funny little snow pellets that look like styrofoam. Today it is tipping down with rain so who knows what we will have by Christmas.

    Fully understand about the advertising revenue. Has anyone approached the Telegraph for some help? If nothing else run some ads for them at a price? Years ago there was a website about Coronation Street which was veryr funny and a bit rude. Unfortunately the TV company took oveer the content and it went downhill from there, but that was a different type of product. I would also be happy to pay a small amount to keep us going, goodness knows I would have a LOT more unfinished crosswords without the hints.

  25. Thoroughly enjoyed this Sunday offering from Dada. 👍
    Couldn’t believe how long I took to see 1D! 🤪
    Thanks, as ever, to Senf for the blog ‘n hints – to Mr D & Senf…keep ‘em coming…Sundays wouldn’t be the same without you both.

  26. Good fun, very gentle, a couple of odd surface reads. Podium places to 1d, 5d & 17d.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  27. I struggled with this today, I think a case of too many distractions and so no time to get on wavelength. I needed some help from the hints to restart after about 3/4. Rather liked 17d and 1d was a great lurker.

    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf for the hints.

  28. Well I managed to put off decorating the outside tree due to inclement weather but other tasks stopped me from having a go at this until after dinner, I agree Dada was taking his foot off the gas a bit today It was going smoothly but a couple gave me some pause, because of comments elsewhere I had a different 1d and needed a nudge from Senf to get me over the line
    Thanks to Dada and Senf And love to Daisy

  29. At the gentler end for Dada.

    V sorry to hear of Daisy’s travails. Our thoughts and prayers are with her. Faith is the answer.

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