ST 3245 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3245 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3245 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

A very good New Year’s Eve morning from Winnipeg where the non-winter continues, probably related to 25a.

For me, and I stress for me, with the assistance of a wee dram of Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Single Malt, of indeterminate age, Dada quirkily friendly – six anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and no homophones, all 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.

At 6:00pm, my time, this evening, just as I am about to start solving tomorrow’s back pager, I will raise a not so wee dram of the 15 year old Dalwhinnie to wish you all a Happy New Year.

Candidates for favourite – 11a/3d, 22a, 2d, 5d, 8d, and 13d.

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 Heartbreaking redevelopment of Paignton (8)
What’s better to get the brain warmed up than a straightforward anagram (redevelopment of) of PAIGNTON.

11a Outdoor activity, taking pictures? (10)
A slang synonym of taking (illegally) placed after an abbreviated form of picture(s).

14a Fielder desires spinner (4,4)
Written as (5,3), a synonym of desires and a type of spinner (as in child’s toy?).

15a Artist places boy behind bird (6)
Guess a boy (other setters often expect us to guess a Scotsman) placed after (places . . . behind) any one of a variety of small songbirds.

22a Cyclin’, one gear for the beach? (6)
A synonym of cyclin’ written in the same way and the Roman numeral for one – yes, the illustration is in Burberry tartan!

23a Smelly pudding, eat! (10)
A term for pudding which ‘indicates’ where it comes in the order of a meal and a synonym of eat.

26a Seed found in brown loaf (8)
A type of brown (often used in reference to eye colour) and an informal term for the object that loaf is part of Cockney rhyming slang for.


1d Some witches and crawler in agreement (8)
The collective noun for some witches and a six legged ‘crawler’ which I don’t consider actually crawls.

2d With yellow and white, say, grey void (4)
The two letter abbreviation of the Latin term equivalent to say and GreY with the interior letters removed (void).

5d As recess follows raise, express contempt (4,1,5)
AS from the clue and a type of recess all placed after (follow) a synonym of raise (which I did find in an on-line thesaurus).

8d Grab two animals from below (6)
Two three letter animals combined and then reversed (from below) – the first is the second largest species within the deer family and the second we see a lot of on Fridays.

13d An accommodating dish? (7,3)
A dish that is named after a form of accommodation.

19d Quiet stretch, sound off (6)
The letter that indicates musically quiet and a synonym of stretch (as in trying to touch something?).

24d Might one have been pumped up for party? (4)
A double definition perhaps – the first is pumped up (for use in a game).

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Hands up all those who know that accomplished stage and screen actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, celebrating his 86th birthday today, is also a composer. In 1964 he composed a waltz entitled And The Waltz Goes On and then it lay forgotten for many years when his good Lady sent it to Dutch violinist André Rieu for consideration. He liked it and it became the title track of an album of waltzes released in October 2011. Here is André Rieu and his orchestra playing the waltz, in his home city of Maastricht, with Sir Anthony and Lady Hopkins in the audience:

71 comments on “ST 3245 (Hints)
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  1. I thought this was great with some real smiles on seeing the solutions. I really liked 7 (some locals might see this as an extended definition!) &23a plus 6d….didn’t like 15a though.
    Many thanks and HNY to Dada and Senf.

  2. The usual Sunday fun with 7a my favourite and 23a just behind. My LOI was 21d. I thought the pun was just two words, as the third made it a bit of a stretch.

    Thanks to Dada for a year of great puzzles, and to Senf for all hid work in 2023.

    Happy New Year to all.

    1. You are correct – just two words in the pun. The ‘new’ web site does show the pun clues italicised, that is the only reason I visit it, but the font is so small that with my quick glance, and the ‘Glenlivet effect’ I ‘saw’ the first three clues italicised. I have promised myself a visit to the opticians for my birthday in a months time.

      Now corrected. Thanks.

  3. A lovely puzzle to round off the year, at the easier end of the Dada scale with plenty to like. My favourite out of a large field was 23a.
    Thank you to Senf and Dada was today’s work.
    A big thank you to all the setters and hinters for your sterling efforts in 2023 and continuing to provide this outstanding site in memory of Big Dave. It’s brilliant.
    Happy New Year to all

  4. 2.5*/3* with 11a my favourite.

    There were a couple of strange surfaces and 15a earns a hmm,

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  5. I too enjoyed this puzzle which ran through reasonably smoothly, some thinking required but no real hold ups. It seemed to me as I did this crossword that it was rather anagram heavy, but reading Senf’s intro above I see it was not as many as I thought.
    LOI was 2D (no, I don’t know why…)
    My podium today were all multi word answers, 23A, 5D and my winner 11A.
    Thanks to the setter for a good puzzle and to Senf for his hints and comments.
    Best wishes to all for this evening, I suspect Senf may be back with his founder’s reserve Glenlivet, I however, have been eyeing up a batch release bottle of Aberlour that I have been looking for an excuse to crack into.

      1. Ah yes, plain as day! I must have been distracted by the thought of cracking the Aberlour.
        Good choice on the Dalwhinnie btw

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle which required quite a bit if thought but was very clever. My fav was definitely 11a, made me smile😀
    Bottom left held me up for a while but eventually yielded.
    Thx to all

  7. Thought this was going to be tough today after the first quick scan, but it seemed to get easier as it went along.
    Always unsure how many letters in 11a, I think it can be spelled two ways, but maybe I’m wrong.
    Last one in for me was 23a, very clever misdirection.
    Oh well, another year gone, used to love new year’s eve when I was younger, but can’t really muster any enthusiasm now, age eh?
    Many thanks to our setter today, hope tomorrow’s is a themed puzzle, we’ll see. Happy new year to all here, roll on spring!

    1. Only one way of spelling 11a according to the BRB – 10 letters as in the puzzle.

      The chances of a themed puzzle tomorrow – slim to zero in my estimation.

  8. Really enjoyed this puzzle with it’s concise clues. Only needed electronic assistance for the cricket related answer. 8d was tricky with having to find two random animals until I had some checkers.

    I agree with Brian with my favourite being 11a too.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf. Enjoy your Glenlivet – I was the miller there in the mid 1970s.

    Happy New Year.

  9. Solved this & the Zandio Toughie at an ungodly hour as coughing, wheezing & sneezing rendered 💤 impossible. Perhaps I just tuned in immediately but more likely it was a case of about as easy as you’re likely to get with Dada, not so with the other fella but maybe easier than Friday. 23a just pips 11a for top spot with 17a in the last podium spot.
    Many thanks & a HYN to D&S & all on the blog

  10. I took a while to get going with this one, but everything suddenly fell into place and I finished in what for me is a good time. Thanks to Senf and Dada and thanks to all the Setters and Hinters for all your hard work throughout the year, it is much appreciated. Happy New Year to one and all.

  11. Certainly quirky but very enjoyable. My favourite was 11a with reserve places going to 23a – my last one in – and 21d which made me smile. Thanks to Dada and also to Senf for another year of musically accompanied reviews – Mr Hopkins turns out to be a man of many talents!

    A very Happy New Year to everyone on the blog, particularly all those who have worked so tirelessly to ensure its continuation following the sad demise of our founder – he would be so grateful to you all.

  12. Dada puzzles are always a treat and this was no exception BUT am I the only one to question the definition in 23a (which held me up)….I have simply never heard it being used as a noun in this way (or am I missing something?)

    1. My Yorkshire grandparents would often talk about (redacted)w hen referring to the pudding. It would be Yorkshire pudding with jam on it most Sundays.

  13. I have not yet completed this but wanted to pop on early to wish all setters, bloggers, commenters and those who are lurking a very happy new year. I hope that all struggling with health and other challenges will see some improvement in 2024.

    Extra special thanks to those who have kept the blog on track since the loss of Big Dave and meant that we are all still able to learn from each other and make new friends. I am so glad I de-lurked and would encourage others to do so.

  14. I thought there would be more seasonal clues over the last few weeks but no matter, a high quality fun puzzle as is usual on a Sunday. Thank you Dada and Senf and happy new year to all

  15. Dada in friendly and quirky mood today in this very enjoyable offering. I know I won’t be the only one who would have liked the clue for 15a to be more specific, but that’s the only negative comment from me. Favourite today and LOI was 21d supported by the amusing and misleading 11a and 23a. Thanks to Dada and Senf. A Happy New Year to you both and all our setters, hinters and contributers to the blog.

    1. Just a note about solving today’s crossword. I wanted to admit I don’t generally use Senf’s wonderful and detailed hints, except when I cannot parse a particular clue, a bit like 2d. I naturally enjoy the pictorial additions, and the regular commentators here.
      I found today’s puzzle a 22d with the solve done 6d. However, I have lot’s of help (confession spoiler) from this app., which still leaves room for plenty of fun, without resorting to the Glen* holy water.
      Looking forward to 2024

  16. For me, and I stress for me, (™ Senf) this excellent crossword had its challenging moments but was great fun to solve.

    In a way, it is quite an achievement for me to have done so, as I’ve had tears in my eyes ever since yesterday, when I learned that Siouxie Sioux is already seeking an appropriate Valentine’s card for me. In her other guise as ‘Cryptic Sue’ she is a mildy terrifying monitor of the naughty step on prize crossword days, but I always knew she had a heart of gold. Now I discover I have a special place in her heart. It is life-affirming.

    All very best wishes to Mrs Cowling, and Daisy’s George.

    Thanks to Da-doo-ron-ron and The Man From Manitoba (most grateful for your excellent hints throughout the years – and years)

  17. Somehow I didn’t find this a lot of fun but did find the unravelling satisfying. West led the field. Took a while for 5d to drop the raise penny. Fav 14a. Thank you to the regular setter/hinter pair for all your past combined efforts on our behalf and best wishes to you both for a Happy, Healthy New Year 2024. Love Anthony Hopkins’ waltz – obviously a man of many parts.

  18. For this slightly quirky Sunday puzzle, it took a while to get rolling, but all went smoothly. At the easier end of Dada’s spectrum today, but definitely had his personal thesaurus at hand for a few. Had to dredge one answer up, (5a), from the depths of my mind … not one I have heard for a while.


    Favourites include 22a, 23a, 24a, 25a, 5d & 19d — with winner 23a
    Chuckles from 11a, 22a, 24a & 1d

    Thanks to Dada & Senf for hints/blog

    Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s celebration … whatever you are doing tonight.

  19. If Dada set today’s crossword when he was feeling friendly I’d hate to meet him when he was grumpy!
    In some places it was really quite difficult – it’s certainly taken me a long time anyway as Sundays usually do.
    As lots of others I particularly liked 11 and 23a and 18 and 22d. I couldn’t decide a favourite so we haven’t got one today!!
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  20. Pretty straightforward today with no real hold-ups apart from parsing the first word in 5d. Favourite was 21d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  21. Thanks Dada for a puzzle I managed to finish, 21d last in and needed hubby for 5d, a phrase I did not know. I enjoyed all the multi word clues except that one.

    Thank you too Senf for the hints which clarified a couple of the parsings. As ever thank you for your regular Sunday contributions, which I nearly always need.

  22. Plenty to enjoy in this puzzle. The SW corner held me up for a while but got there in the end. LOI was 23A.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf and a happy new year to all setters, bloggers and commenters who have provided much assistance and entertainment throughout the year.

  23. Not too tricky for Dada, maybe our thesauri are becoming more aligned as time goes by. Thanks to Senf and Dada for a whole year of fun and hopes that everyone has a happy new year
    My choice now is whether to continue with the Speyside Benromach or maybe one of my Friends of Laphroaig Càirdeas iterations

      1. Memory serves!

        Jeyes fluid would possibly be more palatable (to me and I stress to me) than that stuff from the Islands.

        1. Even though it is Speyside the Benromach may not be to your taste – it has a very high phenol level (42 ppm) “fragrant vanilla notes, which lead to lemon sherbet and apricot, finishing with smoky bonfire embers”
          But each to his own, I enjoy a smoother whisky too and even an Irish Whiskey with next to no pettiness on occasion

        2. I kinda get where you’re coming from with Laphraoig but the rest of the island is wonderful – oh for the days when I was allowed the stuff.

          1. Agreed, Laphroag has never really done it for me but Lagavulin most certainly does, and Caol Isla is a more recent and delightful discovery that is well worth a swirl in the bottom of your glass.

    1. On the whisky theme, we’ve just been watching ‘A Little Drop of Harris’ about the building and setting up of the new Harris Distillery. It’s on BBC iPlayer and well worth a watch…it’s in Gaelic with subtitles. No idea what the whisky is like ‘cos it’s all sold out!

  24. Ground to a halt so appealed to DanWord for 11a.This did the trick and I was then able to complete the puzzle. I do feel I’ve been cheating so it is as well I’m not competing for the pen.

  25. Looked at the very short clues and thought it must be RayT making a Sunday appearance.
    Good puzzle with only a couple of references to the blog needed.
    Thanks to all of you for another year of crossword rescue.
    Happy New Year.

  26. Good afternoon

    First time in ages I’ve had a crack at the Sunday BPer; despite always having Sundays off, we always seem to be busy.

    Some braincell stretching required today. I honestly didn’t think I’d get 23a, my last to fall, or 21d, which was last but one. I dar’say Senf heard the CLUNK! of two pennies dropping all the way over there in Winnipeg…

    Thank you to Dada and Senf; may I wish all setters, bloggers, and contributors a very Happy New Year.

  27. Not sure why, but I found this somewhat unrewarding and a bit of a slog. Probably just me being dense, or looking too hard for something other than the obvious; 4d being a case in point. I shall look forward to 2024’s crossword challenges, and BD’s comments and analysis. HNY to all. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  28. I agree, Dada being very friendly – translation: I didn’t need help! I did consult BD’s “Mine” to confirm 14a but I couldn’t find it there, so that doesn’t count. I wasn’t at all sure of 5d, it just fit the checkers and I didn’t want to break my ducks by looking it up. I liked a lot, I think fave was 11a, but 31d also amused.
    Thank you Dada for the fun, so glad the real you is back, and, of course, thank you Senf for unravelling so much.
    I also thank our setters, hinters and commenters for keeping the Big Dave memory alive and well. I will be long in the Land of Nod when midnight comes around, but I hope 2024 is a good year for us all.

  29. A friendly Dada for me today.

    Which means I only needed to consult Senf’s excellent hints for 2 answers….both 4 letter words…

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    And a Very Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year to everyone here.

  30. I started off thinking this was above my pay grade, only achieving 6 answers at first pass. But encouraged by getting Wordle in 2 again, I persevered and with a little thought the answers slowly filled in. 5d and 23a were my downfall. COTD for me is 13d without a doubt. Thanks to Dada, and particularly to Senf for the wonderful waltz clip, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to one and all, with special thoughts to Mrs. Cowling and George.

    And a very Happy Birthday to Sir Anthony Hopkins, a brilliant actor and one of our all time favourites.

  31. I thoroughly enjoyed this. It slowly fell into place over the course of the day. My last ones in were 21d and 23a. I hadn’t heard 5d for a long time. My favourites were 8d and 21d, which were quite similar in terms of clue type.
    I wasn’t sure about the answer to 14a existing beyond my school team but it had to be that.
    Happy New Year to one and all.

  32. As usual with Dada I was slow to start, picked up speed then crawled over the finish line. I did like the smelly pudding and the yellow and white but my COTD is the outdoor photography at 11a.

    Many thanks, Dada for the fun. Thank you, Senf for the hints and for those during the year.

    A very Happy New Year to everyone on the blog including all those who lurk. Make your New Year’s resolution a determination to de-lurk.

    1. A first comment from me. I often refer to this blog when I’m stuck. Steve I’ll confess I always look out for your comments , as you often match my thoughts. On the days where you say you gave up or have struggled and I’ve managed to finish, I feel victorious. So from your secret (no longer) stalker , I wish you and your family too a Happy New Year.

      1. Your comment went into moderation because you used your full surname in your first, non-blog, post (on the passing of BD). Both should work from now on.

        Now that you have de-lurked please stay un-lurked and let’s see more comments from you.

    2. A first comment from me. I often refer to this blog when I’m stuck. Steve I’ll confess I always look out for your comments , as you often match my thoughts. On the days where you say you gave up or have struggled and I’ve managed to finish, I feel victorious. So from your secret (no longer) stalker , I wish you and your family too a Happy New Year. Thanks too to the writers of this excellent blog for their hard work .

  33. Happy New Year to all from an infrequent commenter in the Antipodes! Many thanks to all for the comments, which I enjoy very very much! Thanks to the setter and Senf for a fine crossword, and for the hints!

  34. Really enjoyed this offering so thanks to all involved – managed to finish unaided today. Have never watched Game of Thrones until this afternoon when nothing much on TV. What a truly horrible programme – violent, crude and simply disgusting unnecessary brutality. I’m obviously missing something. Anyway, I hear the fireworks going off at the local pub so now to wish everyone, setters, bloggers and commenters, a very happy new year. Let’s all meet up again tomorrow and I hope 2024 is a happier year for everyone.

  35. Late getting round to this one. All v straightforward until we got stuck in the SW corner. Last two in were 23a and 21d. The latter made us smile but didn’t find the clue to the former all that convincing.

    Happy New Year to all.

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