ST 3248 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3248 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3248 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where according to the forecast we are heading for tee shirts and shorts weather with high temperatures no lower than minus 5 degrees while most of the snow has fallen up to 1,870kms to the West of us – I am reasonably certain that PoCoBC will be able to tell us what it is like at that distance from Winnipeg.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada quirkily friendly with four ‘mini grids’, four long ‘uns, an anagram fest – nine in all (I might have lost count) plus a reverse anagram, one lurker, 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.  And, remember, the Naughty Step is OPEN!

I did imbibe some of the amber nectar (The Glenlivet – Founder’s Reserve) but mostly to practice for three birthdays at the end of the coming week (for which the Dalwhinnie – 15 Year Old will come out) – the Blog’s 15th birthday on Sunday, and the Ayrshire Bard who is privileged to share his birthday with some old guy on Thursday!

Candidates for favourite – 15a, 17a, 3d, 7d, 13d, 18d, 19d, and the Pun.

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 Middle Eastern queen, sweet little thing (7)
A double definition to start – the second is a dried fruit.

9a Party wipe the floor for Labour? (5,3,4,3)
Is Dada psychic? A party that could be held to, say, colour a map of a community after an overwhelming (election) victory (wipe the floor) for the Labour party – any references to Melton Mowbray might be subject to redaction.

15a Couple knocking swine about in book (7)
The reversal (knocking . . . about) of a (female) swine inserted into (in) a, usually scholarly, book.

16a Tutor confusing hectare and the acre! (7)
An anagram (confusing) of, take your pick, HECTARE or (and) THE ACRE.

17a Book that man prepares (7)
The nominative masculine form of the third person singular pronoun for that man and a synonym of prepares (alcoholic beverages?).

23a Yankee, say, accompanying a Greek character (4)
What Yankee is an example of (say and easy to find with an e-search) when having a flutter followed by (accompanying) A from the clue.

26a Joker, an impudent cad, so funny! (5-2,8)
An anagram (funny) of AN IMPUDENT CAD, SO.

28a Heartless gang imprisoned by judge, one of those firing gun? (7)
Repetition radar avoided! What remains after the interior letters of GanG are deleted (heartless) inserted into (imprisoned by) a nounal synonym for judge.


1d Tragically, ape isn’t living (7)
An anagram (tragically) of APE ISN’T.

2d Fifty, number on flier in Beds town (8,7)
Lego time – The Roman numeral for fifty, guess a number (think of a rowing crew), ON from the clue, and the illustrated flier.

6d Piece in hand, last of sixteen (4)
A three letter synonym of hand and the last letter of sixteeN.

7d Cataclysmic becoming hater after this? (5-10)
The reverse anagram (I think) – what HATER is an anagram of (becoming . . . after this) and a word to indicate that it is an anagram – I hope that makes sense.

13d Lightweight or heavyweight dog? (5)
It took some time but I finally decided this was a double definition(?) – the first relates to what a lightweight or a heavyweight can be in the world of sports.

17d Papal office utterly deep, reportedly? (4,3)
A two part homophone (reportedly) – the first is of a synonym of utterly and the second is of a synonym of deep.

18d Small hat for goalie (7)
The single letter for Small and a type of hat.

25d Shop I ran set up (4)
The reversal (set up) of I from the clue and a synonym of ran (an organisation?).

Quick Crossword Pun:


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British singer and songwriter Leslie Sebastian Charles MBE, known professionally as Billy Ocean, was born on this day in 1950.  Between 1976 and 1988, he had a series of hit songs in the UK and internationally.  In 1985 he co-wrote and originally recorded When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going which became his only number one in February 1986. The song was used as the theme song for the 1985 Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner film The Jewel of the Nile and, and along with co-star Danny DeVito, they can be seen in the video (probably lip synching):

101 comments on “ST 3248 (Hints)
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  1. 2*/4*. This was light and good fun. I didn’t count but there seemed to be a lot of anagrams. I see that Senf has confirmed this is indeed the case.

    I am however utterly mystified by 1d as I can’t see any connection between the definition and the answer, nor is there any enlightenment to be had from the BRB.

    2d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Having done as much research as I can on 1d, which with the checkers can only be what it is, I have to conclude that it is a faux pas on the part of the setter and editor and both were thinking of another longer word that often appears in puzzles..

  2. Who set this and what have they done with Dada ?
    I cannot believe this…2 weeks in a row when I have finished and parsed a Sunday puzzle unaided…..(maybe except 1d)

    A very enjoyable puzzle. Last one in 13d …..took me a while…..
    No particular favourites today.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    As to whisky, Senf…..have you tried The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve ? I’m not a whisky drinker really, but I enjoy a nip of this one occasionally. (When the G and T has run out.)

    1. I haven’t tried the Caribbean Reserve. I am not sure if it is available over here but aged in a cask previously used for Rum – sounds interesting.

      I once saw in a liquor store (off licence) three ‘different’ Glen Morangies I think they were – one aged in Sherry casks, one in Brandy casks, and the third in I can’t remember casks.

          1. I only like rum in Christmas pudding! Bear in mind that sugar and rum paid for my education and life until adulthood!

  3. Whow! Enjoyable! Hint! New “words” for us on the anagram side! And in the lurker area! We do the puzzle together over breakfast! Wife went way ahead! DT puzzler since the 60’s (her grandad) and commuting into London! I was “allowed” to help!
    Thanks for all the help and tips on this “Aid to sanity”, combined with my wife’s “training” this was an enjoyable solve!
    Cheers folks!!

  4. Lovely end to the week, and the first unaided completion since Tuesday. Hurrah for me!

    No one clue really grabbed me, but narrow favourites were 15a and 7d.

  5. DADA must have known today is my birthday by giving me such a lovely present in this benevolent but super puzzle. So many great clues but my stand out favourite is 18d, clever and made me smile 😊
    Thx to Dada and to CS for the hints (not needed today but nice to know they are there).

      1. I thought the same thing Senf – Brian will not like this. But you are obviously in a benign mood on your birthday – many happy returns of the day. 😊

  6. I too found this unusual as I have already finished it, and I really rather enjoyed it. I also looked up 1d once I had it and could not really find a matching definition but I don’t have a BRB. 13d was my last in and I cannot see why it took so long.

    I hope everyone in the UK is a bit warmer today, it certainly is here in the Chilterns, I see that some of you are in for another battering from a storm today so stay safe.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  7. Well that was Dada at the easier end of his spectrum and very enjoyable it was. It took me a while to get the long ones but once in the rest followed at a steady pace. Too many to like to mention them all but I will single out 15a, 17a and 2d. My award for COTD goes to what I thought a clever clue – 16a.

    Thank you Dada for the fun and Senf for the hints.

  8. Dada taken it easy today, and I needed it after a night of coughing and tussling with the toughie.
    13d was my LOI for the reasons that Senf said, it was difficult to choise between options
    9a the clear winner today and at least there are no candidates for THE LIST™ Terence
    Thanks to Senf and Dada and Happy Birthday to Brian and Senf I too will be raising a glass to the Blog’s 15th Birthday next weekend (it would have been Dada Bee’s 87th on the 27th too

          1. So was I. I was most disappointed that Covid put paid to it.

            I suppose it doesn’t have to be in Little Venice?

  9. Done and dusted in the wee small hours. Favorites are 15A, 26A and 19D. Thanks to Dada and Senf. I, too, have The Dalwhinnie in my cabinet but just the 12-year-old, I think (too comfy to get up and check). Neighbor has a bottle of Glenmorangie he’s passing on to me because he doesn’t drink scotch. I adore my neighbor!

  10. Very enjoyable. There were a couple of old chestnuts and anagrams to enable a foothold to be gained. Dada in benevolent mood. 17a particularly made me smile. Thanks to Dada and Senf

  11. ‘Quirkily friendly’ sums it up perfectly, Senf!
    Top three for me were 15&22a along with 17d. The thought of 9a fills me with dread but the blues only have themselves to blame…..

    Thanks to Dada for the Sunday fun and to Senf for the hints and video clip. Quite a rum backing group that Mr Ocean found for the performance!

  12. This was a very straightforward solve completed in one sitting and no need for hints, restoring confidence again after yesterday. Thanks to Dada . Senf thanks to you too. I don’t understand what the pun is , sorry if I’m being a bit slow 🤔 Still relatively new to this blog.

    1. The pun comes from the first two or three, perhaps four, clues from the Quick Crossword. In the printed paper and on the ‘new’ web site the applicable clues are italicised.

      Except, and there is always an exception, Campbell, the regular Monday setter will give us two or three puns – Top and Bottom with the occasional third in the Middle. But only the clues contributing to the Top pun are italicised – the other one or two are guesses.

    2. Don’t worry, Jenny. I spent about thirty years not understanding why the first few clues in The Quickie were in italics!

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle today. I think 15a just pipped 16a as my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada and Happy Birthday to Brian.

  14. For me, and I stress for me, (™ Senf) this was a cheery guzzle. Solving the long clues early on was satisfying.

    We did stretch ourselves a little too far on our lovely walk yesterday. It was a little over-ambitious even at just under two miles. The hundred day cough and long Covid are evil playmates. I was ok but with about a quarter of a mile to go, H felt a little vasovegal. Luckily we had a couple of energy bars with us and she was ok, but we were both relieved to see the pub in the near distance. We realise we need to build up slowly, but are both determined not to let the long Covid thing dominate us.

    Thanks to Da-doo-ron-ron and The Man From Manitoba.

    Here’s a track I’ve played a lot recently (and the album is excellent too).

        1. Sorry Terence, I wrongly assumed that as you had walked to the pub you were having to walk home again afterwards and you sounded a bit worn out!

  15. I made a silly error in 3d transposing two letters which I thought made sense at the time. This messed up 1a which as soon as I had seen the hint for it I realised my mistake. Not the easiest solve but it was fair and I loved the long answers. They go quite a way to help. I wasn’t sure either about 1d. I inserted the only word that fitted but not recognise it as a synonym. My first thought had been something quite different which was a synonym of one meaning of living, but realised I was one letter adrift. All in all quite satisfying. I’ve done it on line as I no longer get a dead tree version on a Sunday so haven’t marked my favourites. Thanks Senf and Dada. Happy Birthday to Brian too.

  16. Fairly easy run through, with last in 13d. I could kick myself as there was one sleeping at my feet! 🤣
    7d my favourite. Thanks to setter and Senf but no hints required today.

  17. So, for this Sunday puzzle from Dada, I found him very accessible at the gentle end of his spectrum today. Some really clever clueing and parsing was clear on most of them for me.

    1.5*/4.5* for me

    Favourites were aplenty but I choose 9a, 22a, 2d, 5d & 25d — with winner 2d
    Smiles for 9a, 22a, 5d & 13d to name just four.
    I liked all the semi-perimeter long answers too.

    As Senf alluded to, we had for the Greater Vancouver area one of the worst snowfall days on Wednesday 17th that Vancouver has ever seen. Over 15″ of snow fell from about 2am until 4pm. Traffic was brought to pretty much a stand still with numerous accidents and road closures all over the city. We now have rain and the accompanying slushy wet roads. Rain is here again today and gradually washing the white stuff away.

    Thanks to Dada & Senf for hints/blog

  18. For the first time in ages I completed this fairly swiftly. Believe me just finishing one is a bit of a miracle so I am delighted. I had surgery a week ago and feel so much better, it’s my birthday today (a big one) and now the crossword completed. OK so it’s -17C outside but the snow is pretty to look at so altogether a good start to the week.
    Thanks as always to the setter, Senf and everyone (posters and lurkers).

    1. Happy birthday, Carolyn, thank goodness you got to the other side of surgery in time to celebrate. Hope ‘someone’ has got something special lined up for your dinner tonight?

    2. Lovely to hear from you on your birthday. Glad your surgery went well. January does indeed seem to be a busy birthday month. George and my brother both on the 31st. Do hope you have had a good day and are warm!

    3. Happy Birthday to another BD aquarian (“Highly intellectual and creative and don’t like to be told what to do”!).

  19. Pretty straightforward but enjoyable about sums this up. LOI and favourite was 13d, there were other contenders. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Gentle stuff indeed but fun while it lasted. No particular favourites but thought the 4 long uns all pretty good.
    Thanks to D&S

  21. Another excellent Sunday offering from Dada thoroughly enjoyed!👍
    Found myself ‘on wavelength’ quickly and completed the challenge with a fair few ‘Dohs’ and ‘Ah Has’ along the way!
    What a great anagram 26A is!
    Many thanks, as ever, to Senf for the blog ‘n hints, and to all (especially our birthday celebrants) stay warm…perhaps with help from a drop of the good stuff! 🥃😜

  22. A dull and poor puzzle with a ludicrous excess of anagrams, no smiles, and no clues standing proud of the rest. The only redeeming feature was that it was over almost before it began. Please bring back (the real) Dada.

    0.5* / 0.5*

    Thank you Setter, but this really wasn’t up my street; thanks also to Senf.

  23. I loved it all, a generous gift from Dada. The four long ‘uns were a joy, lots of laughs along the way, 6d amused. I bunged in 23a, it appears that I have it right but I still don’t get it. Hard to choose a fave, but 7d might be it.
    Thank you Dada for the fun and Senf for hints and pics. I didn’t need any help today!

  24. I agree Merusa 23a my LOI. I do know my Greek alphabet but cannot parse my answer. Hey ho. it’s all good fun. What a pity I cannot come round and have a cup of tea with you (or a gin and tonic). Good guzzle – I liked the four long clues which gave me a handle into the rest of the guzzle. I think 16a was my favourite. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Senf.

  25. Popped into 2* time by the,
    For me, elusive 1a.
    Penny dropped after getting
    Into a groove with sylla***
    Or a similar word.
    Great variety, loved the
    Juicy 26a
    Thanks to the setter
    And Senf.

  26. The gee-gees remain undisturbed and I had a smooth ride. 10a [redacted] hindered my parsing again today – must update my spelling system. Agree with RD re iffy 1d. 7d had to be but indication of second word slow to dawn. Not sure about professional for 20d. Altogether a good time was had. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  27. 2/4. Was this a Dada puzzle? Very reasonable challenge which was heavy on anagrams – I’m not complaining. Favourites were 1,9,10,&23a. 1d must be right but doesn’t pass the sniff test. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

      1. Yes, It means related to the human species; as in (redacted) I googled that as my schoolboy Latin, failed, is 69 years out of date!
        Hope all are safe in storm Isha.

  28. Just a late night thank you to everyone who wished me happy birthday, 70, does this mean I have to grow up? I hope not, it would mean I would no longer giggle at slightly smutty clues or corny clues. Thanks also for the best wishes for health, it’s been a long slog but I feel so much better. Yes, Alan did make me a delicious dinner.

    Happy birthday to all my fellow January born crossword fans. Thanks to all for this lovely community, you mean so much to me.

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