ST 3260 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3260 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3260 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we are experiencing a good example of Manitoba Spring weather, or anywhere else in Canada come to that; yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with a temperature of 20 degrees and on Thursday the forecast is for 2 degrees and fluffy white precipitation!

For me, and I stress for me, Dada unrecognisably friendly although it seems there is no point in complaining about the number of anagrams as it only gets worse and this week he has got away with ten (three partials), two lurkers, and one (partial) homophone, 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.  And, remember, the Naughty Step is OPEN!

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 23a, 1d, 5d, and 18d.

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 Wave behind swimmer ending on shore — a cracker! (4-7)
A wave ‘coming ashore’ placed after (behind) all of a three letter swimmer, that had ‘wars’ named after it, and the last letter (ending on) of shorE.

7a Regret the loss of flash vase (5)
A two letter synonym of flash (as in ‘in a . . . ‘) and a type of vase.

12a Lift from bed, if yawning (5)
Straight out of Dada’s personal thesaurus, a lurker (from) found in the last three words of the clue.

13a Figure observed with episode screened (9)
A synonym of observed containing (with . . . screened) a synonym of episode.

16a Group of stars, one of those making a huge splash? (3,6)
A (3,6) term which could describe a large person jumping into a swimming pool (one of those making a huge splash) and for which, when used as the answer for the clue, the BRB considers (esp N American).

19a Old adversary quite devoid of it (7)
A synonym of adversary and quite with IT removed (devoid of).

25a Memorable name features in dancing all-nighter (11)
The single letter for Name inserted into (features in) an anagram (dancing) of ALL-NIGHTER.


1d Bit of bread and fish falling to pieces (9)
A term for a small, perhaps very small, bit of bread and a type of fish that is apparently of the same family as the 1a swimmer.

3d Cheers excessive order in various pubs (7,2)
The three letters for an abbreviated term equivalent to excessive and the two letters for an honour that, for the Commonwealth realms, recognises distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or the promotion of culture all inserted into (in) an anagram (various) of PUBS.

5d Family doctor at home for head honcho (7)
A three letter synonym of family, the two letters for an abbreviated form of a doctor, and our favourite two letter word for at home – hands up all those who thought/think ‘Family’ was doing double duty.

7d Part of a computer with which relative fed up, reportedly? (11)
A very poorly written clue! I am not sure that ‘with which’ is even needed – A (female) relative and a homophone (reportedly) of a single word term for fed up.

15d Looking at excavation, tool raised overhead (9)
A type of tool reversed (raised) and placed before (overhead) a type of excavation (for precious metals?).

18d Dumplings Greek character provided after Conservative leader in Greece turned up (7)
A Greek (alphabetic, the 22nd I believe) character placed (provided) after the reversal (turned up) of all of the abbreviation for (politically) Conservative and the first letter of (leader in) Greece – and the dumplings are Italian!

21d Access in between terraces (5)
A straightforward lurker to finish (in) found in two words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Television and film producer, director, writer and occasional voice artist Gerry Anderson was born on this day in 1929 – here is the introduction sequence to one of his most well known TV series which, if memory serves, was made in a converted warehouse in Slough:

69 comments on “ST 3260 (Hints)
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  1. I don’t recall Dada ever being such a one-trick pony as he has become in recent months. An absurdly high number of anagrams that would have been justly criticised had they featured in a Rookie’s Corner submission. Highlight 23a. Otherwise a very gentle and unmemorable puzzle, sadly. Please bring back the real Dada.

    <1* / 1*

    Thank you Dada, but if that was yours, you're better than this. Thank you also to Senf.

    1. The number of anagrams doesn’t seem ‘absurdly’ high to me, especially if you allow for partial anagrams, which Chris Lancaster does. Without implying how many there are in this puzzle, in the most recent RC, Prolixic said that “Overall there are eight anagrams in the crossword which is acceptable if on the high side”. When I first came on this blog I queried why there isn’t an entry level crossword a few times like there is in the Times. You seemed to think that I was appealing to the editor and told me I would have more success if I wrote directly. I have since discovered that he had actually asked the blog about that a couple of years ago, although the reason why it never happened doesn’t seem evident (and there were many in favour). Even so it seems odd to me that you are constantly campaigning on the blog for a crossword like the Times. You often refer to the Times and have said how much better it is, including that it has fewer anagrams, something you regularly appeal for. A lot of people like anagrams and many people do the Telegraph puzzle because, on the whole, it is less chewy than the Times. I suspect it might be best for you to take a leaf out of your own book and appeal directly to CL. But then again, I don’t think you will succeed. I recall that people (perhaps at the Times) thought that the DT had to compete with the Times on difficulty, and that lies behind the advent of the Toughie. But two Toughies doesn’t make sense to me. Less sense, I suggest, than introducing a quick cryptic to help attract new people.

      1. An anagram’s an anagram, Mark, whether it is full or partial.

        When there are typically 28-32 clues in a puzzle, to have one-third of them repeatedly using the same ploy is far too many in my view. Similarly, in my view about 4 anagrams (full or partial) is the right balance, though the DT does indeed permit more. After all, there are lots of different clue types and such a restriction permits – indeed requires – the setter to employ more imagination and variety in devising their clues.

        I certainly don’t want the DT crossword to be more like The Times, because that too would be reducing variety!

        1. I suspect the question should be whether a clue’s an anagram or a partial anagram, Mustafa, rather than whether an anagram is an anagram. In Chris Lancaster’s book, he says of anagrams “More may be allowed if some are partial anagrams (on the basis that two partial anagrams = one full anagram)”. I also notice that Peter Biddlecombe says that the Times allows 5 “pure anagrams”. That suggests to me that ‘impure’ anagrams can add to that figure and I would have thought that partial anagrams are a form of impure anagram, e.g. part charade, part anagram. CL says that “most compilers aim for around six per puzzle, although the actual number may be slightly lower or slightly higher than this”. Prolixic says that he aims for six. As Colin Dexter points out, anagrams are not always the last resort of a setter’s impoverished mind. For many people they are a way into the puzzle and I suspect that is why typically about a fifth of clues in a 30 word crossword are anagrams. Allowing for partial anagrams as CL does, in my view, this puzzle might be on the high side, but not unacceptably. Looking through the comments, I get the impression that most people were happy with this puzzle.

    2. Sorry, but I enjoy the new Dada, and don’t see the number of anagrams as being absurd. Some of us, particularly those who know better than to attempt the Toughie, are only too happy find something we can solve sans help.

  2. 2*/3.5*. A nice, relatively straightforward puzzle to solve before I get cracking on the garden.

    I can’t find 8a in the BRB. Is it a real word?

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

      1. Thanks Gazza, but I thought that the Telegraph’s editorial policy was for all (non-GK) words to be in Chambers.

          1. You’ve got me banged to rights there, banksie. Please don’t tell Mrs RD that I was still on the crossword blog when she thought I was outside. I did get started by 11:30 and have only just stopped. I’m knackered now!

  3. Also found this relatively straightforward for a SPP. Not sure that I have heard of the answers to 7d and 8a though, and I don’t really understand 4d. I did like the 1d/22a combo. Now to submit to the PP lottery and then enjoy the sunshine before the golf this evening. Happy day! Thanks to Senf and to Dada (presumably).

    1. Working in IT, I can confirm that 7d is very much a thing, but I hadn’t heard of 8a either. Maybe it’s a regional thing, but we put a different word at the start of the answer…wary of the naughty step so don’t want to say much more 😀

      1. We’ve had the word you’re thinking at 8a of a few times before, but I think I’ve heard of this version too.

      2. I don’t ever hear 8a used for the definition generically. I took the clue to ask for a particular type of the definition, which fits with the examples given in the Collins online dictionary and the equivalent in the BRB.

    2. Hmmm
      I got everything in zoom time except the connection between 1d and 22a. Last one still not in. I don’t think surrounding answers are wrong in my grid but anything is possible with me.

  4. At first I thought this was going to be another tough solve a la yesterday, as on first pass I only twigged one answer. But all fell swiftly in place following the capitulation of 1a and 7d. All in all a very 25a puzzle. Cotd is the aforementioned 1a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  5. That was a really enjoyable walk in the park with some great surfaces (too many to enumerate) and just right to start a hopefully relaxed and sunny Sunday including watching the final between Ruud and Tsitsipas in the Monte Carlo tennis. Thank you Dada for giving us untaxing fun and to Senf for being there too.

      1. I too like Rudd and he did play like a demon yesterday to beat Djokovic against all the odds in the semi but today he sadly wasn’t up to that much – possibly tired and a reaction to that success.

  6. Wow that was a breeze, can’t remember a Sunday one being so straightforward, had to check I’d got the right dumplings but that was the one and only hitch.
    Can’t bear the Americanism at 16a but maybe that’s just the amateur astronomer (read nerd) in me.

    My two favourites today were 1a, and 19a.
    Getting the bike out now to take Mrs TC up to the little cafe a Blackbushe Airport for a cup of splash. If anyting can make it chuck it down, that will!

  7. Dada back to his best. A superb puzzle with elegant clues that don’t need a knowledge of obscure artists or Greeks and with everything you need in the clue.
    I wish all crosswords were this good.
    Thx to all
    ***/******** or as many as you like for enjoyment

  8. 3d seems to be popular
    As anagrams are always
    Very doable, welcomed
    The many in this
    Reasonably taxing
    For me, 2*/4*
    Many thanks Dada
    And Senf.

      1. From what Mr K commented yesterday – we’re stuck with either that or the 503 error for now so we’ll just have to live with it.

  9. Blimey, that was breezy. I can’t remember a gentler Sunday but Dada does have many gears, of course. I thought the quickie was marginally chewier and took about the same time. But I don’t really mind that on a sunny Sunday morning. 1a was fun, 23a was smart and I enjoyed 25a’s image. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  10. This was a delightful crossword which was doable and pleasing Favourite was 23a with 7d a very close second.

    Thanks to Send and Dada.

  11. ‘Happy anagram day’ to one and all!
    Quite a lot to enjoy in this puzzle, my top three being 1a plus 1&4d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints – good to see that Thunderbirds are still GO!

  12. I really enjoyed this Sunday treat, I enjoy anagrams, particularly ones that need a bit of looking to find and in this case many of the answers were not my first thought. The 1d, 22a combo was good and my favourite was 1a. So with he sun out there is much to be grateful for.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

    1. Your comment went into moderation because of what I suspect was an error in your e-mail address – *****170 instead of *****171 – which I have taken the liberty of correcting.

      1. Thank you Senf.
        I had tried to change it myself having realised my error but the edit clearly didn’t work, sorry to have given you work.

  13. I’m hoping today that my comment doesn’t hit the 503 error snag ike yesterday – I wrote it 3 times then gave up.
    Today’s puzzle was lovely for a sunny Sunday morning.
    My top picks were 7a, 24a and 4d.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  14. Well I’m going to buck the trend here because I did not find this as straightforward as the rest of you. Despite, that it was very enjoyable and will give me another go at TM. I have always known 16a by another name, which is more descriptive to my mind. I always forget the dumplings! My COTD is the old adversary at 19a.

    Thank you, Dada for a fun guzzle. Thank you, Senf for the hints.

    1. I had to look up 16a. I see Senf says it’s ‘esp N American’ in the BRB. According to my Oxford dictionary it’s positively a “North American term for … ”.

  15. 7d in the dead tree version has a different clue.

    “Computer accessory with which relative fed up, reportedly” (11)

    I can see why it was changed, it is most definitely not an accessory, but a vital part.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. As a dead tree version user, I wholeheartedly agree. A computer can work without some accessories, but definitely not without 7d

      1. You’ve changed your alias since you last commented in 2022 – all three versions, full name, forename plus initial and this one will work from now on

  16. For me, and I stress for me (™ Senf) I am comfortable with as many anagrams as a setter wishes to provide. This was as comfortable a ride as our Sunday setter has ever laid before us, but for those of us with limited skills, it was a welcome guzzle.

    For a few months now I have switched from the ol’ toast, and orange juice without bits for breakfast in favour of the healthier porridge oats made with water (in the microwave), accompanied by, of course, orange juice without bits.
    The bonus of this is that I can tell family members and friends that H forces me to eat gruel in the mornings. This sits perfectly alongside the fact that we recently had garages converted into a bedroom suite. Thus I tell people I am made to sleep in a garage and eat gruel.

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

  17. A speedy if somewhat straightforward puzzle that was fun without being the Sunday delight that we have become used to. No standout favourites although 19a came close.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  18. Well for me, this seemed at the easier end of Dada’s spectrum this Sunday. Some thought provoking clues, but all good fun.

    2*/4* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 16a, 3d, 7d & 9d — with winner 1a. It would have been 16a if it had been called the correct name from my Brit view as opposed to the N/Am name. Grr!

    Thanks to Dada nonetheless & Senf for hints/blog

  19. Well, I never! What a surprise! a) A corker Sunday guzzle, and b) no real complaints yet. What is happening here? Have I fallen off the edge and landed on another planet? Friday a treat, Saturday a brain teaser, and Sunday fun all the way. I’d better quit while I’m ahead. I loved lots, I’m hard pressed to find a fave, but 1a did stand out, as did many others.
    Thank you Dada for the 8a of fun, and Senf for unravelling a few.

  20. Nothing to hold us up here. Wasn’t overly keen on 16a or 7d (paper version) but everything else was fine. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  21. A pleasant treat from Dada today and the perfect puzzle to entice new solvers. COTD for me is definitely 7d, perhaps because of being married to a computer engineer. Rather liked 1a and 3d also. I can’t honestly claim it was a walk in the park, but nothing OTT. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  22. Stopped halfway through to buy yet another cat scarer from the RSPB. Much as I enjoy the pictures of cats featured on this blog I resent them using my vegetable patch as a latrine.
    Does anyone really enjoy 18d? So stodgy…..unlike CS’ lemon drizzle!
    COTD has to be 1a.
    Personal details missing again. The system worked OK yesterday

    1. Not the most sparkling Dada but still ok as a post lunch exercise 3 5 and 14d all pleased me,
      Thanks to Senf and Dada
      That was meant to be a separate comment
      I like 18d but the choice of (catpeefree) herbs and sauce is important

  23. For me, a very gentle puzzle after yesterday’s much more challenging one. No real favourites.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf 👍

    1. Peter – don’t know if you saw my reply to your ‘or was it just another dam’ comment/reply to Tom yesterday. I immediately knew the next line but reckon it took me about 6hours to figure out the song & who sang it

  24. Can’t say I even registered the high anagram count. In my view not a patch on yesterday’s prize puzzle but still enjoyable enough. Very straightforward other than a pause for thought over the delighted synonym in 23a.
    Thanks as ever to D&S.
    Ps Bliss to wake up to warmth, blue skies & no rain. A day of chilling & watching the Masters before our golf starts.

  25. Does anyone like the new online puzzles? The cross Atlantic one mentioned starred clues but they weren’t starred. The grid is far too small for my sausage fingers. Sorry if I’m posting in the wrong area.

    1. Hi, Hughie. If you mean the new puzzles themselves, I like the Cross Atlantic when it has a theme or other twist to it — so I usually do it on Sundays (proXimal), Wednesdays (Dada), and recently Fridays (Colin Thomas).

      Today’s definitely does have starred clues: 16a, 20a, 26a, 43a, and 51a all have stars at the end of their clues. (And, by complete coincidence, I was simultaneously watching 59a this morning while solving the crossword.)

      If you mean the new puzzles website (rather than the puzzles themselves), I prefer it to the old one: I just press the Tab key to move through from one answer to the next, and I largely ignore the clue numbers, because the current clue gets highlighted as you move through them.

    2. Hughie, I haven’t yet seen a comment in favour of the new site.

      The keyboard takes up far too much room and then there is little room for us to see many of the clues.

      Long live the “old site”!

    3. I posted this yesterday with little response…

      I seem to remember, many years ago, when the (now) old site was created there were many complaints about the printing of the crosswords.

      This was two-fold: firstly, the new grid was larger and therefore used more (expensive) ink. Secondly, the grid was printed in pure black and therefore used loads more (expensive) ink.

      The solution was that the grid was to be printed in grey, still easy to see the grid but saving loads of ink. Everyone (except HP, Canon, Brother and Epson) was happy.

      Does the new site do this same thing? I haven’t tried because I really dislike the new site and have done since its release date over 18 months ago. The font is not as user friendly and the online sudoku solving is (to be kind) atrocious.

      I expect that when my subscription is due for renewal I will be expected to pay way more for a lesser product…

      1. Essentially printing puzzles from the ‘new’ site is the same as printing from the old site with one major exception – the size of the font used for clues. If you don’t require spectacles now you soon will!

        Supposedly that will be changed before the old site is ‘turned off’ – time will tell!

  26. A very fine crossword and I don’t have a problem with the number of anagrams. I thought 1a was really clever.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  27. With so many anagrams, I found this hard to get into: after one pass of the acrosses, I had just 2 answers, one of which I wasn’t sure about the wordplay, and another the spelling. (16a, which I’d guessed from the definition and enumeration, then checked Senf’s hint to understand the rest; and 18a, which I’d needed to confirm where to put one of the letters). Plus the last 3 letters of 19a.

    Things did improve, but it felt less fun than some of Dada’s quirkier offerings. I’m picking 4d as my favourite.

    I am a big fan of the answer to 18d, though! Rukmini Iyer’s recipe from The Roasting Tin is a favourite in our household: ******** with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and pine nuts, all cooked together in one dish, which can largely be left unattended (and involves minimal washing-up):

      1. Gah, so sorry! Thanks for catching it, Steve. Not much point in my writing ‘18d’ at the start of the sentence only to give it away at the end.

        Fortunately that book also includes recipes for cakes …

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