ST 3185 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3185 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3185 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we have been enjoying some unseasonably warm weather but it has started cooling down and the weather forecasts are beginning to include the four letter word that begins with ‘S’!

For me, a Dada puzzle which took a while to get going then it was off to the races with four anagrams (two partials), one lurker, and two homophones all in a symmetric 30 clues; with 15 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 11a, 19a, 2d, 9d, and 23d.

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 BD’s 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 Extraordinary thing, word complete (9)
An anagram (extraordinary) of THING, WORD.

11a Struggling for breath, whoopee vitality! (8)
A synonym of whoopee and a synonym of vitality.

16a Fairy tale with a little slimy thing (4)
The lurker (with a little) found in two words in the clue.

18a Jumper knitted for grandson, originally (4)
An anagram, if one can have an anagram of three letters, (knitted) of FOR and the first letter (originally) of Grandson.

21a Beauty, one sealing bottle? (6)
A double definition – the first might not be PC and the second inserts a sealing device into a bottle.

24a Monster plant brought back by you and I (8)
A type of (ornamental) plant, found in many gardens, reversed (brought back) and placed after (by) the pronoun that represents you and I.

28a Crime concealed by attendant where parish priest lives (9)
A flammable crime contained (concealed) by a (young?) attendant.


1d Class hosting university meeting (5)
Another term for a class in a school containing (hosting) the single letter for University.

2d Where night-time photography seen instantly? (2,1,5)
Reference to the illustrated device needed for night-time photography.

5d Takeaway favourite passed around a square (6)
A favourite type of takeaway food, originating in Italy, containing (passed around) A from the clue.

6d Fruit in lemon, gone off (4,5)
An anagram (off) of LEMON, GONE.

17d Marker underlining first of howlers in school (6)
A type of marker used to indicate or show the position of something placed after (underlining) the first letter of Howlers.

18d Time, in making a run for it, passing swiftly (8)
The single letter for Time inserted into (in) a single word equivalent to making a run for it.

23d Stoop when Hamlet, say, mentioned? (5)
One of the homophones (mentioned) of the nationality (when . . . say) of Hamlet.

25d New-born animal, filly’s offspring appearing little, first of all (4)
The initial letters (first of all) of four words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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From the ‘original’ Top Gun film in 1986, a number one hit for American new wave group Berlin.  I remember it more because it seemed to be being played every lunch time in the cafeteria during my MSc year at Cranfield Institute of Technology:

33 comments on “ST 3185 (Hints)
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  1. Very enjoyable indeed as Dada a tad less friendly than of late I thought.
    I had to check the second meaning of 13d but that was my only slight hold up.
    I liked quite a few so difficult to narrow down to a podium but I’ll go for 27a plus the clever 9&15d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf, like the music.

  2. 1*/3.5*. I found this very much at the easier end of the Sunday spectrum but still very enjoyable.

    The surface of 2d seems a bit strange. Wouldn’t it read better with “is” before “seen”?

    23d was my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  3. Great top half which got you going but I found the bottom half much trickier. I thought 9a was a bit iffy, 23d very tricky and 27 weak but I loved 17a which was a brilliant clue.
    However overall very enjoyable.
    Thx to all

  4. Like Brian, I found the top half pretty straightforward but took longer with the bottom half of the puzzle. It was most enjoyable, with a wide variety of clue types and some splendid camouflaged anagrams and clever double definitions . I liked 18a, 24a, 7a and 10a but there were lots of others that were good Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for a great puzzle to liven yp yet another dreary, wet November morning

  5. Like RD I found this very straightforward. Pleasant enough but over far too quickly in a sub * time finish. Maybe it’s just me but Dada seems to have lost a bit of his sparkle of late.

  6. I thought I was going to struggle with this because I had solved no across clues and only a few downs on the first pass. However, as is ever the way with Dada, the answers began to creep out of the woodwork and it ended up being a most enjoyable solve. There are two where I cannot fathom the parsing and these are 7a and 27a. Both are bung-ins and I will await the review for explanations. I have never heard of a 6d but it had to be what it was and the BRB confirmed it. 28a is a bit of an old chestnut. My COTD is 24a.

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

    My back is aching a bit after planting 220 daffodil bulbs! I hope the display next Spring is worth it.

    1. Steve, do you mean 7a? Senf has explained the parsing in his hints.

      To save you the wait, 27a is 4-letter synonym of cheeky followed by the last letter (back) of youth.

      1. Nobody could rival those, SJB nor The Daffy Caffy! We are back up in Ryedale later this month. No doubt a trip to Whitby to get some mussels will be on the cards.

    2. 7a and 27a were bungins from me too, of course, both were wrong. As BD said, if you can’t parse it,its probably wrong!

      1. I got 27a correctly, Merusa but I do agree – most of the time if you can’t parse it then it’s wrong.

        Good to see you back.

  7. I spent far too long looking at 8a and 27a to make this the speedy solve I thought this would be. Those apart, this was a typically bright and enjoyable Sunday puzzle that cheered up a grey morning. Good fun. Top clue has to be 17a.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  8. Had 4 unfinished when I visited Big Dave and found none were hinted and the four were interlocked. Guessed right for one of them : had missed the obvious in clue hint with another : used electronic help for the other two. So finished it.

    Sunday is never fun, never has been since childhood, but thanks to Senf and Dada for trying to ease the gloom.

  9. Struggled with this.
    But got there in the end.
    Last in 14 and 27a.
    Missed an anagram indicator and did not regard a certain four letter word as a synonym for a word I cannot say.
    So, naughty step avoided.
    Many thanks to Dada for the challenge and to Senf.

  10. A pleasant solve for a Sunday morning, the bottom half being fractionally more challenging than the top. Could kick myself for not seeing the lurker at 16a ( if in doubt and all that!) though the answer was obvious. Favourites among a good bunch were 7a, 17a and 22d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. I also missed the lurker in 16A! Enjoyable puzzle that didn’t take too long (except for the 16A failure to parse). I’m going for 9D as my favorite. Thanks Senf and Dada.

  12. Thanks to Dada and, once again, special thanks to Senf, who has an uncanny knack of explaining my bung ins.
    Today it was 16a where I couldn’t see for looking.

  13. We didn’t find much to hold us up but no less enjoyable for that. Favourite was 24a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  14. Good, workaday Dada, with 6d new to me but had to be what it was. Otherwise, a very pleasant Sunday diversion. I especially liked 11a, 23d, & 9d. Thanks to Senf and Dada. **/***

  15. A relatively gentle Dada puzzle for this week, with a couple of quirky areas.
    2*/4* for me

    Unknown item in 6d … never heard of it.

    Favourites though were 11a, 19a, 21a, 2d & 15d with winner 19a
    18a made me smile as did 21a & 4d

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints

  16. 16a is a terrific lurker – in the paper edition it is across two lines making it even more deceptive. Thanks Dada and Senf

  17. Not too tricky given that it’s a Sunday.
    Absolutely chucking it down since the middle of last night – maybe the need for rain is getting a bit less!!
    Lots of good clues to pick some from today – I’ll go for 21a (anything that’s non PC will do for me) and 18a (made me laugh).
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.
    Spent yesterday with the Elder Lamb with her and her partner and our grandson for her birthday – typical for her to have been a noisy bonfire baby!

  18. A pleasant puzzle spoilt by 4d. When will setters realise that we don’t all pronounce words the same way? Favourite clues were 24a and 23d. Thanks to Senf for the hints.

  19. Like others I found this easier in the top half but got there eventually. The homophone for 4d didn’t work for me but I think that they are fair game for a setter as long as some portion of the audience finds it easy on the ear.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Favourites 10 and 24a and 23d. This took me longer than it should. My problem was that I was not 100%sure of some of them until I had all the checkers. As they were interlinked I pencilled them in and decided they must be right.I got 14a but have only just spotted the obvious. I spent far too long looking for synonyms of tatty. My tardiness could be due to a leisurely lunch at a newish restaurant called Six on the sixth floor of a building on Trent Bridge cricket ground. Food and service were excellent but the view of the ground and far Into the distance is spectacular.

  21. Good heavens it took me ages to get going but now can’t understand why as it ultimately became a reasonably straightforward exercise. Extaordinary was not the first thing to come to mind for 7a but it had to be. Took a while to suss first part of 13d. 17a was Fav. Thank you to the D and S combination.

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