ST 3197 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3197 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3197 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where, with the end of January in sight, the un-seasonally warm two or three weeks we have enjoyed has already come to an end and we are back in the deep freeze with a high temperature (using the term loosely) of minus 23 degrees yesterday with a similar forecast for today.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada quite friendly today, with five anagrams (two partials), two lurkers, and three homophones, 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.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 21a, 24a, 2d, 5d, and 21d.

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:


1a Where landlords serve captive (6,4)
We start with a double definition – the illustration should help with the first.

10a Within earshot, approach lord’s house (5)
A homophone (within earshot) of a synonym of approach (as in behaviour).

11a Less sensitive figure, me (6,3)
A single word term for less sensitive and a figure (as in an ordinal)

15a Affectionate call after a party (7)
A synonym of call (electronically) placed after all of A from the clue and our favourite two letter party.

21a It gets quieter for wild dogs (7)
Written as (3,4) a phrase that is synonymic for it gets quieter.

24a Plant transporting meat is shown (8)
A type of plant (found in a marsh?) containing (transporting) a type of meat (from a young bovine).

29a Scottish location that’s heaven, by the sound of it? (4)
A homophone (by the sound of it) of a three letter synonym of heaven.

30a Nationals entertained by particular gent in Eswatini (10)
A lurker (entertained by) found in four words in the clue.


1d Large quantity of cash, mine? (4)
A double definition – the first could be used in an expression ‘It costs a . . . ‘

5d Dish goddess and god briefly served up (7)
A Greek goddess (who might also make sportswear) and a Roman god (who might also be confectionery) with the last letter removed (briefly) all reversed (turned up).

7d European king dressed for cold weather? (5)
The abbreviated form of the Latin for king contained (dressed) by an outer garment for cold weather?

9d Take down label on figure (8)
A single word for take down (as in make notes?), a synonym of label, and ON from the clue.

14d Sugary stuff also entering unfilled cavity, clean teeth (10)
A synonym of also contained by (entering) CavitY with the interior letters deleted (unfilled) and a term for clean teeth (with something other than a toothbrush).

16d Whole tin smashed, giant flipped (8)
An anagram (smashed) of the three letters (oh dear) of TIN and a synonym of giant reversed (flipped).

21d Separate underwater swimmer, say, surfacing (7)
An underwater swimmer and the abbreviated form of the Latin expression equivalent to say reversed (surfacing).

26d Muddle in canteen (4)
We finish with a double definition – the second is often a military canteen.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Composed by J S Bach some time in the 18th century and recorded by the English/Australian instrumental rock group Sky, that specialised in combining a variety of musical styles, in the 1980s:

61 comments on “ST 3197 (Hints)
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  1. Dada taking us on a bit of a world tour today, very enjoyable indeed.
    I thought 10&30a plus 20d were good examples of their clue types, but my podium is 21a (lol), the super-clever 7d and 11a has to be, er 11a. Great stuff.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

    1. Incidentally Senf my appreciation of 11a is heightened by my having it down as a semi-&lit.
      I thought you may have something to say about the “anagram” in 16d should you have chosen to hint it!

      1. I am pleased that I didn’t disappoint on the 16d ‘anagram’ which, on waking this morning, I have noticed that I did not include in, and do not intend to add to, the count of said clues, as a partial, in my preamble.

  2. A veryaccessible crossword for me, probably because of all the clues with a geographical component. 21aand 30a were great clues but my COTD is 5d. Thanks tothe compiler and to Senf for the usual great hints

  3. Dada is obviously in a benevolent mood today helped by a few old chestnuts – thanks to him and Senf.
    Top picks for me were 11a, 21a and 7d.

  4. A very enjoyable crossword that asked a few questions but was excellently clued. I particularly enjoyed 2d and 11a but my COTD goes to 4d. My admit I thought the synonym in 1d was stretched almost to breaking point.
    Thx to all

  5. Most enjoyable and typical Dada I thought – slow start, speedy mid section and slow finish. I thought the lurker was excellent and well hidden and earned a star. For some reason it took a while for me to suss out the European and I dithered over 11a because, while I was sure my answer was correct, warning bells sounded until I had sufficient checkers. I liked 14d but my COTD is 21a, which caused a huge grin once the penny dropped.

    Many thanks, Dada for the fun – you have given me another chance to apply for the mythical pen! Many thanks to Senf for the hints, which I will now read.

    Perks is settling in nicely and is currently fast asleep on Mrs. C’s lap.

    1. Envious that you have a lap sitter! Amalia comes on my lap but won’t sit, she squirms and kneads with her claws, my clothes are in shreds!

      1. Perks is most definitely full of beans and mischief, Merusa but does like to settle on Mrs. C’s lap every now and then. As for what he thinks of Hudson? Well, it’s about the same as Hudson thinks of him. Mind you, I do see signs of a truce breaking out.

  6. This excellent crossword proves that it can be done without the need to introduce us to cloisonné or succubi.

    Please stay clear of the M4; H is driving us to a pub lunch in the middle of nowhere.

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba.

    1. Hope you enjoyed your lunch as much as we did Terence. We met our two grandsons and their lovely partners, together with DD2 and her husband, as part of the run up to George’s Big Birthday!

  7. 2*/5*. Perfect Sunday fare! With many possible contenders for favouritism, 11a, 21a & 7d were my top picks.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf. Many thanks for the excellent music clip. I had forgotten about the innovative Sky. I think Bach would definitely have approved of this interpretation of his music.

  8. Slow to latch onto the crossing 1d & 10a but no real problems elsewhere.
    Top three for me were 19&22a plus 5d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the review and Sky clip – unusual rendition of Bach’s music but it works rather well.

  9. I love Sundays.
    Feel a bit like CS as I have already solved three crosswords.
    The only thing I didn’t know in this pleasant crossword was the Scottish dance.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  10. Dada has been very kind to me today. No problems at all and the whole thing was very enjoyable. I loved all the geographical clues – just up my street, but my favourite today was the sugar rush 14d – not to my taste. Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  11. The usual high quality crossword offering from Dada, even though in a more benevolent mood for a Sunday.


    Pick of many favourites 7d for its clever construction & LOI today 24a.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  12. Lots of great clues in this Sunday Dada offering. For me, found this a gentle Dada with a definite country theme … one more than others.

    1.5*/4* for me

    Favourites include 22a, 29a, 23d & 25d for one particular country theme.
    Also liked 1a, 21a, 4d

    Great fun this one.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf … for likely having a wee nip of the drink from the theme I indicated as he put together his hints on Saturday night!!

  13. It’s always helpful when 1a is a very, very old chestnut!

    Lots of geography today … never heard of Eswatini before. (My spellchecker hasn’t heard of it either … underlined in red.)

    Thanks to Dada & Senf.

  14. Quintessential Dada, the whole excellent puzzle–with 11a, 21a, 16d, & 5d topping my list but there’s not a dud in the grid. I particularly enjoyed the Caledonian SW corner, a little gem in itself. Thanks to Senf and Dada. **/*****

  15. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that I found quite tricky in the SW corner, but once I solved 29a, it all fell into place. LOI was 1d. Favourite was 21a, which raised a smile. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  16. A perfect example of a crossword not needing to be mind numbingly difficult to be enjoyable. Favourite was 11a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. Easy-going South but slower progress in the North. How silly I needed prompt with 7d and can’t believe I bunged in unparsed less sensitive chestnut in 11a. Fav was 21a. Good fun. Thank you Dada and Senf.

  18. Late coming to this today and so well worth the wait. Thoroughly enjoyable, and every clue a winner. My thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf.

  19. Good fun today.
    I was a bit dim with the 10a homophone – no excuse at all.
    I assume that 20d is a sporty one.
    I’d appreciate a kick towards my answer for 19a – I’m sure mine is right but can’t see why.
    Lots of clues including 23a and 7d and, my favourite 21a – brilliant!
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. Think [redacted – it’s a prize puzzle – read the instructions in RED below the hints] I daren’t say more because of the Naughty Step but that might have put me on it! :whistle:

    2. If you haven’t already got it have you got [redacted – it’s a prize puzzle – read the instructions in RED below the hints] Kath?

    3. Well – good grief is the most polite way I can think of apologising to everyone for getting in SUCH trouble!!
      Smack my legs!!

  20. Great Sunday fare. I too enjoyed the geographical theme. A number of top clues to mention: 11a and 21a both made me smile, 9d a great lego, 14d was fun deciphering and 22a I thought a super DD. COTD though goes 30a, an outstanding lurker which I took far too long to spot – possibly because I did know of Eswatini and was trying to figure out the relevance for! I’m very disappointed to be beaten to the 11a gag by StephenL too which I was dying to include. **/****

    TY to Dada and Senf

  21. Another marvellous Sunday offering from Dada!👍
    Have to agree with all the positive comments above – thoroughly enjoyed!
    Several “Aha” moments and many 😜 when realising the answers…brilliant!
    Thanks, as ever, to Senf for helping to confirm the parsing in some (I hadn’t even spotted the lurker in 30A….doh!)

  22. That’s two days in a row we’ve had a crossword that’s fun and not a chore! This has to be one of my fave Dadas. Like Jane, 1d and 10a caused mischief, not helped that I put the wrong answer in 10a to begin with, 2d and 3d sorted me out. Still didn’t understand the answers, so thank you Senf for unraveling those. Apart from that, I was bang on wavelength. It’s hard to choose a fave, maybe 21a for the cleverness, but 11a and many more could have qualified.
    Thank you Dada for a fun Sunday solving, and to Senf for parsing a few.

  23. I didn’t find this as easy as most of you, but definitely a benign Dada today. I had never heard of Eswatini, didn’t spot the lurker, and spent far too much time trying to make an anagram out of in Eswatini, oh dear. Something else to remember. Joint COTD were 1a and 2d.

  24. I was so pleased that 1d was one of the Hinted Clues as it was my sticking point. Great crossword, thanks to Dada and Senf – I think little 6a was my favourite.

  25. Can’t say I knew where Eswatini was either. All over a bit too quickly for it to be properly satisfactory for a Dada puzzle but very enjoyable nonetheless. Enjoyed yesterday’s SPP also were 7d the head scratcher.
    Thanks to D&S
    Ps lovely to be back in Joburg for the first time post pandemic. Got an upgrade from cattle into first to join my mate who is a retired captain so a very pleasant flight & arrived raring to go. Having not picked up a club since early October I dread to think what the golf will be like but at least it’s warm

  26. Nice way to wind down with this geography lesson, like Robert I particularly liked the Caledonian corner. So much so that I am torn between a Talisker from 29a or a Laphroaigh from 23d to celebrate. Slainte to Senf and Dada.

    1. I don’t know how you can out such drain cleaners in your mouth!
      Stick to the Speyside stuff or if you must, the Highland ones…..but the Jeyes Fluid substitute that they make on the Islands…..bleurgh!

  27. Enjoyable crossword though even with the hint I still don’t quite follow the rationale behind 7d but having got the intersecting across clues only 1 answer seemed possible. Favourite clue probably 21a.
    As an aside I wonder if anyone submits crosswords into the prize comp ? I have been entering the Sat and Sun comps for more years than I care to remember and have a couple of Telegraph pens to show for it. I used to post them (the crosswords,not the pens) and then started to take a photo and attach it to an email which worked OK. We went digital some years back and now do the crosswords on the Telegraph app and send them that way. Not a sausage since. I should possibly add that if I have to use BigDave then I don’t enter.

    1. I am of the firm belief that the pen is mythical, ErnestoG. I too have been submitting for over forty years and have never won anything. I don’t believe all my submissions were incorrect. :grin:

      1. Never the decent pen, Steve, but I did get the little DT notepad and biro. I’ve had the luck, too, of being drawn to receive £20 from The Times for a prize puzzle, but the one I really hoped for was the Cross pen from The Sunday Times – sadly now never to be, because that’s been replaced by a selection of Times reference books. Ah well.

        The DT prize followed submission of either a posted or emailed puzzle, but ever since submitting online, nothing; the prize from The Times followed an online submission, so their system definitely works … for me, at least!

      2. There is probably a joke there about the mythical pen is can’t it out, so as to speak ! At least entering the comp via the app discounts the cost of a stamp ! Good luck for your future submissions . Cheers.

  28. Too busy to do this yesterday and did not make much of it today I’m afraid.
    Just me not cerebrating too well today I think .

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf without whose hInts I would have been up a gum tree.

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