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ST 3199 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3199 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we have continued to enjoy above seasonal normal temperatures with very little new precipitation.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada still quite friendly but with a soupçon of quirkiness today and, perhaps, an uncharacteristic error, with six anagrams (no partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and three homophones, all in an asymmetric 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.

Candidates for favourite – 12a, 16a, 24a, 5d, and 19d.

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 Cosmetic, too bold? (5)
A double definition to start – the first is an ‘informal’ term for a cosmetic and the second relates to being too bold (as in cheeky).

10a Travel price OK, I’m off! (8)
A single word for travel price and a synonym for OK.

13a All a little tiresome, very onerous (8)
The ‘regular’ lurker (a little) found in three words in the clue.

14a Boozer in this location — ha! (2,5)
A three letter synonym for boozer (as a participant) and a single word term for in this location.

17a Reportedly thickened liquid in wellspring (6)
One of the homophones (reportedly) of single word generic term for thickened liquid.

22a Fall for a girl from Chicago? (6)
Somewhat ‘back to front’ – the season of the year that a girl from Chicago would call Fall.

24a Lovely job of a trained setter, perhaps? (8)
A double definition(?) – the second is part of what a four-legged setter may be trained to do.

‘Original’ 26a Illegally obtain alloy, did you say? (5)
Another of the homophones (did you say) of a single word term for illegally obtain – this seems to be the wrong way round – as written the indicator applies to ‘alloy’ not to ‘illegally obtain’ but the answer has to be an alloy to fit with 20d and be accepted on on-line submission (that was the situation at 02:15GMT, if my observation is correct and the editor has responded to an e-mail I sent the clue may have been edited (on-line) or I will be begging for forgiveness).

‘Revised’ 26a Alloy, bargain by the sound of it (5)
So, I will claim the credit for the revision (see above) but ‘dead treers’ are stuck with the original clue – another of the homophones (by the sound of it) of a synonym of bargain.


2d I identify ship that’s disorderly (2,1,4)
I from the clue, a synonym of identify, and the two letters used for a large ship.

3d Pure tears with novel that’s extraordinary — read on! (6,4,4)
An anagram (that’s extraordinary) of PURE TEARS and (with) NOVEL.

8d Find peace agreement, or use tomahawk? (4,3,7)
An allusion to the figurative or literal practice of putting away weapons at the cessation of hostilities among or by Native Americans.

18d Blooming thing, monster went behind tree? (6)
A three letter monster and a descriptive term for what it might have done if it has gone behind a tree.

19d Still water? (7)
A double definition – the second is the name of the largest body of water on Planet Earth.

22d Singer in Turandot lapped up (4)
The reversed lurker to finish (in . . . up) found in the words ‘sandwiched’ by the indicator.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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As I presume, most of us know, composer, songwriter, record producer, and pianist Burt Bacharach passed away, at the age of 94, on Wednesday. One of the most famous songs he composed, in partnership with Hal David, is Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head which featured in the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Here is Mr Bacharach performing said song at Glastonbury in 2015:

60 comments on “ST 3199 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable indeed.
    I thought 16a a tad weak and 26a somewhat ambiguous but the rest great.
    10& 24a 15d get my ticks today but top spot goes to the outstanding 22a. Good stuff setter.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  2. Dada is certainly in a quirky mode and this is very enjoyable (in spite of a couple of dodgy homophones to my ears). Thanks to him and Senf.
    Top clues for me were 1a, 14a and 22a.

    Senf’s email to the Puzzles Editor bore fruit because the 26a clue on the Puzzles sites now reads:
    Alloy, bargain by the sound of it (5)

  3. *My 26a reads quite differently from yours, Senf, and is no problem for me. We had a clue very much like 22a not long ago, and I continue to say that those two terms are equally used over here and also in Chicago. A very swift and enjoyable Dada today, with the old chestnuts 10 & 14a still viable, topped by my favourite: 24a. BTW, there’s no ‘reportedly’ for me in 17a. Thanks to Senf and Dada. **/***

    *I just read your 26a correction. Very good.

    1. I understand that “fall” was the term used in England in the 16th century and thus was brought to North America by the first settlers. It was later displaced in England by the word “XXXXXX” (of French origin). As Robert says, the two terms are used interchangeably throughout North America.

  4. I also found that 26a seemed to be the wrong way round in my dead tree version, Senf, although it couldn’t be anything else. Like Gazza, I found some of the homonyms difficult at first, until a imagined them in various accents. A slightly quirky but very enjoyable SPP, however. I liked 2d (it took a while for the penny to drop) 18d and 14a best amongst a lot of good clues. Thanks to Dada f0r an intriguing puzzle and to Senf for t the hints.

  5. 4*/3*. Most of this was good fun, but I can’t believe how much time I wasted on trying to solve 20d having followed the instructions when entering 26a. Gazza has now reported this clue as being corrected on line. I also don’t think 8d works as “use” doesn’t make sense to me. Wouldn’t “hide” have been better?

    Grumble, grumble…

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I had similar doubts about 8d but I presume it means ‘use in a bloodthirsty way’, i.e. 8d in an opponent’s body.

  6. Gentle exercise today with rather more effort required in West than East where 26a reverse order confused me amongst other things. Surely 17a is not necessarily thickened, in fact I dislike most thickened versions. 19a was a bit groanworthy. TVM Dada and Senf.

  7. I really enjoyed this one. I have the original wording for 26a and held off submitting until I read this blog in the hope it would be explained, so many thanks to Senf for doing so. A lot of really good clues but the jointaward has to go to the 8 letter lurker that took me ages to find and 3d, my last one in.
    Many thanks to Senf and Dada.

  8. Most enjoyable despite my entering the wrong kind of flag in 9d. That messed up the NE corner for quite a while. I thought the lurker was very well hidden but I couldn’t see what 18d had to do with a tree. Why a tree? Why not a wall? Oh well! I liked the surface of 21a but my COTD is 2d because of the dropping penny it produced.

    My thanks to Dada for the fun challenge and Senf o the hints.

    I’m afraid I got nowhere with the Quickie today.

    1. 18d – check the hint and what Angellov has written below. Also, that is why Dada ended the clue with ‘?’

    1. Almost a candidate for redaction but, as it is more or less the same as what I wrote in the hint, it can stay.

        1. Your comment went into moderation because you missed the ‘u’ out of your alias which I have inserted.

    2. Get that bit, Angellov but why a tree specifically? Not sure the question mark works. Anyway, as further discussion may mean the Naughty Step with no cake, it’s probably best left. Many thanks for the help and you, Senf, as well.

        1. I know there is, Angellov. 👍
          My point is, I don’t think it helps – well not me anyway. I suppose if we were to analyse it and perform qualitative research on opinion with regard to whether the being in question chose to go behind a tree or another shield, a wall say, would result in a kind of conclusion. However, as the philosopher, Pyrrho believed, nothing our senses see, feel, hear or smell can be trusted. In which case, this discussion never took place! 🤣🤣🤣🤣😎😎

          BTW, if Pyrrho were walking towards the edge of a cliff he wouldn’t believe it and carry on. His friends had a heck of a time trying to keep him safe!

      1. I spent a few minutes going through the 3 letter trees (there are quite a few of them too) trying to work out the clue before deciding what must be the correct answer, Steve.

  9. Enjoyable but a bit off the wall for Dada. My fav was without a doubt 18d, very Tolkien. 9d was a new word for me (or one I had forgotten!). Last in was 5d not quite sure why. My only gripe was 22a, unnecessarily clumsy by the use of ‘girl’.
    Thx to all

    1. Have to disagree with you re the “girl” in 22a Brian, it adds to the misdirection and makes the clue more cryptic.

  10. Really enjoyable puzzle today. I shrugged off the error, having 20d already, and only really paused on 22a, my LOI. Such a sweet PDM. COTD 3d or 25a.
    Many thanks Senf, and Dada for being on my wavelength.

  11. Very teasingly cryptic in parts.
    eg 22a, my last in.
    Guessed correctly 26a, thanks for a fuller clarification above.
    Nearing 3* for difficulty.
    Enjoyed the journey.
    Many thanks Dada and Senf.

  12. I enjoyed this! My only overwrite was in the bottom right hand corner, one letter in 26 across! Not, maybe a mistake, after all.
    Thanks to the setter for just the right difficulty on a Sunday morning.

  13. I had the original 26a in my digital paper version which did cause me some head scratching but there was only one answer after 20d was solved. In any event, it didn’t spoil what for me was an enjoyable SPP. My COTD was 14a – ha! LOI 17a where I had to go through the alphabet before I got the answer; new word for me at 9d. Thanks to 13a involved. Will now settle down to a sports fest of an afternoon.

  14. Going against the grain of others above, I found this very challenging. I felt like Indiana Jones battling the dark forces to recover the Ark of the Covenant but with a pencil rather than a Smith & Wesson.

    I am told we are going out for a lovely walk, so I am hoping for a roast supper as a reward for my fortitude.

    Thanks to Dada, and The Man From Manitoba.

  15. I was slow to spot the 13a lurker and also spent quite a while pondering Italian churches before Senf’s email to our editor bore fruit.
    Plenty to enjoy in this one and my favourites were probably 10&24a plus 2d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for both the hints and the video clip of Mr Bacharach – sad to think that his genius won’t be producing any more tunes.
    By the way, 4a set me to thinking about the effigy of our new king which graces the memorial gold sovereign and postage stamps. I can see a passing resemblance to his father but it doesn’t look much like Charles to me!

    1. I think it does look like Charles, Jane but, after SJB’s comment, I will forever see the bird! 😎

  16. Fairly whizzed through 3/4’s of this quirky offering from Dada, but ground to a halt in the SE having put the correct/incorrect answer to 26a. After checking the blog to confirm, the rest quickly fell into place.


    Fav 8d LOI 22a

    Thanks to Dada & Senf

  17. Good fun and a speedy solve with 22a my final entry and favourite.

    Thanks Dada and Senf. Keeping fingers crossed that England can play to their strengths and come out on top against a rejuvenated Italy this afternoon.

  18. Had such an exciting half an hour before lunch. DD2 was just leaving when a spitfire came over from Duxford 5 miles away. He was doing loop the loops and victory rolls and pouring out blue smoke and So Low, making a hell of a noise. I was jumping up and down and shouting as I used to do in 1940. Then, guess what, he drew a heart in the sky! I am sure it was specially for me but DD2 said it was for her and George was pretty sure that Bxxxxx had meant it for him. Anyway it was spectacular. Then I sat and did the crossword which was also pretty good, all polished off nicely. Didn’t quite get the parsing of 15d but it has to be, so m as my thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. We decided 26a was an error and confirmed by Senf. I’m not sure that 24a is part of a setter’s job. Apart from these gripes the other clues were ok if a bit quirky. Favourite was 10a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. Thanks to Dada and Senf, enjoyed this one.

    It’s my first weekend using the new online site. During the week I got more used to it, and liked the fact that it told me when I was wrong. Realised it wasn’t doing that today as it’s a prize puzzle.

    But can anyone tell me – if you submit with errors, does it tell you? It used to, on the old site, even on prize puzzle days.

    1. I don’t think it does, while I still have access to the old site I sometimes run my answers through there to check if I have them right, but only for the Sunday Toughie so I can check what I need to hint

  21. In contrast to last weekend I found yesterday and today harder, I have just finished but needed the hints for 17a (thank you Senf) and learnt a new word at 9d. I thought 18d was clever but did a lot of tree hunting before the penny dropped.
    All in all it has been a very successful and enjoyable week.
    Thank you to Dada and to Senf.

  22. Went like a knife through butter. Must be sitting outside in the sun with a glass of red wine. Favorite 21a obviously.

  23. Because of 26a I struggled to finish; this is when the blog comes into its own – thank you everyone!

  24. A nice Dada puzzle with a touch of his quirkiness today.

    2*/4.5* today.

    So many favourites hard to pick just a few but top five have to be 10a, 22a, 8d, 15d & 19d with winner all 5

    Thanks to Dada and Senf for the hints

  25. Unfortunately I filled in 26a before 20d & 22a & those two were the hold outs until the penny dropped with the latter & the checker left little doubt that the clue was wrong. Can’t say that I was as impressed as others with the puzzle though still lots to like. Only 1 of the homophones works for me but guess the other is just about ok if you go all rustic. Top 3 in my book 13&24a plus 15d.
    Thanks to D&S
    Ps beautiful weather today so it mattered not a jot that my golf was lousy.

  26. Just finished but not at all sure I’ve got a correct answer for 1a, even though Senf hinted it. I enjoyed this, I always do when I can manage a Dada puzzle. Need to get in the pool before I have visitors so will read hints and comments later. Fave was 24a
    Thank you Dada, and thanks in advance Senf, I’ll read you later.

    1. I expect you probably do have the correct answer for 1a. I don’t believe you would ever hear the cosmetic referred to as such in North America. Collins says it’s a British term.

  27. When I first read through I could hardly see a foothold but then I
    gathered momentum and fairly cantered. My only head-scratching moment was 17a. I had a fixation of puree which didn’t sit well. Thank you to Dada for an enjoyable puzzle and to Senf for the hints and helpful photos confirming I had the correct answers.

  28. Either Dada is getting more benevolent or I am finally getting on wavelength. Not to say I finished all on my own, but a pretty good result nonetheless. Luckily I remembered 1a as I have heard it used on trips home. Peter had similar luck with the Quickie 20d, doubt many non Brits will know that word for cold, but a word we often use all these years after setting across the pond. LI was 9d as I only knew the longer version. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  29. Another fine Sunday afternoon enjoying the satisfying completion of a Dada puzzle before the Super Bowl build-up nonsense starts in earnest! 🙄
    Must admit I did get caught out by the 26A (online version has original) but all sorted once 20D input.
    Not sure why but mr favourite today was 14A…14A! 😜
    Thanks, as ever, to Dada for the challenge, and again to Senf for another excellent blog ‘n hints, and of course for sorting the 26A issue!

  30. Second successive day of finishing completely unaided, which looked impossible at first. Spent along time looking for a tree in 18d, and for an Italian church in 20d until I realised I had the wrong spelling of 26a. A splendid collection of very clever and quirky clues, many of them being worthy of COTD. Many thanks to Senf for hints which I am happy to say I did not need, and to Dada for a very pleasurable guzzle.

  31. P.S. I got 9d because I remembered it from a crossword a long time ago, when it was a new word to me. Just shows one can really live and learn – if one actually remembers what one learns!

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