ST 3210 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3210 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3210 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where we have changed over from Colorado Lows to Alberta Clippers, at least they provide liquid precipitation and don’t last very long.

As a polite reminder, and for those of you who have not looked it up yet, on Friday Cryptic Sue referenced Comment Etiquette No 3 which says ‘Don’t blame the setter just because you are unable to solve a puzzle’ and remember, consulting the hints before commenting can be beneficial!

For me, and I stress for me, back to head scratching and Dada digging deep into the BRB or whatever dictionary he uses – with five anagrams (four partials), two lurkers, no homophones, and four long ‘uns (all hinted) all in a symmetric 28 clues; with 14 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid, and one bonus hint, you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 4a, 22a, 5d, 19d, 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:


1a Opening vacation (6)
A double definition – to save RD the trouble, the second is an Americanism.

10a Champion with team — cheeky thing? (8)
A synonym of champion (as in support) and (with) a synonym of team.

15a Remarkable twister is in Toronto after winding through Connecticut! (13)
An anagram (after winding) of IS IN TORONTO inserted into (through) the two letter abbreviation for Connecticut.

18a Battered by storms, bedraggled plant demolished, primula ultimately saved (7-6)
Listen very carefully I shall say this only once – the last letter (ultimately) of primulA inserted into (saved) a three letter synonym of bedraggled, a type of aromatic plant, and a synonym of demolished.

20a Caribbean destination, terribly captivating land (6)
A three letter synonym of terribly (used for emphasis in speaking?) containing (captivating) a synonym of land (as in successfully obtain?).

22a Intellectual emptying beer into breakfast! (8)
BeeR with the interior letters removed (emptying) inserted into a breakfast item.

27a One in seven affected by hay fever? (6)
One of Snow White’s companions?


1d Devil in Lucifer as callous (6)
A lurker (in) found in three words in the clue.

3d Weasel, meadow animal? (5,2,3,5)
A double definition – the first might be a treacherous or sly person.

6d What to do with false beard? Don’t complain! (4,2,2,3,4)
A double definition? – the first describes where one might attach a false beard?

7d Get on top of Chopin with musical refrain (5)
The bonus hint I mentioned in the preamble – the first letter (top) of Chopin and (with) a type of musical refrain (as in a short instrumental passage or flourish) – and the ‘refrain’ is ‘buried’ in the BRB.

8d Not all attending, cancel event this Armistice Day, say? (8)
A lurker (not all attending) found in three words in the clue, but, unless I am missing something, a not needed extra letter is ‘generated’.

Update at 3:00pm – there was an extra letter generated by the original clue and it has been amended to:
Not all attending, cancel event held for Armistice Day, say? (8)

14d As toast may be without starter, it’s said (7)
How one might describe toast (toasted bread that is) after the first ‘treatment’ has been applied and then delete the first letter (without starter) of that descriptive term.

17d Hellcat transported by boy set off (6,2)
A stretched Dada synonym of hellcat contained (transported) by a synonym of boy (as in male issue).

23d Small ship for small island (4)
The single letter for small and a type of (legendary) ship gives a Royal Fief, which forms part of a Bailiwick.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár was born on this day in 1870. While he is most well known for his operettas, he also composed a number of waltzes with the most popular being Gold and Silver, composed for Princess Pauline von Metternich’s, apparently a famous Austrian socialite, Gold and Silver Ball held in January 1902. Here it is being played by the Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester (not to be confused with André Rieu’s orchestra) conducted by Daniel Nazareth:

77 comments on “ST 3210 (Hints)

  1. For me Dada at his absolute best today. My biggest problem was what to leave off the podium.
    I thought 8d one of the best clues of its type I can recall seeing but it has worthy rivals for a podium place in 10,22,25&26a plus 5,7&21d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to our setter and Senf for the review.

    1. Just noticed that there does appear to be an extra letter in 8d (unless I’m missing something too). Good spot.

        1. I took it to mean that not all attending was an indicator that a letter might not be needed in the lurker?

          1. That’s very inventive, YS, but I’m not sure that would be considered acceptable. The clue could easily be rectified by replacing “this” with “honouring”.

          2. Even by Dada’s standards of deviousness, and something I don’t think I have seen in any crossword, I consider it a stretch to have to identify a lurker and then delete a letter from somewhere within it. But I could be wrong.

            1. I agree, it just doesn’t work, you can’t have lurkers with extra letters floating around within them at random…. and it’s not as if there aren’t any easy viable alternatives, as RD has pointed out. I’d be amazed (and somewhat disappointed as it would be a rank bad clue) if it were anything other than an error.

      1. 8d must be a mistake or it’s a type of clue I’ve never seen before and never want to see again!

    2. STOP PRESS – I have just looked at the old and new puzzle web sites and 8d now reads:

      Not all attending, cancel event held for Armistice Day, say? (8)

      Personally I think RD’s suggestion is better but it is confirmation of a 25a on Dada’s and the Editor’s part.

  2. 2.5*/4.5*. Great fun as usual on a Sunday. It’s a beautiful day, perfect for my first game of cricket for the season, even though it will inevitably mean aching muscles tomorrow.

    Although its meaning is obvious, is 16d a real phrase? It’s not in the BRB. The definition for 17d is devious but I am not convinced it quite works.

    My podium comprises 18a, 5d and, my favourite, 8d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. A very enjoyable prize puzzle – thanks to Dada and Senf.
    My plaudits go to 10a, 20a, 27a and 5d (the list would have included 8d but for the error which I failed to notice when I solved it).

  4. This was a really good test for a drizzly Sunday morning, with our compiler stretching synonyms and definitions. Hugely enjoyable as ever with 8d my favourite of many fine clues.

    My thanks to Dada for the challenge, and to Senf.

  5. Wow, that was Tough! Some very clever clues esp 10d which was my favourite. However, 21d was a bit clumsy I thought.
    Must admit to enjoying the trial.
    Thx to all

  6. There were some diabolically clever clues in this puzzle, which was an enjoyable challenge with a few real headscratchers in the NE. 27a did make me laugh and was my joint COTD, together with 5d, where it took a lot longer for the significance of ‘ two’ to sink in. 7d was another slow-burner with a loud penny-drop moment and 14d an old favourite that always catches me out. Thanks to a very on-form Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  7. Our setter giving us a run for our money this morning – or so I thought!
    I did need to check on the musical refrain and well done Senf for spotting the 25a in 8d – completely passed me by.
    Biggest ticks here going to 10&27a plus 5&14d, all of which made me laugh.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints, waltz and the 23d illustration of a jigsaw I bought for the grandchildren!

  8. Really enjoyed this puzzle which provided just the right level of challenge for a Sunday morning. Favourite 22 a.and 27 a.
    Thank you to setter and the team here.

  9. Top notch. Dada at his best in my view. I didn’t clock the extra letter at 8d either – shame as it was a great clue otherwise. A brisk solve with little head scratching though failed to fully parse 18a. Ticks all over the shop but if pressed I’ll go for 10,22&best of all 27a on my podium.
    Thanks to D&S

  10. Superb Sunday offering.
    Random solving provided useful checking letters.
    Many a chuckle eg 10 and 15a and especially 21d.
    Rosettes to these three and 22a.
    Unaided finish, apart from checking part of a clue guessed correctly.
    A new word for me.
    Many thanks, Dada and Senf.

  11. Utterly brilliant. The best for a long while, I thought, and that’s a pretty high bar. I’m sure variants of 15A have been used before but it really was a perfect clue – very clever, very fair. Personally, I don’t have a problem with the excellent 8D. I agree with YS – for me, the “not all attending” covers it. Loved this.

    1. Very enterprising, but … wouldn’t “not all attending” then be doing double duty?

      I’m awaiting a correction from Telegraph Towers.

      1. Surely, “attending” provides the lurker indicator, while “not all” works as a caveat, no?

  12. For me, and I stress for me – ⟨™⟩ Senf – this was a cracking guzzle in that it was very challenging in places, but one could battle on and each new answer gave just enough to help with the next one. Very enjoyable to solve whilst consuming one’s orange juice with no bits and toast.

    Yesterday evening we attended the last night of an old pal’s musical that has run for a few days at Esher Theatre. I hope he gets the backing to enable a run in the West End.

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba.

      1. The last thing Terence wants is to be ‘had up in court’ for plagiarism. He’s doing the honourable thing now by acknowledging ownership of the brand.

  13. There were some real tough ones in this excellent Dada offering. I’m not sure I have 27a right because the parsing eludes me but I can think of no other solution. I did like the cheeky 10a and, like others, did not see the extra letter in 8d. It’s rather like typoglyceamia when even though some letters are missing or jumbled we can still understand. It deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are or how mny – we see what we want to see. My COTD is the clever, I thought, 5d.

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

    Just twigged the parsing of 27a. Very clever.

        1. I must admit I was rather puzzled when your last line appeared after I posted and felt a bit of a twit!

    1. Now I’m puzzled. Either my experiment worked or everyone ignored it. Probably the latter! 😎

  14. Phew that was hard work but enjoyably so. In fact, as Terence says, in true cruciverbal style, each clue successfully solved helpfully led to another crossing fill-in and there were plenty of penny-drop moments with Dada’s clever and fair clues (can’t single out a Fav). 18a was an immediate unparsed bung-in but almost too tangled. Thank you to Dada and indeed also to Senf.

  15. Mostly as brilliant as they come from this setter unless YS and ALP are indeed as gifted with second sight as our compiler, with regard to 8d–in which case, altogether brilliant and perhaps Dada’s best ever. But I demur. I’ve settled for the same three as Huntsman does, with 10, 22, & 27a happily atop the podium. Gave up trying the parse 18a; it had to be what it was. A joy and a treat to solve, with thanks to Senf and Dada. 2.5*/4.5*

  16. “I grow old… I grow old …” I’d forgotten that A-Choo was a dwarf!
    Many thanks to Dada for the fun and Senf for the snowy reminder!

      1. Or, as I actually said, “I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.”
        –J. A. Prufrock

  17. Anyone done the General Knowledge crossword? What a wonderful word 18a is! Probably should go to near the top of Terence’s list!
    The clue is “The right to judge and fine robbers within one’s jurisdiction, regardless of their origin (12).
    Can’t comment on the cryptic, that’s this evening entertainment.

    1. I’ve never heard of anything like it, had to google … now, how the heck can I use that in a casual conversation?

  18. Found this week’s Dada puzzle once again somewhat tricky and quirky in spots. Finished top to bottom with bottom half a bit slower than the rest.

    2*/3.5* for me today.

    Favourites included 22a, 24a, 27a, 3d & 14d — with winner 27a
    25a, 6d,14d & 19d made me laugh.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  19. Add us to the growing list of those who failed to notice the extra letter in 8d. Apart from that we thought this was an excellent crossword. Hard to pick a favourite but we’ll go with 27a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  20. This was top notch. Rising from my bed of pain at mid day I’ve managed to eat an orange and a cup of hot water, mainly so that I could take my pills which I had totally forgotten. My brain feels like cotton wool and, oh well I won’t go on. I just feel lousy. So I am really chuffed that I managed this all by my own except for 7d and fortunately there was a hint for it and I fell in, though I did have to look up the musical refrain to try and lock it in. Many thanks to Dada (?) for the guzzle and Senf for the hints. I love that moment when the penny drops as in 27a. 10a was my favourite and now I’m crawling back to bed. It does help that George says cheerfully “at least you are not as ill as I was last week!”

      1. Honestly DG men are all the same. David had Covid for all of 3 days with no symptoms, I had it for 3 weeks and felt awful! You will feel better soon and think of all those nice antibodies starting to surge around. Sadly my sexy voice has disappeared that I acquired with Covid.

    1. Hope you feel better soon, DG.
      Hope George is looking after you as well as making it clear that you are not ‘really ill’ the way he was. 🤬

      1. Keep your pecker up, DG. it’s depressing but it doesn’t last forever. I slept a lot and found the Archive category on the BBBC i player had some good programmes I could revisit between naps. Some of the classical music under Arts is soothing. I recommend Tenebrae’s performances.

    2. Poor you DG and after a Spring booster which we are led to believe is effective after 7 days (or possibly 14). Anyway do hope you get fully well soon. 💐.

    3. Gosh, you are having a bad time of it, DG! I do hope you start to improve soon. 🌹

  21. In 8d does the not all refer to a fraction missing? I must be being daft but I can’t see an extra letter.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Neither could I to begin with, Toni but it is there. As to why it is another matter. A mistake or explained by the clue? We will have to wait and see.

  22. What a fun tussle that was and a great sense of achievement to reach the end. Lots of brilliant clues, I also missed the extra letter in 8d but can see it now, I will let those of you more experienced than I debate whether it was intentional and explained by the word play. 5d was last in and my favourite for making me groan when I finally got it.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  23. Delighted to see that everyone (including Brian) is abiding by Comment Etiquette No 3.

    With regard to 8d … it’s just a mistake, isn’t’ it?

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  24. I have been in touch with Telegraph Towers and as a result and to avoid further confusion, I understand that the clue has now been changed to:

    Not all attending, cancel event held for Armistice Day, say? (8)

  25. For me this was Dada at both his easiest and his most comical. Unusually for me on a Sunday this was completed at a breeze and I was chuckling to myself for most of the time. My highlights included 10a, 5d, 8d, 21d and 15a – 21d made me smile the most, I guess, so it has to be my favourite. My thanks to Dada – a most enjoyable solve. Thank you Send also, but I checked out your hints after completion.

    1. Apologies for renaming you Senf – I think my next appointment with Specsavers must be due very soon :-) :-)

  26. Another Dada offering thoroughly enjoyed! 👍
    Not overly easy, but just a fine challenge with some humour and head-scratching in equal measure. My favourite was 10A for the surface simplicity – but with Dada’s trademark cheeky 😜 at us mere solvers! Thought 8D was very clever (although I too missed the extra letter) and 18A took some parsing, but got there in the end.
    All in all – just brilliant fare from Mr D – many thanks!

  27. Did ok on this one except for 4a and 7d. Needed Senf’s hint for 7a (not a musical term I was familiar with, too old for it I expect) then a penny dropped for 4a ….but I’m still not sure of my answer.
    Also needed help to parse 18a, though the answer had to be what it was.
    On the whole, very enjoyable.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    Absolutely miserable weather up here (again). The haar is down, it is cold and damp (the heating is on). Just miserable. Hope it warms up soon.

  28. Oh dear Senf, I momentarily forgot this is an open forum and I fear I have offended half the readers on this blog! Sorry this refers to Senf’s comment above.

      1. Mea culpa – I deleted it.

        To make some sense to others reading this – in response to Manders in Comment 20 i wrote something like:

        Does this mean Covid is a new variety of man ‘flu? :wink:

  29. This was not easy, I solved three clues on first read through, but the downs were much kinder. Gimmes like 2d (long time no see) and 3d got me going. I never did get 7d, and still don’t, so a DNF, but I’m not crying considering I got this done apart from that. I gave up trying to unravel 18a and just bunged it in, what else could it be with those checkers? The SW corner was much simpler and helped my ego. I did really enjoy a few, 3d and 6d helped to open it up, of course 27a was a treat. All in all, not as brain mangling as the first check with the acrosses.
    Thanks to Dada, and of course Senf for unraveling so much.

  30. I found this trickier than most above, and could not have finished without several Senf’s hints, thanks. Got just six answers in at first pass and was about to give up. But a second coffee, and did somewhat better. I am not sure that 1a fits the second part of the clue? I have no idea how 7d is right, but it just has to be. COTD for me is 18d, having wasted a lot 9d time on the City, oh dear. Clearly I was not very 22a today.

  31. Late to the party so no problem with 8d for us. COTD got to be 5d but some other crackers today
    Thanks all

  32. Light and straightforward for a Sunday but absolutely tremendous, with my top 3 going to 20a, 27a & 5d.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf

  33. Kicking myself about 5d. I even found a remote tree! I too did not notice the extra letter in 8d. As someone else has said you see what you want to see. I got 18a straightaway from battered by storms but thanks to Senf for the parsing. I didn’t like 7d but think I have it right. 10a and the long multi word ones were my favourites. Thanks Dada and Senf.

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