ST 3230 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3230 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3230 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg, where, on Wednesday, my duvet came out of the closet!

For me, and I stress for me, Dada quirky today, four long ‘uns and plenty of anagrams which may or may not help – seven (four partials) plus one lurker, and no homophones – 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.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, 23a, 4d, 6d, 16d, 19d, 24d.

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:


8a Finish off 1970s music for record (4)
A generic term for 1970s music (and where it was played?) with the last letter deleted (finish off).

10a Lolita originally penned by English author? I don’t think so! (6)
The first letter (originally) of Lolita contained (penned) by an English author (who, in part, wrote about tragic characters).

11a Something to keep locks in use where artefacts kept (6)
Something that can be kept (in reference to a secret?) contains (locks in) USE from the clue.

13a A tangle centrally, a main internal passage (10,5)
A from the clue and an anagram (tangle) of CENTRALLY, A MAIN.

20a Title to order, cost left out (6,2,7)
An anagram (out) of TO ORDER, COST LEFT.

23a Frosty, relative has admitted — it’s difficult to get on! (8)
A three letter synonym for frosty contained by (has admitted) a (male) relative.

28a Plate smasher (4)
A double definition – the second may not be PC these days but refers to a good looking person.


1d Unusual trial covering university ceremony (6)
An anagram (unusual) of TRIAL containing (covering) The single letter for University.

3d Fraud at Gloucestershire trials? One’s brought to court (9,6)
A synonym of fraud which may be found at the location of trials (at a stately home) in Gloucestershire.

4d Residence offering wine, two similar drinks added to menu, finally (7)
Two three letter terms for drinks made by infusing dried and prepared leaves in boiling water followed by (added to) the last letter of menU.

5d Young adult in gym is hotter, working out to keep slim (6-9)
The definition could be considered to be a relative term and some of you may not agree with Dada’s interpretation, but beware redaction – an anagram (working out) of GYM IS HOTTER containing (to keep) a synonym of slim.

16d One’s paid for (3)
A double definition – the second could be an indication of support.

19d Wrong about barrier (7)
A two letter synonym of about (not the usual ones) and a type of barrier (surrounding a garden?).

24d Usual thing, choice of extremes in naturism? (4)
If one was offering a choice between the extremes (outer letters) of naturism, one would say . . .

Quick Crossword Pun:


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Probably best known for playing at the 2018 Royal Wedding, talented young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE is the third of seven children of parents Stuart Mason and Dr Kadiatu Kanneh.  His six siblings are equally musical and here they are playing his arrangement of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song:

But, can you imagine having to live with five sisters?

46 comments on “ST 3230 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable indeed with lots of smiles throughout the grid.
    Wasn’t too keen on 11a and it took me a bit longer than it should have to see the long anagrams at 20a&5d but otherwise pretty plain sailing.
    Top three for me are 10&23a plus 4d.
    Many thanks to Dada and Senf.

  2. Terrific puzzle with every possible
    Faultless progress to one
    Remaining, 5d.
    Went away, come back,
    Penny dropped.
    Brilliant, certainly my COTD
    Month even, perhaps.
    Many thanks, indeed, Dada and Senf.

  3. For me, and I stress for me {™ Senf} this was a rare guzzle in that I managed to complete it before the final mouthful of toast was consumed, and the last drop of orange juice with no bits imbibed. However, I do take my time over these important rituals.

    Early start this morning as the RAC were super efficient in responding to my call and arrived here within thirty minutes of me alerting them to the baleful news that my car wouldn’t start. The chap was here for about three minutes as it was a flat battery and he had a little machine that attaches to the dead battery and then it fires up.
    The culprit? ‘Someone’ had left an internal light on and the battery drained as quickly as Russell Brand’s reputation.

    Thanks to Da-Doo-Ron-Ron and The Man From Manitoba.

  4. Typically brilliant, just the right amount of chew. But 5d? Beautifully constructed and v cleverly done but the definition did seem a tad mean. Surely an added “ish” would have been fairer, no? And it wouldn’t really have hurt the surface. Lots of fun though despite this non-grumble. Thanks to all, as ever.

    1. Wikipedia seems to think that it is. Me, I just look for a picture that has ‘no strings attached’ when it comes to download and saving.

  5. North more friendly than the South. Can’t believe it took a while to fully parse 16d and 20a was slow to dawn and was my last in. Not too sure about 11a or 9a tree specifically. Never heard of 25a in that context. Thank you Dada and Senf particularly for the Kanneh-Mason performance – can’t get enough of that talented family and am delighted to know Sheku will be appearing at St. Mary’s Church Horsham on September 28.

    1. Yes, they certainly make beautiful music. What are the odds of having seven musically talented kids in one family!

  6. Good puzzle. First glance resulted in a groan on seeing the unhelpful grid, and the start was slow, but reasonably plain sailing from then on. Some very clever anagrams, for which I doff my cap. Part of me likes 11a for the cleverness of the clue, the other part dislikes it for the surface read. Hon Mentions to 13a, 23a and 4d.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf

  7. A very slow start as I fine tuned my antenna to the correct wavelength. Then I got going and it was very enjoyable with lots of starts and stops. 23a my favourite but could have been others. The long down ones took a while to click and held me up. As it was an unaided finish I feel I can submit my effort for an Amazon voucher!

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints, pics and music

  8. This is the Dada level that I like. Something to get you started but some head scratchers thrown in. I needed the hints to fully parse 5d but my real favourite was 23a, a real laugh out loud clue for me. A very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thx for the hints and to CS for explaining my issue with yesterdays clue, sorry I didn’t reply but it was a busy day.

  9. Gosh, a Curate’s kind of puzzle – easy in parts! Started off with a few write-up then boom!I
    Haven’t marked any particular faves, but may thanks to Dada for the enjoyable egg and to Senf, particularly for the music!

  10. Going against the flow, have to say this wasn’t my favourite puzzle from our Sunday setter and the two long anagrams at 20a &5d didn’t really float my boat. Not to worry, I did particularly like 10a & 4d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the review and music – nice link to 27a!

  11. Nope, this one was beyond me, try as I might I’ve still got three to go, two of which are multi word ones which are generally my favourites, oh well, might have another look at it later, you never know…….

    1. Went back, got the last three, I’m with Jane on this one, can’t say I like it. 5d, young?, only from where I’m standing (jealously will out in the end) Thanks to setter anyway, maybe just me on a Sunday.

  12. I’m with Jane, not my favourie Dada puzzle, with a difficult grid and a very slow start However, I enjoyed some of the clues, particularly the well-disguised anagrams at 13a and 20a and the cryptic definition at3d. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada for an absorbing guzzle.

  13. 3d was an early entry but the required spelling upset me! Am I old fashioned? Ooops, another Spitfire just gone over – and this afternoon we are off to a festival of vintage cars in the next village so it is a real step back in time today. Other than my hiccup with 3d it was joy all the way. 11a was least favourite and top dog is a tussle between 13,23a and 1&4d. I am going to plump for 4d. Most enjoyable, thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Then I’m old fashioned too, along with preferring to see tennis and cricket played wearing white.

    2. Yes, me too, it held me up for a bit as I used the old spelling to start with. I got the answer right away but the word “fraud” should have alerted me to the alternative spelling.

  14. Another nice puzzle from Dada this week at the easier end of his spectrum, at least for me. Some very clever clueing in this one I thought, that required some thinking to suss them out. Lots to choose from for favourites today as they were all over the grid. As I have said before, Dada never disappoints. Sometimes he may frustrate … especially with his own personal thesaurus!

    1.5*/4.5* for me.

    Favourites include 10a, 13a, 23a, 3d, 6d & 14d — and if I must pick one I choose 3d with 10a a close second.

    Thanks to Dada for the fun and to Senf for the great hints/blog

  15. A few hold ups, long anagrams took a while to work out but good mix of types of clue. Favourite 4d. Thanks Dada and Senf.

  16. All done and very enjoyable too👍
    Like Brian, my favourite (and chuckle out loud moment) was 23A.
    Thanks, as ever, to Dada for the entertaining puzzle and to Senf for the blog ‘n hints that helped confirm a couple of the parsings e.g. 5D.

  17. The best Dada puzzle for some time with a good mixture of straightforward and more difficult clues. Great fun. Favourite was 5d for the parsing element. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  18. I have to get out and do my routine before the rains, so I’ll read the hints and comments later. It was tricky but I had enough solved on my own to get lots of checkers, so when I was stuck my trusty word search helped me out. I did spell 12a incorrectly but soon fixed it, but that held me up. I have a lot of bungins, I’ll have to wait until I can read the hints, e.g. 5d … wait a minute, I think I see it now, phew! I spelt the second word of 3d differently, took forever to get 23a. Lots here that pleased, I liked 3d and 20a, nice long ‘uns to give openings.
    Thank you Dada, and much appreciation to Senf for the hints and tips.

  19. Really enjoyed the variety in this set of clues and continue to find the tiddlers more difficult than the whales! Thank you Dada and Senf

  20. Good value as is usually the case with this setter, but this one was perhaps from his top drawer. Highly enjoyable and inventive, with 10a my favourite.

    Thanks Dada and Senf.

  21. Tricky in places but doable. When I was in my twenties I didn’t think a 5d was young, but now of course I do 😊. Would I like to be one now? Not on your life. I didn’t find this a 26a to solve, but found 16d hard to justify. COTD for me is 4d. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  22. A couple of long anagrams that needed teasing out from checkers and some tiddlers that required thought but on the whole a suitably Sundayish Dada today
    Thanks to D and Monsieur Moutarde
    The Kanneh-Masons almost made my blog toi but didn’t play the right part of the Last Night of the Proms
    Oh to be 5d again

  23. Trickiest Dada for a while for me as I struggled with a couple of the long anagrams….once they fell into place the rest followed

  24. I really enjoyed today’s Dada’s crossword – not too easy (he never is) and certainly never too difficult.
    A few, “Yes, but why”? Never mind – too tired to care having had the weekend with our Elder Lamb and her family!
    I particularly appreciated all the long answers and my favourite was 10a.
    Thanks to Dada for a very good weekend crossword and to Senf for the hints.

  25. 2*/4*. I finished this very enjoyable puzzle this morning but have been out since then attempting to play cricket in between heavy showers of rain. I’m pleased to say we managed to finish and even more pleased to say we won.

    10a was my favourite, with 11a close behind in second place.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  26. 2/4. Very enjoyable and also attainable puzzle once I got the little grey cells working. Favourites were 5d and 23a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  27. 5&6d plus 10a took me double the time of the remainder – convinced myself 10a was a 4letter scribbler penning the first letter of Lolita & preceded by a single letter abbreviation which gave me the wrong checker at 5d. The pennies dropped but only after a deal of head scratching. Not quite top drawer but very enjoyable. Top 3 for me in no particular order – 3d plus 11&23a.
    Thanks to D&S

  28. A brief and late comment from me today because we had to take daughter and son-in-law (although we drop the “in law”) to Manchester airport. I did the guzzle this morning. It usually takes me some time to get into a puzzle by Dada but it took longer than usual today. Still, it was most enjoyable. I can’t comment on individual clues because I’ve thrown the paper out! 😏

    Many thanks, Dada for the fun. Thank you, Senf for the hints.

    I submitted yesterday’s guzzle for The Mythical – no email acknowledgment.

    I submitted today’s guzzle for The Mythical – I got an email acknowledgment!

    Strange are the workings of Telegraph Towers!

    1. I think you only get one email per week, subsequent puzzles don’t get one, I assume your last successful email was for last Sunday therfore yesterdays SPP was unacknowledged but todays was

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