ST 3258 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3258 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3258 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

A very good Easter Sunday morning from Winnipeg where I am wondering if you all remembered to advance your watches and clocks, including, for the latter, those on your stoves, microwaves, etc, by one hour to change from GMT to BST.  But how many of you were awake at 1:00am GMT for the official change to 2:00am BST?

For me, and I stress for me, shades of 18th November 2018; one crickety non-anagram long-un, assuming that I have counted correctly, seven  anagrams (one partial), one lurker reversed, and two homophones, all in an asymmetric 29 clues; with 15 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid, you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.  And, remember, the Naughty Step is OPEN!

Candidates for favourite – 12a, 16a, 28a, 13d, and 15d.

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:


9a Endless bohemian love for animal (5)
A bohemian (from the 1970s?) with the last letter deleted (endless) and the letter for love in a racquet (correct spelling notice) game score.

12a Magnificent, a US city (7)
A synonym of magnificent and A from the clue – soon to be descended on by thousands of Huntsman lookalikes.

13a Leader lost in battle before second push (5)
A WW1 battle, or more correctly a series of battles, memorialised by the structure in the illustration, with the first letter deleted (leader lost in) placed before the single letter for Second (of time).

16a On earlier gate, one way out? (3,6,6)
Crickety ‘on’ is also a three letter term, a synonym of earlier, and a type of gate.

21a Religious text informer passed back: nothing in it (5)
A synonym of informer reversed (passed back) with the letter representing nothing inserted into (in) it.

27a Jolly, in a solemn way! (9)
The use of jolly, usually with a second word, to emphasize something you are saying, especially when angry or annoyed – I think.

28a Pet has rooted out a salad plant (5)
Nothing to do with, for example, hamsters or rabbits, but a verbal synonym of pet with the letter A deleted (has rooted out).


1d Which unit of power did you say? (4)
A homophone (did you say?) of a unit of (electrical) power.

3d Happy about relative being compatible (10)
A synonym of happy containing (about) an abbreviated form of a sibling relative.

5d Pair lose ground in split (8)
An anagram (ground) of PAIR LOSE.

7d As of 3:15am BST:

Twit with lower heartbeat (8) (old web site)

or (more correctly)

Twit lowers heartbeat (8) (new web site) – heaven only knows what it says in other sources.
So using the ‘new web site’ version – A synonym of lowers and a (Dada) synonym of heartbeat.

13d Tablet that hurt patient — one of those lying on bed? (10)
A synonym of tablet, a two letter interjection for that hurt, and a term for patient (in hospital?).

15d Reportedly take gift in trinket (5-5)
A double homophone (reportedly) of a synonym of take (illegally?) and a synonym of gift (as in talent).

24d Space where dock set up (4)
The reversal (set up) of a nautical term that is equivalent to dock (according to Dada).

26d Noxious odour so eye-watering initially, one smells (4)
The first letters (initially) of four words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:

RAIN + BONE + ASIAN = RAINBOW NATIONaccording to that unimpeachable source Wikipedia, a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South Africa after the first democratic election in 1994.

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Prompted by Mr Astaire’s appearance in Twmbarlwm’s mid-week back pager and also in Friday’s Osmosis Toughie here is said gentleman with Judy Garland:

77 comments on “ST 3258 (Hints)
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  1. 1.5*/3.5*. Dada is being kind to us today with nothing to frighten the horses.

    The newspaper clue for 7d matches what Senf describes as “the new website version”.

    I was utterly flummoxed by the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf. Happy Easter to all.

      1. There used to be birds named after a painkiller, but they are no more because the

        parrots eat em all

        I’ll get my coat

  2. Remembered to change the clocks but my body still feels discombobulated………
    Took a while to sort out the battle and register the crickety one but the checkers helped enormously.
    Podium places awarded to 23&28a plus 7&15d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and the Easter parade – off to get my breakfast, lunch or whichever meal I’m supposed to be having at this time of day!

  3. Senf if you have my email address could you send me today’s puzzle please. Mix up and DT have cancelled access on the APP. Thanks if posdible. If not don’t worry!

    1. If you comment on the toughie blog I will have your email and can send you one of my bonus subscriptions for you

  4. I thought I had already posted, but obviously not; more than likely my fault.

    My last one to write in was 7d, as the clue was flawed. I see it has since been amended.
    Thanks to Dada and to Senf. 2*/3*

  5. Had to have 2 goes at this with a swim in between. As I was ploughing up and down the pool 13d popped into my mind, enabling a fast finish once home again.
    As others have said Dada being kind to us today, with the anagrams alone giving plenty of checkers.
    I’ll go for 15d as my COTD.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    PS looking forward to Terence’s assessment of Chelsea’s performance yesterday, hope he has recovered.

  6. Dada’s reverted to using a lot of anagrams in this fairly gentle puzzle – thanks to him and Senf.
    The 7d clue has still not been corrected on the old Puzzles site.
    My favourite clue was 28a.

  7. Normally I am a great fan of Dada but I thought this was simply not up to his usual high standard. Lots of poor clues such as 13a. Very little fun and very complicated.
    Not one for me I’m afraid.
    Thx for the much needed hints

  8. The ‘old’s site was down so I got the new version of 7d. Nice to have the plural, but I really don’t like the new site…
    Liked 16a and 13d, and jolly glad I came to read Senf’s explanation for 27a – pretty much what I thought, but doubted….Also liked 17d. I knew it had something to do with them thingies, but only realised it was an anagram until v late in the day.
    Fave is 28a. Oh brevity thy name is Dada, for whom much thanks! And also to Senf for the blog.

  9. Dada in very friendly mood today. How do I know? Because I finished it fairly quickly for me. I liked16 and 23a, and 14d. What a superb word xxxxxxxxx is. Memories of my Calvinist upbringing and either sermons based on 1 Corinthians 15.52 or mentioned often in sermons on other texts ;

    ‘In a moment, in the xxxxxxxxxxxxx, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed’ Incorruptible is quite a fine word too in this context.

    And how marvellous is the chorus in The Messiah : one of my favourites..

    Many thanks to Senf for confirming my solurions and to Dada wearing his friendly hat.

      1. So, I’m stirring the custard and thinking there’s something not right about Corky’s comment and then the penny dropped and I rushed up to the computer to redact the ‘answer’

        1. I am really struggling to think which word we are talking about? Cannot fit anything into this mornings liturgy

    1. Never mind the Naughty Step – I loved “solurions”. 😁

      Sorry, Corky – still got my marking hat on. Easily done. I recall the time when one Dissertation delegate should have written “Root Canal Treatment” but he left the “C” out. Imagine my comment!

  10. Happy Easter, everybody! Thank you Senf for the hints — I needed quite a few, which is unusual for me with Dada, so, in contrast to commenters above, I found this trickier than the average Sunday.

    Maybe that’s because I got up this morning for the ‘Son-Rise’ service on Ilkley Moor, which involved setting an alarm for 04:40? I didn’t actually need to be out of bed (well, sofa, so as not to disturb Spouse) until 05:40 BST (for a stroll up the hill to the 06:30 service by the Cow and Calf), but at the point I went to bed my phone was still in GMT.

    But probably it was just the high number of anagrams, which I can rarely solve without many crossing letters, so always make crosswords harder for me.

    Thank you to Dada. My favourite was probably 13d. If not, it’s one of 13a, 28a, or 15d.

  11. Happy Easter to everyone!🐰

    As ever with Dada for me, a slow start before speeding up to come to another crawl across the line. Lots to like today but, like Rp1428, I had the wrong spelling for 1d so 9a took forever. In 25a I couldn’t get another president out of my head and trying to fit him into the answer mangled my brain somewhat. My COTD is 21a.

    My thanks to Dada for the fun. Thank you, Senf for the hints.

    The picture on the front of Sunday, the Telegraph supplement with the puzzles in it, has a picture of St. George’s church in Pontesbury. I used to be the Tower Captain there and have fond memories of our time there.

    Anybody heard if Chriscross is ok? Not seen her for a while.

    1. I’ve been wondering about Chriscross too, I think it’s been over a week since I asked someone to email. I hope she’s fine.

  12. Beaten by myself with 1d, thought it meant a word that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, A about F I know, so consequently that mucked 9a up. Apart from that I found it bloomin’ hard today, took about three times as long as a normal Sunday (extra spite from the setter for Easter I suppose) Two polar opposites for me today, hated 20d’s word for sun, but absolutely loved the clue for 16a, very clever. Off for a hair of the dog in Wokingham now so will have to shell out for Mrs TC’s espresso martini, a mere £11 a pop!

      1. I love the ship, been going there since it was a biker’s boozer in the late 70s, but since they can’t do Mrs TC’s EM, we have to go to the Rose, which incidentally I worked at in
        1978 as a porter, not allowed to work after 10pm as I was only 16 years old, so I grabbed my money, jumped on my moped, at spent it all in The Who’d a Thot’ it (nine mile ride) on my way home!
        Where’s your favourite GJR?

        1. I do like The Ship, it’s in my top 3. For a quiet pint my favourite is The Queen’s Head, and for something a bit livelier The Broad Street Tavern makes up my podium. I think we are spoilt for choice to be honest.

            1. Now a block of flats, I’m guessing you’re not that old as everybody knew it then.
              Drive away from Crowthorne on the New Wokingham Road, turn left at the roundabout nearly opposite Honey Hill, go past the the entrance to Ravenswood on your left, past St Sebastians Church on you right, go another 100 yds, and it was on your right, now sadly a block of maisonettes. Where did you work on the NMR? Was it HP?

              1. Only 6 years younger than you Tipcat but grew up in Kent. I was with Johnson & Johnson on NMR, I think they are on the old HP site.

                1. Yep the good old pinewood campus, got their own squash courts, played there for twenty odd years, great fun.

    1. I lived in Wokingham back in the late 1970s….the Crispin and the Crooked Billet were favourite watering holes back then. I wonder what they are like now!?

  13. Nor got round tuit yet just to say I was certainly up at 0100 to see the change on my automatic clock as it changed as I was in the depths of Robyn’s Sunday Toughie
    As intimated to Weekend Wanda I have several bonus subscriptions to the digital app available to the first three to comment on the Toughie (that’s how I get your email)
    Also I am trying to revive the Birthday Bash but I am awaiting confirmation from the Bridge House as to the availability of there rooms (undergoing a renovation at the moment) but as CS said yesterday
    Watch this space and pencil 25th Jan 2025 in your diaries

    1. I shall start saving up for a triple celebration – the Blog, the Bard of Ayrshire, and the anniversary of the arrival on this planet of a less well known Sunday blogger!

      1. I had forgotten that it was your good self you started the ball rolling on the Sunday Toughie hints on the 30th Jan so it will be your “other” birthday too a bit like the King or Queen who have multiple birthdays

  14. This just wasn’t my scene at all and I can’t believe it was a Dada product – IMHO not up to his usual clever standard. An anagramfest, use of abbreviations and a host of simplistic clues so all done in a flash without much satisfaction. I am sure others will have completely different thoughts. Thank you anyway Dada for so many great puzzles – you certainly can’t please all of the people all of the time and thanks Senf for being there in case of need. 🐣 Happy Easter everyone 🐥.

  15. I didn’t find this as easy as some others and to begin with only had one on the first pass.
    However it slowly came together.
    My top picks were 28a, 13d and 15d.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  16. Happy Easter to one and all!! We are supposed to have a sunny day on the West Coast of BC today.

    Well, this week Dada seems to be at the easier end of his spectrum and it seems he left his thesaurus on the shelf today.

    1.5*/4* today

    Favourites today include 14a, 25a, 1d, 2d, 13d & 17d — with winner 13d, with 1d a close second.
    Smiles for 9a, 27a, 7d & 16d

    Thanks to Dada & Senf for blog/hints

  17. Good fun this with very few hold-ups during the solve. Lots of contenders for top spot this afternoon, with that honour going to 16a.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  18. A bit slow out of the starting blocks but soon picked up the pace and finished in fairly short order. Only a couple of clues really stood out and we’ll go with 13d as favourite. Thanks to Dada and Senf. I’m a little baffled by the crossword’s number 3,258 though.

  19. A gentle and light diversion from Mr Anagram (8 by my count) while it lasted. Honours to 11a and 15d, but not a puzzle that will stick long in the memory.

    1* / 2.5*

    Thank you Dada and Senf

  20. Contrarily, I got off to a rip roaring start, and then fizzled. Disappointingly I thought this was going to be one of my good Sunday puzzle days, but several tricky/strange clues proved otherwise. Cricket is always my downfall, and can’t understand 7d relating to heartbeat. As Senf says “a Dada synonym”. Also I’ve never heard the 19a term. So clearly not my best effort. Thanks to Dada and to Senf. Great hint for 12a.

      1. Absolutely no idea why I’ve changed from a Huntsman to Hunty (which was a nickname, among others, at school.

          1. Have you got £2200 for a dissertation on artificial teeth
            Saw this in Barter Books and thought of you

            1. I wouldn’t even spend £2.20 for it, SJB. Making false teeth was one aspect of dentistry I hated. One of the reasons I became an endodontist – no more false teeth! 🤣

        1. I was bumblebee at school (not because of my Beach Boys alias, who I had only barely heard of) but because I used to hum like a bumblebee when concentrating – to a certain extent I still do

          1. How extraordinarily annoying! Rather like people who whistle, no-one else wants to hear it. No offence meant SJB🙂

  21. Senf, the Dada crossword was quite easy, but I’m still puzzled by your reference to the18th November 2018.

    1. For whatever reason, there was probably an alcoholic contribution, I thought that Dada was not very friendly. The date reference, which is etched in my memory, is to Dada’s first ever Sunday PP, ST 2978, which was definitely not very friendly at all with your comment of ‘Phew! That was Tough!’

    2. Wasn’t quite easy for me I’m afraid. Easier than some of his, and definitely easier than when he started in 2018. Or perhaps I’m just getting somewhat used to his style. I agree with Senf’s assessment today.

  22. I loved this , and was cock a hoop to get the crickety one. 1d could have gone either way so I waited until I had a checker before I committed myself. Funny old Easter Sunday. DD2 got back from Sri Lanka in the early hours so our Easter Sunday is deferred until tomorrow. I cooked a leg of lamb for the pair of us and tried the roast potatoes in the air fryer. Big mistake, even the birds are ignoring them. Why did I buy it? Thank goodness for the guzzle and the nice bottle of Merlot to accompany the meal. I liked the medal at 6d and the pet at 28. Many thanks to Dada ? and to Senf.

    1. We bought an air fryer about 2 years ago, DG. I never got on with it yet all my friends rave about theirs. Ours is now in a cupboard.

      1. I LOVE mine, only had it since November. Boiled egg every morning. Now trying small gammon joint 40 mins against 1.30 in oven. Will let you know the result. Persevere Steve and DG!😋

  23. Brain is still a little slow at the moment. I had an infestation of blow flies 😱that have gone thankfully which caused a bit of stress and cleaning, but now I’m a little distracted by garden work that needs doing, so again I did this one in pieces between chores. Enjoyed it , groaned at yet another cricket clue , but at least I knew what it meant ! Thanks to Dada and Senf, and hoping maybe tomorrow I’ll have some mental space to get back on track.

  24. I took a pill last night and I was awa’ with the fairies until 9:00 am, so no wonder I’ve got a cottonwool brain today. I found this very tricky, DNF, so thanks Senf for your kind help in finishing. I needed all sorts of ehelp, but I did get most on my own and a few smilers along the way. Of course I needed help with 16a but I did like it. Likes were 21a, 1d, 13d, but top of the heap was 15d.
    Thank you Dada, and Senf for his usually brilliant hints, and the Astaire clip, gawd, I’m so old.
    Happy Easter to everyone, on the blog and off.

  25. Dada in a generous
    My stupidity in putting
    In the wrong 1d, gave
    Me a headache and
    Impossible task in
    Getting 2d.
    But I eventually
    Thanks Dada and Senf.

    1. Replace:
      Dada in a generous
      My stupidity in putting
      In the wrong 1d popped
      Me into 3*time
      But I eventually
      Thanks Dada and Senf.

  26. Resorted (reluctantly) to AI for 13d, with two letters. Solved instantly, with Senf level explanation. This unlocked rest of grid.

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