ST 3268 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3268 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3268 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where the highlight of my week was spending 45 minutes in a MRI doughnut having my prostate examined.  I had never realised that such a relatively small object could demand that much attention.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada not very friendly again, at least the Pun was easy to solve, with six anagrams (two partials), two lurkers, and no homophones all in a symmetric 30 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 – 21a, 3d, 5d, 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:


7a Lead in point of weapon? (9)
Written (5,4) a term for the point of a thrown weapon?

8a Getting tanned, I call for shade (5)
An anagram (getting tanned) of I CALL.

10a One African country or another carrying half away (6)
A four letter African country (another) containing (carrying) two letters (half) of away.

14a Sensational tree-hugging essay? (6)
A three letter synonym of essay containing (hugging) a tree.

18a ‘As to go in ‘eated oven (4)
What usually goes in a heated oven with the first letter removed.

21a Awful film that may be stuffed! (6)
A double definition – the second is illustrated.

24a Prison work in headquarters (8)
A four letter type of (agricultural?) work inserted into a type of headquarters.

28a Stamp collecting consumed in Pennsylvania city (9)
The abbreviated form of a Pennsylvania city containing (collecting) a synonym of consumed.


1d Fish in traps for cooking (5)
An anagram (for cooking) of TRAPS.

3d One featuring in film, Scream (6)
The Roman numeral for one contained by (featuring in) a film (‘starring’ the illustrated individual).

6d Brewing of tea in posh underwear (9)
An anagram (brewing) of TEA IN POSH.

9d Distracted, one animal entering another’s home? (6)
The illustrated animal contained by (entering) another animal’s home.

15d Bore, I add things up on a computer (9)
A three letter synonym of bore, I from the clue, and a term for add things up.

17d Happy, dwarf (6)
A double definition – the first probably relates to the consumption of a relatively small(?) excess of alcoholic beverages.

25d Answer each call, hearing objections primarily (4)
Dada’s favourite again – look for the indicator.

Quick Crossword Pun:


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American composer and songwriter Cole Porter was born on this day in 1891.  Many of his songs became standards noted for their witty, urbane lyrics.  One of these is Anything Goes written for the 1934 musical of the same name. The lyrics include humorous references to figures of scandal and gossip from Depression-era high society.  Here it is being performed by Patti LuPone and cast of the 1987 Broadway Revival of the show at the 1988 Tony Awards:

50 comments on “ST 3268 (Hints)
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  1. Definitely challenging this morning. First cuppa went cold so I had to brew up again!
    I thought the grid made it tougher to crack, but more satisfying when I finally sorted SW corner.
    COTD toss up between 17a and 19a, both took me a while for the penny to drop.
    Thanks to Dada for the challenge for the little grey cells and Senf for the blog. Hope the test came out well. MRI sounds more civilised than the usual British way of checking out the prostate!

    1. I have had plenty of the ‘bend over and take it like a man’ examinations! I am expecting a conversation on the results of the MRI with my urologist in the middle of the week.

      1. Sorry if I prompted any painful memories – I have also reached that age when the NHS seems to think it fun to prod me all over!
        Good luck with your interview 🤞

  2. I didn’t find this easy at all, but finished it off early morning.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.
    Not sure I get the hint at 18a. I assumed the definition was the last word. I inserted 2 letters from the clue into another 2 letter word for ‘eated… I’m probably wrong!

    1. I haven’t solved this puzzle but, as ever, have read the H&Ts and comments with interest. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, I agree with you three. I don’t think 18a is meant to be a cryptic definition. But, you never know ……

      1. It isn’t. Senf’s suggestion doesn’t work. It is not something that goes in the oven without its first letter otherwise you would expect the first letter to be H in accordance with the wordplay.

  3. What are the comments I always see about quick pun – is there always one in the telegraph crossword – what’s the background to this – thanks

    1. The first two (or three) of the solutions in the Telegraph’s Quick Crosswords can be read out loud as a pun. The late Campbell who used to set the Monday crosswords had other puns in the bottom (and sometimes the middle) rows.

      As a help to solvers, the Hints for the cryptic crosswords always include the Quick Puns at the bottom of the hints

    2. Don’t worry, Paul. I had been doing the back pager and Quickie for about thirty years before I realised there was a pun. I couldn’t understand why the first two or three across clues were italicised!. 😳

  4. 3*/2*. I found this quite tough particularly in the SW corner with a few hmms along the way.

    I can’t find anything in the BRB which suggests that “view” has the meaning required for the wordplay in 26a and Collins shows it as an Americanism when preceded by a hyphen! Also, despite the BRB’s “chiefly”, I consider both 21a and 6d to be American terms.

    Finally, I wouldn’t describe the last four letters of 23s as a “medicated object”.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  5. As has been already stated, Dada was not very kind today. I don’t understand 19a and I don’t associate 14a with sensational. Ah well, like Manuel I know nothing! I managed to finish, I think it’s correct so off it went for The Mythical. No COTD for me – just happy to get myself across the line.

    Thank you, Dada for the brain mangling. Thank you Senf for the hints.

    On the 80th anniversary of D-Day the local village raised a flag. The Lord Lieutenant was there in full regalia and a bugler played The Last Post as the flag was raised aloft. It then disappeared because it was about the size of a handkerchief. A bit of a insult to those who lost their lives, I thought.

          1. Sorry Manders, as a blogger I am allowed to ignore ‘the instructions in RED’ and add an extra hint or two here and there :smile:

  6. For me, and I stress for me (™ Senf), Dada drove me gaga. I edged along to about the fifty per cent marker, but then became giddy and needed Senf to get me rebooted with a couple. Subsequently, I inched my way to the finishing line.

    I need to make haste as we agreed to leave at high noon for the delights of IKEA to pick up our ‘click and collect’ items. Of course we shouldn’t be there for long, but I simply know that H will say, “…let’s just have a quick look over here…”

    Thanks to Da-doo-ron-ron and The Man From Manitoba (although unwelcome, the MRI procedure sounds quite sophisticated measured against other methods, as Chris R hinted at way up there).

  7. Super puzzle and a typical Dada, some straightforward clues to hook you in before hitting you with the tricky ones. Much more to my taste than yesterday’s difficult drag. Best clues for me were 7a and 2d.
    Can’t really parse 14a and 22d.
    Thx to all

  8. Needed help for the SW corner like many here but had no trouble with the parsing only the understanding of the SW clues ; rather like understanding the speech of the North Devon locals when we moved to the SW in North Devon in 1974.

    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  9. Dada still not very friendly but at least he popped in a couple of funny ones to make us smile. For that reason alone, I’ll give the honours to the 17a/d double act.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints – a plethora of shapely pins in your birthday salute to Mr Porter!

  10. Well I found this a lot friendlier than yesterday’s offering so I must have tuned in to the correct wavelength.
    Favourites for me were 19a, 27a, 3d and 9d.
    Off to a tour of the gardens of a local village now.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  11. Yikes! … for me this was Dada at the harder end of his spectrum with his thesaurus and quirkiness out in full force today. With perseverance all came to light in the end.

    3*/4* for me.

    Favourites were numerous … 18a, 2d, 9d, 15d & 20d — with winner 18a
    Smile/chuckles from 12a, 17a, 9d & 6d

    Thanks to Dada for the nice puzzle & to Senf for blog/hints

  12. I got there in the end but found this tricky and did need a hint to get going in the sw corner.
    Now it’s finished I can’t quite see why I made such a meal of it. Extremely hot here so just as well there is a cool pool and a cocktail to keep me going.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints.

  13. Dada on the wily side today, especially in the SW, where there were some clever clues and a few esoteric ones.COTD for me was the lego clue at 15d, the last one in. 2d was another good lego clue and the geographical clue at 10a also appealed to me. Thanks ro Dada, it was hard work but I finished it after a couple of breaks. Thanks to Senf for the hints Hope the urologist appointment goes well. MRI macines aree so noisy but the head scans are the worst.

    1. A word meaning a view or scene into which is inserted the third letter of herd should produce a synonym for graze

  14. Looks like I wasn’t alone in struggling in the SW, and 26a still makes no sense. I shall have to go away and revisit it later. There were certainly enough smiles and PDMs to offset the more Dadaesque clues, but when the solve doesn’t flow I tend to lose interest.

    My thanks to Dada and Senf.

  15. Tuff!! Not helped by being distracted by a most exciting French Open Men’s finals. Fortunately, there were enough gimmes to get checking letters, then word search helped. Until I came to the SW, I was stuck with four that eluded me, I had to go in for Senf’s excellent hint at 15d to kickstart me again. This was far from an unaided solve, but I did get there in the end. Some nice smiles along the way, 17a stood out. Fave was 19a, I love the word, sounds Shakespearian.
    Thank you Dada, foot off the pedal next week please, and of course thanks to Senf for his much needed hints.

  16. We didn’t like 14a or the first part of 25d. For the most part this was pretty difficult with some good clues thrown in. Favourite was 10a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. White flag time as well and truly beaten by Dada today. Totally mystified by the SW corner and this remains blank. Perhaps not helped by a libation or two over a very good lunch with friends. 12a is probably an oldie, but still good and 18a was witty. Thanks to Dada for the drubbing and Senf for hints.

  18. Senf is right about not very friendly today, in fact more towards unfriendly IMHO. That’s three days in a row. If I was a newbie I would never try again. But I struggled through and made it to the finish line. COTD for me is 20d. Probably just grumpy because I have had to give up my before breakfast walks early this year as highs are already in the 90s with usual uncomfortable humidity. Can usually keep going until end of this month. Thanks to Dada and the very smart Senf. Good luck with the MRI results. At least the machines are a little larger than those we endured in the early 1990s.

  19. Needed quite a lot of help from Senf today…plus some electronic help…so not my cup of tea at all.

    Thanks to Dada and huge thanks to Senf.

    All the best with the urologist, Senf.

  20. Not quite as painful as the procedure that Chris R referred to but not far off it, I needed a fair few nudges from Senf to get over the line
    Thanks to Senf and Dada

  21. Plain sailing until the choppy waters of the SW. Stared blankly at it with 5 remaining for almost as long as the rest had taken to fill in. It was only when the 19a penny dropped that the other 4 fell like dominoes.
    Very enjoyable.
    Thanks to D&S

  22. A DNF
    Not happy with 8a
    Again, any word in
    The English language
    Can be an anagram
    Otherwise good clueing.
    Thanks Dada and Senf

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