ST 3272 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

ST 3272 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3272 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

A very good Sunday morning from Winnipeg where changeable weather is the order of the day – wake up to clear blue sunny skies and then a high probability of rain or thunderstorms in the afternoons and evenings.

For me, and I stress for me, Dada more challenging than last week with four almost long uns, eight anagrams (two partials), three lurkers (one reversed), and two homophones all in a symmetric, value for money 32 clues; with 16 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 – 1a, 12a, 17a, 1d, 5d, 7d, and 18d.

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:


1a Nerve, carrier of message in the main? (6)
A double definition – I will leave it to the illustration.

9a Monarchy never welcomes king (6)
A (2,3) informal term equivalent to never contains (welcomes) the abbreviated form of the Latin for King.

14a By the sound of it, what will be will be for gala (4)
One of the homophones (by the sound of it) of a single word for what will be will be.

17a General drift in court process, harrowing (5-7)
A single word for general drift (as in currently popular?) inserted into (in) a single word for court process.

23a Sterling in question in Europe, ignored ultimately (4)
The interrogative (question) pronoun in a European language and the last letter (ultimately) of ignoreD.

24a Glass for the blower? (5)
A double definition – the second is a musical instrument.

29a Large prawns, pickle on one (6)
OK, no whingeing and moaning, we have seen this usage (as an answer) of pickle a number of times – find a synonym for pickle and place it before (on) the Roman numeral for one.

31a Write name on flag (6)
A three letter synonym of write, the single letter for name, and ON from the clue.


1d Tea party dispute? (3,5)
A double definition (I think) – either could be a noisy assembly.

2d Snake or cat with nut that’s cracked (8)
Not a reptile – an anagram (that’s cracked) of OR CAT and (with) NUT.

5d Securing devices, the ropes? (4,3,5)
Another double definition – the second refers to essential details.

7d Young animal barking here, provided kennelled (6)
The two letter synonym of provided contained (kennelled) by, oh dear, a four letter anagram, move one letter, (barking) of HERE.

11d Bloomer in document penned by Mae West, I gathered (5,7)
A document that provides details of what we leave behind contained (penned) by an anagram (gathered) of MAE WEST, I.

19d African party on the borders up for tucking into freshly made tagine (8)
The outer letters (on the borders) of PartY reversed (up) and inserted (for tucking) into an anagram (freshly made) of TAGINE.

21d Smash in racket sport? (6)
A double definition – the second is not the one played in SW19!

27d A heart without love for some land (4)
A from the clue and a synonym of heart, nothing to do with the muscular organ in our bodies, with its letter O deleted.

Quick Crossword Pun:

SNEEZE + AT ISSUE = SNEEZY ATISHOO – any better suggestions will be appreciated

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES OR HINTS in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

Sir Richard Starkey MBE, better known as Ringo Starr, is, presumably, celebrating his 84th birthday today. After the break-up of The Beatles he continued with a solo career and this is one of his best performing solo singles, co-written with George Harrison, from 1973 – a live performance in 2009:

52 comments on “ST 3272 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Definitely tougher than yesterday and very good fun. 17a and 1a stood out for me and 13a was last in with a groan after spinning my thinking ‘round. Thanks.

  2. I really enjoyed this with 1d my favourite.

    I found three quarters of this relatively straightforward but the NW was a different kettle of fish. My rating is 3*/4*.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  3. For me, and I stress for me (™ Senf) this was a VERY tricky Dada guzzle. Half way through, I needed to grab a hint or two in order to reboot.

    No time to dilly or even dally – we are orf to St Albans for a luncheon. The Youngster is excused as she is going to see Hozier and Brittany Howard in Finsbury Park.

    Thanks to Da-doo-ron-ron and The Man From Manitoba.

  4. Dada being a bit tricky today, I thought. It took a lot of head scratching to get it done and I didn’t always see the parsing, 23a being one. I “solved” it only after getting 8d. I thought the lurker was well hidden and I did like the photographs at 4a. My COTD is the pub feeding the criminal at 18d.

    Thank you, Dada for the brain stretching exercise. Thank you, Senf for the hints.

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

  5. I thought that this was an absolute cracker. There was deviousness and simplicity mixed in with some great anagrams. For deviousness my podium lover positions comprise7d and 9a. 11d gets top spot which I thought clever once I twigged the document concerned. This was my first effort with the digital DT and puzzle site. So far so good. Let’s hope it continues. Thanks to Dada and Senf

  6. Actually, I found this a pleasantly relaxing solve his morning, compared with last night’s seat of the pants 17a torture! Plenty of anagrams and lurkers to keep the scoreboard ticking over (if only, England!) Some nice clues, but my personal COTD goes to 13a as it took a while for my penny to drop.
    Thanks to Dada for the refreshing wakeup call and Senf for the blog.
    BTW has anyone else been asked to fork out an extra £49 today for the privilege of accessing the online puzzle page? Much to my annoyance I was blocked access this morning.

  7. An excellent puzzle that I foolishly started at midnight. Not conducive to quickly dropping off. I never learn. **/****

    One gripe on 29a, and I may be having a moment due to lack of sleep, but I thought ‘on’ in an across clue meant after not before?

    1. Yep, that “on” made me twitch slightly too. I’m pretty sure a Rookie would get ticked off for that. But I guess, when you’re a grown-up, you can do what you like! And there is some debate about this “rule”. Tramp, for one, argues that “on” in a down can mean after not before, as in a fly on the ceiling. And I’m (sort of) with him..

  8. Lovely puzzle, nicely awkward in places, with a bit of reverse engineering involved to finish off. My favourite was a toss up between 1 and 5d, and Mae West.

    My thanks to Dada and Senf.

  9. I also started this late, mistake for this puzzle. I found it hard going, SE being a little challenging. Spent too much time researching Mae West. 10d my favorite.

    ***/*** For me

  10. A tricky one for me this morning but got there in the end.
    Some lovely clues with my favourites being 9a, 13a, 24a and 22d.
    Thanks to Senf and Dada.

  11. Dada’s being a little trickier than usual I thought which is fine for a prize puzzle. Thanks to him and Senf.
    I liked 9a, 12a, 17a and 22d.

    No idea about the Quickie pun.

  12. Phew that was tough! Took a joint effort from Mrs B and I to tame this bucking bronco.
    As always Dada’s clues are mainly very elegant and fully contained. However, I thought 24a and 7d were both below par but 5d and 10a were excellent so a balance.
    Thx to all

  13. I sailed through most of today’s offering from Dada but got held up in the North East. I can’t work out the parsing of 4A and as it’s not hinted, I’m just crossing my fingers that I got it right.

    There was a tremendous clang as the coin hit the floor for 5D and I kicked myself for not getting it earlier.

    2*/4* and my favourite was the laugh out loud 1D. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  14. I am very cross with myself having put an incorrect answer in 31a (which I admit I could only parse partially) I had to resort to the hints as obviously that messed up the SE corner completely. It’s so annoying when one’s brain is so sure of an answer that you can’t think of another. Once I corrected 31a the rest went in straightforwardly. There were lots of lovely clues especially the lurkers and anagrams.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints

  15. Very enjoyable puzzle (despite the trademark plethora of anagrams!), a great diversion on a mixed Sunday morning. Honours Board features 1a (my LOI), 1d and the silk-smooth 30a.

    Many thanks to Dada and Senf

  16. Wimbledon calls so have thrown in the sponge with barely a dent made in North. 23a was obvious but surely European is a bit far-reaching. Fav was 1a. Thank you Dada and particularly Senf for getting me there.

  17. For me, this Dada puzzle was definitely at the tougher end of his spectrum. Was a little quirky as well as his own personal thesaurus in use this week too. Overall I enjoyed it, but it took a bit of head scratching to complete it.


    Favourites 1a, 14a, 17a, 5d & 18d — with winner 1a & 18d a close runner up.

    Thanks to Dada & Senf for hints/blog

  18. Yup, all done and dusted so I shall sit back and wait for another pen, Steve – which I shall forward to you as a gesture of solidarity. I must remember the double meaning of 1a as it was my last one in, 9a my favourite and altogether an enjoyable romp. I washed all the sheets from the grandsons’ visit and put them on the line as it was sunny and breezy and I thought I had better take advantage of the weather despite my Scottish grandmother frowning on me from heaven for washing on a Sunday. I might have known she would win, I then put all the towels in the washer as well and it promptly began to pour. However, slightly mollified by the news from Remenham that the lawns are waterlogged – we were feeling sad at missing Henley because of the funeral. Will we be up to it next year? Who knows. Anyway, live in the present and give thanks to Messrs Dada & Senf for the diversion.

    1. Thank you, DG for trying to restore my hopes of The Mythical. From now on, anyone who receives The Mythical before I will go on my hit list.
      I will come round personally and throw cream buns at you all. 😊

  19. Bit of a wake up call from our setter today, or so I thought. My tea party dispute covered several possibilities before I arrived at the one required and I also dithered a little over the 1a nerve. Several smiles and pdms with podium places going to 1&17a plus 1d.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and music clip – first time I can recall seeing Ringo out from behind his drum kit, he didn’t look very comfortable!

  20. Found that to be a pretty tough puzzle to crack from Dada today..but managed to get there in the end. The anagrams & lurkers were my key…all very clever and ‘Dada-esque’ 👍
    Thanks as ever to Senf for another excellent blog ‘n hints, and to Mr D for another great Sunday challenge.

  21. Found this one hard and took a while to get started. Pleased to have finished all bit one as still pondering 13a ….🤔. I came here looking for a hint but alas none. It will come to me eventually. Thanks to Dada and Senf

  22. Much trickier than last Sunday, I needed to get Senf’s help when I was dead in the water in the NW. So silly, I wanted to put the answer for 1a but didn’t know why, the pic told me all, easy when you know. That got me going again and with some ehelp (1d in particular) I got to the final tape. Tops were 5d, 7d and 11d.
    Thank you Dada for the fun, and Senf for his usual help!

  23. Not the fastest solve chiefly due to brain fog in the NW. Thought this one right up there with his best of recent SPPs & very enjoyable indeed. 1a&d were my joint top two chiefly because they were reluctant pennies to drop & I had numerous ticks elsewhere – 9,13 (last to parse),17&23a plus 11,18&19d particular likes.
    Thanks to D&S –

  24. A bit of a slog, and almost a Toughie from Dada today. 1a went straight in, but couldn’t fathom 1d as I really have never heard of that term. Hesitated to put in 4a as it seemed it should be plural, and I don’t believe I have ever seen 31a, more familiar with a similar 7 letter word, and I was reluctant to pen in 13a as I just couldn’t make it fit the clue. I just made hard work of this today. Nevertheless, 1a gets my COTD for being smile worthy. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

    1. Trying to stay off the naughty step here for 13A…last letter (tail) of cat followed by a word that could be used in the simile “as xxxx as a 22D”…

  25. I loved this guzzle but it took a while to tease out, some very clever cluing. Really enjoying the tennis – the ladies singles match this afternoon was gripping. I do wish all these players would stop this ridiculous fist pumping. Gone are the days when players left the court together and even had their drink together behind the umpire’s chair – Dan Maskell and the Robinson’s Barley Water – my that ages me! Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. Time passes and things change! Not much you can do about it. I was sorry to see Madison have to pull out. The Sinner match was great, amazing what these guys can do.

    2. Raducanu was not on form tonight and went out to Sun. I agree about the fist pumping. Save your energy for the game like Lucy Sun did. Not one fist pump did she give.

      1. I must say Raducanu does continue to have her set-backs with hands, wrist, back and ankle problems. I do wonder about her long-term prospects. Lulu Sun certainly put on a good show in a very professional way which was admirable for a qualifier.

  26. For some reason I found this very chewy and consequently a chore, but soldiered on as I wanted to enter the prize draw! Looking back, I’m not sure why I found it so chewy. I don’t fall within the ‘we’ who have seen the use of pickle in 29a a number of times before, in fact I don’t recall seeing it once. I haven’t wasted much time trying to justify it by reference to the BRB and ODE (and I haven’t found it in Mrs Bradfords crossword dictionary), as I can’t imagine ever interchanging the words in real life. But I have made a note of it in my list of crosswordese.

  27. Probably too late now, but please could anyone give me a hint for 3d without ending up on the naughty step? I have an answer but can only apply it to one word in the clue. I must be being very thick because no-one else seems to have had a problem with it. Also not sure about 15d but Rossophile’s comment makes me think I must have the right answer (not that I can think of a hit song by them). I found this enjoyable but quite difficult – started in bed last night and finished (apart from the above) in bed this morning. Thanks to Dada and Senf – I needed a couple of hints to help with parsing.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.