DT 28242

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28242

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

If your main aim is finishing the back-page puzzle, then this one is for you. The rest of us will probably find it somewhat disappointing.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Recaps fact: alien arrived in this? (10)
SPACECRAFT: does it matter that the alien, the anagram indicator is doing double duty, probably not

6a    Ariosto desired to pen these? (4)
ODES: hidden (to pen) inside the clue

9a    Lower a bed (5)
ABASE: the A from the clue followed by a bed or foundation

10a    One who coerces animal to sleep by river (9)
BULLDOZER: an animal followed by a verb meaning to sleep and R(iver)

12a    Story about origins of dashing prince — one that’s turned into a frog? (7)
TADPOLE: a story around the initial letters (origins) of three words in the clue

13a    Left a study piled high (5)
LADEN: L(eft) followed by the A from the clue and a study

15a    I’m seen fighting with bridge player, starting as adversaries (7)
ENEMIES: an anagram (fighting) of I’M SEEN preceded by (starting) one of the four bridge players

17a    Food Spanish artist almost returned, disgruntled (7)
YOGHURT: the first three letters (almost) of the four-letter surname of a Spanish artist are reversed (returned) and followed by an adjective meaning disgruntled

19a    A time to invite bid (7)
ATTEMPT: the A from the clue followed by T(ime) and a verb meaning to invite or lure

21a    Perhaps a newspaper story (7)
ARTICLE: two definitions

22a    King won over signora’s heart — that’s understood (5)
KNOWN: K(ing) followed by the reversal (over) of WON and the middle letter (heart) of [sig]N[ora]

24a    A friend — flipping rugby union enthusiast (7)
AMATEUR: the A from the clue followed by a friend and the reversal (flipping) of the abbreviation for R(ugby) U(nion)

27a    Stroke goat, perhaps, then run (9)
BUTTERFLY: to get this swimming stroke start with a word that might be a goat and follow it with a verb meaning to run or dash

28a    A battle with leader in Europe? That’s wise (5)
AWARE: the A from the clue followed by a battle, or series of battles, and the initial letter (leader) of E[urope]

29a    Bring home vase by the sound of it (4)
EARN: this verb meaning to bring home a wage sounds like a vase

30a    New pact EEC can sanction (10)
ACCEPTANCE: an anagram (new) of PACT EEC CAN


1d    Party in Scotland includes adult game (4)
SNAP: a Scottish political party around (includes) A(dult)

2d    A hunk intended to leave a small home? (9)
APARTMENT: the A from the clue followed by a hunk or piece and a verb meaning intended from which the A has been dropped (to leave)

3d    Correct conclusion about this writer (5)
EMEND: a conclusion around the first person singular objective pronoun (this writer)

4d    Make fun of condescending type turning up for strips (7)
RIBBONS: a three-letter verb meaning to make fun of is followed by the reversal (turning up in a down clue) of a condescending type

5d    One that buzzes annoyingly around a London college in a bogus manner (7)
FALSELY: an annoying flying insect around the A from the clue and a London college

7d    Stunned daughter stared, scratching head (5)
DAZED: D(aughter) followed by a verb meaning stared without (scratching) its initial letter (head)

8d    Crooked teeth — gran’s wanting a new brace (10)
STRENGTHEN: an anagram () of TEETH GR[A]N’S without the A from the clue and followed by N(ew)

11d    Editor picked up on aspect to amuse (7)
DELIGHT: the reversal (picked up in a down clue) followed by an aspect, as in “presented in a different aspect”

14d    Amazing statement supported by expert (10)
REMARKABLE: A statement followed (supported in a down clue) by an adjective meaning expert or proficient

16d    I’m set for final take-off with blokes on board jumbo (7)
IMMENSE: I’M SE[t] without (take-off) the final letter around some blokes

18d    Not confident to get certificate in uni? An upset (9)
UNCERTAIN: CERT(ificate) inside an anagram (upset) of UNI AN

20d    Two females in car — it crashed in market (7)
TRAFFIC: F F (two females) inside an anagram (crashed) of CAR IT gives a verb meaning to market or sell

21d    Inspect any ales drunk (7)
ANALYSE: an anagram (drunk) of ANY ALES

23d    Young wizard has no power to create animal (5)
OTTER: drop (has no) the P(ower) from the surname of a popular young wizard

25d    Demand former lover behave (5)
EXACT: a former lover followed by a verb meaning to behave

26d    Yours truly about to get bare (4)
MERE: the first person singular objective pronoun (yours truly) followed by a word meaning about

Did I really type “the A from the clue” eight times?

The Quick Crossword pun: Tay+con+bored=take on board


  1. Angel

    Just enough of a challenge today but no particular Fav. I would say that a 2d isn’t necessarily “small” and having lived in New York I can vouch for that! Thanks Mr.Ron and BD for being on hand in case of need. **/***.

  2. Graham

    A straight forward solve easily completed without having to resort to the hints.Many thanks to the setter & BD for the review */***

  3. Alec

    I agree that this was a straightforward solve today. Must say, I did like 12a so I mark that as my favourite. Thanks to all concerned.

  4. pete

    Not much of a challenge and a bit disappointing. I did like 12a and 27a. 1.5*/1.5*. Many thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  5. Rabbit Dave

    1*/3*. I enjoyed this. Yes it was straightforward, but the cluing was clear and precise with good surfaces throughout. 12a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  6. Spook

    Nice puzzle to come back to after a few days a sea. There is nothing like novice sailors in choppy waters.
    Found this pretty easy I got a bit hung up on 19a but the rest was pretty good.
    Many thanks to BigDave and setter. I bet tomorrow’s crossword Will be a real stinker.

  7. Jaylegs

    Straightforward solve, but enjoyable nonetheless 😀 */*** Liked 27a & 10a Thanks to BD for blog and to unknown setter 🤔 Though I am sure someone will name him (or her) ere long! Although setting crosswords does appear to be a male pastime 😏

  8. Patsyann

    Don’t understand 21a. An article is a newspaper story. Nothing cryptic there. Where is the hint to a second meaning?

  9. Kitty

    This lulled me nicely to sleep at silly o’clock after the trauma of the Giovanni. No disappointment from me. I liked 12a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  10. LabradorsruleOK

    Straightforward with some niceties (12a & 27a). Analysis involves a bit more than inspection to me but answer was obvious so not a problem.
    Vintage Matt today I thought.
    Thanks to setter & BD for review.

  11. Senf

    I agree with BD’s comments, not very challenging and not that enjoyable – */** – with some not very well constructed clues, 8d for example.

    Favourite 27a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  12. Dr M

    Sparkling crossword. No complaints, bright cluing. Not so much finishing but the process of getting there that was enjoyable. I’ve been through some tricky puzzles that have taken ages to complete and at the end left me with a hollow feeling. This was not one of those on either count. Can’t decide between 12a and 27a as to my favourite. Thanks to BD and the mysterious one.

  13. Jeroboam

    BD’s opening remarks sum this puzzle up for me. Thanks to the setter and BD. I’ll have a lot more to say about today’s Toughie.

  14. Scousegit

    Well, BD, I am always delighted to finish the puzzle and, after yesterday when I was way off the mark, my confidence was restored a little today although I agree that this solve was not the most difficult. Favourite was 17a, real penny dropper. Thanks, BD (not only for today’s blog but the whole BD experience) and the setter for a gentle tussle.

  15. Heno

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. I finished it, but I certainly didn’t find it easy. Really enjoyed it. 1d made me laugh, but my favourite was 12a. Last in was 9d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  16. Jane

    No disappointment in this camp – another puzzle that fell nicely into the ‘doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable’ category.
    How nice to see 17a spelled correctly!
    Plenty of clues ticked, with the laurels going to 12a closely followed by 10&27a.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    • Merusa

      Yes, re 17a. I meant to remark on the American spelling the other day as I always thought it had an “h” in it, but I am pretty used to it now and don’t recoil every time I see it sans the “h”.

  17. PAH

    Well some of you may not have found this enjoyable, but for me it was immensely pleasurable, as I was able to complete it without any help at all. I can very rarely do so without some electronic help, and/or (mostly and) a visit to this site (yes, I’m a lurker!). Thanks so much to you all for providing the hints – even if I do get the answer I sometimes don’t know why – and my OCD won’t let me relax until I’ve found out. My life changed when I discovered Big Dave!!

    • crypticsue

      Welcome. I think most of us would agree that our crosswording lives changed for the better when we found Big Dave

    • Rabbit Dave

      Welcome to the club! As CS remarks you are most definitely not alone in benefitting from this wonderful site!

    • Kath

      Welcome from me too – I echo what crypticsue and Rabbit Dave have said.
      One word of warning – this blog is totally addictive!

  18. Young Salopian

    I liked the butterfly in this very straightforward puzzle. No obscurities, nothing too difficult and overall a little disappointing because it was so comfortable. That said, it was still pleasant to solve and was 1.5*/2.5* for me.

    Thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron and of course BD.

  19. Kath

    I agree that this one was straightforward but I enjoyed it – if all the back page crosswords were tricky it would put off any new solvers.
    Anyway talking about its being straightforward I made a pigs ear of 15a to begin with – I jumped to the wrong conclusion and then spelt it wrong.
    I also got into a minor pickle with 8d.
    I liked 10 and 12a. My favourite was 27a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

      • Kath

        Yes – he’s definitely an 11d. He’s SO sweet. Every evening now when we’ve had supper and are sitting watching something on TV he wakes up from lying in front of the fire and puts one foot up onto the sofa beside me, the first foot is followed pretty quickly by a second foot and then, before I know it (well, before he thinks I’ve noticed) he’s up on the sofa with me. This is something that Annie never did because I taught her not to but I just don’t have the heart to stop him – he really needs (and is getting) a bit of spoiling. We (Ted and I) are busy doing stuff in the garden – I’m not getting much done because I keep stopping to throw fall-down apples for him – oh well, too bad!

        • Merusa

          Love the update! Sadie is allowed on the sitootery sofa but not the sitting room one, but as I so seldom use the sitting room, she doesn’t feel deprived!

          • Angel

            I wonder if sitootery is a U.S. word because a late very dear friend (married to an American) used it to refer to her garden room.

            • Merusa

              In my case, it came from Godson’s father who lives near Inverness – it’s where you “sit oot”. Mine is not a real sit oot as Florida is really too hot, but I have Windows all round and it feels like you are sitting oot!

          • Kath

            Yes – I think that Ted is making a pretty strong case too, as I would, had I any say in the matter – unfortunately neither of us does. I’ve never even met his owner – it’s a very long and complicated story. It’s far too long and complicated to go into here – everyone would be :yawn: but thank you so much for your interest and your comments.

  20. Gwizz

    Yep, the horses are docile. Pleasant enough; the only problem I had was with14d where I insisted on using ACE for expert. As Kath says occasionally, Oh dear.
    Favourite was 27a and 2/2* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for his review.

  21. jean-luc cheval

    Yet another crossword to prove that Tuesday is always a very good day.
    Maybe it has to do with the fact that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my weekend.
    15a and 16d took a little while to parse even though the answers were quite obvious from the definition.
    Good to great surface all round with lots of wit especially in 10a, 27a, 8d and 20d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the review.

  22. Beaver

    Going for a **/** , didn’t think the grammar of 8d worked very well-if at all.
    Some amusing clues like 27a and 12a, agree with Kath that straight forward crosswords encourage beginners- imagine if all puzzles were of 5* toughie standard ! Might turn me to drink.

  23. Vancouverbc

    This was the most R&W for a while. Nevertheless grateful for a quick finish today as the basement needs a lot of restorative work. Snow expected this week as well which is unusual for the west coast at this time of year. Thanks to all.

  24. LetterboxRoy

    I’m afraid I’m in the ‘rather mundane’ camp. Not a complaint, mind; they can’t all suit everyone.
    Thanks to all as ever, all the same.

  25. Merusa

    I agree with the * difficulty rating, except for 1d! It took me far too long to tumble to the fact that the Scottish party was political! I keep forgetting that Scotland has its own parliament.
    Loved 12a but fave was 27a, following the crowd.
    Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  26. silvanus

    I cannot do better than echo the customary wise words of Rabbit Dave, Jane and Jean-Luc, I thought this was as good a Tuesday puzzle as we’ve seen for ages. Like BD, I was prepared to overlook the fact that “alien” was doing double duty in 1a.

    Favourite clues were 12a, 27a, 1d and 8d. Tremendously entertaining and not in the least disappointing for this solver.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to BD.

  27. mre

    Good afternoon everybody.

    More straightforward than yesterday’s tour de force but one or two clues to think about to finish. Favourite was 1d. I also liked 19a and last in 9a. Thought 2d was a poor clue.

    Thought one of those pangram malarkeys was in prospect but no.


  28. John Rose

    Hi. Big fan of your site. I guess I know where I am placed in the hierarchy of crossword solvers because I liked this one and very nearly finished it on my own this time. Thanks for 19a, by the way.

    So, on behalf of all the second-rate people out there, thanks and keep on doing what you’re doing.

    Best wishes


    • Kath

      Welcome from me too and congratulations on nearly finishing it on your own – or, as my Younger Pet Lamb (our younger daughter) would say “all your own self”.
      You’re not second-rate at all – you just haven’t quite got a hold on cryptic crosswords yet – keep reading this brilliant blog and keep commenting, please. If you don’t understand something all you need to do is ask – someone will reply very quickly – usually within minutes, unless you’re in a different time zone in which case it could be a bit longer!

    • Young Salopian

      We all had t start somewhere, and it is no way a competition. We may only get 60 or so regular contributors, but the site gets hundreds of thousands of hits each year from solvers of different abilities. I believe that we all improve our solving skills over time, and regular contributing to the blog reminds us all that we are only as good as our last crossword.

      Welcome, John, and keep coming back.

  29. Jon_S

    On the easy side, but there’s nothing wrong with that. A perfectly fine crossword that I should have finished in * time, but didn’t. Blame the children…

  30. BusyLizzie

    Very enjoyable puzzle which I really needed on a trying morning making me very grumpy. Need to finish packing for a trip, a task I loathe, which is odd given that I love traveling, even airports. Almost didn’t get 17a as I have become used to the American spelling but still use the English pronounciation.

  31. hoofityoudonkey

    I really miss doing the DT crossword now I’m working, I went through the hints and thought 21a was a very good clue. Looking forward to Saturday and Sunday, then holiday in Turkey next week.
    Thanks to BD and Mr.Ron..

      • hoofityoudonkey

        That’s very kind of you to ask, Merusa.
        Early days, Southern trains and the RMT are adding a certain ‘piquancy’ to the experience.
        Hopefully, I won’t have to work for too much longer, then I can retire and do the things I enjoy.

  32. Tstrummer

    Completed amid much excitement at the arrival at 10.20pm of a new grandchild – and the first grandson. He will get a Tottenham babygrow from me (if his dad hasn’t got there first). I liked this puzzle and found half to be R&W but the other half evoked some pencil sucking. 27a is my pick of the pops. Thanks to BD and our setter, who is welcome back any time. 2*/3*


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