Solving Cryptic Crosswords: How to Crack Those Cryptic Clues by B. J. Holmes

By B. J. Holmes

This identify bargains hundreds of thousands of examples to demonstrate how crossword clues paintings and is helping readers know how crosswords are created and the way to interpret the clues.

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Extra info for Solving Cryptic Crosswords: How to Crack Those Cryptic Clues

Example text

The compiler will use a word like ‘aboard’ meaning that one component (or more) has to be nested within SS, in other words you have to put the component ‘aboard ship’. The following pulls this stunt. e. put ‘aboard’) to give S(TRAIT)S = STRAITS, a synonym for ‘trouble’. Other abbreviations commonly used as components are: British B, BR paid PD exercise PE, PT race TT firm CO railway RLY, RY mother MA, MUM, DAM COLLOQUIALISMS Colloquialisms, those words and sounds that we use in speech rather than put down on paper, are frequently drawn upon.

Example: Judgment raised spirits (4) (DOWN) 35 THE BASIC TRICKS The appropriate pairing here is DOOM and MOOD — but you might notice the ambiguity posed by the indicator being adjacent to both. The result is we cannot know which of the two words to put in until we have a checked letter at either the beginning or end. This breaks Rule 3 and unfortunately you will come across this little problem from time to time. The following is a DOWN clue with no ambiguity: Notice the rise of the spinners (4) (DOWN) 15 [167] 2 Most reversals, which provide complete answers, are words of only four letters — but there are some longer: Secure and bring back the components (5) 12 4 [283] 15 And the reversal business doesn’t stop at one word.

From the compiler’s point of view, this constraint makes it a difficult clue to construct and it is thus quite a rare breed. It also puts an onus on the solver who has to read and interpret the clue twice. Many ‘double duty’ clues are relatively easy and are often included for our enjoyment rather than as a mind-boggling challenge. The next one is a little awkward in appearance but it no doubt gave satisfaction to its compiler as it certainly provides satisfaction when we work out why our solution is correct.

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