Deals in used articles crossword clue

Take letters out of clue to provide solution. This type of clue is normally only found in challenging puzzles. Next, check out some common cryptic crossword Abbreviations.

1. Introduction

Types of Clues Understanding the different types of word-play used in cryptic crosswords is crucial to your success. For example: Hair style with comb in it? A late bloomer? The answer here is a pun with an obscure meaning for Bloom-er one that blooms: a flower. Poor opportunities for snooker players? Another pun. Reversed gives STOP. A palindrome meaning advance. E and W are compass points. Note an example where punctuation is only intended to mislead. Exceeded bounds. Observe odd characters in scene 3 Answer: SEE.

Field entered by sportsmen ultimately! Whole clue is the definition. We pen and pen with arms outstretched! Rookie wears glasses to the toilet 3 Answer: LOO. OO looks like glasses. Sample Clue The seamstress's sensation? In The Times , for example, all words have at least half the letters checked, and although words can have two unchecked squares in succession, they cannot be the first two or last two letters of a word.

The grid shown here breaks one Times grid rule: the letter words at 9 and 24 across each have 8 letters unchecked out of The Independent allows setters to use their own grid designs. Word boundaries are denoted by thick lines called "bars". In these variety puzzles, one or more clues may require modification to fit into the grid, such as dropping or adding a letter, or being anagrammed to fit other, unmodified clues; unclued spaces may spell out a secret message appropriate for the puzzle theme once the puzzle is fully solved. The solver also may need to determine where answers fit into the grid.

A July "Puzzlecraft" section in Games magazine on cryptic crossword construction noted that for cryptic crosswords to be readily solvable, no fewer than half the letters for every word should be checked by another word for a standard cryptic crossword, while nearly every letter should be checked for a variety cryptic crossword. In most UK "advanced cryptics" 'variety cryptic' , at least three-quarters of the letters in each word are checked. There are notable differences between British and North American including Canadian cryptics.

American cryptics are thought of as holding to a more rigid set of construction rules than British ones. American cryptics usually require all words in a clue to be used in service of the wordplay or definition, whereas British ones allow for more extraneous or supporting words. In American cryptics, a clue is only allowed to have one subsidiary indication, but in British cryptics the occasional clue may have more than one; e.

In Poland similar crosswords are called " Hetman crosswords". In Finnish , this type of crossword puzzle is known as piilosana literally "hidden word" , while krypto refers to a crossword puzzle where the letters have been coded as numbers. In India the Telugu publication Sakshi carries a "Tenglish" Telugu-English, bilingual cryptic crossword; [11] the Prajavani crossword Kannada also employs cryptic wordplay.

In Chinese something similar is the riddle of Chinese characters, where partial characters instead of substrings are clued and combined. Clues given to the solver are based on various forms of wordplay.

Nearly every clue has two non-overlapping parts to it: one part that provides an unmodified but often indirect definition for the word or phrase, and a second part that includes the wordplay involved. Most cryptic crosswords provide the number of letters in the answer, or in the case of phrases, a series of numbers to denote the letters in each word: "cryptic crossword" would be clued with " 7,9 " following the clue.

More advanced puzzles may drop this portion of the clue. An anagram is a rearrangement of a certain section of the clue to form the answer. This is usually indicated by words such as "strange", "bizarre", "muddled", "wild", "drunk", or any other term indicating change. One example:. Anagram clues are characterized by an indicator word adjacent to a phrase that has the same number of letters as the answer. The indicator tells the solver that there is an anagram they need to solve to work out the answer.

Indicators come either before or after the letters to be anagrammed. In an American cryptic, only the words given in the clue may be anagrammed; in some older puzzles, the words to be anagrammed may be clued and then anagrammed. So in this clue:. Chew is the anagram indicator; honeydew clues melon , which is to be anagrammed; and fruit is the definition for the answer, LEMON.

This kind of clue is called an indirect anagram , which in the vast majority of cryptic crosswords are not used, ever since they were criticised by 'Ximenes' in his book On the Art of the Crossword. Minor exception: simple abbreviations may be used to spice up the process; e. It is common for the setter to use a juxtaposition of anagram indicator and anagram that form a common phrase to make the clue appear as much like a 'normal' sentence or phrase as possible.

For example:. Here the answer is formed by joining individually clued words to make a larger word namely, the answer. The definition is "managing money". With this example, the words appear in the same order in the clue as they do in the answer, and no special words are needed to indicate this. However, the order of the parts is sometimes indicated with words such as "against", "after", "on", "with" or "above" in a down clue.

Other container indicators are "inside", "over", "around", "about", "clutching", "enters", and the like. Deletions consist of beheadments , curtailments , and internal deletions. In beheadments, a word loses its first letter. In curtailments, it loses its last letter, and internal deletions remove an inner letter, such as the middle one. The answer would be TAR , another word for "sailor", which is a "celebrity", or star, without the first letter.

The answer is BOO.

“The Penny Drops”: Investigating Insight Through the Medium of Cryptic Crosswords

If you ignore the punctuation, a book is a "read", and book "endlessly" is boo , a "shout". Note that "sweetheart" could also be simply "wee" or the letter "E", that is, the "heart" middle of "sweet". A clue may, rather than having a definition part and a wordplay part, have two definition parts. Note that since these definitions come from the same root word, an American magazine might not allow this clue.

American double definitions tend to require both parts to come from different roots, as in this clue:.

Related clues

This takes advantage of the two very different meanings and pronunciations of POLISH , the one with the long "o" sound meaning "someone from Poland" and the one with the short "o" sound meaning "make shiny". These clues tend to be short; in particular, two-word clues are almost always double-definition clues. Some British newspapers have an affection for quirky clues of this kind where the two definitions are similar:.

When the answer appears in the clue but is contained within one or more words, it is hidden. The word "hides" is used to mean "contains," but in the surface sense suggests "pelts". A complication is that "damaged" often but not in this clue means "rearrange the letters". Possible indicators of a hidden clue are "in part", "partially", "in", "within", "hides", "conceals", "some", and "held by". Hidden words clues are sometimes called "Embedded words" or "Telescopic clues". The opposite of a hidden word clue, where letters missing from a sentence have to be found, is known as a Printer's Devilry , and appears in some advanced cryptics.

The answer would be APE , which is a type of primate. This is obtained from the first letters of "actor needing new identity emulates". It is possible to have initialisms just for certain parts of the clue. It is also possible to employ the same technique to the end of words. Here, we take the first letters of only the words "Head Office" ho and we take the "end" of the word "day" y. The letters of the word "dame", meaning "lady", are then made to go around the letters "ho" to form Dahomey.

Crossword Solver

Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings, such as "night" and "knight". Homophone clues always have an indicator word or phrase that has to do with phonetics, such as "reportedly", "they say", "utterly" here treated as "utter ing -ly" and not with its usual meaning , "vocal", "to the audience", "auditioned", "by the sound of it", "is heard", "in conversation" and "on the radio". The homophone is indicated by "we hear". If the two words are the same length, the clue should be phrased in such a way that only one of them can be the answer.


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This is usually done by having the homophone indicator adjacent to the word that is not the definition; therefore, in the previous example, "we hear" was adjacent to "twins" and the answer was pare rather than pair. The indicator could come between the words if they were of different lengths and the enumeration was given, such as in the case of "right" and "rite". The letter bank form of cluing consists of a shorter word or words containing no repeated letters an "isogram" , and a longer word or phrase built by using each of these letters but no others at least once but repeating them as often as necessary.

This type of clue has been described by American constructors Joshua Kosman and Henry Picciotto, who write the weekly puzzle for The Nation. The shorter word is typically at least three or four letters in length, while the target word or phrase is at least three letters longer than the bank word. Typically, the clue contains indicator words such as "use," "take," or "implement" to signal that a letter bank is being employed. In this case, "ingredients" signals that the letters of both "Advil" and "Not" form the bank.

Kosman and Picciotto consider this to be a newer and more complicated form of cluing that offers another way, besides the anagram, of mixing and recombining letters. Other indicator words include "receding", "in the mirror", "going the wrong way", "returns", "reverses" "to the left" or "left" for across clues , and "rising", "overturned" or "mounted" or "comes up" for down clues. Here the clue appears to say one thing, but with a slight shift of viewpoint it says another. Here, the surface reading suggests a blossom, which disguises the fact that the name of a river is required. Notice the question mark: this is often though by no means always used by compilers to indicate this sort of clue is one where you need to interpret the words in a different fashion.

The way that a clue reads as an ordinary sentence is called its surface reading and is often used to disguise the need for a different interpretation of the clue's component words. This type of clue is common in British and Canadian cryptics but is a bit less common in American cryptics; in American-style crosswords, a clue like this is generally called a punny clue. It's almost certainly the oldest kind of cryptic clue: cryptic definitions appeared in the UK newspaper puzzles in the late s and early s that mixed cryptic and plain definition clues and evolved into fully cryptic crosswords.

A relatively uncommon clue type, a Spoonerism is a play on words where corresponding consonant clusters are switched between two words in a phrase or syllables in a word and the switch forms another pair of proper sounding words. In contrast to all other clue types, this makes them almost impossible to disguise. But that doesn't necessarily make them easy. The Spoonerism is "bitter" angry and "lug" bear, as in carry. The vast majority of Spoonerism clues swap the first consonants of words or syllables, but Spoonerisms are not strictly restricted to that form and some setters will take advantage of this.

John Henderson Enigmatist in the Guardian once clued for the Spoonerism "light crick" from "right click", [17] which didn't sit well with many solvers. In this case, the entire clue is both a definition and a cryptic clue.

Crossword Help

The answer is ODIN. The Norse god Odin is hidden in "g od in carnate", as clued by "essentially", but the definition of Odin is also the whole clue, as Odin is essentially a God incarnate. Another example:. Geese find their origins in eggs, so the whole clue gives "egg", but the clue can also be broken down: e. Daily Telegraph Tuesday 22 April has: "Dog in wild? The phrase "to turn" indicates "to reverse," and "part of" suggests a piece of "Internet torrid".

To make clues more difficult, cryptic constructors will frequently use traditional indicator words in a misleading manner.

Abbreviations are popular with crossword compilers for cluing individual letters or short sections of the answer. Consider this clue:. Compilers use many of these crossword abbreviations. Another type of abbreviation in clues might be words that refer to letters. For example, 'you' refers to the letter U, 'why' refers to the letter Y, etc. A clue for instance:. Often, Roman numerals are used to break down words into their component letter groups.

In this clue:. Cryptic clue styles across newspapers are ostensibly similar, but there are technical differences which result in the work of setters being regarded as either Ximenean or Libertarian and often a combination of both. Ximenean rules are very precise in terms of grammar and syntax, especially as regards the indicators used for various methods of wordplay.

Libertarian setters may use devices which "more or less" get the message across. Ximenean rules would not allow something like "reach first" to indicate that R is the first letter of "reach" because, grammatically, that is not what "reach first" implies. Instead, a phrase along the lines of "first to reach" would be needed as this conforms to rules of grammar. Many Libertarian crossword editors would, however, accept "reach first" as it would be considered to reasonably get the idea across. The Guardian is perhaps the most Libertarian of cryptic crosswords, while The Times is mostly Ximenean.

The others tend to be somewhere in between; the Financial Times and Independent tend towards Ximenean, the Daily Telegraph also — although its Toughie crossword can take a very Libertarian approach depending on the setter. None of the major daily cryptics in the UK is "strictly Ximenean"; all allow clues which are just cryptic definitions, and strict Ximenean rules exclude such clues. There are other differences like nounal anagram indicators and in current Times crosswords, unindicated definition by example: "bay" in the clue indicating HORSE in the answer, without a qualification like "bay, perhaps".

In terms of difficulty, Libertarian clues can seem impenetrable to inexperienced solvers. Crosswords in the Times and Daily Telegraph are published anonymously, so the crossword editor ensures that clues adhere to a consistent house style. Inevitably each setter has an individual and often very recognisable approach to clue-writing, but the way in which wordplay devices are used and indicated is kept within a defined set of rules. In the Guardian , Independent , Financial Times and Telegraph Toughie series the setters' pseudonyms are published, so solvers become familiar with the styles of individual setters rather than house rules.

Thus the level of difficulty is associated with the setter rather than the newspaper, though puzzles by individual setters can actually vary in difficulty considerably. It is effectively impossible, then, to describe one newspaper's crosswords as the toughest or easiest. For newcomers to cryptic puzzles the Daily Telegraph is often regarded as an ideal starting point, but this is contentious.