Solve the cryptic clues and enter the answers in the grid.
The Cryptic Crossword is the flagship puzzle in national newspapers. To the uninitiated, the clues can seem bewildering – but while they may sometimes be misleading, they should always be solvable by logical means.
It helps the solver to know that a cryptic clue generally consists of two parts, the definition and the wordplay. The definition is synonymous with the answer and is usually positioned at the start or end of the clue. The wordplay, which forms the rest of the clue, involves one or more ‘cryptic devices’ that instruct the solver on how to construct the answer. Most cryptic devices make use of an ‘indicator’, which alerts the solver to the type of device employed.
Examples of cryptic devices include the Anagram, in which the letters of one or more words must be rearranged to form another word or phrase. In a Homophone clue, the wordplay provides a word that sounds the same as the definition but has a different meaning (eg bear and bare). In a Hidden Word clue, the letters of the answer are hidden consecutively within the clue itself.
Learning the ‘language of the clues’ will help the solver to decipher them. The more cryptic crosswords they tackle, the more familiar they will become with the devices that compilers use. A good way to learn is by looking at the answer and working backwards, to calculate how the clue leads to that answer.
Cryptic crosswords aren’t for everyone, but they do inspire a devoted following.
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