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Cryptic crossword clues can be ingenious and witty, as this blog tries to explain. The blog tries to convey this owl's passion for the genre, but also to give a mini-tutorial on how cryptic crosswords clues are constructed.
Posted by Andy Brown on 26 May 2020
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These are probably the simplest clues to understand, but perversely they can also be the hardest to solve. Here's an example:
This is also an &Lit clue, as it happens, since the clue is both the wordplay and the definition.
OK, let's look at the clue again:
So if you take some of the letters in order in Type that exasperates you get the answer (pet hate).
That one was from puzzle 27366 on Saturday 1st June 2019. Here are some more gems, ending with my winner in this category (I've put the definition in blue and the hidden letters in red).
The clue for this one is:
Notice that there must be some indicator to show that you're not taking all of the letters (in this case the word Some).
The clue here was:
A beautifully smooth surface reading summons up the image of someone making a newspaper a bit racier, and the definition (had as in conned) is well hidden. I also like the use of the word content to indicate you should take the content of the three preceding words.
The winner is this clue (also, again, an &Lit clue too as it happens):
Who would have imagined that you could describe a Litmus test so well by hiding its letters in sequential order in a sentence?