The Long and Short of Cryptic Abbreviations

by Denise Sutherland One of the keys to cracking the cryptic code is learning about abbreviations. We setters use abbreviations in our clues all the time. They are used to ‘clue’ letters individually, or sometimes in pairs or triplets. Here’s an example. Say I am writing a clue for the word CICADA. One of the […]

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Anagram Clues

by Denise Sutherland One of the most common types of cryptic crossword clue you’ll come across is anagram clues. In these sorts of clues there is — as is usual with most cryptic clues – a definition, and some wordplay. The definition is a regular definition for the answer word. So, for example, say if […]

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Cryptic Crossword Puzzles With Nixie

by Denise Sutherland  So – what are cryptic crosswords? To the uninitiated they appear completely unfathomable, and deservedly so. The clues seem to make no sense whatsoever! Well, I’m happy to tell you that they can make sense, once you know the tricks of the trade. A cryptic clue is typically formed from two elements […]

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Cryptic Clue Anatomy

by Denise Sutherland So, what makes a cryptic clue? There are some general principles that apply to most types of cryptic clues. We’re all used to regular crossword clues, which are basically definitions for, or possibly examples of, the answer. So you might have: Feline (7) = LEOPARD In a cryptic clue, however, there are […]

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How To Solve Codewords

by Catherine Eagleson Codewords are crosswords without written clues.  You are provided with a grid, and each square contains a number 1 to 26 (ie. the letters of the alphabet).   You are given a small number of letters to start you off.  Your challenge is to study the numerical patterns in the grid, and using […]

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