In this interesting article, Sarah Lolley talks about the cryptic crossword clues that stay with us.
Join Todd McClary’s wonderful Anti-Match game!
Originally posted on life as a puzzle:
This quiz contains ten categories representing different areas of knowledge. Each category requires you to choose one answer from a range of possible correct answers. Your goal for each category is to choose a correct answer that is chosen by as few other players as possible. A correct answer scores 1 point plus 1 point for every other player who chooses the same answer. An incorrect answer receives a penalty score: the highest correct-answer score for the given category plus 1. The player with the lowest total score wins.
The categories in this game are named for characters in the 1972-1983 television series M*A*S*H, based on the 1970 feature film and the 1968 novel by Richard Hooker. Each category’s subject matter is only tangentially related to the character, thus a familiarity with the M*A*S*H franchise is not required. The notation “11C” refers to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
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Shana Tova – a happy new year to all my puzzle friends!
An interview with master constructor Patrick Blindauer.
Originally posted on PuzzleNation.com Blog:
Welcome to another edition of PuzzleNation Blog’s interview feature, 5 Questions!
We’re reaching out to puzzle constructors, video game writers and designers, board game creators, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and puzzle enthusiasts from all walks of life, talking to people who make puzzles and people who enjoy them in the hopes of exploring the puzzle community as a whole. (Click here to check out previous editions of 5 Questions!)
And I’m excited to have Patrick Blindauer as our latest 5 Questions interviewee!
Any list of the top constructors in crosswords today simply has to include Patrick Blindauer. His puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the American Values Club Crossword, GAMES Magazine, and numerous other outlets, and Patrick is known for his devilishly clever themes and challenging puzzle grids.
As a regular contributor to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and co-host of…
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And the winner is – Joey Marks, the animagus kangaroo.
Originally posted on Paws4Thought:
I was tagged in the Character Blog Hop by Margo Dill
So without further ado here is everyone’s favorite animagus kangaroo – Joey Marks.
Welcome Joey and thank you for taking time out to talk to us.
G’day mates. I’m really happy to be here today *jumping up and down*.
We can see that Joey. Please take a seat? So tell us, how do you like St. Louis P.A.W.S.?
It’s great! Everyone’s really welcoming and the classes are super cool. And I love the dining room and all the scrumptious foods Hugo makes (even if he does eat half of it himself). I’ve made some new mates too – there’s Josh and Miri of course, but my best mate’s Sean. He can change into a horse, you know, and he’s been giving me riding lessons. I’m not very good yet, but I’m getting better – I only fell off…
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Originally posted on Paws4Thought:
OK, folks survey time! I’ve been tagged in the character interview blog hop (thanks Margo). So who in P.A.W.S. would you like me to interview?
Here are the choices:
1. Joey Marks – the animagus kangaroo from Australia.
2. Ian – animagus chimp and resident comedian from St. Louis zoo.
3. Hugo Hogsworth – shapeshifter pig and cook at St. Louis P.A.W.S.
4. Beatrice Bumsqueak – animagus toad and healer at St. Louis P.A.W.S.
Now you choose!
Today we continue our discussion of types of cryptic clues with a focus on Reverse Anagrams. Reverse Anagrams are popular fodder at the Cryptic Crossword Society where I have been known to set quite a few myself. There are less popular in published puzzles though do occasionally appear and are the type of clue that I liken to good quality dark chocolate – very little goes a long way.
Here’s what Sanket has to say:
REVERSE ANAGRAMS: How to spot them and nail them
A reverse anagram is a type of clue where fodder and the anagram indicator (anagrind, agitator) are supplied by the solver in the answer and the end result of anagramming is present in the clue itself, along with the definition.
Consider the following examples:
1. Unbeaten ton (3,3)
2. Wrong way to make wealth (5,3,3)
3. A grid map for change of worldview (8,5)
4. Grim area for couples (6,8)
5. Threat of a Tea Party member (3,6)
6. What serves the world for free, if not porn? (3,6,12)
Before we solve, a tip that would serve you well, is to look at the enum, where you will find the enum (enumeration of the answer) to be higher than the normal size.
The first one, Unbeaten is the def, and ton is the fodder, and we should find a relevant anagrind with an anagram of not. A little understanding of cricket will tell us that Unbeaten means NOT OUT, where not anagrams to ton, and out is the relevant anagrind.
The second clue is trickier, and well known. Here, we understand the subtle nuance of post-fix (which come after the fodder) and pre-fix (before the fodder) anagrind. Wrong way to make wealth, is to BREAK THE LAW, where the law anagrams to wealth, and Break is the relevant anagrind (pre fix). Also, Break the law gives instruction to a wrong way to make wealth. This is grammatically kosher, and more appreciated. This clue falls into the category called &lits( AND LITERALLY SO, or ALL IN ONE) where the whole surface is the def.
In the third clue, A grid map anagrams to PARADIGM, and a little knowledge of management jargon tells us the relevant anagrind is SHIFT, making PARADIGM SHIFT the correct answer for change of worldview. Notice that Paradigm shifted would have been a better form grammatically, and SHIFT Paradigm also, however neither of those are the correct term. This might be frowned upon in some circles. Good practice is to pay attention to the cryptic grammar. It makes the clue fairer and more satisfying for the setter as well as the solver.
The fourth clue is simple, Grim area anagrams to MARRIAGE, and the clue being a semi all-in-one (semi &lit) means, that the answer is BROKEN MARRIAGE, or FAILED MARRIAGE. This is another issue in reverse anagrams, as more than one anagrind might be suitable for the answer. It is the responsibility of the setter to make the clue eliminate alternative answers.
The fifth clue would take you to wonderland, where a Tea Party member is known by the name of MAD HATTER. Notice here, the use of “OF”. Normally good practice in reverse anagram clues is to avoid usage of such connectors. However, they are not frowned upon, as long as we are discussing good practice.
Finally, the last clue, here we see a def, no connector word, and an enum that clearly indicated a reverse anagram. If not porn anagrams to NON PROFIT, and general knowledge would tell you the relevant anagrind is ORGANISATION (post fix anagrind).
Hope, you have learnt the basics of Reverse anagrams by the study of these examples.
For practice in writing and solving cryptic clues come join the Cryptic Crossword Learners on Facebook.
One of my favorite pastimes is the writing and solving of cryptic clues and puzzles. On Facebook I am an admin of the Cryptic Crossword Society. When I first joined the group it had about 400 members. Today it has over 10,000. The volume of cryptic clues is huge and has led to the creation of several breakaway groups. One of these, Cryptic Crossword Learners, is specifically for cryptic newbies who wish to learn the ins and outs of cryptics.
A friend and long time member of CCS, Sanket Shrivastava, today posted this short article in the newbie group, explaining one of the most entertaining forms of cryptic clue, the cryptic definition. This kind of clue usually relies on some kind of pun or lateral thinking and in the US this type of clue is usually indicated by a question mark. There are often seen in regular (non-cryptic) US puzzles too.
Here is what Sanket said:
One of the most beautiful aspects of cryptic crosswords are Cryptic Definitions, or CDs. A CD is a clue type where the whole surface is punny. It says something and means something quite different. Look at the picture,once you stare at it for a while, you will see two visions. This is how to approach the CD. Let us study further with some popular examples.
1. A paid informer (7)
2. Nice friend (3)
3. Capital of USA (7)
4. He needs a staff for spring (4-7)
5. Wicked thing (6)
6. The rest of the afternoon (6)
7. Breathtaking passage (7)
1. The surface suggests a type of mole, but it really means one who gets paid to educate, ergo TEACHER
2. The surface suggests a good buddy, but because this is a cryptic clue, it is definitely not that; rather it is a word for friend, as spoken in Nice, a place in France, ergo AMI
3. In a quick crossword, the answer would be DC, but here, it is the money (capital) of America, ergo DOLLARS.
4. Here, we are not talking about recruitment, but someone who needs a pole (staff) for jumping (spring), ergo POLE VAULTER
5. This oldest chestnut in the basket, is a CANDLE, not something evil, but a bringer of light
6. Here the surface suggests remaining time, but it really means the quiet enjoyed in some cultures after the noon meals (like in Spain or in Bengal), called the SIESTA
7. This is not a wonderful piece of literature, but the NOSTRIL
Cryptic definitions are the very soul of the crossword, and identifying them and solving them is tricky and satisfying. They are difficult to construct but once you get the hang of it, they can be fun to set and solve. CDs are standalone, with the whole surface providing a definition as well as the pun. They are different from &lits (All in one clues) in the sense that in &lits there is a clear wordplay involved, usually a charade or an anagram. For instance,
It is done in rebellion! (8)
This is an &lit, with SEDITION as the solution, where “it is done”, is the anagram fodder, in rebellion is the anagram indicator, and the whole surface defines SEDITION. However, &lit will require a separate post of their own. This example was made to show difference between construction of a CD and an &lit. &lit are the hardest to make, and they are the most prized form of art in the cryptic crossword, just as CDs are the subtlest form of art in crosswords.
A Cryptic Crossword from Neville Fogarty.
Originally posted on Neville Fogarty:
Hey! I’ve been doing this for two years now! That’s pretty cool!
Thanks for your feedback – both public and private – about variety puzzles last week. Got some strong opinions all around. I don’t think you’ve seen the last variety puzzle here. In fact, I’m mixing things up with a cryptic this week. Enjoy!
Edit: 14-Across and 15-Down should both be enumeration (4,5), not (9) as listed.
A cool variety puzzle from Neville Fogarty.
Originally posted on Neville Fogarty:
Sorry, but due to technical limitations, this week’s puzzle is available only in PDF format.
I was introduced to a new type of puzzle in WordPlay Magazine called Pent Words, and I think it’s a fun little crossword variant. The puzzle was invented by Grant Fikes; he runs a neat puzzle blog with plenty of word and logic teasers of all sorts. Here’s one of my first efforts at a Pent Words puzzle; I hope you enjoy it! (Be sure to read the instructions and look at the example if you’ve never done one of these before.)
Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to post more variety puzzles (like this one) in the future.