About “About” – Cryptic Tips from Julie Weaver Cowe

detective

It’s been a while since I’ve post a “how to” post for those learning the ins and outs of Cryptic Crosswords.

This is a reprint from Julie Weaver Cowe from her blog Crypticrochet. Cryptic learners should check out her blog for more solving and setting tips and also join the Cryptic Crossword Learners group on Facebook. Cryptic veterans should join FB’s Cryptic Crossword Society (the largest cryptic crossword group on Facebook).

So here’s what Julie has to say about “about”:

“When I was first learning to solve cryptics, the word “about” showed up so often that it caused me confusion. So much so that I began to hate seeing “about”. A year later, I’m better at identifying how it’s used but it was a real stumbling block for me in the beginning. It wasn’t until I started taking notes that I realised the many ways “about” is used by compilers when creating their clues. Compilers must love “about” for its versatility and ability to improve a clue’s surface.

“About” could be a reversal signpost, an anagrind, a container signpost or a charade element in a clue. Sometimes it’s just there for a smoother surface and has no other purpose – the most misleading “about” of all.

Being aware of the word “about” is good as it’s most likely an element to the solution. Once you understand how its being used it helps break up the clue so it’s easier to solve. Here are a few examples of the word “about” being used in different clue types. (various newspaper sources, not all beginner level)

As Reversal Signpost:

1) Suspend cockney with beer about girl (6) (@Lrxword)

2) A bit of advice about depression (3) (Cincinnus)

3) Boast about one’s clothes (4) (DP)

4) Jot about picture file? (3) (DA)

An Anagrind:

5) Narnia? Um, is it about Christian doctrine? (12) (Qaos)

6) Following guide, hear about carved decoration (10) (Commoner)

7) Anger about whatever Eve lost (5) (RM)

As A Container Signpost:

8) Embarrassed about battle for payoff (6) (Chifonie)

9) Passionate tale about leader of Mohicans (6) (Everyman)

10) Patrons complain about new players (14)

As A Charade Clue: (C(irca), RE(garding), CE, ON (and probably more!)

11) Extraordinary about machine-gun in swimmers (8) (@LRxword)

12) Leading gangster about and at large (5) (RM)

(I struggled to find clues where C/CE were used so please share one if you know one)

Just A Part of The Clue:

13) A lunatic, crazy about the sea (8) (Rufus)

Keep an eye out for the word “about” in your clues. Don’t brush it off as a connecting word but think of it as a red flag because it’s likely a key to the solution. The best part is, now that we know how “about” can be used it should make the clue easier to solve. I’ve come to respect “about” almost as much as the compilers, and I hope you will too.”

So, that’s about it! Thanks Julie!

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Fabulous Freebie Friday!

Originally posted on Paws4Thought:

Everyone want to be a winner, right? That’s why I’m currently running not one, not two, but three giveaways over at Goodreads. Why don’t you enter them all? – you never know you might get lucky.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Paws 4 Logic by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Paws 4 Logic

by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Giveaway ends March 17, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

 

Argentum by Debbie Manber Kupfer

 

Argentum

 

by Debbie Manber Kupfer

 

Giveaway ends March 20, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 

 

Enter to win

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sins of the Past by Chasity Nicole

Sins of the Past

by Chasity Nicole

Giveaway ends March 20, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

View original

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Paws 4 Logic – A Goodreads Giveaway

Good morning folks. Would you like to win a copy of Paws 4 Logic? I’m having a Goodreads Giveaway. (Giveaway open to US residents only.)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Paws 4 Logic by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Paws 4 Logic

by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Giveaway ends March 17, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Or pick up your copy today from Amazon US,

Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or

Createspace!

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How To Tell If You Are In A Logic Puzzle

This is hilariously funny. Anyone who has picked up my new book of logic problems should be able to relate!

How To Tell If You Are In A Logic Puzzle.

Paws4LogicCover

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Unwrapping Paws 4 Logic!

Another Box of Logic

It’s always exciting to receive a box, but even more exciting when the box holds 30 copies of the puzzle book you’ve been working on with your son for over a year!

This book could not have been created without a bunch of awesome people. First off there’s Joey who wrote six of the puzzles in Paws 4 Logic and test solved many of the others. Next there’s Ronni, who create the awesome cover of Paws 4 Logic and proofread the book.

Finally there’s my trusted band of test solvers:  Mohsin Ahmed, Ryan Austie, Marcus Carli, Neville Fogarty, Ralph Stanley Giddens, David Hogg, Ian Kupfer, Chasity Nicole, Saoirse O’Mara,  Diane Riggins, Rick Rossing, Gilah Stein, and Rick Thompson. Thanks guys!

Paws 4 Logic is now available on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Createspace.

Pick up your copy today.

Me with P4L

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Presenting Paws4Logic!

Paws4LogicCoverHighDef

It’s finally here. Presenting Paws4Logic – 37 original logic problems brought to you by Debbie Manber Kupfer and her son Joey.

Theatrical chickens, mouse connoisseurs, musical crickets, and enraged Plutonians all populate the pages of Paws4Logic.

Won’t you come inside?

Pick up your copy today from Createspace!

Update now available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

This project was a labor of love for me and Joey that took over a year to complete. I also would like to thank my daughter, Ronni and my trusted band of testsolvers – without all of you this never would have happened.

Happy Puzzling everyone!

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The Answers

As promised here are the answers to yesterday’s puzzles.

Answers Mini Quote and Cryptic Corner

 

 

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