Lifestyle

Cryptic crossword setter's pro tips revealed

CRYPTIC clues follow specific rules, which are subject to exceptions as outlined in the previous notes. The setter will challenge you to think laterally while he has his fun.

Consider every word

While clues are constructed to make grammatical sense, very often every word in the clue is significant. Articles are very easy to overlook, but here's a few examples showing where usually not-so-important words make all the difference.

 Nothing to hold a spike (4)

Answer: NAIL

Definition: Spike.

Explanation: Nothing = NIL, to hold "a" - put A inside NIL = NAIL.

Note the importance of the article "a" even though it was grammatically required.

 I'm a leader of Muslims! (4)

Answer: IMAM

Explanation: Whole clue is a definition (indicated by "!"). "Leader of Muslims" = M (first letter of Muslims). IM + A + M = IMAM (a religious figure).

Note: This is not a blanket rule. There are plenty of cases where an extra word or two may be needed for correct grammatical structure. Just ensure the alternative is always considered.

Abbreviations

Many cryptic crosswords use abbreviations. While the origins of many of these are readily identifiable, there are a great number of outdated abbreviations still commonly in use. Normally of British origin, these components of word-play can sometimes be quite obscure

Abbreviations are often used in "charade" clues

 Bishop turned on the gas light (6) Answer: BLITHE

Definition: Light.

Explanation: Bishop abbreviates B from chess notation, Gas abbreviates HE for helium.B + LIT (turned on) + HE = BLITHE

TYPES OF CLUES

Anagrams

Hianvg the frsit and lsat lteter of ecah wrod wlil hlep slvoe agaranms ftaser!

Anagrams are the most common clue-type.

Indicated by potentially hundreds of words that loosely mean modify or change. Some examples: "transfer", "switch", "cook", "kill", "reborn", "mixed", "turned", "out", "off", "warped", "lost", "moved". Always consider potential anagram indicators when solving any clue. Fodder (the letters to be jumbled) will always appear before or after indicator. Multiple whole words can be used as fodder however the number of letters must match the solution.

 Dress suiting a saint (8) Answer: IGNATIUS.

Definition:"Saint"

Word play:"Dress" indicates anagram. Letters of "suiting a" provide IGNATIUS (a saint).

Note the importance of the article "a".

School run - true/false (7) Answer: NURTURE.

Definition:School

Word Play:"False" indicates anagram. Letters of "run true" provide NURTURE (to school).

Note that here punctuation is only intended to mislead

Topics:  crossword puzzles



Driver charged with drink driving late Saturday

Police have charged the man with drink driving

Driver to face court on drink driving charge

Police lay arson charges after blaze

FIRE: A building caught fire on Wood St, Warwick this morning.

UPDATE: Police have laid charges following this morning's fire

GALLERY: Wet weather doesn't dampen Spring Fair

FOR SALE: John and Amelia Morris, 16, were selling fresh blooms at the Spring Fair at the Warwick Killarney Uniting Church yesterday.

Shoppers pick up tasty treats and special wares

Local Partners

6 reasons why you should be having sex in the morning

WHILE you'd likely prefer to get a head start on the day, there are some serious benefits to hitting snooze - and enjoying another type of morning workout.

Two years clean: 'I was really stuck and frustrated'

TRANSFORMED: Bayside Transformations graduate Leena Whelan struggled with addiction for more than 20 years.

Leena Whelan struggled with addiction for more than 20 years.

Screening of anti-vaccination film 'could cost kids' lives'

The first childhood vaccinations were introduced in Australia in 1932.

Doctors damn anti-vaccination film screening

premium_icon Ian Frazer on cusp of breakthrough on neck cancer vaccine

The new vaccine will be trialled on head and neck cancer patients in Brisbane.

IAN Frazer may be on the cusp of another big cancer breakthrough

When should you tell your kids about Santa?

Keeping up the Santa charade is less about what the lie will do to them and more about what knowing the truth means for school interactions.

There's magic in the myths of childhood

COMING SOON: Lock and start your car from your phone

LATEST TECH: Holden owners will be able to access many of their cars functions via a smartphone app.

This is the automotive world's version of Big Brother.

How to lose weight in 20 mins a day

It is possible to lose weight in 20 minutes a day. But you’ll probably need to back away from biscuit tin too. Picture: Geri Farr

It is possible to lose weight with just 20 minutes of exercise a day