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Cryptic clues of the week: 12/7/2017

Have you tried the Observer Everyman cryptic crossword in the Herald each Saturday? If not, you should give it a go! It’s in the Weekend section just below the Kropotkin puzzle but it’s quite a different puzzle. It uses very few rare and obscure words, instead relying on clever cryptic clues to hide the answer. Solving these clues can be a great way to learn the tricks of the cryptic crossword compiler!

As always, the Observer Everyman crossword provides some interesting clues this week, including:

1A: Work with learner cutting average tree (6)

POPLAR
‘Work’ is OP (an abbreviation for opus, a musical work). ‘Learner is ‘L” (as in ‘L plate’). Put these ‘with’ each other inside (‘cutting’) PAR (‘average). Many compilers wouldn’t use ‘cutting’ in this way but it goes well with the idea of a tree.

15D: Predicament involving tester in turbulence in air current (3, 6)

JET STREAM
‘Predicament’ is a JAM. ‘Tester in turbulence’ signifies an anagram of ‘tester’ which is ‘involved’ or included in JAM. Again, the use of ‘turbulence’ to suggest ‘mixing up the letters’ is a clever way of linking to the idea of an air stream.