Solving cryptic crosswords: palindromes

Palindromes are a special case of cryptic clue as they sometimes provide just a definition, without any obvious hint as to the letters to be used.

Whichever way you look at it, it provides evidence of ownership (4)

Can you work it out?


Note that it provides evidence of ownership is the definition. There is no clue as to the spelling of the word, other than whichever way you look at it which signifies that the answer is a palindrome. Once you crack that, solving the clue should be relatively straightforward – especially if you already have one or more letters.

Of course, palindrome solutions are usually pretty short! Here’s a longer one, one of the most famous palindromes in English:

To-and-fro introduction (5,2,4)


Here, to-and-fro is the palindrome signifier and introduction is the definition.

Other palindrome signifiers you may come across in cryptic clues:

  • Either way
  • Looking both ways
  • Up and down (Down clues only)
  • Can be reversed
  • Backwards and forwards
  • Back and forth

237px-crossword_psfHow to solve Kropotkin, Tossman and other cryptic crosswords.