Tag Archives: cryptic

Cryptic clues of the week: 19/7/17

Today, both clues of the week are from Kropotkin crossword 998: both provide interesting examples of the vagaries of the English language! They also illustrate Kropotkin’s tendency to write clues which rely on obscure and archaic words…

Kropotkin 998

1A: “It is eaten by large reptile” – a brain-twisting dilemma (11)

IT is eaten by (ie included in) CROCODILE. Pretty straightforward, and the definition is indeed a type of insoluble dilemma known to students of philosophy. There is the potential for confusion here, as the mineral crocidolite (which has a completely different derivation and pronunciation) is sometimes misspelled as crocodolite. Neither are words in common use!

27A: One living with someone won’t be dressed in acton unfortunately (10)

‘One living with someone’ is the definition. ‘Won’t’ is very misleading – it should be read ‘wont’ which is a synonym for ‘habit’. SO HABIT is included (‘dressed’) in an anagram (‘unfortunately’) of ACTON. Note that ‘acton’ is an archaic word for an item of clothing as suggested by ‘dressed’.

Cryptic clue of the week: 3/7/17

A cleverly misleading clue from the Observer Everyman this week: I really enjoyed this one, a standout from the weekend’s puzzles.

Observer Everyman 1/7/17

14D. Dandies keeping style of T. Rex in bright lights (3, 5)

‘Dandies’ = FOPS. ‘T. Rex’ would usually suggest the letter T followed by the letter R (which can also be suggested by ‘King’,’Regina’ or ‘Queen’). But here it refers to the rock band T. Rex, whose style is usually characterised as ‘glam rock’. So GLAM is inserted into (‘keeping’) FOPS. Very cunning!