That place of confinement can boast of many imaginative substitutes for its name. Clues that show how these get used in crosswords.
Times 25628: Maybe go through mood changes of criminal: prison worried (9) CONJUGATE
CON (criminal) JUG (prison) ATE (worried)
Times 25775: Create revolutionary movement in prison (4) STIR
Double definition; 'stir' is slang for prison.
On the history and possible origin of this meaning of 'stir', Grammarphobia has an interesting write-up.
FT 14540 (Orense): Wake up cooler (4) STIR
Double definition; 'cooler' refers to prison, usually meant for the more dangerous criminals.
Indy 8876 (Phi): Prison Director guided to reduce light (6) CANDLE
CAN (prison) D (director) LE[d] (guided to reduce i.e. cut short)
[Not to forget, 'can' means other things too.]
Times 25869: Nick — adolescent making a mess (7) CANTEEN
CAN (nick - slang for prison) TEEN (adoloscent)
You'll usually find 'nick' on the clue's surface dressed as a proper noun, or as a verb meaning 'steal' or 'cut'.
Times 25964: Remove a key from prison outfit (3) RIG
BRIG (prison) – B (key, of music)
'Brig' is a military prison, especially in a navy ship.7. CAGE
FT14791 (Bradman): Imprisoned maiden? That gets media treatment (8) COVERAGE
OVER (maiden, as in cricket) imprisoned i.e. put inside prison (CAGE)
FT14184 (Jason): One in pokey with excellent natter (6) CONFAB
CON (one in pokey - slang for prison) FAB (excellent)
Guardian 26203 (Rufus): Jug can clink (6) PRISON
Indy 8775 (Phi): Event enabling you to live out of time? (9) JAILBREAK cd
To 'do time' is to serve a prison sentence.
Sunday Times 4622 (Jeff Pearce): Fool can get drunk in bar (9) BIRDBRAIN
BIRD (can i.e. prison) (IN BAR)*
'Bird' can mean prison, a term in prison, or a prison inmate (short for jailbird). The word comes from bird-lime, rhyming slang for 'time'. Often used in the phrase 'do bird', which means 'do time'.
Similar to 'bird', 'porridge' can mean prison or a term in prison, especially in the phrase 'do porridge' (serve a prison sentence). The word gained wider currency with the BBC TV series Porridge, a sitcom about prison inmates.
FT14822 (Monk): Bishop, one putting on fat in time (8) PORRIDGE
RR (bishop - Right Reverend) I (one), putting on i.e. inside PODGE (fat). The definition 'time'
Wikipedia attributes this usage of 'porridge' to the staple diet of porridge in UK prisons.
Times 25303: One violently smashing lip has for a start to be imprisoned (12) SLEDGEHAMMER
EDGE (lip) H ('has', for a start), to be 'imprisoned' i.e. to be inside SLAMMER
Any other interesting prison terms you can think of? Add to the list in the comments section.
With such diversity of synonyms, it's not uncommon to find multi-definition clues associated with 'prison'. Till a while back, the maximum count of definitions that I'd seen in a single clue was in this clue for SET. Then in Dec 2014, I came across this outstanding 7-definitional:
Indy 8797 (Hieroglyph): Nick Cage can stir porridge inside big house in the States (6)
'nick', 'cage', 'can', 'stir', 'porridge', 'inside', 'big house' (in the States) - all mean prison.
More clues that play on words referring to 'prison'. Have fun solving!
Sunday Times 4584 (Dean Mayer): A handle for jug, all in enamel (8) N_______
Times 25900: Fine golden bird on toy stall (4,3,4) P___ ___ ___E
Indy 8647 (Dac): Tough jailbird shown round a prison (4-4) C___-____
Times 24571: Cooler name rejected by psychologist (3)
- What "Bodyguard" Could Mean in Cryptic Clues
- Counting the Ways of Using COUNTER
- Have No Enemy But Time
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