Monday, August 11, 2008

Want Help Deconstructing Clues?

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If you have the clue text and its solution, but can't figure out how the clue leads to the solution - you can post both in the comments section. I'll try to help with analyzing the clue.

Note: Please post cryptic crossword clues only, and mention the source/setter of the clue.

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111 comments

KarSub said...

Hi Suchi,

Your blog is very well written and neatly organized. I liked that you have kept your writing simple and you have chosen a white theme, which makes me feel like that there's a big board called "Demystified Here!"

My question is pretty simple THC 9366 -


17a Firearm, good French one (3)


I know the answer, but ..why?

Shuchi said...

Glad that you like the blog.

The clue you asked about is a charade.

Firearm = definition
good = G (the abbreviation for good)
French one = UN (the number 1 in French)

So the answer is GUN.

KarSub said...

Hi Shuchi,

Help again - THC 9368

British honor would exclude one beginning to tope (7)

How does the net come in?

Shuchi said...

It's like this:

British honor = definition [should've been spelt 'honour', since we're talking British not American :) ]

would = connector

exclude = BAR
one = ONE
beginning to tope = the letter T

So it is a charade, giving BAR ONE T.

Mithr said...

Hi i am a newbie with hindu crossword, so trying to figure out how to solve based on solutions!
Could you help me solve this
Tempts with ten cooked desserts (7)

answer: entices. how does ices make cooked desserts ?

Shuchi said...

@Mithr: 'cooked' is an anagram indicator for 'ten' here, not an adjective for 'desserts'. Read it this way:
ten (cooked) + desserts = anagram of TEN + ICES = ENTICES

Words like cooked, scrambled, baked, etc. tend to be anagram indicators in cryptic clues. For further reading: How To Spot Anagrams.

Anish said...

Hello Shuci!

Wonderful work in here. :-)


Here's my doubt and I sure shall pepper you with many more.

THC 9511:

Profile of Conservative leader visiting constituencies? (7)

Thanks in advance.

Shuchi said...

Hi Anish, The answer should be CONTOUR, but I know that it doesn't fit into the grid!

conservative=C, visting constituencies=ON TOUR, and profile is the definition.

Seems to be an error here, as this doesn't match the crossings. Let's wait for tomorrow's solutions to see what the compiler expected. My guess is, the answer will turn out to be COUNTOR.

Nischal said...

Hi, can u explain the annotation of the following clues
1) Unhappy dictator offering no obstruction(3)--> SAD
- unhappy--> defn.. but why "dictator..."
2)Cover for head with hard manner(4)--> HAIR
- Cover for head is HAIR
hard manner??

3) Seen as animal is about to pull back(8)--> REGARDED..
4) Interferes with first time service-person (6)-->PRIEST

Source: ET Bangalore July 26,2009

Shuchi said...

Hi Nischal,

1) SAD = SADDAM (dictator) - DAM (obstruction)

2) HAIR = charade of H (standard abbrev. for 'hard') AIR (manner, as in 'he has a regal air')

3) REGARDED = DEER (animal) around DRAG (pull), all reversed (back is the reversal indicator)

4) PRIEST = charade of PRIES (interferes) T (first letter of 'time')

Aim said...

From Guardian:
Someone on the go drinking mineral also (8)MOREOVER

Couldn't understand this one.

Shuchi said...

Welcome here, Aim!

Someone on the go drinking mineral also (8)MOREOVER
also: definition
someone on the go = MOVER
drinking = c/c indicator
mineral = ORE

Aim said...

Aha! now makes sense, thanks!
I cound't get it despite knowing the answer and definition.

Aim said...

How about this clue, which I wrote?
It takes freshman to stop the prisoner (6)

Am not posting it here for you to solve it, but to know if it makes sense.

Shuchi said...

It takes freshman to stop the prisoner (6)
I think the surface is fair enough. It is grammatically sound, and though one might wonder "why freshman?" - something like IG or head of police is more plausible - but it's acceptable.

The issue is with the cryptic grammar. "stop the", isn't the same as "stop of the" or "the's stop". I like 'freshman' = NMA, but even that's considered not OK by strict standards.

An interesting attempt, though. See if you can re-write the E part!

Aim said...

Thanks Shuchi. I did want to know your opinion about the freshman and the 'E' part.

Aim said...

One more, written by me:

Men assemble in unknown country (7)

Shuchi said...

The anagrind needs to be either an instruction to the solver [Assemble XYZ], or a property of the fodder [XYZ assembled]. The 2nd way would fit in well with your clue.

I also think unknown = DARK is slightly imprecise. How about mysterious/dismal/sinister instead of unknown?

Aim said...

Thanks Shuchi.
Yes, you are right on both counts.
Especially about the anagrind I never thought it that way.

Aim said...

I like Sankalak. In today's CW I particularly liked "Carbon become aluminium? After negative start? Happening in the night? (9)", for the way it framed it.

But was wondering is there grammatical mistake? 'Carbon become' or 'Carbon becomes?'

Shuchi said...

'become' isn't grammatically correct for the surface, but if it's 'becomes' it'll spoil the answer (becomes = TURNS not TURN).

Is this a Sankalak clue?

Aim said...

Yes it was Sankalak.
Of course Carbon becomes aluminium will spoil the clue. Doesn't Carbon become aluminium still spoil it?

Shuchi said...

Well, 'become' spoils the surface, 'becomes' spoils the wordplay. He chose the lesser evil of the two.

Aim said...

:)
You always give convincing reply :)

fiddlesticks said...

Hi,
Totally didn't get this one! - THC 9283
She has managed a first class title (7) - LETITIA

Shuchi said...

Hi fiddlesticks,
It's first class = A1, jumbled with TITLE. "has managed" is the anagrind.

Hat-tip to Vinod (via chat) for spotting it straightaway.

Chaturvasi said...

"Carbon become aluminium? After negative start? Happening in the night? (9)"

I ahppen to see this section and this discussion only today. Sorry for a late reaction.

I would think that the clue written is OK. I take 'become' as a past participle with 'has' understood.

Don't we come across the expression "Dream come true", where we mean that a deram that we had has since come true.

Of course, we had an editor in Indian Express, whom I looked upon as a scholar and who wrote excellent English with a literary flavour, arguing that the expression "Dream come true" was wrong. But, for me usage is idiomatic.

sriks7 said...

New here.Great job on this blog. Looking forward to spending a lot of time here
I need help in deconstructing one from the Guardian..

Kelly becomes well-informed by following one who wrote nonsense (7)

Could you please help?

Shuchi said...

Hi sriks7,

Thanks and I look forward to having you here.

Kelly becomes well-informed by following one who wrote nonsense (7) LEAR NED

This is one of those rare cases where the definition sits in the middle. NED (Kelly) follows LEAR (one who wrote nonsense), to become LEARNED (well-informed).

Guardian crosswords are discussed on the daily solving blog 15sqd. It's a great site, bookmark it!

Owen said...

Hi Shuchi :)

First of all, thanks a lot for running this site. I'm still very much an amateur at cryptic crosswords but this site has been really helpful to me. Thanks!

I've got one from the Times that I'm having difficulty understanding, if you wouldn't mind:

Slight reduction in price coming on stream for barbecue (9)

So as not to spoil it for anyone else, the answer is here (Link is to Dictionary.com via bit.ly)

Thanks in advance!

Owen

Shuchi said...

Hi Owen, welcome here.

Slight reduction in price coming on stream for barbecue (9)

price = CHARGE,
Slight reduction in price => delete a little bit of CHARGE. Usually, in the Times, this implies a single-letter truncation at the end of the word. (With some of the Guardian setters, the truncation could be of 2 letters or even more.)
'coming on' is a link word between the wordplay components.
stream = RILL

'for' links the wordplay to the definition, 'barbecue'.

Owen said...

Thank you, that's brilliant! I didn't actually know the word "rill", so you learn something new every day :)

Thanks again,
Owen

Sumitra said...

Hi,
Being new, I came across this post dtd Aug 9 2009 from Aim-a clue,'it takes freshman to stop the prisoner'. What did u mean by the'NMA' and 'E' parts of the clue and what is the solution? You see, I've been solving crosswords with no idea of the technicalities involved and am astounded by the depth and precision of your site. Kudos to you! And thanks. Sumitra

Shuchi said...

Hi Sumitra, the expected solution for 'It takes freshman to stop the prisoner (6)' is INMATE.

freshman = fresh-MAN i.e anagram of MAN
It takes freshman => IT contains (MAN)*
'stop the' is supposed to indicate E, the last letter of 'the'.

The main problem is that 'stop the' isn't the same as 'stop of the'. It isn't considered OK to join the anagrind and fodder as in 'freshman' (I don't mind it much, personally).

See clue#2 on this post about unXimenean clues, for a clue with a similar issue.

Sumitra said...

Thank you, Shuchi

AlmostThere said...

Hi Shuchi. I try to make sense of all the clues/answers when I complete a crossword. I have a few I'm stuck on that you may be able to explain for me:

[PRETTIER]
Publicity row about film being made more attractive
>'more attractive' = 'prettier' but what about the rest?

[LAOS]
Where you may have a kip for money

[CUTE]
Clever stroke to point

[YORKSHIRE]
Grit found in the pudding?
>I know of 'yorkshire pudding' but where does 'grit' come into this?

[TALISMAN]
Scottish charm
>talisman = charm, but where does 'scottish' come in?

[YARN]
Long pointless story
>this looks like a straight clue to me, am I missing the 'cryptic' behind it?

[SIDE]
Team’s boastful manner
>team = side, but where does 'boastful manner' come in?

[DOWNING STREET]
Drunk deserting town road where policeman stands guard

[FACTIONS]
Loud goings-on associated with
society parties

[PROMOTERS]
They stage sporting events in favour of cars we hear

[ONE FOR THE ROAD]
Ill-advised drink taken by somebody going from saloon to saloon?

...Ok, maybe there were a bit more than a few :) but I hope you can help anyway

Shuchi said...

Hi AlmostThere,
Answering the first few...have to step out for dinner, will get back later on the others. Which crossword are these from? Maybe there's a solution blog/forum for it out there somewhere.

[PRETTIER]
Publicity row about film being made more attractive
>'more attractive' = 'prettier' but what about the rest?
PR (publicity) + TIER (row) around ET (film)

[LAOS]
Where you may have a kip for money
This is a cryptic definition. 'Kip' is the currency of Laos.

[CUTE]
Clever stroke to point
CUT (stroke) E (point). defn: clever


[YORKSHIRE]
Grit found in the pudding?
>I know of 'yorkshire pudding' but where does 'grit' come into this?
Perhaps 'grit found in [this place]' has to do with the sedimentary rock formations in Yorkshire.

[TALISMAN]
Scottish charm
>talisman = charm, but where does 'scottish' come in?
The Talisman is a novel by Sir Walter Scott.

[YARN]
Long pointless story
>this looks like a straight clue to me, am I missing the 'cryptic' behind it?
Long = YEARN, pointless => remove the 'E', defn: story. It's interesting that the whole clue reads like the definition too.

[SIDE]
Team’s boastful manner
>team = side, but where does 'boastful manner' come in?
'pretentious air;arrogance' is a secondary meaning of SIDE.

Shuchi said...

The remaining ones...

[DOWNING STREET]
Drunk deserting town road where policeman stands guard
Anagram of (DESERTING TOWN), with 'drunk' as anagrind. defn: where policeman stands guard


[FACTIONS]
Loud goings-on associated with society parties
F (loud) ACTIONS (goings-on)

[PROMOTERS]
They stage sporting events in favour of cars we hear
defn: They stage sporting events; we hear => homophone; PRO (in favour of) MOTORS (cars)

[ONE FOR THE ROAD]
Ill-advised drink taken by somebody going from saloon to saloon?
'Ill-advised drink taken by somebody going from saloon' refers to the meaning of the idiom, with 'saloon' = bar. The second 'saloon' can mean a sedan car, which is also 'one for the road'.

AlmostThere said...

Thanks Shuchi, you're so clever! All the clues make sense now :-)!

The clues are all from The Daily Telegraph Cryptic Crossword Book, Volume 62.

Anonymous said...

Can you please help with this one from the telegraph yesterday (24/5/10)?

Issue raised by a gold prospector.

The answer was clementine but I just cant work out why!!!

Shuchi said...

Have you heard this song? It opens with:

In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner forty niner,
And his daughter Clementine


That's what the clue is alluding to. Issue => the daughter of the miner.

By the Telegraph, do you mean The Daily Telegraph of UK? If so, you must follow Big Dave's blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Shuchi I can now get some sleep!

DrCross said...

Can anyone help me to please understand a couple of clues in an old Telegraph puzzle book (2005 -DT Big Book of Cryptic Puzzles)?

9d: He was brave so was she (A =Hero -I know a hero is brave but why the so was she part?)

18a: Witnesses a key agreement (A =eyes, so to witness is to eye but I dont get the key agreement?)

24A: After the salmon she gets food poisoning (A =Ella: I just dont get that at all!

DrCross said...

I've worked out the Ella clue- Salmonella -I woke up and it just occurred to me- amazing!

Shuchi said...

9d: He was brave so was she (A =Hero -I know a hero is brave but why the so was she part?)

Probably from the Greek myth of Hero and Leander? Not very convincing...let me think a bit more.

18a: Witnesses a key agreement (A =eyes, so to witness is to eye but I dont get the key agreement?)

E = a key (the musical key)
YES = agreement

anax said...

Yes, the reference does seem to be to Hero and Leander, although HERO didn't exactly give herself heroic status by chucking herself off t'balcony into t'sea. Taking easy way out, if you ask me.

I think what's happened is that the various figures in Greek legend tend to be listed under hero/heroine.

Shuchi said...

Thanks anax. I had the same thoughts about the clue. Not a very good clue, in that case.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks again Shuchi and also to anax- you've saved me a lot of sleepless nights again!

R said...

Hi Shuchi,

Do help me in understanding how one arrives at the solution

Clue: country professor on staff gets first-class write-up (9)

Answer: Macedonia.

Thanks and regards

R

Shuchi said...

Hi R

Country professor on staff gets first-class write-up (9)
professor = DON
staff = MACE
professor ON staff => DON after MACE

first-class = A1
write-up => reversal

Put together, it is MACE DON (A1)<

R said...

Thanks Shuchi. That was one of Rufus' clue.

regards
R

febin said...

hi shuchi
i am a beginner and i find the thc a bit tough. can you suggest a good book or any other source of cryptic CW's for beginners.

this blog helped me a lot to understand the intricacies of cryptics
thank you for the time and effort invested in this blog...

Shuchi said...

Hi febin

Do you follow the blog The Hindu Crossword Corner? Explanations of daily THC solutions are published there, and if there's something you don't understand you can ask in their comments.

I can recommend the book How To Master The Times Crossword by Tim Moorey, it works very well as a guide to cryptic crosswords. More on the book here.

All the best.

Anonymous said...

Hi shuchi,

I am a beginner at CW and am making one.Are these clues acceptable?

1)Such a liquid is pure,solid is not.(7)
2)Reduced decaying is still decaying ?(5)
3)From top to bottom, identify expression of approval(4)

Anonymous said...

Hi Suchi,

I'm back. I need help with this clue from today's THC

Shakespearean character: worker followed by most of the head (7) - {ANT}{ONIOn}

How is head Onion?

Shuchi said...

Hi Anonymous, 'onion' is slang for 'head'...to be off one's onion is to be off one's head.

KSK said...

Strange how Edgar appeared to his
friends (9)
Revealed what one’s former partner
stood for (7)
I know the answers but apparently i don't see the inkling as to why the answers are what they are.. I am new to solving cryptic crosswords and i can tell you it's getting the better of me :(

Shuchi said...

Hi KSK

Welcome!

Revealed what one’s former partner stood for (7) EXPOSED
EX (former partner) POSED (stood)

The clue seems a bit loose - "what one's" and "for" do not fit into the wordplay.

Not sure of the other one. It would be nice if you post the answer and the source with the clue, as I've mentioned in the preamble.

Since you're new to cryptics, I'd recommend solving good quality, easy crosswords to start with. There are blogs for all the popular crosswords that explain each clue. Follow them, you'll soon learn the ropes. All the best!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Clue is from Globe and mail Canada Day 2011 cryptic crossword:

119d
Retailer's favorite putter (4)

Thanks
(so far I have is_e )

Nischal said...

Hi, This is a clue from Deccan Herald B'lore Thu 7 Jul,

Support for coppers(4)

Ans: Pro-p

Could u plz explain the annotation

Shuchi said...

@Anonymous: Can't think of any word that fits. Did you find out the answer?

@Nischal:
Support for coppers(4) PROP
Definition: support
for = PRO (i.e. in favour of)
coppers = P. Coppers is slang for coins like the British penny, abbreviated as P.

Anonymous said...

FT Crossword 13,831 by Cincinnus.
17 Down Clue "Trees with resident birds" - Answer "Swallows".

The birds connection is obvious,but where is the link to the rest of the clue?

Ken F

Shuchi said...

Welcome here Ken F.

Trees = SALLOWS,
with = W (a standard abbreviation);
'resident' indicates that W is contained in SALLOWS.

For clues from FT, Guardian and more, you must check out the excellent Fifteensquared.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

uHi Suchi,
ET 5126 (Kolkatta edition)

Charles and sibling briefly provide a framework (7)
Solution is Chassis
Sis - Sis(ter) sibling partly
then is it chas for charles how?

Shuchi said...

Hi Lakshmi,

Chas is a standard short form of the name Charles, like Don for Donald or Ted for Edward.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Hi Suchi,
Just a try.It crossed my mind.

"An Army officer is the essence."

Is this a correct clue?

Shuchi said...

Depends on the answer, Lakshmi.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

I got this clue while reading about similar sounding words.
here i thought of "colonel" as the answer which sounds like "kernel" = essence.

Shuchi said...

'colonel' sounds like 'kernel', that is good. What the clue needs is a homophone indicator.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

ET 5145 Kolkatta
Short time after the year when first getting share of government (14)
Ans: Administration
short time = min
year = ad
share =ration
ist how?

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Hi suchi,
Telegraph 10305
Commotion involving amateur sailors ordered about in hurricane(7)
Ans: TORNADO

ADO - commotion
TORN - How is this part arrived at?

Shuchi said...

Hi Lakshmi,

Commotion involving amateur sailors ordered about in hurricane(7)

It is actually TO(RN A)DO

commotion = TO-DO
involving => c/c indicator
amateur = A
sailors = RN (Royal Navy)
ordered about => turn around the positions of A RN.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Hi Suchi,
Thanks for the previous clue explanation. One more

ET 5191
Removal of these from the ear will give her chances (4). Ans: ODDS
I saw Big Dave's blog but could'nt understand the explanation.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Sorry that clue was from Telegraph 10329

Shuchi said...

That's a very interesting clue Lakshmi.

Removal of these from the ear will give her chances (4)

defn: chances
wordplay: Removal of odds i.e. odd letters from THEEAR will give HER.

Anonymous said...

new to this, I'm picking up old globe and mail cryptics that my mom saved and in one, "Main line terminals" is the clue. I've got _ e_p_ _ _ _ and i think it ends with "ends", for terminals. but I can't get the first part. any help?

Shuchi said...

Looks like SEAPORTS [cd];
main = sea and line = line of transportation, as in shipping line.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm sure this is a cryptic crossword, but cant seem to work it out:

Let ingenious gold head twist

Any ideas where to start?

Shuchi said...

Looks like an anagram. What is the letter count?

Anonymous said...

Hi Shuchi,

That part was left off and is killing me. I figured that the answer is an anagram becuase of "twist", but havent been able to work out much. Taken it many directions, but all dead ends for me. I have to admit that I'm fairly new to cryptics and not that great.

Could "Let ingenious" = let in genius?

Qix said...

"Let ingenious gold head twist":

I suspect that this is just an acrostic, giving LIGHT, rather than (all of a) crytpic crossword clue.

Jon said...

Nicely done Qix. I don't think I've seen a more debatable collection of words called a 'clue' in my life!

Anonymous said...

Hey there Qix,

I picked up on LIGHT early on. The seemingly unreleated words along with "let...twist" made me think there might have been more to it.

Squirrel said...

Hi Shuchi
This is from NIE Dtd: 31.08.2012.

2dn: Offal and joint put together in one vessel (9)
The ans is Lightship.

Another clue of the same paper and Date.

Look for a cause of inflation (3)

Ans: Air

Can you please help how the answres have been arrived at.
Thank you.
Laxman

Shuchi said...

Hi Laxman,

Offal and joint put together in one vessel (9) LIGHTSHIP

Definition: one vessel
Wordplay: LIGHTS (offal, as in meat) HIP (joint)

Look for a cause of inflation (3) AIR
This is a dd.
Definition 1: look (He has the look/air of self-assurance.)
Definition 2: a cause of inflation i.e. swelling up

Squirrel said...

Thanks, Shuchi.
In the first clue i couldn't connect lights with meat.
The second clue was completely out of my reach. Thouh after your explanation it seems so easy.
Thanks again
Laxman

Anonymous said...

I'm doing old Globe and Mail cryptics, this one from november 8, 2010. The clue is "Divine meaning" (5 letters, I have an "a" in the second position) and I'm stuck. I tried words for divine like blessed, learn, but they won't work. I'm not sure what meaning does for tricky clues either. Any help? Thanks, you've helped me before.

Shuchi said...

Divine meaning (5) could be a cd for CATCH. Does it fit with the crossings?

Anonymous said...

I'll look up the term cd in your hints. Thanks. Yes, there is only one crossing so it works for that. And "catch" adds a "t" to it's 4th position. That clue, which I'm also stuck on, is "small company is safe from such failures". It is 8 letters with an "i" in the second position, a "t" in the 4th, an "o in the 6th and an "e" in the 8th. So I have _i_t_o_e

Anonymous said...

oops! me again about the "small company..." clue. the crossing of catch left a "c" in the 4th position, not a "t". So I have _i_c_o_e. I want to say it is "disclose" but only have "di" for two as in "two's company" (three's a crowd). But that seems like reaching.

Old G&M's said...

Suchi, did you stop posting? I'm the old Globe and Mail cryptic do-er. I hope it wasn't something I said...

Shuchi said...

Hey Old G&M doer, I'm sorry for the very late reply! Thanks for reminding me :)

The answer to "Small company is safe from such failures (8)" has to be FIASCOES (co + is + safe)*.

Which means that your 4th and 8th letters need a change.

"Divine meaning (5)" SENSE dd - does that fit?

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

THE HINDU No 2715, Sunday 02 Dec 12

One retaliating against English sovereign after first of attacks (7) - AVENGER ENG(lish) + ER (sovereign)+ (A)ttacks where does the V come from?

Shuchi said...

Hi Lakshmi, V = versus (against).

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Thanks Suchi I took " One retaliating against" as definition and got confused.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Hi Shuchi,(This time I wrote your name correctly)
ET 5110 (Chennai)
Big result of taking part in a long row there and back.(6)

I have G_O_T_ so the answer is GROWTH (lonG ROW THere). But what is "and back" doing here?

Shuchi said...

Hi Lakshmi,

"and back" looks like padding to make the hidden word less obvious - if so, not the most elegant way of going about it.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Hi Shuchi,
I have'nt come across a "T" type clue of this type. I wanted to know whether it is "T" type or not or misunderstood the clue.

Shuchi said...

Hi Lakshmi, Yes it is a 'T' type of clue, but not a very good one IMO since it has extra words in the fodder.

You can see more examples of such clues here:
A thought about hidden word clues.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Hi Shuchi,
Can you Please give annos for these clues from pressandjournal xwrd/UK dated Feb 9 2013
Pretend to be ill we hear to get a drink. Ans: CHAMPAGNE
Start talking back in a foreign language. Ans : LATIN

Shuchi said...

Pretend to be ill we hear to get a drink. Ans: CHAMPAGNE
homophone of 'sham pain' (pretend to be ill)

Start talking back in a foreign language. Ans : LATIN
TAL[k] reversed, IN. 'TAL = Start TALKING' is a bit of a stretch, but this seems to be the most likely explanation.

Laxman said...

Hi Shuchi
Congratulations for the Indian Crossword League.
Can you help me with the annos of answers to the clues (all from New Indian Express of Dt:2.12.2013).
1. Dot Carried from Premises? (5,5)
Ans: Point Taken
2.Doesn't Encourage Delays (4,3)
Ans: Puts Off
3.Dead spirit to rap (4)
Ans: DRUM

Shuchi said...

Thanks Laxman.

1. Dot Carried from Premises? (5,5)
Ans: Point Taken
[cd] In the cryptic reading, "premises" would be suppositions.

2.Doesn't Encourage Delays (4,3)
Ans: Puts Off
[dd] "doesn't encourage" and "delays" e.g. She was hungry but the bad food put her off eating. She had to put off her travel plans as her leave request was not approved.

3.Dead spirit to rap (4)
Ans: DRUM
D (dead) + RUM (spirit - liquor); definition: rum

Laxman said...

Thank You Shuchi.
Can you help out with the annos of the following clues please.
1. Spectacle in which a bull
appears? (5) SIGHT
2. Girl's given approval as flying
controller (8) JOYSTICK. Is
Girl = JOY? I think approval =
Tick. Def is Flying controller.
3. Amphibian decapitated - not
right(3) EFT. Is Amphibian= L?
4. A way of approach that isn't
welcomed? (6) INROAD
5. Enduring advice on how to get
old? (8) LIVELONG
6. An outstanding part of the
country (8) HEADLAND
What does a question mark indicate at the end of a clue?
Sorry If I am bothering you.
Regards
Laxman

Laxman said...

Forgot to mention the source of all the above clues. It is The New Indian Express of 3rd December 2013.

Shuchi said...

Hi Laxman, Just noticed a reply to your question was pending. Hope this is still useful.

1. Spectacle in which a bull appears? (5) SIGHT
Cryptic reference to bulls-eye; defn: spectacle.

2. Girl's given approval as flying controller (8) JOYSTICK
JOY'S (girl's) TICK (approval); defn: flying controller.

3. Amphibian decapitated - not right(3) EFT
LEFT (not right) decapitated i.e. with head removed

4. A way of approach that isn't welcomed? (6) INROAD
cd; an inroad is a hostile incursion

5. Enduring advice on how to get old? (8) LIVELONG
d&cd; Live long = advice on how to get old; defn: enduring

6. An outstanding part of the country (8) HEADLAND
cd - play on the word 'outstanding'

What does a question mark indicate at the end of a clue?

A question mark usually indicates a cd, but not always.

Laxman said...

Thanks Suchi. I haven't made much headway in learning the crosswords, so it is still useful to me.

Olivia Woods said...

Please help, I've got the answer but not the reasoning behind it.

4d) The bull's-eye's to invent something valuable (4,4)

Answer ?o?d ?o?n Gold Coin

Please can you work your magic on this

Shuchi said...

@Olivia Woods: double defn - "something valuable", and "bull's eye" as in archery.

jag said...

hi nice blog can you help me with this cryptic crossword

'Seems like, the jumbled mail joined the start of the delivery man' (5)

it might refer to a name cause its from a video game i play

Shuchi said...

@jag: Looks like that. An anagram of MAIL + D (1st letter of 'delivery').