Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Letter Sequence Indicators

A compilation of indicators for letter selection clues.

This covers the following clue types:

Acrostic Indicators
BEGINNERS
BEGINNINGS
FIRST
FIRSTLY
FOR STARTERS
HEADS
INITIALLY
INITIALS
LEADERS
LEADING
LEADS
SOURCES
STARTERS

Select Letters
ALTERNATELY
EVENLY
EVERY OTHER
EVERY SECOND
ODDLY
ODDS
REGULARLY

Drop Letters
EVENS OUT
NOT EVEN
NOTHING ODD
ODDLY LACKING
REGULAR LOSSES
SECONDS OUT

Other Patterns

ENDS OF,
TAILS

EDGES OF,
EXTREMES OF,
EXTREMELY

HEADS OFF,
INITIALLY AWAY




THIRDS OF

Indicates picking last letters of a series of words
e.g. feaR nO thornS herE = ROSE

Indicates picking one or both edges of a series of words
e.g. RituparnO SpokE = ROSE


All letters except the first from a series of words. The indicators for this pattern are similar to "Delete The Head" subtraction indicators, but here the indicator acts on a sequence of words instead of a single word. The indicator is generally in the plural e.g. HEADS OFF instead of HEAD OFF.

Third letters of a series of words

Notes:

  • There is a plenty of overlap between letter selection indicators and subtraction indicators, where the letter sequence involves discarding letters. In fact, the "Drop Letters" style can be viewed as a special kind of deletion.

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2 comments

Pulkit Khare said...

Would it be kosher to use 'uninitiated' and 'hats off' for removing the first letters of the fodder?

Shuchi said...

Hi Pulkit, by 'first letters of the fodder', do you mean the initial of each word in a multi-word fodder?

If yes, then here's what I think:
'uninitiated' works well when used to delete the initial of a single word. If meant for a multi-word fodder, it might become unfair.
'hats off' can work if it precedes a multi-word fodder in a Down clue.

It is better to examine the fairness of these things in the context of an actual clue. What is kosher/not kosher depends also on what's going on in the rest of the clue!