Another clue type of this kind is the regular letter sequence. Letters are picked from a portion of the clue to give the solution. The sequence of picking letters follows a uniform pattern, such as odd letters, even letters or every Nth letter from a phrase.Letter Sequence Clue Structure: The clue has three parts -
2. Letter sequence indicator – There are broadly two varieties of indicators:
(A) Those that indicate letters to be selected – e.g. evenly, alternately
(B) Those that indicate letters to be dropped – e.g. oddly lacking, seconds out
3. Word/phrase containing the letter sequence
THC 9502: Beasts, free, ginned, we hear — regular losses there! (8) REINDEER
Phrase containing the letter sequence: free ginned we hear
Letter sequence indicator: regular losses
Alternate letters are removed from 'fReE gInNeD wE hEaR' to give REINDEER.
Things To Watch Out For
- 'regular', 'regularly' are more generic indicators compared to 'evenly', 'odds' as they can imply letter selection in any ordered pattern. In most cases 'regular' will just mean alternate letters (odds or evens), but if the resultant word is gibberish try some other pattern, such as every 3rd letter.
- The letter sequence need not give the whole solution, it could be a part of the solution in a complex clue.
Times 23851: Fried food: it is served by auntie regularly (5) SA UTE
A charade in which the second component is the letter sequence.
it = SA (sex appeal), aUnTiE regularly = UTE
- This clue type is not very common. In a standard daily crossword, it might show up once a week or so.
Try solving these letter sequence-based clues from the Times/Guardian archives:
From this position, can’t go up? Nothing odd there (4)
Dots cartoon must feature regularly (5)
It's extremely 'allucinogenic, indeed (4)
- Other Clue Types: Hidden Words, Acrostics, Charades, Containers, Reversals,
Deletions, Double Definitions, Homophones, Substitutions,
Anagrams, Cryptic Definitions, &Lit.