Monday, June 15, 2009

But Which Is The Anagrind?

mixed anagram signals The last post was about how anagram clues become difficult to spot when other clues in the puzzle look deceptively like anagrams.

Here's another device that adds some complexity to anagram clues: more than one word/phrase in the clue that could act as anagrind.

Look at this:

THC 9353 (Gridman): Order tinned mixture (6)

The fodder is "tinned" all right, but which is the indicator, which the definition? Is the answer a word that means "order", or one that means "mixture"?

The setter cannot omit the anagrind, and must put it adjacent to the fodder - that's a given - but the anagrind could appear to the left or the right of the fodder. If the setter pads both sides of the fodder with anagrind-type words, the solver is at least briefly confused about which to consider the definition. The anagram clue is not so simple anymore.

Another similarly structured clue:

Times 23469: Having drunk rum, becomes awkward (10)

And a variant in which the definition is clear enough, the difficulty is in differentiating between the indicator and the fodder:

Times 24055: Pedal machine that's ineptly altered (7)

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