Thursday, July 2, 2009

Reversal Indicators

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As regular readers might have noticed, I've been putting together a list of clue type indicators. Reversals this time. (Check out the other indicators by clicking on the Index button on the site's header.) 

To recap, reversal clues are those in which a word/phrase is turned around to give the solution.
e.g. (from NIE) Rising star, nonsense! (4) RATS <-

A specialty of reversal indicators: many indicators will work only for ACROSS clues and not for DOWN clues, and vice-versa.

  1. ACROSS clue reversal indicators suggest a change of direction horizontally. e.g. going west, to the left.
  2. DOWN clue reversal indicators suggest a change of direction vertically. e.g. going up, mounting, rising.
  3. Generic reversal indicators such as around, back can be used for both ACROSS and DOWN clues.

[Given that, quick question: where in the puzzle can you expect to see the above clue "Rising star, nonsense! (4)" – the Across set, the Down set, or either of the two?]

Here's a compilation of frequently seen reversal indicators, grouped into those three categories – ACROSS only, DOWN only, and Generic.

Reversal Indicators – ACROSS only
FROM THE EAST
FROM THE RIGHT
GOING WEST
TO THE LEFT
WESTBOUND

Reversal Indicators – DOWN only
ASCENDING
BROUGHT UP
CAST UP
CLIMBING
COMING UP
FROM THE BOTTOM
FROM THE SOUTH
GOING NORTH
GOING UP
HAULED UP
LIFTED
LOOKING UP
NORTHBOUND
RAISED
RAISING
SENT UP
SHOWN UP
TURNS UP
UPSET
UPRISING
UPWARDLY MOBILE
WRITTEN UP

Reversal Indicators – Generic
ABOUT
AROUND
BACK
BACK-TO-FRONT
BACKED
BACKING
BACKWARD
BROUGHT ABOUT
COMING BACK
COUNTER
FLIPPED
FLIPPING
GOING BACK
GOING ROUND
LOOKING BACK
OVER
OVERTURNED
RETIRING
RETREAT
RETREATING
RETROGRADE
RETROSPECTIVE
RETURN
REVERSED
REVERSING
REVOLUTIONARY
ROUND
SENT BACK
TURN
TURNED
TURNING

Thanks to Ganesh for his inputs in compiling this list.

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3 comments

Hobbes said...

Super ..
Thx

Virtual Linguist said...

Great stuff, Shuchi.
Other reversal indicators I've seen include: capsized, the wrong way, getting up.
Here are some reversal clues I like for lap and slap:
"Friend coming round for drink" (Lap)
"Mates capsized in smack" (Slap)
"Blow knocks friends back" (Slap)

Shuchi said...

Thanks for sharing those clues, Susan. Nice ones.