Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Other Side Of Sinister

sinister-left

A lesser known meaning of SINISTER comes from Latin. The word means "left" or "on the left side".

This is the meaning cryptic crossword setters like to use, while goading you to think of "evil" on the clue's surface.

Example:

Guardian 24685 (Chifonie): Snooker player protects sinister conspirator (7) PLOTTER
POTTER (snooker player) around L (short for left i.e. sinister)

One for you to solve:

Times 24652: Abandoned woman's caught with sinister person (4-6)

The opposite of SINISTER – i.e. the word for "right" or "on the right side" - is DEXTER.

Other than cryptic crosswords, terms in heraldry have preserved these meanings of SINISTER and DEXTER. The side of an escutcheon or coat of arms that is to the left of the bearer is called sinister, the side to the right of the bearer is called dexter.

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3 comments

Shyam said...

LEFT-H{AND}ER

Karthik said...

LEFT-HANDER [Could not have solved it sans the hint]

Shuchi said...

Right, Shyam and Karthik. Good solvers you are.