Thursday, November 25, 2010

Double-Edged Indicators

double-edged-indicators

Most clue type indicators tell us exactly which way the wordplay works.

For example:

A swallowing B => A is the outer word, B the inner in a container clue.
A held in B => A is the inner word, B the outer in a container clue.
A lacking B => letter of B are to be removed from A in a deletion clue.
A discarded by B => letters of A are to be removed from B in a deletion clue.

Not all indicators are so clear-cut; some can logically work both ways. Here's a look at some such indicators.

Stopping

To stop is:

  1. to fill or close, as in stopping a hole
  2. to check or intercept, as in stopping a landslide

So, A stopping B in a cryptic clue can mean:

  1. A acting as stopper inside B
    Times 24633: Stopping revolt at last, become elevated as emperor (5) TITUS
    [revol]T, in SUIT (become) reversed

  2. A taking hold of B
    Times 24692: Heart stopping left a problem (7) TICKLER
    TICKER (heart) around L (left)

Leaving 

To leave is:

  1. to go away from, as in boy leaving hometown
  2. to neglect or let go of, as in boy leaving math lessons (to study literature, maybe)

So, A leaving B in a cryptic clue can mean:

  1. A going away from B
    ET3382: Airmen leaving flashy angle (5) FISH
    RAF (airmen) going away from RAFFISH (flashy)

  2. A letting go of B
    Times 23712: Notices ducks leaving river by double bend (5,3) SMALL ADS
    S (double bend) MALLARDS (ducks), letting go of R (river)

Out of

"Out of" implies:

  1. lacking, as in pen out of ink
  2. going away from, as in PM out of country

So, A out of B in a cryptic clue can mean:

  1. A lacking B
    Everyman 3341: Fish cigarette out of front of sideboard (5) GAPER
    GASPER (cigarette) lacking S[ideboard]

  2. A going away from B
    ET 3150: Top performer right out of the running (3) ACE
    R (right) going away from RACE (running)

Packing

To pack is:

  1. to cover or envelop, as in packing oneself in warm woollens
  2. to fill, as in crowds packing a train

So, A packing B in a cryptic clue can mean:

  1. A covering B
    Guardian Quiptic (Pan): Take a gamble, packing thin cover for bed (7). BLANKET
    BET (take a gamble) covering LANK (thin)

  2. A filling B
    Times 24406: Way to pack fodder to be able to last through the winter (5) HARDY
    RD (way) filling HAY (fodder)

Solve These

Enjoy solving these clues with double-edged indicators.

Times 24390: Frugal poet stopping penny payment (9) __O__D___
Times 22604: What transvestite does to thwart coercion, leaving university (5-5) C____ ____S
Times Championship Final 2010: Girl married out of spite (5)

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10 comments

VJ said...

Nice article!

PROVIDENT

CROSS-DRESS (CROSS + DURESS - U)

ALICE (MALICE - m)

VJ said...

Not clear on the anno PROVIDENT. It's the one I think best fits the crossings that you've provided.

Krishnan said...

What transvestite does to thwart coercion, leaving university (5-5) C____ ____S CROSS DRESS ?

Krishnan said...

Girl Married out of spite - (M)ALICE

Shyam said...

Times 24390: Frugal poet stopping penny payment (9)
P R{OVID}ENT

Times 22604: What transvestite does to thwart coercion, leaving university (5-5)
{CROSS} {D{-U}RESS}

Times Championship Final 2010: Girl married out of spite (5)
{-M}ALICE

Shyam said...

Times 24390: Frugal poet stopping penny payment (9) P R{OVID}ENT

Times 22604: What transvestite does to thwart coercion, leaving
university (5-5) {CROSS} {D{-U}RESS}

Times Championship Final 2010: Girl married out of spite (5) {-M}ALICE

dram said...

Thanks so much Shuchi, this was a belter of a post. Very helpful indeed.

The last one is (m)ALICE

Balaji said...

Times 22604: What transvestite does to thwart coercion, leaving university (5-5) CROSS (thwart)- D(-U)RESS
Times Championship Final 2010: Girl married out of spite (5) (-M)ALICE

Balaji said...

Cheated a bit on this one. Used thesaurus to look up words for frugal.

Times 24390: Frugal poet stopping penny payment (9) P R (OVID)ENT

Shuchi said...

Thanks and well solved everyone!

OVID was a Roman poet, about whom Paul once wrote in the Guardian:

Poet writing about primo donno? (4)