Monday, December 20, 2010

Lift and Separate

definition-wordplay-joint A major part of solving cryptic clues is identifying which is the definition, which the wordplay. This can be quite easy in clues like:

FT 13525 (Dante): Colin acted badly in Western (10)

"badly" jumps out as a possible anagrind and the ten letters before it look like anagram fodder for the ten-letter answer. Of the rest, we reason, "in" must be a connector and "Western" the definition.

FT 13570 (Falcon): Vessel from Kenya or Tanzania (5) 

The definition has to be "vessel", we decide. The word "from" flags that the definition lies before it and the definition for a 5-letter word is more likely to be "vessel" than "Tanzania".

Not all clues let us detect their structure so readily. Some create a joint so compelling between definition and wordplay, it takes an act of supreme will for the solver to pry them apart. This is popularly called "lift and separate". Apparently the term was coined/first used by reigning Times Crossword Championship winner Mark Goodliffe – anyone know when/where? [Update (11-Oct-2015): It was on the blog for Times 23496 in Jan 2007. (source)]

Here are a few clues that require the "lift and separate" treatment, for you to admire and solve:

FT13571 (Aardvark): Aching to cook and eat Welsh rabbit (7) C_____G

Times 24702: Odin's son has a mark on map to denote treasure chest (6) T_____

FT 13541 (Alberich): Location for Santa Maria's centre reached outward (6) G_O___

FT 13558 (Loroso): One found at back of strip club in India (5) L____

FT 13403 (Loroso): As they say, the crown will be dethroned (6) T____E

FT 13403 (Loroso): A frame for turning over hot bread (6) M_____

Guardian 25169 (Cincinnus): Using empty shed to trap brown bear (9) W________

[Answers in the comments]

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6 comments

Shyam said...

FT13571 (Aardvark): Aching to cook and eat Welsh rabbit (7)
(CHIN{W}AG)*

Times 24702: Odin's son has a mark on map to denote treasure chest (6)
THOR A X (X for a mark on map to denote treasure?! OMG)

FT 13541 (Alberich): Location for Santa Maria's centre reached outward (6)
G{R}OT TO (My pick of the lot :))

FT 13558 (Loroso): One found at back of strip club in India (5) LATH I (lath:strip)

FT 13403 (Loroso): As they say, the crown will be dethroned (6) TOPPLE (~top'll)

FT 13493 (Loroso): A frame for turning over hot bread (6)
MOOL<- A H

Guardian 25169 (Cincinnus): Using empty shed to trap brown bear (9)
WITH{S {TAN}D} (Easiest of the lot)

David John said...

Vessel from Kenya or Tanzania (5)

Vessel = AORTA (Telescopic..)

Balaji said...

FT13571 (Aardvark): Aching to cook and eat Welsh rabbit (7) CHIN(W)AG*

FT 13541 (Alberich): Location for Santa Maria's centre reached outward (6) G(R)OT TO

FT 13558 (Loroso): One found at back of strip club in India (5) LATH I

FT 13403 (Loroso): A frame for turning over hot bread (6) (MOOL A)< H

Guardian 25169 (Cincinnus): Using empty shed to trap brown bear (9) WITH S(-HE) (TAN) D

Balaji said...

1 more w/ online help.

Times 24702: Odin's son has a mark on map to denote treasure chest (6) THOR A X(mark on map in treasure hunt)

Siva said...

Odin's son has a mark on map to denote treasure chest (6)
[THORAX]
Using empty shed to trap brown bear (9)
[WITHSTAND]

Shuchi said...

Found a very nice example in today's Times crossword.

Times 25003: Solemn moment for a Christian Dior creation to have France, say, after it (10)