Friday, December 19, 2014

Fill In The Blanks

Fill In The Blank Clues In a good cryptic clue, the surface is a standalone piece of prose with a real-world/relatable meaning. But you will occasionally come across this exception: a surface containing blank(s), which need to be filled based on the clue's answer to become meaningful.

A fill-in-the-blanks (FITB) clue prompts the solver to supply the missing chunk that, when inserted into the blank(s), makes its surface sense complete. The missing chunk is generally indicated with a series of underscores.

Example 1:
FT 13284 (Viking): Solemn? Yes, if rendered ____ (9) MONEYLESS
The clue works on the anagram (rendering) of (SOLEMN YES)*.
One would understandably be solemn if rendered moneyless, as the surface says when the answer is plugged into the blank.

Sometimes it isn't directly the clue's answer that completes the surface, but wordplay associated with it.

Example 2:
Guardian 24043 (Paul): Successful author's ____ in it, you might say! (7) ROWLING
The answer is the successful author Rowling, but the word that goes into the blank is its homophone (indicated by 'you might say') 'rolling'.

Solve These

A few fill-in-the-blank clues for you to relish.

THC 11176 (xChequer): Seek charity at home because that's where it should _____? (5)

[From Tim Moorey's book] If one cold toe is numb, two must be ____ (4,6)

TIB16 (Diogenes): Naughtily ogle at her when model's caught in the ____ ? (10)

Guardian 25488 (Araucaria): "Bedtime: that's all ____" — no love this time (9) F________

Guardian 26051 (Paul):  Though analogue isn't a poisoner ___ ? (9) D________

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19 comments

vasant said...

XChequer:BEGIN(from the saying charity begins at home)
Diogenes:ALTOGETHER: T(Model) inside (ogle at her)

michael said...

1. BEGIN (BEG+IN, "charity begins at home") is a very nice use of an aphorism
2. EVEN NUMBER (very silly)

vasant said...

GUARDIAN 26051(Paul): DIGITALIN: CD; Opposite of analogue is digital & digitalin is a poison

michael said...

5. DIGITALIS (digital+is, synonym for foxglove) Reminds me of a great series I read when I was growing up called Spy X.

Kishore said...

1. BEG IN
2. Next/more number
3. Altogether*
4.
5. Digital is

vasant said...

XChequer: BEGIN(from the saying charity begins at home)
Diogenes:ALTOGETHER; T(MODEL) INSIDE(Ogle at her)*
Guardian(Paul):DIGITALIN OR DIGITALIS Opposite of analogue

Raghunath said...

THC 11176 (xChequer): Seek charity at home because that's where it should BEG + IN (5)
If one cold toe is numb, two must be EVEN NUMBER (4,6)
TIB16 (Diogenes): Naughtily ogle at her when model's caught in the ALTOGETHER*?(10)
Guardian 26051 (Paul): Though analogue isn't a poisoner _____ (9) DIGITAL + IS

Guardian 25488 (Araucaria): "Bedtime: that's all ____" — no love this time (9) F________

Shuchi said...

@vasant: Nicely solved, a couple of annotations to add: BEGIN is also BEG (seek charity) + IN (at home); and the wordplay of Paul's clue can only give DIGITAL + IS.

@michael: Agree with you on BEGIN. But I thought EVEN NUMBER was amusing!

@Kishore: Your answer to #2 can be more better ;-)

@Raghunath: Well cracked. Another letter hint for the pending clue: FO_______

michael said...

I never said the silliness didn't amuse me!
BEGIN struck me as particularly brilliant, but EVEN NUMBER was clever and funny and took a couple minutes to crack. I think that will be more memorable.
I was thinking it would be T in {OGLE AT HER*} but I'm not sure what being caught in the altogether means? Is that something like a négligé? Or slang for nudity as birthday suit? I'm not up on all the terms they use across the pond.
For the pending clue, I want to say something between "FOR NAUGHT" (can that be one word?) and "FORNICATE" but maybe that's just me...

michael said...

Apparently "in the altogether" is slang for "in the nude." Didn't know that one.
I imagine that the fourth clue starts with "FOR" but I'm still rather stumped. (In other news, "NICATE" does not seem to work.)
Still thinking that "no love" means to remove an "O."

Davena Turvey said...

Araucaria: BED TIME! THAT'S ALL FOR TO-NIGHT! NO LOVE THIS TIME.

minus 0 (love) it becomes fortnight

Shuchi said...

You got it, @Davena Turney.

Davena Turvey said...

thank you, i'm honoured to be in such distinguished company...:-)

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan (LV) said...

THC 11176 (xChequer): Seek charity at home because that's where it should _____? (5)
BEGIN (BEG IN )
[From Tim Moorey's book] If one cold toe is numb, two must be ____ (4,6)
EVEV NUMBER
TIB16 (Diogenes): Naughtily ogle at her when model's caught in the ____ ? (10)
ALTOGETHER
Guardian 25488 (Araucaria): "Bedtime: that's all ____" — no love this time (9) F________

Guardian 26051 (Paul): Though analogue isn't a poisoner ___ ? (9) D________
DIGITAL??

michael said...

I think I considered FORTNIGHT, but... what does FORTNIGHT have to do with the clue, though? Where's the def?

Anonymous said...

(Paul): Though analogue isn't a poisoner ___ ? (9) D________

DIGITALIS (DIGITAL+IS)

Shuchi said...

@michael: "this time" acts as the definition.

Davena Turvey said...

I can't disagree that FORTNIGHT is a trifle obscure, but I can cheerfully go along with SHUCHI. It must be'time'- time not measured in seconds or by clocks, but in weeks...

Beezie said...

I agree, Fortnight is a bit lame.