Tuesday 18 October 2011

Verbal Indicators In Disguise

disguised-verbs Take a look at the typical clue type indicators: "breaking" for anagrams, "swallowing" for containers, "returning" for reversals. The function of the indicator seems obvious in each case, doesn't it? For a wily crossword setter, this will not do. The setter strives not only to make the indicator unambiguous in the cryptic reading but also inscrutable on the clue's surface.

How does the setter do it?

One devious device is to play tricks with parts of speech. Many clue type indicators happen to be verbs. The setter dresses the verbal indicator to masquerade as a noun or adjective.

A classic example from Tim Moorey's How To Master The Times Crossword:

Times: Composer of lines for Russian city (10)

In this clue, the word "lines" reads like a noun on the surface, a synonym for poetry. In the cryptic reading, "lines" is the verb that means "fills". The wordplay:

OF lines i.e. fills PRO (for) KIEV (Russian city), which gives the answer PROKOFIEV.

Solve These

Every clue in this list contains a disguised verbal indicator. Solve and enjoy.

Independent 7642 (Anax): Pop, as do bubbles? (4)
Guardian 25374 (Crucible): Frank's in gym regularly taking hooks (4)
Guardian 25374 (Crucible): Wordy half of book’s boring poems (7) 
FT 13403 (Loroso): Tight-lipped guards work in exhibition centre (6) M_____

Read more about disguising verbal anagrinds: Camouflaging Anagrams and Verbal Anagrammar.

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Anonymous said...

Got only two at first pass:

Anonymous said...

One more

Anonymous said...

Liked the mask used in the pic for disguised clues. Reminded me of your other interest - drama.

Raghunath said...

Pop, as do bubbles? (4)SODA*
Frank's in gym regularly taking hooks (4)O{PE}N Gym: Physical Ed. Regularly taking :ON. Hooks: Containment Ind.
Wordy half of book’s boring poems (7) VER{BO}{-ok}SE
FT 13403 (Loroso): Tight-lipped guards work in exhibition centre (6) M{USE}UM Mum: Tight lipped. USE: Work.
Times 23966: Something carried about in box (7)F{RE}IGHT= Something carried

Alan Connor said...

What fun: today's Pasquale in the Guardian has this...

20d Keep quiet about employment in the 6 and 21? (6)

...where 6 and 21 are VICTORIA and ALBERT.

Shuchi said...

Hello Alan,

Good to see you here. Thanks for sharing the link to Pasquale's puzzle, it looks very good at first glance. Off to solve it now.

Crucifer said...

Pop, as do bubbles? (4) SODA (ASDO*)
Frank's in gym regularly taking hooks (4) OPEN (PE in ON)
Wordy half of book’s boring poems (7) VERBOSE (BO(ok) in VERSE)
Tight-lipped guards work in exhibition centre (6) MUSEUM (USE in MUM)

Siva said...

Hi Shuchi,

Pop, as do bubbles? (4)
Wordy half of book’s boring poems (7)
Something carried about in box.(7)

Happy Diwali/Deepavalli to all Hindu crossword fans.

Shuchi said...

Well solved Kishore, raghunath, Crucifer and Siva. Wish you all a very happy Diwali too.

I realised something about the FREIGHT clue after posting the article. The clue does have a verb disguised as noun but that word isn't an indicator in the clue. So dropped it from the list.

@Kishore: I like that mask too. It reminds me of the Cirque Du Soleil @ Vegas.

veer said...

Pop, as do bubbles? (4)

Without the help of crossings (the clue does directly yield SODA)could the clue also be solved as a DD?

Pop : BLOW
Do bubbles: BLOW