Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Lost and Found

Cryptic Crosswords
Part Five

Today we look at the answers to our hidden word clues and look at the working behind them.

Last time we looked at hidden word clues and learned how we can use the shapes of words to help solve them. You wont find masses of hidden word clues in your average puzzle, but they are surprisingly satisfying to solve.

I left you with a pair of examples of hidden word clues, and a single double definition to be going on with. Hopefully you had no problem in discovering the solutions and fitting them into the grid.

21. Across

Whole country searches Hindi artefacts. (5)

Here the grammar isn't quite right, that should be a red flag that your dealing with a clue which is divided into blocks. Let's resolve the clue into it's constituant parts.

Whole country searches Hindi artefacts.

So as before we have a definition in red, an indicator word in purple and a source phrase in yellow. The word 'whole' could be considered part of the definition, but it's essentially superfluous to requirements other than to act as a mild piece of misdirection. So let's block together the source phrase and take out the grammar to see what stands out.


So did you get that one? Our second hidden words clue was short but sweet and was placed at eighteen down.

18. Down

Cover in cocoa tips (4)

To all intents and purposes it looks like a culinary clue, and it would be if not for that sneaky little indicator word right in the middle. Let's resolve it out into it's parts.

Cover in cocoa tips

So we're looking for a word meaning cover in the source phrase cocoa tips. We have our standard strategy for finding the hidden answer, but instead of a nice finite group like countries, we're now looking for a word from a more general definition.

Is it 'a cover' as in a quilt, 'to cover' as in chocolate and strawberries, it could be cover as in being an under cover agent with a cover story. It could also reference books, pans, tin foil and clouds. Actually what we're looking for here, is clothing.


Coat, it's as simple as that.

Our final clue last week wasn't a hidden word at all, but a double definition to keep you on your toes. You know the drill, two definitions, maybe some link words, and the key is to find the one word which matches both definitions.

16. Down

Sparse and watery

Unusually for a double definition, here the whole clue also functions as a third definition too. Did I mention there were such things as triple definition clues, I once saw a quintuple definition clue.

Sparse is the better of the two words to go for here, far fewer nice, simple synonyms to pick from. What  you need really is the context to help, so think of hair or grass and you're halfway there.

The answer you are looking for is 'thin' because it means both sparse, and watery.

How was that, did you get all three? We have a lot more clues to fill in on our grid before we're done and there are many more clue types to examine.

Until next time, keep puzzling. 

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