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Hi! We're Simon Anthony and Mark Goodliffe, two of the UK's most enthusiastic puzzle solvers. We have both represented the UK at the World Sudoku Championships and the World Puzzle Championships.
Thank you for watching!
Simon and Mark
Hello and welcome to a bonus edition of cracking the cryptic where I'm going to attempt to do just that and crack a cryptic, crossword that's come heavily recommended to me from the independence, crossword editor, mike hutchinson.
Now, this is a puzzle by rodriguez, uh, which is uh, well, a constructor.
I I not known to me, um.
But apparently, this is a very unusual puzzle.
And I have no clue why we will have to discover that together.
I think I have made the window the right size this appeared last saturday, um.
And where should we start let's have a look at the clue that is indeed highlighted inflate a price to tour, england's capital.
Okay, I can do that.
Um, the way I've got that is sort of short synonyms.
So I read the clue as meaning inflate.
So we need a synonym for inflate this.
A is quite interesting think about why that a is in the clue it's only there because it's necessary, because, in fact, it is the first letter of the answer.
We need a four-letter word for price.
And that needs to tour.
It needs to surround the capital, england's capital letter, which is its e.
Now, if we do that properly short synonym for price is rate, put the e in the middle.
We get air rate, which is to inflate a warm area of hard ground.
Ah, well, okay, that's hard has an abbreviation h.
You might see that on pencils a five letter word for ground, beginning with e, that's just earth.
And a warm area is a half so we're off and running here, mostly silk product from france, uh, ah.
So this I was thinking of silk as in a fabric, but silk can also be the name, um for a sort of barrister, um.
And a synonym for a barrister is a brief.
If we have most of the word brief, we get brie, which is a product from france.
Of course, the cheese jolly delicious.
It is after joint.
Do giggle not sure, uh, three down soviet policeman breaking sticks off good grief.
I've got no clue what that is, uh, let's, try four down.
Ah, see, 501, I'm immediately thinking the roman numeral for 501, which is d.
I so I bet this starts d, I stars producing records right? So when you see stars here, I'm thinking of the name of constellations, and in fact, there is the constellation of aries.
And if you put ares on the end of di, you get diaries, which are records let's, try and use the I ruling party that's going to be in probably uh on the left around south is supported uncommonly in on the left I'm, not actually sure what that is that could be completely wrong this in let's, try five down innovator in camp up and about well, innovative.
If you see it in a crossword for some reason it is very often edison who of course, was very famous as an inventor.
And this indeed, is edison because camp if you're in a camp you're you're in a side on one side or the other? Uh.
So camp up is just a reversal of the word side and about if something's about something it's on it.
So put all that together we get edison, and we get an n at the start of 14 across, um treated ailing ruminant in asia, oh gosh.
This is some horrible anagram.
I want to say, oh, is it nigali or something like that that could be complete nonsense? Oh nigali is what first came into my mind.
I thought, well, let's imagine that's a g, does that do anything for us invalid or invalid felt sicker having come out in most spots, something like blotchiest, or I don't know, I'm not convinced by my g.
Now, either let's try seven down father, has it has something inherited with value right? Something inherited you inherit your genes and the value if you value something you rate, it put all that together.
You get gene rate say it a bit differently.
You get generate.
And if you father something you generate it, oh, oh nil guy.
I've I have heard of that nilgai that is something I don't know what it is, but it's a word and anything that's, an anagram of ailing that isn't ailing itself is probably correct nilgai.
So what was is this? Oh, this is the most spots one.
I don't know 11 across, um, extremely navish career by communist playing the communist reformer.
What on earth is that talk about extremely navis, navish makes me think of the extreme letters of the word navish, which would be k-8.
Oh, is this khrushchev.
I never know how to spell that.
But this is the advantage of cryptic crosswords.
Sometimes it gives you because it gives you word play career rush, crush chris chev.
Then is it by communist playing the communist.
The communist could be shay, guevara, extremely navish.
Navish, kh, korea you rush by communist playing is it? Oh I see it is it's shay guevara for the communist.
And then if you're playing, you might put versus v.
So liverpool v, man, united would be liverpool playing man united.
So I think it's, chris, jeff that was that's really difficult, um, and it gives us a k in that.
One, oh, gosh is this some soviet policeman? Oh no.
I don't know it if it is, uh, oh, let's, try and get 12 cross.
I need to think the french paper.
That's, probably le monde.
The french papers dropped one pair of europeans.
I need to think let me see that's got blood at the start of it.
So the french, oh, it is this.
It is let me see I've spotted y.
Okay, why is it? Let me see le is the in french.
The paper is the times, and you can see times has dropped one it's dropped its eye.
It's, roman numeral for the number one.
And then a pair of europeans is a pair of abbreviation for the word european, which is e.
So, e, e, at the end, let me see means I need to think and we get an m at the start of 13 down element sculpted with art in lintel looks like an anagram element, an art to me that would give us.
Ten letters, lintel, don't know, they're, not jumping out of me, puts forward large packaging deal, don't know, sorry, a 17 across province that's eight steps behind india, eight steps, eight, I'm, thinking of words like octet here and octal, don't know, 17 down, sorry, diddly squat or zero is around number in pk.
That is a very unusual hidden.
If you look inside diddly squat or zero, there is the word cattles, which I think is 14 in french.
Now I don't play pk.
So I have no idea what cattours is in relation to the game of pk.
But that gives me a zed here, um content or content to leave zimbabwe with.
Oh, this is select okay.
If the content leaves the word zimbabwe, you get rid of the central letters, the a b w.
So you just get left with z a e.
And that goes with a lot, which means many, and that gives us, of course, a fanatic it's, a zealot let's, try that one, uh, unknown, fish bone.
Oh, this is x-ray unknown, yeah.
In mathematics, a num an unknown might be x, uh, you might d, y by dx, et cetera.
You see it in a lot of equations.
A fish is a ray.
An x-ray is certainly something which may make bones appear.
So lots of weird start letters here, q, z and x axes or axes by stone portico in greece.
I think this is zeist if you're on a graph, you might see the x and the y axis that's.
So that x y, an abbreviation for stone is in the stone of weight is st.
And zeist means something must mean, a portico in greece.
I can't, I can't be sure about that, but I know it's a word so that's, good enough, um, child under six.
Well, six is probably vi for the roman numeral for six framing current.
Well, current as in ohm's law is v equals I r.
So this is vision, it's vi and then sun for child whoopsie around current eye.
And of course, an image is a vision.
Now let's, look at 21 across doctor.
Cutter vein, that's going to be an anagram of cut of and that's eight letters and doctor, of course, means if you doctor something you fiddle with it, you, uh, you change it around it's.
Not working inactive.
No unactive is it unactive? I think I need to use the u? Um, that's.
Why inactive is probably not right? Um, there we go.
We can put that in what six down.
Oh, this is my spots.
One invalid felt sicker, oh it's, an anagram freckliest.
An anagram felt sicker, um.
And if you come out in the most spots, you are the freckliest.
So we can put that in freckly test what's that oh province will be quebec.
This is the international radio code words for the letters.
So, um, india is the code word for I you've probably heard of romeo and juliet, you know, romeo is r.
Juliet is j, um and q.
I'm, pretty sure is quebec so it's, the international radio code word for q and q is indeed eight letters behind the ninth letter, which is I so yeah, and it appears coincidentally.
Number 17., oh good grief.
I've just spotted the I just spotted the theme here I should have spotted it earlier because look along the top row of the grid, a b, something I'm, guessing, c, d, e, f, g.
But look, I just noticed that q was the 17th letter and was appearing in in this let in this cell here, which has a 17 in it.
Now look around the grid.
This is the eighth letter, which is h.
This is the ninth letter, which is I the eleventh letter is k.
So this should begin with j, which is the tenth letter let's.
It is after joint, which can be abbreviated to j.
If you do someone, you ate them if you copy them, um, you might say to a, you know, an impressionist do so and so do the queen and they would ape the queen.
So, and of course, a jape is a giggle.
So now we're going to actually be able to write in all the start letters.
I think for the rest of the puzzle so that's, a c, which might help me with my soviet policeman.
15 is o.
19 is s, uh, that's w.
I think, uh, 23 that must be y.
This is some construction as well that's going to be r that's going to be t.
And now the puzzle should get a lot easier.
Where should we go let's? Go with a w ending in o, which person arrests, attendant, moving ecstasy in novel.
Westwood ho is a novel.
So why is this westwood ho, which person is who arrests? Attendant? Oh, that's.
Steward is an attendant.
And we've moved its ecstasy at e, um to give westwood hoe, which is a novel that's, very nice.
Now, let's, look at that.
One are you blank d, fish hearts, but not hat could be articles or rudders.
Presumably, why is it rudders fish hearts, but not hat hearts, but not, oh that's, very difficult, right? There is a fish called a rud r u double d.
And then if you look at the word hearts and you remove the word hat from it, the h the a and the t you get left with e r.
S, which is e r.
S, and of course, rudders are articles on boats I'm glad I got that r, because that would not have been an easy clue.
Now we should be able to get this one now what's this nine across ruling party that on the left around south it's probably got an s in it.
Then so that s is going to have to go there if that's right is support, oh oh endorsed.
Then is it so it's? A funny spelling of endorsed ruling party? Oh, if you're ruling you're in, oh, I see you if you're ruling you're in a party is a do if you're on the left you're, a red, and that goes around an s, the south.
And and that all gives endorsed, which means supported uncommonly, not easy now three down.
And we are going to risk our soviet policemen soviet policemen breaking sticks off.
Well, it could be an anagram of sticks around he for a man.
Maybe so that would have to be that one needs to be a vowel checkists are they soviet policemen? Oh soviet police.
I see czechos.
So it can be the plural I've not heard of that.
But it could be.
It looks like a sort of russian word, doesn't it, um, right.
What's, 15 across puts forward.
Oh, large is oversize or outsize, which is abbreviation to os.
Look packaging deals.
We need a word for deal inside puts forward a pines, a pine.
So it's steel, not as in trade.
But as in a tree, uh, a deal is a name for a tree.
And it must be a pine tree.
Although I didn't know that, um pro wrestling with medal for a prize, I didn't put in the start letter.
I could have had that p, oh, I'm so stupid, um.
Well, this is the anagram of pro and medal.
And it means a prize and it's there for a palm door.
I can do that probably glad I had the start because the d apostrophe o r is not easy to see otherwise.
Now we must be able to get this beginning, y o, vocalist, yodler once one, shouting as a yeller after swallowing too many drugs.
Well, you have an overdose you od on something.
So it is let's.
Look at that one.
Dogs are we here wearing formal evening attire tales of formal evening attire? Oh, yeah.
This isn't clever clue.
So it means dogs.
And if you dog somebody you trail them are we here is a homophone for the word r.
So r sounds like the letter r, which is just what we put in the middle, and we get trails.
So let's, look at that.
Guess what this is before we put it in.
I think it is.
I can't see anything what is it? Oh, most scheming it's slightest.
Then is it to get agreement? Yes.
Okay to get agreement.
An agreement is a yes accepted by special officer.
S for special lieutenant or lieutenant, depending on how you like to pronounce that is lt around the yes.
And we've only got one more clue to do, oh it's, the anagram of element and art.
And it means lintel mantle tree.
I think a lintel is a tree from one of its definitions is a tree.
Pretty sure I can get tree.
Oh, well, done it.
There we go.
It says, it's, correct now let's just go back now and admire what rodriguez has, um has done here.
This is really very clever to construct a puzzle where there are exactly 26 starting letters, which means he's had to he or she has had to double.
You know, this q, for example, does double duty and across and down in order in the correct places.
So that each is numbered appropriately along with their letter of the alphabet that is really really beautiful I'm, not sure I've seen that before.
And I have the feeling that's incredibly hard to do, um, yeah, it's brilliant, love it, um, which was my favorite clue.
There were quite a few difficult clues.
Um, I liked kristoff, mainly because it was so complicated.
Um, I quite liked quebec.
And the idea behind that as well westwood hose clever who around steward moving the e, um, yeah, there's a lot to admire here.
There really is I hope you enjoyed it? I hope you had a go.
Um, there should be a link under the video.
Hopefully you found it in order to play the puzzle and yeah, we'll be back soon with another edition cracking.
The cryptic you.
WHAT MAKES A CROSSWORD CRYPTIC? For those new to the game, we reveal the secret in a nutshell: The clues each have two parts. One part is a normal definition of the answer; the other is an additional hint using wordplay. Having two hints in each clue might seem a big giveaway to solvers.What is cryptic answers? ›
Cryptic crossword clues are normally in three parts. A straight clue, the answer hidden somehow and words that indicate how it is hidden. These are made into a sentence, not necessarily in that order, that sort of makes sense literally but usually the wrong sense.How do you solve a cryptic riddle? ›
- Look for “anagram” clues. ...
- Consider whether a word needs to be reversed. ...
- Find the hidden answer indicator. ...
- Double definition. ...
- Soudalike. ...
- Don't take clues literally. ...
- Use previous crosswords to improve. ...
- Acrostic clues.
|Secret or hidden (11)||UNDERGROUND|
|Tube; covert (11)|
|Beneath surface (11)|
- Know The Clue Types. ...
- Spot The Anagrams and Hidden Words. ...
- Crack The Long Ones. ...
- Guess Words. ...
- Identify The Definition. ...
- Fill In Word Parts. ...
- Keep At It.
Within each clue will be a number of different elements. Remember that there will always be a definition and a wordplay; either can come first in the clue sentence (in a Times crossword, the definition is almost always either at the beginning or end of the clue); either could be used first to get to the solution.What are examples of cryptic clues? ›
Look for signals such as "caught in," "buried in," "part of," and "housed by." For example, CAT could be clued as: "Lover of birds imprisoned in Alcatraz (3)." Here's another example: "Karen always displays an engagement ring? (5)" (As in standard crosswords, a question mark at the end of a clue typically signals a ...What is the word for cryptic full of mystery? ›
The words enigmatic and cryptic are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, enigmatic stresses a puzzling, mystifying quality.What is an example of a cryptic statement? ›
A cryptic remark or message contains a hidden meaning or is difficult to understand. He has issued a short, cryptic statement denying the spying charges. "Not necessarily," she says cryptically.What is a puzzle that can never be solved? ›
The Sum and Product Puzzle, also known as the Impossible Puzzle because it seems to lack sufficient information for a solution, is a logic puzzle. It was first published in 1969 by Hans Freudenthal, and the name Impossible Puzzle was coined by Martin Gardner.
Literal Clues: In a special type of clue called an &lit the clue's definition and cryptic halves are the same (“and literally so”). You may also see the term all-in-one for these types of clues. This is usually indicated by an exclamation point at the end of the clue.What are the rules for cryptic clues? ›
- Out, jumble, shake, unsteady etc – usually means throw the letters about. ...
- Less than – can mean drop a letter.
- Half cake – can mean CA or KE.
- Some food – might mean a few letters of food, say FO.
- Beginning – might mean the first letter eg Beginning to relax = R.
Hidden word clues are just as they sound: a clue in which the answer is embedded within the words of the clue itself.How do you win in mystery crossword? ›
In both PUZZLES, scratch each letter that matches "YOUR LETTERS." Scratch MULTIPLIER BOX for each puzzle. Uncover each BONUS WORD using "YOUR LETTERS" and win prize shown in PRIZE BOX.What is a hidden word puzzle? ›
A word search, word find, word seek, word sleuth or mystery word puzzle is a word game that consists of the letters of words placed in a grid, which usually has a rectangular or square shape. The objective of this puzzle is to find and mark all the words hidden inside the box.Can an AI solve a cryptic crossword? ›
Our novel approach to AI leaps over the major stumbling blocks faced by the mainstream approaches. An early example illustrating some of what we can do is Crossword Genius - an app containing an AI, Ross, who can solve and explain even the most difficult cryptic crossword clues.Are cryptic crosswords good for your brain? ›
And there's no question that solving cryptic crosswords gives your brain a good work-out. In our paper on crossword expertise, we suggested that cryptic crossword solving exercises a wide range of cognitive faculties, such as: The general capacity to analyze, reason, problem-solve and think 'on one's feet'How do you solve a coded crossword puzzle? ›
The best approach to solving is to enter the starter letters, wherever the relevant numbers appear, and once these are in, to see if any words suggest themselves. For several reasons, undertaking an analysis of letter frequency is not very useful as an approach to solving these puzzles.What is the most used word in crossword puzzles? ›
“ERA” is the most common word in crossword puzzles, as well as “ARE,” “AREA,” and “ORE,” according to Gaffney.What does girl mean in cryptic crosswords? ›
Happily, “girl” is rarely nowadays used in a clue to indicate the letters BIRD or BIT in an answer.
|Glitch with 4 Letters|
ODDLY. Possibly a subtraction indicator signifying the selection of alternate letters from a word.What does e.g. mean in crosswords? ›
“Exempli gratia” or “e.g.” which translates to “for example,” is used to introduce examples in a list format.What do numbers mean in cryptic crosswords? ›
Cryptic clues are followed by a number or numbers in parentheses indicating the length of the answer: (5) means it's a five-letter word, while (2,3,4) indicates a three-word phrase like “in the know.”What is a cryptic clue called? ›
Hidden words clues are sometimes called "Embedded words" or "Telescopic clues". The opposite of a hidden word clue, where letters missing from a sentence have to be found, is known as a Printer's Devilry, and appears in some advanced cryptics. There are several common techniques used in Hidden Word clues.What is a rare word for mysterious? ›
For example: "About" for C or CA (for "circa"), or RE. "Say" for EG, used to mean "for example".What is the synonym for cryptic? ›
Synonyms of cryptic (adj. secret; obscure in meaning) ambiguous. arcane. enigmatic.What is a simple sentence for cryptic? ›
(1) He has issued a short, cryptic statement denying the spying charges. (2) My father's notes are more cryptic here. (3) I received a cryptic message through the post. (4) She made a cryptic comment about how the film mirrored her life.
The 14-15 Puzzle and other problems
Even though this appears to be so close to the final solution, one can tell from the cycle that it is not solvable, because (14 15) is an odd permutation and the space on a green position, ie odd parity.
Sam Loyd's unsolvable 15 puzzle, with tiles 14 and 15 exchanged. This puzzle is not solvable as it would require a change of the invariant to move it to the solved state.What is the oldest puzzle known to man? ›
The Stomachion is perhaps the world's oldest puzzle and it is very difficult to solve. It is associated with Archimedes of Greece (287 BC - 212 BC) who did mathematical analysis of the shape.What does S mean in cryptic crossword? ›
Crossword setters use the changeable nature of 's to create illusions in cryptic clues. They achieve this by making 's suggest one thing on the surface, and mean something else in the cryptic reading of the clue. The next few sections show the shift in meaning of 's in the two readings of a clue.What does FR mean in crossword? ›
Identifying an Abbreviation in a Clue
Most of the time, abbreviations have a period at the end of two to three letters. Some common crossword abbreviations include: Fr. – French.
Sometimes this may be written (3,4) meaning the answer consists of two words, the first of three letters and the second of four letters. A hyphen between the numbers (3-4) means the answer itself is hyphenated. Put a stroke in the crossword itself where these answers divide.What does a question mark mean in a cryptic? ›
A question mark means the setter is not quite playing by the rules.What does Spooner mean in cryptic clue? ›
"Spoonerism" is a funnier word, though, and with crossword setters - never ones to miss an opportunity to mess with words - it's Dr Spooner they mention when they're asking you to switch sounds around and produce the answer.What does maybe mean in cryptic crosswords? ›
It's often interchangeable with for example. [Fedoras, maybe] might be a clue for HATS. Someone with a collection of hats might have no fedoras, but maybe, just maybe they have some fedoras.What is the game to find hidden words? ›
Word Search is a connect-the-letters word finding game that puts a fun vocabulary spin on this brain training classic. It's really easy to play, all you need to do is search for hidden words in the puzzle, then swipe or slide letters in any of the eight directions to uncover the right answers.
Click File > Options > Display, and then under Always show these formatting marks on the screen, select the Hidden text check box.Which phrase means a hidden motivation? ›
See definition of ulterior motive on Dictionary.com. as in hidden agenda. as in purpose. as in reason.How do you play mystery key crossword puzzle? ›
How to Play Mystery Key Cashword. Main Play Area: Scratch the CALL LETTERS to reveal 20 letters. Match each CALL LETTER to the corresponding letters in both CROSSWORD puzzles by removing the scratch-off material covering the matching letter.How do you get into cryptic crosswords? ›
Insert words inside of other words to solve container clues.
Look for indicator words such as “within,” “around,” “in,” “inside,” and “retain” to identify a container clue. Container clues require inserting either letters or words inside of another to form a new word, which will hint at your answer.
Mondays have the most straightforward clues and Saturday clues are the hardest, or involve the most wordplay. Contrary to popular belief, the Sunday puzzles are midweek difficulty, not the hardest. They're just bigger. A typical Monday clue will be very straightforward and drive you almost directly to the answer.What are hidden picture puzzles called? ›
A hidden object game, also called hidden picture or hidden object puzzle adventure (HOPA), is a puzzle video game genre in which the player must find items from a list that are hidden within a scene. Hidden object games are a popular trend in casual gaming.How do you find all words in a puzzle? ›
- Long entries. A great way to find your first few entries quickly is to search for the longest ones you see in the list of entries. ...
- Short entries. ...
- Search for any entry. ...
- Diagonal entries. ...
- Use a bookmark. ...
- Search for a specific entry. ...
- Uncommon letters. ...
- Too common letters.
Unlike regular crosswords, which typically ask the solver to find a synonym for a word or phrase, cryptic crosswords use clues that are deliberately misleading. Solvers have to ignore this reading and look instead for a grammatical set of coded instructions to lead them to the correct answer.How do you explain cryptic crossword clues? ›
Basically, a cryptic clue consists of two elements: a definition of the answer (the so-called straight part), and a wordplay element that elliptically suggests the same answer (the cryptic portion).How long does it take to get good at cryptic crosswords? ›
Answer: Cryptic Crosswords. According to academics, any novice can be taught how to solve these brainteasers in just 12 months but to be an expert takes up to nine years.
Now, a study published in NEJM Evidence has found that regularly attempting a crossword may help slow decline in some people with mild cognitive impairment, an early stage of faltering memory that can sometimes progress to dementia.What does Spooner mean in cryptic crosswords? ›
If you have ever tackled a cryptic crossword you will have come across the name Spooner or the term spoonerism for a clue where initial letters are swapped e.g. 'fight the liar' for 'light the fire'.What does French mean in cryptic crosswords? ›
"the French" implies that the French word for "the" (LES) has to be put into the answer. What if you don't know French? Not to worry – in crosswords, you can get by with just rudimentary knowledge.What are the benefits of cryptic crosswords? ›
Research has shown that completing crossword puzzles can help to relieve stress, improve intellectual well-being, assist in learning a new (or specialized) language, and much more! Something else to note is that crossword puzzles are beneficial for children and adults alike. Take a look…Do Americans have cryptic crosswords? ›
The crossword puzzle was invented in the United States but cryptic ones are a British creation – and have never taken off over there.Who writes cryptic crosswords? ›
Compilers of cryptic crosswords are commonly called "setters" in the UK and "constructors" in the US.What is an ellipsis in cryptic crosswords? ›
If one clue finishes with an ellipsis and the next clue starts with one, the inference is that the two clues are connected.What does finally mean in cryptic crosswords? ›
FINALLY. May be a bits-and-pieces indicator indicating the last letter of a word.