While the word ‘cryptic’ might scare people off, cryptic crosswords are actually easier (if you ask me) and more fulfilling to solve than quick crosswords. The secret lies in the clues!
Cryptic clues contain three things: a definition, wordplay and nothing else. The definition can be at the start or end but never in the middle of the clue. The wordplay could be one of many types which will help you (or mislead you if you read it wrong!) solve the entry. And all that will always be wrapped in grammatically correct construction. But often the sentence itself will have little, if any, relation to the eventual answer. Be wary!
Grab the nearest newspaper, get a pen (you won’t need erasing if you play right!) and get going.
Here is today’s crossword from Nagaland Post solved.
And these are the clues with the answers. The definitions are bold-faced.
1. I'm amused about cold area in pub (5) Local 4. Pig accepting messy home in a way (7) Somehow 8. Pop star having celebration with heavenly food brought round (7) Madonna 9. Traced, tied, and taken out (5) Drawn 10. Bottle never cracked (5) Nerve 11. If possible, attend to some animal sound (5) Bleat 13. Block request for woven material (6) Damask 15. Tool found by architect in front of church (6) Wrench 18. In the centre of San Francisco Michael Palin's amusing (5) Comic 20. Row about head of government being an aggressive type (5) Tiger 23. Warning when first couple have left room (5) Amber 24. Expressions of discontent, say, in manuscript (7) Mutters 26. Thick poles in river (5) Dense
1. Drink made Noel tipsy (8)
2. A tree that's cared about (5)
3. Old soldiers dance (7)
4. Bashful about a couple of bishops? That's contemptible (6)
5. An insect, say, not very bright, ascending (5)
6. Cheer for revolution in Teheran (7)
7. Pale old penny that's used by a magician (4)
12. Hypocrite taking pence before he accepts a pay increase (8)
14. Horrible bra came undone (7)
16. Staff going round gallery, showing what Turner did? (7)*
17. Man with cue, getting break, displays keen perception (6)
19. Roman god penning English horses (5)
21. Inexperienced environmentalist (5)**
22. Disney characters seen from low altitude (4)
*A true cryptic clue. Yes, when you see question marks, its time to put your thinking cap on.
**A double definition where the clue is made up of two definitions.
I am a novice and I’ll admit I have doubts with two answers but heck, it was fun doing it and that’s what matters. Questions are welcome.