Cryptic Crosswords

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!

If you have never tackled a cryptic crossword before, this would be the right time to familiarize yourself with its basics and the many types of clues you can expect to encounter.

If you are already comfortable with the basics, explore more here or here or indeed anywhere.

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.

Cryptic_Crossword_18Oct2015

And these are the clues with the answers. The definitions are bold-faced.

Across

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

Down

1. Drink made Noel tipsy (8)
 Lemonade
 2. A tree that's cared about (5)
 Cedar
 3. Old soldiers dance (7)
 Lancers
 4. Bashful about a couple of bishops? That's contemptible (6)
 Shabby
 5. An insect, say, not very bright, ascending (5)
 Midge
 6. Cheer for revolution in Teheran (7)
 Hearten
 7. Pale old penny that's used by a magician (4)
 Wand
 12. Hypocrite taking pence before he accepts a pay increase (8)
 Pharisee
 14. Horrible bra came undone (7)
 Macabre
 16. Staff going round gallery, showing what Turner did? (7)*
 Rotated
 17. Man with cue, getting break, displays keen perception (6)
 Acumen
 19. Roman god penning English horses (5)
 Mares
 21. Inexperienced environmentalist (5)**
 Green
 22. Disney characters seen from low altitude (4)
 Walt

*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.

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