Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #136 | Sound judgment for sake of your self

Mihir Balantrapu  |  16 September 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

We are all arrogant, in a sense. In a weird way. Each of us wants the best for ourself. As we should. Does that make us arrogant? And if so, then does that make our arrogance undesirable?

Personally, I think each person wants the best for themselves if they know what’s good for themselves. But there is a taboo in this weird world against saying that out loud. If you are appearing selfish or just as you are, you stand at risk of being ostracised from your group called WE.


The Hindu Cryptic #13042 | Hypatia | 2 Down

CLUE: Arrogant mood, by the sound of it (4)

Clue types: sound-alike, homophone

Definition: Arrogant

Answer: VEIN

Clue explained:

This clue wants us to find a 4-letter word for ‘arrogant’. It also wants us to use the rest of the clue (aka its wordplay) to build the word up like a jigsaw puzzle.

So, the wordplay is ‘mood, by the sound of it’.

What does ‘mood’ mean? It could mean the atmosphere, or context, or even your pyschological state. If you figure you want to look for a synonym for ‘mood’ in the sense that means ‘context’, you might come up with VEIN. And look, it happens to be a 4-letter word too, just like the clue’s enumeration or word length wants!

Now, VEIN ‘by the sound of it’ suggests that the setter wants you to think of a homophone for ‘vein’, as in another word that sounds like it.

‘Vein’ sounds like VAIN. And hey, VAIN is also a 4-letter word for ‘arrogant’!

And thank heavens! For, in an utterly selfish world, we would not ever make a single connection, as in we would never be WE. So, while our self constantly TEMPTS us to be ourself, we should always do whatever it takes to continue being part of our tribe, our herd, the community which gives us safety. I mean, having friends will ensure that we get enough likes on our next social media post! And what are ‘Facebook,Twitter, and Insta likes’ if not our tribe’s substitute — our society’s substitute — for oxygen?


The Hindu Cryptic #13042| Hypatia | 22 Down

CLUE: Cocaine’s picked up to tempt (4)

Clue types: sound-alike, homophone

Definition: tempt

Answer: COAX

Clue explained:

This clue wants us to find a 4-letter word for ‘tempt’. It also wants us to use the rest of the clue (aka its wordplay) to build the word up like a jigsaw puzzle.

So, if the definition is ‘tempt’, the wordplay is ‘Cocaine’s picked up’.

<PSA: Hopefully none of us ever actually ‘picks up cocaine’. Because it would be a torture to drop and you don’t ever want to put yourself through that! End PSA>

In the cryptic reading, if you pick up ‘cocaine’s’, or COKES, we are looking for a homophone for it. Say it to yourself enough times, and you hear COAX, which is a 4-letter word for ‘tempt’!

DISCLAIMER: Just to say, neither of the above clues promote — nor does their showcasing on this blog seek to encourage — either vanity or use of narcotics.

Was that fun to solve? Did you get a kick out of understanding how to work out the answer to a cryptic crossword clue? Did you enjoy being given a random sentence that ultimately leads to a completely unexpected but totally decipherable answer? Do you feel like you could use some help to guide you towards the answer for each of the 20-30 clues that usually bamboozle you in each puzzle? Well, look no further!

Ok, look just a little further. Because, every Sunday, The Hindu Crossword Plus will be posting a new The Hindu Cryptic puzzle with annotations for each clue! Go ahead and bookmark that link.

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