Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #154 | Take in the old with the new

Mihir Balantrapu  |  11 October 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Patience is key in any endeavour. Sure, take a second to laugh at how lame and elderly that sounds.

Here’s the thing, though. Most likely, you had NO IDEA what the clue meant at first glance. See, A clue isn’t like an Instagram post, where you can tell immediately whether Sharon is flexing or BEING awesome.

To understand a cryptic clue, you’ve got to spend some time with it and understand it better. Try it. It’s actually WAY MORE FUN than scrolling and scrolling and scrolling till you find some post that you want to press ‘like’ on. And in the end, the feeling of success will make you feel so good!


The Hindu Cryptic #13064 | Dr. X| 13 Across

CLUE: Old boy babbles about nursing a little silly infatuation (9)

Clue types: Abbreviation, reversal, containment

Definition: infatuation


Clue explained:

We need a 9-letter word here that means ‘infatuation’. And here’s how you could solve it.

‘Old’ and ‘boy’ are outright candidates for abbreviations. O is a shortened way to say ‘old’. And B is a common way to abbreviate the word ‘boy’. In fact, ‘old boy’ is a conventional way that male alumni of British universities are referred to, often abbreviated as OB.

Another word for ‘babble’ is NOISE. So, ‘babbles’ would be NOISES. So, from ‘babbles about’ we should infer a reversal of NOISES; i.e. SESION.

SESION will be ‘nursing’ or containing within itself ‘a little silly’.

Now, ‘a little silly’ is just another way of saying we need just a little bit of the word ‘silly’, which is S.

So, if OB and SESION contain S, the newly birthed word for ‘infatuation’ is OBSESSION! (Though the word may be newly birthed here, the idea of infatuation itself is as old as Romeo and Juliet’s ancient ancestors. So don’t mock elders when they are being hella obsessive about all the really old things they love. They’re just being themselves. You will too most likely. So be nice to your future self, OB and OG).

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 and play the latest puzzle.

Each annotation will give you helping hints and hold your hand as we work out the answer together. If you liked the long-winded explanation to the above clue, then you will surely enjoy the crisper versions we give you in The Hindu Cryptic on Sunday puzzles, when you click the button ‘Reveal’ and then ‘Show a hint’.

And guess what, The Hindu Cryptic on Sunday is absolutely free! All you have to do is sign up to play.

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