Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #157 | There’s no substitute for hard word

Mihir Balantrapu  |  16 October 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

There really is no substitute for good old hard work. Whether you’re interested in building brawn or building brain. With both, really.

Muscles involve fibres that are strengthened with repetitive discipline. Neurons involve fibres that are fortified with repeated reinforcement.

Same with Cryptic Crosswords, really.


The Hindu Cryptic #13067 | Dr. X | 7 Down

CLUE: Start to powerfully run, overcoming spasm in training (8)

Clue types: Letter-pick, containment

Definition: training


Clue explained:

We need an 8-letter word here. We should start by looking for potential synomyms for the words/phrases on either side of the clue, because #DEFINITIONISONEITHERSIDE.

The definition could be ‘start’, or ‘training’, or ‘start to’. or ‘in training’, or ‘spasm in training’, or even ‘start to powerfully run’.

Don’t overcrowd your mind with all the possible definitions. Just keep them in the back of your head, and quickly start to narrow down likely candidates given the word length. Also, if you already have some letter/s filled in in the grid, make use of it to home in on the likely definition. It’s all a give-and-take. Just like when in a relationship.

‘Start to powerfully’ could very likely mean the first letter of ‘powerfully’, which is a P.

Another word for ‘run’ is RACE.

Another word for ‘spasm’ is TIC, as in the muscular twitch you may feel when you’re nervous about something.

If P + RACE is ‘overcoming’ TIC, you have PRACTICE.

And PRACTICE, btw, is your 8-letter word for ‘training’!

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.

Click right here to subscribe to the interactive THCrosswordPlus, so you can solve on your mobile phone, get hints, and even check your answers on the go!