Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #158 | A Dravid, a droid, and a druid walk into a bar...

Mihir Balantrapu  |  18 October 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

In cryptic crosswords, you need to be flexible as well as firm. Like the base of a plant, which grows in perfect communion with Nature simply because it has a strong foundation and a supple stem.


Everyman #3852 | 23 Across

CLUE: Cricket captain, heartless automaton (4)

Clue types: letter-pick

Definition: Cricket captain

Answer: ROOT

Clue explained:

A nice and easy 4-letter clue here, if you’re into the game of cricket. If you aren’t, the rest of the clue gives you all the help you may need to get the answer!

So, just look at the wordplay. Look at the word ‘heartless’. That is rather standard word that setters use to indicate that you need to take away the central letter (the ‘heart’) of an adjacent word, hence ‘heartless’.

Seeing the word ‘automaton’ should make the word ROBOT jump to your mind as easily as grasshopper named R2D2.

And if ROBOT is ‘heartless’, you need to delete its central letter B. And that gives you ROOT.

Guess what, ROOT is the name of the captain of the English Test cricket team!

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!