Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #159 | Where is the wolf? Look inside the sheep’s clothing

Mihir Balantrapu  |  20 October 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

In Cryptic crosswords, just like in life, the fun really begins only after you understand how the puzzle works. And that is just what we strive for here in this blog. Imagine if you didn’t know how your hand worked. You’d never be able to put a single piece of food in your mouth and then you’d soon die. So, if something is confusing, the best thing to do is have it explained clearly so that the confusion is cleared. As human beings, I only think this is our basic duty to one another...


The Hindu Cryptic #13070 | 7 Across | Hypatia

CLUE: You and I rose, for one backing Professor Lupin, say (8)

Clue types: Example, reversal

Definition: Professor Lupin, say


Clue explained:

If you want to discover the 8-letter word here, you have to know a little bit about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.... Not saying that it’s a classic or anything, because many would object to a children’s fantasy series even being compared to, say, an Anna Karenina or an Atlas Shrugged. But to solve this clue, knowing a little about the characters of the HP world would be a tad bit useful.

So, the clue says ‘you and I’, which immediately brings to mind its synonym — WE.

Now, look at the words ‘rose, for one’. The phrase ‘for one’ is used to point to an example. Like, if someone said, “Person who exists, for one”, they could very likely mean you. As in, you! You are a person who exists! Another word used to indicate to an example is ‘say’. Anyway, moving on with the rest of the clue...

So, ‘rose, for one’ implies that we need to think of what a ‘rose’ is an example of. Well, a rose is a flower, isn’t it?

Well, now look at the next word after ‘rose, for one...’. It is ‘backing’. Now, “backing” is a cryptic setter’s way of suggesting that something goes back, as in a reversal. So, if the letters of the word ‘flower’ are put in reverse order, you get REWOLF.

Now, put WE and REWOLF together, and it becomes WEREWOLF, which is what Professor Lupin was an example of in the Harry Potter books!

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’.

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