Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #183 | Gape at clue, pay attention, solve it, rinse, repeat

Mihir Balantrapu  |  23 November 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Picking up a cryptic crossword might be the best thing you ever did for your brain. No, seriously! At first, you don’t have a clue as to what the clue means. Then you realise that if you just stay and pay some more attention, a few things start becoming clear. And then, some more parts of the clue become obvious. And soon, before you know it, you have reached the finish line!

It is the equivalent of entering a race that you can win even if you are lame at the start of it. All it takes is putting one step in front of the other and rinsing and repeating!


Everyman #3857 | 5 Down

CLUE: 2nd of August: Farah’s entered racing event, making maximum effort (6)

Clue types: Letter-pick, Insertion, abbreviation

Definition: maximum effort

Answer: UTMOST

Clue explained:

We need a 6-letter word here. Medley of clue types in this one too.

So, ‘2nd of August’ clearly means that we must select the second letter of the word ‘August’, which is a U.

‘Farah’ is referring to the sportsman and athelete Mo Farah. So, we can put down MO.

The clue says that Farah has ‘entered racing event’. So, let’s think of a racing event that MO needs to be inserted into. Well, how about the Talladega Short Track, a go-kart race conducted in Alabama? It can be abbreviated as TST.

So, we have U+T(MO)ST. That equals UTMOST, which is a 6-letter word meaning ‘maximum effort’. And we have thus made short work of this most entertaining clue!


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!