Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #186 | Solve a clue by yourself, get a collective joy

Mihir Balantrapu  |  26 November 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

The best clues are rarely those which you understand at a glance. The setter can really mix it up. So, sometimes, you just need to toss and turn to work out the answer. In the end, solving it by yourself is the healthiest option.


The Hindu Cryptic #13102 | Arden | 10 Across

CLUE: Maybe Russian returns to Texas city half-heartedly (5)

Clue types: cryptic definition, reversal, letter-pick

Definition:  maybe Russian

Answer: SALAD

Clue explained:

Oh, look. Just a 5-letter word for the win! You still need to unravel a clue by Arden. So, you can rest assured it will be challenging as well as fun!

An example of a ‘Texas city’ is Dallas. ‘Returns’ is an indication that we need to reverse the letters of DALLAS. But wait.

Arden is telling us to reverse the letters of DALLAS in a certain way. How? ‘Half-heartedly’. The heart of DALLAS is nothing but its central letter or central letters. So, if the heart of the word DALLAS is LL, or two Ls, then half of it is just the one L.

So, just to recap, if you reverse DALLAS, you get SALLAD. But if you reverse DALLAS ‘half-heartedly’, with only one of its two hearts, then you remove one L, and get SALAD. And if you haven’t tried a Russian salad yet, you have been eating half-heartedly so far!


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!