Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #25 | Spaced out by metaphors

 |  14 April 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

As the lockdown persists and we feel the strain of repressed activity, here’s a clue that might open up your horizons, even if only figuratively.


The Hindu Cryptic #12,908 | Dr. X | 3 Down

Clue surface: Anything is possible except travel beyond outer space? (3,4,3,5)

Definition: Anything is possible except travel beyond outer space

Clue types: Cryptic definition

Answer: The sky’s the limit

Explanation: ‘The sky is the limit’ is a common idiom to denote an abundance and optimism. At the same time, the setter recognises that in literal terms, the phrase does contain a constraint, bounding the realm of possibilities to the sky’s perimeter. And so, he tacks on a rider that may just rub Neil Degrasse Tyson, our most eminent proponent of interstellar exploration, the wrong way.

‘The sky is the limit’ is a figure of speech that can be classified as a hyperbolic metaphor. While Adynata are also hyperbolic figures of speech, they generally imply an impossibility or irony — eg. ‘When pigs fly’ or ‘When the sun rises in the west’.

Hopefully there won’t come a time anytime soon when the earth becomes inhospitable for humanity and we have to seriously consider scooting off into outer space in search of alternative habitats. If Interstellar is any barometer of this, though, we’re already part-way there with all the masks on our faces.

Then again, when it comes to human resilience, the sky truly is the limit!

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