Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #26 | Entertaining, evocative, economical, efficient

 |  15 April 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Cryptic crossword clues are so pleasing because of their tightness. On the surface, they may seem whimsical to the point of frivolity. But there is an intrinsic solidity or tautness to a good clue.


The Hindu Cryptic #12,909 | Dr. X | 15 Across

Clue surface: Mafia boss holds gun angrily against head of enemy in cell (7)

Definition: cell

Clue types: charade, containment, anagram, letter-pick


Explanation: The letters of DON (synonym for ‘Mafia boss’) contain (as indicated by ‘holds’) UNG (‘gun angrily’ implies an anagram of ‘gun’) and E (‘head of enemy’ suggests we pick the first letter of the word ‘enemy’) gives us DUNGEON, a synonym for ‘cell’

A great clue evokes a coherent scene, titillates your sense of drama or tickles your fancy, and ensures that not a single word of the wordy wordplay is idling without a job or purpose. Entertaining, evocative, yet economical and efficient.

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