Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #28 | Follow the recipe, and voila!

Mihir Balantrapu  |  17 April 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Most times, cryptic crosswords can be nice and easy, with words that are commonly known and used pretty often. At other times, they can involve words from a different continent that you may have never heard of nor have the slightest chance of guessing.

But this is where cogent wordplay is a great godsend. Even if the solution word is totally obscure, you can still arrive at it by following the wordplay instructions. Sort of like whipping up an exotic esoteric dish simply by doing exactly what the recipe tells you to do.


The Hindu Cryptic #12,911 | Dr. X | 23 Across

Clue surface: Associate involved in escapade around South African village (5)

Definition: South African village

Clue types: Abbreviation, containment, reversal

Answer: KRAAL

Explanation: First, the letter A (abbreviation for ‘Associate’) is put inside (as indicated by ‘involved in’) LARK (synonym for ‘escapade’). Then, the resulting weird word LAARK is reversed (as indicated by ‘around’) to produce KRAAL, which is a fenced enclosure of huts common in African livestock-rearing villages.

Interestingly, the word ‘kraal’ is an Afrikaans word for a pen, or animal enclosure. And how similar is it to the word English word ‘corral’, which dates back to the 16th Century?

Solves like this one really help you discover the joy of discovery. Which is the whole point of puzzles, really.

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