Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #3 | It takes all types of stereotypes to make a world

 |  28 November 2019

These past few days, the news cycle has been consumed by bizarre political riddles that few seemed able to make sense of. But have you taken the time to solve some word puzzles to keep yourself sane? (Wink wink. Hint hint.)




Clue surface: Hints end in sight amid unions’ disruption (9)


Definition: Hints

Clue type: Charade with Anagram

Annotation: the letters of ‘END’ are inserted (‘in sight amid’) into ‘INNUOS’, which is an anagram (‘disruption’) of ‘unions’


Of course, not all hints are innuendo. Only those that are construed as disparaging. After all, it’s not nice to be belittled, is it? Then again, how many of us take great pleasure in stereotyping someone we dislike as a dullard just so we may seem less of a ‘hick’?




Clue surface: Dullest dullard overwhelmed by exam (8)


Definition: Dullest

Clue type: Container

Annotation: ‘HICK’, an unfortunate stereotype for a ‘dullard’, is inserted into (‘overwhelmed by’) ‘TEST’ (a synonym for ‘exam’)



That said, without common symbolic conventions (which are basically what stereotypes are), there simply would be no communication (let alone crossword puzzles), would there? Just goes to show that when it comes to truly free speech, there really are no holy cows.



THC #12781 | xChequer | (3 DOWN)

Clue surface: Centre to show flower in a religious manner (6)

Answer: HOLILY

Definition: In a religious manner

Clue type: Charade with Letter-pick

Annotation: picking out the central letters (as indicated by ‘Centre to’) of ‘show’ gives us ‘HO’, which is melded to ‘LILY’, a type of ‘flower’



Because unless we can speak freely, we may never know the full story of human existence, which is rather multifaceted and varied. For instance, you say potato, I say potato. You say Cambodia, I say Kampuchea. You say you’re worked up, I say I’m het up…




Clue surface: Anxious in Phuket about missing Cambodia (3,2)

Answer: HET UP

Definition: Anxious

Clue type: Deletion and Anagram

Annotation: The letters of ‘Phuket’ are to be anagrammed (as indicated by ‘about’) to give HETKUP, and then we remove the ‘K’ from it because, as the clue tells us, ‘Phuket about’ is ‘missing’ ‘Cambodia’, which is also known as Kampuchea and is abbreviated as ‘K’



… Cryptic crosswords often take advantage of this built-in ambiguity/versatility of words. Sometimes, word-meanings can be ambiguous simply due to their age or obscurity. For instance, today we think of fish fry as a delicious crisp evening meal, but a 14th-Century Middle-English speaker might look at you funny for suggesting it was anything but a reference to the young brood of a multiparous fish.



THC #12789 | Gridman | (4 DOWN)

Clue surface: Thoroughly cook river fish putting in a little pepper (4-3)

Answer: DEEP-FRY

Definition: Thoroughly cook

Clue type: Charade with Letter-pick / Abbreviation

Annotation: The letters of the Scottish ‘river’, ‘DEE’, which is relatively famous (among crossworders, at least), are tacked onto ‘FRY’, a synonym for young ‘fish’. We then go about ‘putting in’ or inserting a ‘P’, which is arguably an abbreviation of or a letter-pick operation (indicated by ‘a little’) on ‘pepper’.

Were there any clues that discombobulated/delighted you in the past few weeks? Let us know in the comments below.

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