Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #50 | Not every clue is cryptic

Mihir Balantrapu  |  18 May 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

In cryptic crosswords, you don’t always have to scour your mind furiously for an obscure synonym or tortuous connotation or abstruse anagram. Sometimes, the letters you need to pick are sitting right there in front of you, gift-wrapped out in the open.


Everyman #3,830 | 10 Across

Clue surface: What’s caused by cold weather? I see, I see: son’s skipping lesson (7)

Definition: What’s caused by cold weather


Explanation: ‘I see, I see’ taken phonetically gives us ICIC. To that we add LES (‘son’s skipping lesson’ means for us to remove ‘son’ from ‘lesson’).


And it gets even simpler...


Everyman #3,830 | 9 Across

Clue surface: So, an African country, a nation of Africa (7)

Definition: nation of Africa


Explanation: We get the first two letters SO directly from the clue’s first word, ‘So’. Then MALI features as ‘an African country’. And finally, the letter A directly from ‘a’.

If you think it takes a lot of aptitude, skill and perspicacity to unravel the devious wordplay devices deployed by setters, you can imagine the acumen it takes to know when to put all of that aside and simply take what is given.

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