Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #71 | Fishy clue? Take the bait!

Mihir Balantrapu  |  19 June 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Whenever you come across a shipping or nautical term in a cryptic clue, you can drop anchor and rest assured that there is an easy abbreviation involved.


The Hindu Cryptic #12965 | Lightning | 22 Down

Clue surface: Unnecessary to get rid of ship with bait (6)

Definition: bait

Answer: NEEDLE

Explanation: NEEDLESS (synonym for ‘unnecessary’) loses (as indicated by ‘to get rid of’) the letters SS (abbreviation for ‘ship’) to give us the answer, NEEDLE, which is a verb that means ‘bait’.

Also, note how a word could be a noun in the surface reading (‘bait’, like a worm or some such tidbit on a fish-hook) but transform into a verb (‘bait’, as in, ‘tempt’ or ‘goad’) in the cryptic reading. This is one of the many ways in which the setter keeps things interesting for you in these dull days of lockdown. It’s just up to you to take the bait.

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