Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #76 | Unearthing the unknown

Mihir Balantrapu  |  25 June 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Cryptic crosswords are a game of language and logic. And when logic is involved, mathematics can‘t be far behind.


The Hindu Cryptic #12971 | Sunnet | 1 Down

Clue surface: Ancient Indians of unknown caste developed outside (6)

Definition: Ancient Indians

Answer: AZTECS

Explanation: ATECS is an anagram (as indicated by ‘developed’) of ‘caste’, which goes around (as indicated by ‘outside’) Z (mathematical abbreviation for an ‘unknown’ variable) to form AZTECS.

Since the mathematical variable is an unknown numerical value that can be symbolised commonly as X, Y, or Z, the crossword setter is well within their rights to use it as an abbreviation. If you think about it, an unfilled crossword square, containing a yet-to-be-discovered alphabetical value, very much performs a similar logical function.

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