Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #85 | Kindle your brain with charming cryptic clues

Mihir Balantrapu  |  07 July 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

When you pick up a cryptic crossword, you have to keep your mind open and flexible — especially when reading the surface. That’s a surefire way to stimulate your brain to see multiple angles and word associations.


The Hindu Cryptic #12981 | Avtaar | 20 Down

Clue surface: Kindle’s performance had overwhelmed users in the beginning (7)

Definitions: Kindle


Explanation: ACT (synonym for ‘performance’) and ATE (synonym for ‘had’) together envelop (as indicated by the containment indicator ‘overwhelmed’) the letter U (as indicated by ‘users in the beginning’), to form ACTUATE (synonym for ‘kindle’ or ‘stimulate’).

In case you are wondering exactly what ‘actuate’ means...



sounds like: ack-chew-wait


— to incite or move to action; impel; motivate

— to put into action; start a process; turn on

Usage: The machine is actuated by the motor. Is the average politician actuated by power-hunger or social responsibility?

Etymology: (1590–1600) Medieval Latin āctuāt(us) reduced to action (past participle of āctuāre), equivalent to Latin āctu(s)



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