Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #86 | The Word of God hidden in a clue?

Mihir Balantrapu  |  09 July 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

We are used to the letters of answers to hidden word clues spanning across two words. But they can also be found concealed in a single word, alongside a hidden word indicator. Here’s an example of that.


The Hindu Cryptic #12982 | Avtaar | 13 Across

Clue surface: One who doesn’t believe in propaganda (5)

Definition: One who doesn’t believe

Answer: PAGAN

Explanation: Hidden inside (as indicated simply by ‘in’) the word ‘proPAGANda’ is a somewhat outmoded synonym for ‘someone who did not believe’ in the popular monotheistic religions of the day.

If you think Avtaar is making some sly comment about theological belief systems and skepticism, that is for you to interpret as you like. Perhaps it is also an &lit clue? Either way, it’s a ticklishly clever idea to hide the answer ‘pagan’ within the word ‘propaganda’.

If you are wondering about the meaning of the word pagan...



sounds like: pay-gun


— a member of a religious, spiritual, or cultural community based on the worship of nature or the earth.

— (Disparaging and Offensive) relating to the worship or worshipers of any religion that is neither Christian, Jewish, nor Muslim.

Etymology: 1325–75; Middle English Medieval Latin, Late Latin pāgānus ‘worshiper of false gods’, originally ‘civilian’ (i.e., not a soldier of Christ), Latin: ‘peasant’, noun use of pāgānus ‘rural, civilian’, derivative of pāgus ‘village, rural district’ (akin to pangere ‘to fix, make fast’)



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