Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #90 | In tuition, develop your cryptic intuition

Mihir Balantrapu  |  15 July 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Here’s a nice and simple one from Gridman that is just clean. You can read these compact clues back and forth to get a feel for how the words on the surface morph into the cryptic sense as you do so.


The Hindu Cryptic #12987 | Gridman | 2 Down

Clue surface: Active tester admits top custodian (7)

Definition: custodian


Explanation: First, you jumble up (energisation is the motto of any anagrind, and ‘Active’ fits the bill perfectly) the letters of ‘tester’ to get the imaginary word, TRSTEE, into which we insert (as indicated by ‘admits’) a U (abbreviation for ‘top’, as in Upper Class), to get TRUSTEE, which is another word for ‘custodian’.

As you develop your intuitive sense for reading cryptic clues, your brain will begin to classify and categorise the surface words into the cryptic with the sweeping smoothness of a veteran pen-pusher. In a flash, you brain surmises that ‘active tester’ is obviously an anagram of ‘tester’, and once you grasp that it ‘admits top’, you know where to put the U.

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