Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #99 | Don’t kick the bucket, wait for the bailout

Mihir Balantrapu  |  28 July 2020

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The Hindu Cryptic #12998 | 20 Across

Clue surface: Initially bitter beer in bucket (4)

Clue types:

Definition: bucket

Answer: BALE

Explanation: The first letter of bitter (as indiated by ‘initially bitter’) is B, to which we add ALE (synonym for ‘beer’) to produce BALE, which is a verb meaning ‘bucket’.

The charade is simple enough. The tricky part of this clue is knowing how the word ‘bale’ may be linked to the word ‘bucket’.

You’d think a bale is a bundle (of hay). You’d think a bucket is a bail (of water). But, as it turns out, the word ‘bucket’ can also be used as a verb, as in ‘bucket the water out of the sinking boat’. And ‘bale’ is a spelling variant of the verb ‘bail’. And thus the ’twain meet.



sounds like: bay-uhl


— scoop water out of (a ship or boat).


sounds like: buck-eht


— scoop (water) out of a ship or boat.


Early 17th Century: from obsolete bail ‘bucket’, from French baille, based on Latin bajulus ‘carrier’



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