Friday, September 24, 2010

Neat Definitions 2

Each Clue explanation is divided into Analysis, Aesthetics and Afterword.

Visual Key to Clue Analysis :
Definition : BOLD
Wordplay : Italics with keywords underlined as well
Link : Normal


Clue A : Water-colour production from painter using East End location (7)


Water-colour production from painter using East End location.

Painter = RA (see 9Down write-up in Crossword 1 Answers Explanation Posting)
Using East End location  will take up the remaining 5 letters.This particular location in East End should be 3 lettered.
This is because at least 2 letters are needed for "using". Let's say the location is called ZZZ. Then "using ZZZ" can be "at ZZZ" or "in ZZZ". Since RA is next to it, IN seems the better choice. So we have RAINZZZ. When we see RAIN and water-colour, we will be able to reach RAINBOW. You can check to verify that Bow is part of East End, London.


The art motif is used in the definition as well as the wordplay and this enhances the surface reading of the clue.Water-colour is a common enough term but when used in this context , it is elevated and  becomes inextricably linked with rainbow, one of Nature's mysterious creations.


Below is the image of a double rainbow in a watercolour painting by a master of the form, John Constable.

Constable painted directly from Nature.When he did this painting, the sun would have been behind him. Just this fact would have been sufficient for anyone to connect the sun behind, the rain in front - with the eventual appearance of a rainbow in front of an observer.
Yet it took until 1666, the "annus mirabilis" to understand the connection.No less a wizard than Newton ( superb in theoretical, mathematical and experimental physics ) solved the mystery in his masterpiece "Opticks".

To Newton, Nature offered the ultimate treasure hunt for the natural philosopher.

William Blake, mystic poet, lamented the solving of this and other mysteries. John Keats famously said that Newton had "unweaved" the rainbow, thus robbing it of its beauty.But his later words " Beauty is Truth, truth beauty" acknowledged that such unweaving had exposed pure beauty.How would a modern day Constable have painted the rainbow? Maybe the picture below can give a hint.

This was the image that prompted me to pen a clue for the word "Pelangi" (rainbow in the Malay language) in a treasure hunt circa 2002.

Your head blocks the sun from its centre.

Of course, no definition is needed in a treasure hunt clue, since the answers are out there! To understand why the clue fits, you can read about it here.

Clue B : Provider of a big bang? Possibly, it's supersonic! (13)


Provider of a big bang? Possibly, it's supersonic!

Possibly is the anagram indicator.And it's supersonic has 13 letters.Rearranging them, we have percussionist.
Percussion instruments are that family of instruments which musicians beat or strike to produce sound.And that certainly fits the definition provided.


Once again we spot a connection between definition and wordplay.A supersonic (transport) produces a sonic boom (big bang) when it crosses the sound barrier.Also, we have one of those delightful anagrams where a derived word is paired smoothly with the definition. It is simple and satisfying.


The anagram indicator is a staple in cryptic crosswords and hunts.In Crossword 2 , you would have seen that there were 12 of them.As a rule, when that many anagrams occur in a single setting, you can consider the puzzle to be easy and doable for beginners.
Even in difficult crosswords, the humble anagram indicator appears in at least a couple of clues.They are familiar faces you are glad to spot at a party that's full of forbidding strangers.You start a conversation with them before you get an intro to their immediate neighbours.
Hence anagram indicators are important that way - not terribly sexy like the other cold beauties around - hey, but you gotta start somewhere!

Some setters make it even more difficult for you at their party by disguising their anagram indicators with exotic garb, like at a masked ball.Hopefully, you see through the charade and recognize that familiar face.Don't take them for granted.Take up their kind offer and work your way through the room.Of course, there are those supremely confident playboys who start anywhere and before you know it, they're off to another party!

Clue C : Revising at a blue-chip university leaving with a first. etc (10)


Revising at a blue-chip university leaving with a first. etc

Revising is a familiar face.Yes, its an anagram indicator. The answer requires 10 letters but at a blue-chip has 11 letters.So one needs to leave and that one is u which is a short form for university.This is confirmed by the remaining portion of the wordplay which is university leaving. So then we revise ATABLECHIP to ALPHABETIC. This word suggests a particular order of letters starting with A, then B and so on - which fits nicely with the pithy a first, etc.


In the context of this clue, first is the equivalent of a first-class honours, indicating high achievement and ability.This is the meaning your mind would impart to that word , since it concatenates with revising and blue-chip.
Other than standing in as a dependable anagram indicator, revising is also linked to the drudgery of studying and re-studying.And that, too at a blue-chip university, no less.So you study hard at a top uni and deservedly get a first-class honours.Great! That's what is definitely in your brain when you first read the clue.


Etc is usually part of the wordplay in most clues.This is one of the few times it appears in a definition.Another thing that throws beginners off is that when you read the clue, "a" is pronounced as the article and not the letter.So it takes some amount of mental gymnastics to shift gears to treating it in letter-mode.Your brain will get to treat "a" in both modes after revising CONSTANTLY.Another lesson here is the substitution of words like university with a single letter. There are a whole lot of them out there and it takes time get familiar with all of them.

And to finish off this posting here is another triplet of neat definitions.

D. Work in a cause : that's the aim of running mates. (9)  _ _ O _ _ _ _ _ _

E. How reactor may be occupied reproducing relatively closely? (10) _ _ _ R _ _ _ _ _ _

F. Check plant for new life. (13) _ _ _ N _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 Give them a go and if you think you've got 'em, do send your answers to


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crossword 2 Answers Explanation


Welcome all! We hope you enjoyed your first crossword with the Cryptonites, and that you found the explanations to be of assistance to you.

This week’s crossword gives you a good opportunity to practice your anagrams (12 clues), double definitions (7 clues) and hidden words (3 clues), but there is also a homophone, a sandwich, plus several combination/general clues.


1.  Maroon Beach (6). STRAND. Double definition. To “maroon” someone is to “strand” them. But also, a strip of beach is often called a “strand”.

4. Reasonable entertainment (4). FAIR. Double definition. To be “reasonable” means to be “fair”, but a “fair” is also a form of “entertainment”.

7. Eager sort of diva (4). AVID. Anagram. The definition is “eager” (which is a synonym for “avid”). “Sort of” is an anagram indicator, and if you shuffle the letters for “diva” you get “avid”.

8. Rib not broken by Scot, say (6). BRITON. Anagram. The definition is “Scot, say”. The answer is “Briton”, and a “Scot” is one example of a “Briton” (hence the use of the word “say”). The anagram indicator is “broken”, and if you shuffle the letters for “rib not” you get “Briton”.

9. Average guy (4). NORM. Double definition. “Average” is a synonym for “norm”, and Norm is a guy’s name.

10. Always in one version (4). EVER. Hidden word. The definition is “always”, “ever” is a synonym of “always”, and it is hidden in “onE VERsion”.

12. Hero serious about plant (4). ROSE. Hidden word. The definition is “plant”, “rose” is a type of “plant”, and it is hidden in “heRO SErious”.

14. One ran for a long time (3). EON.  Anagram. The definition is “long time” (which is a synonym for “eon”). “Ran” is the anagram indicator, and if you shuffle the letters for “one” you get “eon”.

16. Exclude from the pub (3). BAR. Double definition. To “exclude” means to “bar”, and another word for  “pub” is “bar”. In this case, “from the” are link words.

17. Deity gets terribly sore (4). EROS. Anagram. The definition is “deity”, and “Eros” is a deity, or God. The anagram indicator is “terribly”, and if you shuffle the letters “sore” you get “eros”.

20. Race around some land (4).  ACRE. Anagram. The definition is “some land”, and “acre” is a measure of land. The anagram indicator is “around” and if you shuffle the letters “race” you get “acre”.

23. Attendant’s strange idea (4).  AIDE. Anagram. The definition is “attendant”, and “aide” is a type of attendant. “Strange” is the anagram indicator, and if you shuffle the letters in “idea” you get “aide”.

24.  Hunt for a long time (6). FORAGE. General clue. The definition is “hunt”, and a synonym for “hunt” is “forage”. The wordplay is “for a long time”. In this case it is a matter of inserting “for” directly into the first part of the answer. For the second part of the answer, a synonym for “long time” is “age”.  So, “for” plus “age” = “forage”.

25. Otherwise see about taking leaf (4). ELSE.  Combination of anagram and sandwich clue. “Otherwise” is the definition, and a synonym for “otherwise” is “else”. The anagram indicator is “about”, so we have to shuffle the letters of the word “see”. In addition though, the other part of the wordplay is “taking leaf”. In this case, the word “taking” is an indicator of a sandwich clue. So if we take the first letter of “leaf” and insert it inside an anagram of “see”, we get “else”.

26. Chuck has husband turn right and left (4).  HURL. General clue. “Chuck” is the definition, and a synonym for “chuck” is “hurl”. The wordplay is made up of the following components:
    ‘Husband” can often mean you can use the first letter, “H”.
    “Turn” often denotes “U turn”, so you can use just the letter U.
    “Right” and “left” are often replaced by “R” and “L” respectively.
If you bring each of these letters together, they form the word “hurl”. Did you see the error in the clue??

27. Bad rent to be negotiated (6).  ROTTEN. Anagram. “Bad” is the definition, and a synonym for “bad” is “rotten”. The anagram indicator is “negotiated”, and if you shuffle the letters in “rent to”, you get “rotten”.


1. Dreadful bores are sensible (5).  SOBER. Anagram. “Sensible” is the definition, and a synonym of “sensible” is “sober”.  The anagram indicator is “dreadful”, and if you shuffle the letters in “bores” you get “sober”.

2. Managed to get one in bad weather (4). RAIN. Sandwich clue. The definition is “bad weather”, and one type of bad weather is “rain”. Another word for “managed” is “ran”, and “to get one” means to put either an “a” or an “i” (in this case “i”) into “ran”, which gives you the word “rain”.

3. Reportedly condescends to Europeans (5). DANES. Homophone. The definition is “Europeans”. The word which gives it away as a homophone is “reportedly”, which means we are looking for a word which sounds like a synonym of “condescends”, but means “Europeans”. The answer we are looking for is “Danes”. Danes are Europeans, plus it sounds the same as “deigns” which means “condescends”.

4. Acceptable damages (4). FINE. Double definition. “Fine” is a synonym for “acceptable”, but “fine” is also a form of damages.

5. Loved to bother socialist (6). ADORED.  General clue (a bit like 24 across). The definition is “loved”, and a synonym for “loved” is “adored”. The wordplay is made up of “bother” = “ado” and “socialist” = “red”. Put them together and you get “adored”.

6. Old Italian-style manor (5). ROMAN. Anagram. The definition is “old Italian”, which is a Roman. The anagram indicator is “style”, and if you shuffle the letters of “manor” you get “roman”.

11. Stop changing vote (4). VETO. Another anagram (you’re getting lots of practice with anagrams!). The definition is “stop”, which also means to “veto”. “Changing” is the anagram indicator, and if you shuffle the letters in “vote” you get “veto”.

13. Finished six deliveries (4). OVER. Double definition. “Finished” means “over”, but “over” is also a cricket term for six deliveries or balls.

15. Merchant got tarred, unfortunately (6). TRADER. Anagram. The definition is “merchant”, and a type of merchant is a trader. The anagram indicator is “unfortunately”, and if you change around the letters in “tarred” you get “trader”.

16. Bishop, impetuous and pushy (5). BRASH. General clue (a bit like 24 across and 5 down). “Pushy” is the definition, and another word for “pushy” is “brash”. From the worldplay, you can use the letter “b” for “bishop”, and another word for “impetuous” is “rash”. When you add “rash” to “b”, you get “brash”.

18. Mention freer arrangement (5). REFER. Anagram. The definition is “mention”, and a synonym for “mention” is “refer”. The anagram indicator is “arrangement”, and if you play with the letters in “freer” you get  “refer”.

19. A shade naïve (5). GREEN. Double definition. To be “naïve” is to be “green”, but “green” is also a colour shade.

21. Cancellation includes room (4). CELL. Hidden word. The definition is “room”, and a “cell” is a type of “room”. The word “includes” suggests a hidden word, and included in “canCELLation" is the answer.

22. Wish for wife to join worker (4). WANT.  General clue. “Wish for” is the definition, which can also mean to “want”. From the wordplay, you can substitute “w” for “wife”, and a type of worker is an “ant”. If you join “w” to “ant”, you get “want”.

Craig & Mary

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Neat Definitions

One of the first things that a cryptic crossword solver checks for in a clue is where the definition lies. Is it at the front or at the back of the clue? Any clue that yields to such analysis can be broken reasonably fast. One has now to solve the wordplay portion to confirm what the actual answer is.

However, there will be times when the definition is difficult to ascertain. In such a case your only path forward is to crack the wordplay and see if it fits in with the obscure OR neat definition.We wont talk about obscure definitions at  this point. Instead , let me tell you about some NEAT definitions I have come across.

By NEAT , I mean "elegant" or "stylish". You will not see any of these neat definitions in a dictionary or thesaurus. Definitions that are so deceptive - yet accurate.They come up infrequently. But when they do - you get a glimpse of the creativity of the crossword setters.

And most impressively, old and familiar words sparkle again as if they have been given a good scrubbing from head to toe, pressed into their best suits and are now standing in front of you with erect posture.
No longer are they possessed of slouchiness and flaccidity - the natural consequence of over-exposure in the media!

Here are three clues which illustrate what I mean by neat definition.See if you can crack them.

A. Water-colour production from painter using East End location? (7)    _ _ _ _ _ O _

B. Provider of a big bang? Possibly, it's supersonic! (13)    _ _ _ _ _ _ S _ _ _ _ _ _

C. Revising at a blue-chip university leaving with a first, etc (10)   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ T _ _

You can send your answers to

You're also welcome to share with all our readers any NEAT definitions you have come across.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Crossword 1 Answers Explanation

Solution to Crossword 1

1. Flier finds German university students (4)
 The definition lies either in front of the question (ie flier) or at the back (students).In this question, the definition is the flier; so you must find a 4-letter word for flier.But which flier is implied by ‘German university students’; the cryptic fodder? No indicator here, so let’s try ‘word substitution’. German can be replaced with G; while University is commonly referred to as U. How about Students? Student (or sometimes Trainee or Novice) can be replaced by L (short for Learner as in L-plate); hence Students can be represented by LL (ie more than 1 learner). So putting them together:-German = G; University = U; Students = LL (Learners); G+U+LL = GULL (flier)

4. Dandy has left as a failure (4)
With the definition either in front or at the back of the question, you have 2 options; ‘dandy’ or ‘failure’. Here the definition is ‘failure’. So you need a 4-letter word for failure; by deciphering ‘Dandy has left’. This will involve ‘indicator recognition’ and ‘word substitution’. ‘has’ (or sometimes ‘takes’) means “is in possession of”; hence it is an insertion indicator to tell you that dandy is in possession of left. For word substitution, your thesaurus will give you FOP as a synonym to “dandy”; while left can be substituted as L (likewise right can be R).
Dandy = FOP; left = L; Dandy has left = FOP has L = F(L)OP = FLOP (failure)

6. Total zero at sport (4)
I guess that by now, you would have suspected either Total or Sport as definition. You’re on the right track, because the definition here is sport. That leaves ‘total zero’ as the fodder. Without any indicator, if we go with word substitution; Total can be SUM and zero can be O.Total= SUM; zero = O; SUM+O = SUMO (sport)

8. Part of the Far East (4)
Here the definition is 'part'. 'of the Far East' means from the Far East. So answer is from Far East.If you take it literally ( as a hidden word clue ) then you might see the word 'area' in Far East. And area matches as a synonym for 'part'. PART = AREA ( of the FAR EAST)

11. Printed article about missile (4)
 Back to the typical way to find definition! You should consider either ‘printed’ or ‘missile’.In this case, it’s missile. So how about ‘printed article about’? ‘About’ looks suspicious; where it can act as a hidden indicator. If you look inside ‘printed article’, you can find DART (missile).About (hidden indicator); Printed article = DART (missile)

13. Steal pub and profit (7)
 The definition can be either ‘steal’ or ‘profit’. Here it is ‘steal’; so you have to look for a 7-letter word for steal; from ‘pub and profit’. A simple ‘word substitution’ will do the trick; where pub is bar and profit is gain.
Pub = BAR; profit = GAIN; BAR+GAIN = BARGAIN = steal

14. The rodent in the crate (3)
The definition is either ‘the rodent’ or ‘crate’. Here you are to look for a 3-letter word for rodent; from the cryptic fodder ‘in the crate’. ‘In’ is a hidden indicator; which if you look inside ‘the crate’, you will find RAT (rodent).In (hidden indicator); the crate = RAT (rodent)

16. Head in charge of subject (5)
Look for the definition at the front (ie ‘head’) or at the back (ie ‘subject’) of the question. Here the definition is ‘subject’ and the cryptic fodder is ‘head in charge’. Again ‘word substitution’ can reveal the answer. Think of a synonym of head; which can be TOP. Likewise ‘In charge’ can be represented by IC (sometimes in work delegation, you may see PIC, which means ‘person in charge’).Head=TOP; In Charge = IC; TOP+IC = TOPIC (subject)

18. Animal's key is no different (5)
The definition can be either ‘animal’ or ‘different’. Since ‘different’ can be an anagram indicator, I would suggest that you consider animal as definition first. Look for a 5-letter word for animal; from the cryptic fodder ‘key is no different’. However you’ll notice that ‘key is no’ has more than 5 letters; hence direct anagram may not be the answer. ‘Key’ (or ‘note) is commonly used in cryptic crossword to indicate music key note (ie A, B, C, D, E, F or G). So now by combining one of these notes with the anagram of  IS NO, it is now possible to get BISON (animal). Different (anagram indicator); key = B (music key note); key is no = B IS NO = BISON (animal)

21. The origins of botany (5)
 This question is unique, as it is a cryptic definition of the answer. As usual, the definition can be ‘the origins’ or ‘botany’. Here you have to look for another 5-letter word for ‘the origins’. But which one? This is where the cryptic fodder ‘of botany’ comes into play. Think of common words in the world of botany, and you will realise that ROOTS (origins) can satisfy the criteria.

22. Pillar found in one well (5)
This question is similar to 14 Across. Instead of ‘the rodent’, the definition is ‘pillar’. ‘Found in’ will suggest a hidden indicator. So looking inside ‘one well’, you should spot NEWEL (pillar). Easy; once you have learnt the technique!Found in (hidden indicator); One well = NEWEL (pillar)

24. Appearing to have food (3)
Similar to the hidden question in 11 Across, the definition here is ‘food’. ‘To have’ is another typical hidden indicator; so look inside ‘Appearing’ and you’ll see PEA(food).To have (hidden indicator); Appearing = PEA (food)

25. Article about concert (7)
A simple question with only 3 words; where the words can be the definition, the indicator or the fodder. ‘About’ looks like a candidate as an anagram indicator; so that leaves ‘article’ and ‘concert’ as definition or fodder. But which is which? So you can try to anagram CONCERT and get another word that means ARTICLE. Or alternatively you can anagram ARTICLE and get another word that means CONCERT. In the latter case, from ARTICLE, you can get RECITAL (concert).About (anagram indicator); ARTICLE = RECITAL (concert)

28. Nothing but affection (4)
Another 3-word question. However unlike 25 Across, this one doesn’t have any clue indicator. Hence, one should suspect ‘double definition’. It means that you must look for 4-letter word that means ‘nothing’; as well as ‘affection’. LOVE will fulfill the double definition.Double def; Nothing = LOVE = affection

30. Late translating a story (4)
Similar to the anagram question in 25 Across, here ‘translating’ can be an anagram indicator. That leaves either ‘late’ or ‘story’ as definition. Since we’re looking for a 4-letter word, it makes perfect sense, to try anagram LATE (instead of story) and take ‘story’ as definition.Translating (anagram indicator); LATE = TALE (story)

31. Resting-places in the county (4)
At first glance, the sentence seems to suggest a ‘hidden’ question. However the word ‘in’ doesn’t represent a hidden indicator. Here this is another ‘double definition’ question. Look for a 4-letter word that represents ‘resting-places’ and ‘county’. A common word for ‘resting places’ can be ‘BEDS’. A quick check on the encyclopaedia will show that BEDS (short for Bedfordshire) is a county, in southeast-central England.Double def; Resting-places = BEDS = county

32. Rite used flag (4)
Similar to the anagram question in 25 Across and 30 Across, here ‘used’ is an anagram indicator; while the definition can be either ‘rite’ or ‘flag’. Try to anagram ‘flag’ to get a word for ‘rite’ and you may get nothing. However if you anagram ‘rite’, you can get TIRE (which can mean flag ie less enthusiastic).Used (anagram indicator); RITE = TIRE (flag)

33. Adherent takes trainee a cake (4)
The definition can be either ‘adherent’ or ‘cake’. Here you need to get a 4-letter word for ‘cake’; by deciphering ‘adherent takes trainee’. Now it involves a bit of ‘word substitution’ and ‘clue recognition’. You can replace adherent as FAN; while trainee can be L (please refer to earlier explanation in 1 Across). How about ‘takes’? ‘Takes’ can be an insertion indicator (pls refer to earlier explanation in 4 Across). So insert L (trainee) inside FAN (adherent) to get FLAN (cake).Adherent = FAN; Trainee = L (learner); FAN takes L = F(L)AN = FLAN (cake)

1 Seize outlandish garb (4)
‘Outlandish’ can represent an indicator for anagram. So the definition can be either ‘seize’ or ‘garb’. Since we are looking for a 4-letter word, it’s more logical to assume ‘seize’ as the definition and anagram the 4-letter ‘garb’. You should get GRAB (seize).Outlandish (anagram indicator); GARB = GRAB (seize)

2. Look for shelter on the right (4)
The definition can be either ‘look’ or ‘right’. Here ‘look’ is the definition. So we need to get a 4-letter word for look; from ‘shelter on the right’. LEE can be a shelter (usually from wind or weather); while right can be R (as explained in 4 Across). Please take note that the word ‘on’ is suitably used in a Down question; as LEE is on top of R. Of course, LEER is to look (usually in an unpleasant way).Shelter = LEE; Right = R; LEE + R = LEER (look)

3. Check for gold key and object (5)
The definition can be either ‘check’ or ‘object’. Here the definition is ‘check’; so let’s look for a 5-letter synonym. How about ‘gold key and object’? Without any indicator, this seems to suggest ‘word substitution’. Typically when a chemical element is mentioned, it is good to know its symbol/abbreviation (please refer here for complete list). Gold is commonly represented by Au (from Latin Aurum). Key can be D (as previously explained in 18 Across). Object can be represented by IT. Putting them together, you should get AUDIT (check).Gold = AU (Aurum); key = D (music key note); object = IT; AU+D+IT = AUDIT (check)

4. In favour of a number, say (3)
The definition can be either ‘in favour of’ or ‘say’. Since ‘say’ can be a sound-like indicator, it’s more likely to assume the definition to be ‘in favour of’. So we are looking a 3-letter word for ‘in favour of’; which also sound like a number. Working systematically from one, two etc, you will realise that ‘four’ sounds like FOR (in favour of).Say (sound indicator); A number = four; sounds like FOR (in favour of)

5. Left some wine (4)
This question may seem to suggest a hidden type, with ‘some’ as the hidden indicator. However similar to 31 Across, this is a double definition question. Look for a 4-letter word, which means ‘left’ and ‘some wine’; hence PORT.Double definition; left = PORT = wine

7. Roman-style residence (5)
Smooth reading on the surface. But as usual, the definition can be ‘Roman’ or ‘residence’. Style (as in to design) can be an anagram indicator. For a 5-letter answer, we should anagram Roman to get another word for residence.; which you should get MANOR
style (anag indicator); ROMAN = MANOR (residence)

9. Artist finds plant in canyon (6)
The definition can be ‘artist’ or ‘canyon’. Here it is canyon we’re looking from ‘Artist finds plant’. Without any indicator, this can be another ‘word substitution’ question. For those who are new to cryptic crosswords, RA can represent Royal Academician (who is a member of Royal Academy of Arts). VINE can be a plant. This should give RAVINE (canyon).Artist = RA (Royal Academician); plant = VINE; RA + VINE = RAVINE (canyon)

10. Silver, blue and shining (5)
Wow… another chemical element here. Remember the knowledge required for chemical element (please refer 3 Down, if you have forgotten). Silver is commonly represented by AG (Argentum). Beside being a colour, ‘blue’ can also mean sad or LOW. Put this together, you should get AGLOW (which is shining).Silver = AG (Argentum); blue = LOW; AG + LOW = AGLOW (shining)

12. Group generating riot (4)
Similar to 1 Down anagram question, with ‘generating’ as anagram indicator, the definition here is more likely to be ‘Group’, as ‘riot’ can be anagrammed into the 4-letter answer. You should get ‘riot’ as TRIO (which is a group of three).generating (anag indicator); RIOT = TRIO (group)

15. Real performance? Turn to a novice (6)
The definition can be either ‘Real’ or ‘novice’. With ‘real’ as the definition, you have to decipher ‘performance? Turn to a novice!’. Here you have to break this into 4 parts and word exchange each one. You can say that performance can be an ACT, while ‘turn’ can be U (as in U-Turn by vehicle) and ‘a’ remains as A. Do you still remember what I have taught you about ‘Novice’? Novice can be L (please refer to 1 Across). You should be able to construct ACTUAL (real).Performance = ACT; Turn = U (U turn); A novice = A L (learner); ACT+U+AL=ACTUAL (real)

17. Suggest I stop running (5)
 The definition can be ‘suggest’ or ‘running’. Here it is ‘suggest’ which is the definition, with ‘running’ a suitable anagram indicator. If you anagram ‘I stop’, you can get POSIT (suggest).running (anagram indicator); I STOP = POSIT (suggest)

19. Close to the animal (4)
Without any indicator, this could be another question of double definition. Look for a 4-letter word, which means ‘close’ or ‘the animal’. How about SEAL?
double definition; close = SEAL = animal

20. Never lost courage (5)
 Similar to 25 Across and 30 Across, you will notice that Lost can be an anagram indicator. This leaves either ‘never’ or ‘courage’ as the definition. Again the 5-letter answer points toward ‘courage’ as the definition and ‘nerve’ needs to be anagrammed. By doing that, you should get NERVE (courage).Lost (anag indicator); NEVER = NERVE (courage)

23. City guides get reported (5)
A second sound-like question; since ‘get reported’ looks good as a sound indicator. Since the sound indicator is next to ‘guides’, it naturally means that we are looking for a 5-letter word, which is a ‘city’, but sounds like ‘guides’. In this case, LEEDS (a city in England) sounds like ‘leads’ (guides).Reported (sound indicator); guides = leads; sounds like LEEDS (a city in England)

24. Pets turn out to be an irritation (4)
 Another anagram question is on the cards, since ‘turn out’ can be an anagram indicator. So the definition can be ‘pets’ or ‘irritation’. Again the 4-letter ‘pets’ should be anagrammed; to get PEST (irritation).Turn out (anagram indicator); Pets = PEST (irritation)

26. Follow the queue (4)
 Without any indicator, this is likely to be a double definition question. Look for a 4-letter word, which means ‘follow’ or ‘the queue’. How about TAIL?Double definition; Follow = TAIL = queue

27. Incline to be thin (4)
Without any indicator, this is also likely to be a double definition question. Look for a 4-letter word, which means ‘incline’ or ‘thin’. LEAN should fit the bill.Double definition; Incline = LEAN = thin

29. Nobel's prize (3)
Last but not the least, this is a unique hidden question. The presence of an apostrophe suggests that the ‘prize’ is possessed by ‘Nobel’. So if you look inside Nobel, you will see OBE (short for Officer of the Order of the British Empire; a prize given for national order of merit)OBE = prize (hidden in Nobel)

Chian Min

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Holidays

The cryptonites, in their own way, would like to wish all our Muslim visitors in....

Greeting the shimmering Malaysian sun, catching beam after drinks all round !(7,4,4)