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
D3: What can be wild, including "H____!"? (5) _ A _ _ _
What can be wild, including "H____!"?
&lit clue ; the whole clue is the definition as well as wordplay.
Something wild is OATS
including H , we have OATHS
and some oaths are wild as shown by H___ , presumably "hell" or something worse.
Superb &lit clue! The use of the dash to indicate a censure of the letters that follow is a clue to the nature of the answer.
The censured word is within quotes and this reinforces the setter's intention to be as fair as possible to the solver.Swear words are mostly shown in quotes and usually never in full.
E3: What you may hear from a Socialist; ______? (7) _ _ A _ _ _ _
What you may hear from a Socialist; ______?
hear indicates not a homonym indicator in this case. So what you hear from a Socialist ( who is a political figure ) is ORATORY.
The dash here indicates where the answer can fit. Also, ORATORY can be broken up as OR A TORY.
Now a Tory is a Conservative and therefore on the opposite side of a Socialist. Both spout oratory now and then.
So then, when the answer is filled in, the clue is still valid when read in its entirety!
The clue above is a rare item. It belongs to that category of clues which I call UNSURPASSABLE.
Though I have a very technical definition for such a clue, let me state simply that for every word there is, there exists a matching clue which is perfect. In other words, that word has found its cryptic soulmate.
F3: Humped creatures? Not so (Just so .......!) (5) _ _ _ _ S
Humped creatures? Not so (Just so .......!)
just so is the anagram indicator ; Not so becomes oonts ; def : humped creatures
A mind-blowing clue which has the effect of an orgasm in the synaptic pathways of the brain.
The trail of dots in the parentheses indicates that the phrase tails off. There is a word there but its not needed for the clue.But if you know the word, then you can find the reference which will lead you to the answer!
In fact, the phrase within the parentheses has another reference - which explains its function as an anagram indicator!
The reference, scientifically is a just-so story.
The reference in literature is Just so stories by Kipling.
'Just so' in the scientific context tells you to 'tune' "not so" to fit the definition of humped creatures.
However, if you don't know the literary reference, you may still not know that oonts is the answer as its a slangword for the Indian camel.
"Just so stories" is a collection of children's stories. One of them is called "How the camel got its hump". However, on reading it, you will still not get the word "oonts"!
Oh dear! Only when you look through the index of Kipling's poems, will you see "oonts".
Torquemada would have been proud of this loaded clue by his 'grandson' Azed.
Another UNSURPASSABLE clue by Azed! In fact , all the three clues above are his.We mentioned him in our pages some time back.
Here are three more clues that make use of punctuations to enhance their reading.
G3 : 'Scoo-bi-doo' etc seen as square by jazz fan (4) _ _ _ T
H3 : Verb in 'was concerned' is cut up. (6) _ _ _ _ E _
I3 : I'm spectacular after dark, 'Most Excellent' in bed. (5) _ _ M _ _