Many of us say during the year, we don’t have time for puzzles.  With the holiday season upon us, it is a great time to relax, and challenge yourself to some brain exercise games, and discover the many benefits solving puzzles provides people of all ages.  Who knows, you may wish to continue to practice your new hobby all year round. Read more…

  Christmas is just around the corner.  If you are looking for a gift ideas for a friend/family member who enjoys solving crossword puzzles, a Clue Detective Online Puzzle Portal Membership makes a wonderful Christmas present.     Your friend can enjoy puzzling while relaxing on a banana lounge at the beach, or by the fire roasting chestnuts (depending on which Read more…

Have you ever thought about playing online puzzles in a group?  Solving puzzles in a group has many advantages.  When solving a crossword, members can pool their general knowledge and can work as a team to solve the puzzle It is great fun particularly if you connect a laptop top to a large flat screen television.  However it can sometimes be a little difficult for all members to know Read more…

by Denise Sutherland Double definition cryptic clues are a favourite of mine. They are deceptively simple. They can really confuse you, if you’re searching for the usual wordplay clues, but in fact they are quite simple. They are pretty much exactly what they say — two different definitions for a single word. These clues are often quite short — they Read more…

by Denise Sutherland One of the keys to cracking the cryptic code is learning about abbreviations. We setters use abbreviations in our clues all the time. They are used to ‘clue’ letters individually, or sometimes in pairs or triplets. Here’s an example. Say I am writing a clue for the word CICADA. One of the (many) ways I can break Read more…

by Denise Sutherland Way back a while, I introduced anagram cryptic clues to you. Anagrams are just one of quite a few types of wordplay that you’ll discover in cryptic crossword clues. Charades are another common wordplay device used in cryptics. You remember the parlour game of charades? People guess the name of a book, or a movie, or whatever, Read more…

As a child, I was always passionate about writing on a blackboard.  It was one of my favourite toys, especially when I could use different coloured chalk.  At that stage, I had aspirations of becoming a school teacher, but became a crossword puzzle designer instead. I was reminded of this recently, when I saw the movie The Book Thief (2013).  The Read more…

by Denise Sutherland So, what makes a cryptic clue? There are some general principles that apply to most types of cryptic clues. We’re all used to regular crossword clues, which are basically definitions for, or possibly examples of, the answer. So you might have: Feline (7) = LEOPARD In a cryptic clue, however, there are two ways of getting to Read more…

The crossword puzzle has come along way since it was invented by Arthur Wynne in 1913. With the advances in modern technology, there are many ways to solve a crossword that he would ever imagined. Playing puzzles such as crosswords has traditionally been regarded as a rather solitary activity.  Solving the daily crossword in the newspaper is not generally a Read more…

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