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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…

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…

Codewords are crosswords without written clues.  You are provided with a grid, and each square contains a number 1 to 26 (ie. the letters of the alphabet).   You are given a small number of letters to start you off.  Your challenge is to study the numerical patterns in the grid, and using your literacy and logic skills, crack the inbuilt Read more…

by Denise Sutherland One of the most common types of cryptic crossword clue you’ll come across is the anagram clue. In these sorts of clues there is — as is usual with most cryptic clues – a definition, and some wordplay. The definition is a regular definition for the answer word. So, for example, say if we look at the Read more…

by Denise Sutherland  So – what are cryptic crosswords? To the uninitiated they appear completely unfathomable, and deservedly so. The clues seem to make no sense whatsoever! Well, I’m happy to tell you that they can make sense, once you know the tricks of the trade. A cryptic crossword is a fiendish variation on the basic crossword, that was developed Read more…

Playing and solving puzzles on a regular basis has many benefits. There are so many positives about playing these games. They boost our general knowledge, increase our vocabulary and improve our logic skills. Crosswords and codewords are great for improving your vocabulary and spelling Whether you are learning a new language or trying to improve your own, crosswords and codewords are Read more…