Garry Gillard > crosswords > how to solve a puzzle > example notes

Notes on Times Cryptic 24663

General notes on solving cryptic crossword puzzles, with some notes on Times Cryptic 24663.

The full solution for the puzzle is available.)

Every cryptic crossword clue consists of the definition and the word-play - or surface, or cryptic part (except when it consists of a double definition - two 'definitions' both referring to the same answer).

The definition is always at the beginning or end of the clue - and more often at the start. Always consider whether the very first word might be the definition.

Double definitions in Times Cryptic 24663 are to be found in several clues.

9. The answer means both 'set aside' and 'what I did after a let' (in squash, say).

14. The answer means both 'shoot young birds' and 'have a swallow' (drink).

3. The most obvious one. The answer means both 'secure' and 'a match'.

7. The answer means both 'like some Indians' (in India) and 'sacred cow'.

There is usually a homophone (but only one or two in The Times). This is when a word or words sounds like another/others.

There is one homophone in 24663.

21d. The answer is a kind of 'ball', and sounds like two words which mean 'get us out'.

Anagrams must be indicated by an anagram indicator (or anagind/angrind). There is an infinite number of anaginds, unlike homophone indicators, of which there are far fewer.

Anagrams in 24663 are found as follows.

13. There is an anagram of 'guy' as indicated by 'chewed' - but this is only part of the answer.

22. Also partially an anagram - of 'paint', as indicated by 'smeared'.

18. Anagram of 'I daren't' - as indicated by 'moved'.

Perhaps the simplest clue type is the hidden word (which I’ve always called an inclusive).

There is usually one inclusive in The Times - but only one! So I tend to look in every clue for one, until I've found it, and then can relax that bit of my attention.

The inclusive in 24663 is in 23, as indicated by 'held' - but note that 'back' means that it's included backwards! By the way, a 'case' can be a 'valise' etc., but it can also be nominative, accusative, genetive, dative, etc.

Some clues can be called charades. As in the party game, the clue shows the answer in two or three or even more parts, as well as the whole thing.

10. Could be seen as a charade: the first part of the answer comes from 'goodbye' and the second part from 'I'm back' and the whole thing is 'stalks over the floor' (hint: in Japan).

17. Here the first two words are the 'fight' and last one is 'what ends it' and the whole thing is 'the old rhyme'.

26. The second part of the answer is 'go over' and the first part is a 'college'. The 'to' means here that you add the second part 'to' the first to get a part of London. By the way you just have to expect references to London, England and Britain in these puzzles, as the setters are thinking of their national audience.

15. The whole thing is 'perhaps Richard III' - something of which he is an example - especially as played by Olivier - and the first part is an 'intuition' and the second 'support' (in the verbal sense).

There are a few more examples of solutions on this site, but that's about all I can tell you.

Enjoy solving!

Garry Gillard | New: 23 October, 2010 | Now: 20 December, 2018