In this series, I hope that newcomers can equip themselves with the tools of the solver's trade, while aficionados can enjoy some prime examples of the art of setting.
Last time, we looked at hidden answers ; today is all about the double definition. All of us love an anagram - and it seems from talking to setters that jumbling can creep from habit to compulsion - but the double definition is the cryptic clue at its cleanest and clearest.
For the beginner, the double definition can be a fast, effective gateway drug from the quick crossword to the serious stuff. If you're thinking of making that leap, what I'm Putting yourself first crossword clue to claim may sound deranged, but hear me out: Consider this, from a Guardian quick:. Until you have some of the letters from other answers, this could be any of many four-letter words: Here's a cryptic clue from a puzzle by Rufus with the same answer:.
Okay, so this time we want a four-letter word that means "flat" and can also mean "quits". It's not likely to be "quits" as in "Brooks quits as chief exec", but it could be quits as in "let's call it quits" - and there's only one answer that fits both criteria.
You can write in EVEN without even waiting for any of the letters from other answers. Again, one from a quick The fun, of course, is that at the same time as making things easier, putting together the two hints like this creates a distraction. You read "kind disposition" and you think of Richard Briers or Peppy, the Fox's Glacier Mint bear; you read "quits flat" and you think of Liam Fox packing up his belongings.
That's cryptic crosswording right there: The double-definition clues above have only two words; others have more.
Delightful putting yourself first crossword clue porn tube
Here's one from Dante in the FT:. Now, there's a reason we kicked off with Rufus and Dante: He and other setters, though, won't always put descriptions of two nouns next to each other, or of two adjectives or of whatever.
Here's a Sunday Telegraph clue by Virgiliusknown locally as Brendan:. And from Paul in the Guardian:.
For the purposes of this post, a "definition" isn't necessarily what you might find in the dictionary. Here's a couple that work that way, one from the Times This is a clue based on the principle we've been talking about, but it's not a double definition:.
Here's one from the Times:. It takes a while to see all three senses of PASS, but they're all fair and familiar.
And a more gnomic triple from a Telegraph Toughie by Elgar:. Who's up for a quadruple?
Alberich in the FT:. If I see a two-word clue, I tend to start by trying to see if it's a double definition. And a question mark at the end of the clue might indicate that the setter has combined a straight definition with a more allusive one, but I wouldn't count on it.
Any tell-tale signs I've missed? The pleasure of a double definition usually lies in its simplicity.
If you've just been sweating and chewing over a convoluted clue involving an anagram inside the initial letters of some other words, all of them reversed, a short-clued double definition is like a cool, refreshing sorbet.
When they're wordy, though, there's a different kind of enjoyment - that of being led up the garden path by the setter, fusing the phrases together in such a way that it doesn't occur to you for a while that they might be nothing more devious than one definition after another.
And in both cases, you have the fun of seeing two disparate concepts suddenly become one. Some, like Paul's "Potty Putting yourself first crossword clue 4 " [answer below], have the same nerve and logic as a joke.
The double definition can be the hardest kind of clue to crack, or the easiest - often at the same time. My favourite for now is from Orlando How does it work?
Consider this, from a Guardian quick: Here's a cryptic clue from a puzzle by Rufus with the same answer: Some examples The double-definition clues above have only two words; others have more. Here's one from Dante in the FT: Here's a Sunday Telegraph clue by Virgiliusknown locally as Brendan: And from Paul in the Guardian: It's not always that simple This is a clue based on the principle we've been talking about, but it's not a double definition: Here's one from the Times: And a more gnomic triple from a Telegraph Putting yourself first crossword clue by Elgar: Watch paparazzo do this!
Alberich in the FT: How to spot them If I see a two-word clue, I tend to start by trying to see if it's a double definition. How to enjoy them The pleasure of a double definition usually lies in its simplicity.
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Photo: Cryptic crossword clues often follow one of seven common is a container clue, where one word is put inside another to create the answer. The definition is almost always going to be the first or last word of the clue. If you've ever picked up a crossword puzzle and said to yourself, “I am not.
the first letter of CAT and the clue is “Honest ___ (presidential moniker). best things you can do is put it down and take a break from it for a while.