# Cryptic Clues

Episode 356: Anagram Clues

Richard: Welcome back, a marriage and you get a ring. Well, David, you know we were talking earlier about your scriptwriting, but probably many people know you even better as the daemon setter of cryptic crosswords and you know for many people too that is a little bit of a mystery.
David: That’s why all this week instead of doing the usual word stories I thought we’d do a little bit of a mini cryptic crossword tutorial, if you like, and I’m going to look at the five different recipes, the principal recipes of cryptic clues. Now there are many, but there are five basic ones. Now every cryptic clue is made up of two parts, that’s the most important thing to remember, one part is the word play and the other part is the definition that leads you to the solution. And in the case ANAGRAM, what you get are the letters that comprise the answer in a mixed form, much like that letter mix, and then a signpost that suggests these letters need to be mixed or moved around and then the definition. Now the definition may be the first part or the second part, but one part will be the definition and one part will always be the word play.
Richard: And you have to work that out.
David: That’s right. So with, we just saw GRIM AREA equals MARRIAGE, so you could say ‘a grim era spoilt wedlock’, and if you SPOIL a GRIM ERA you get MARRIAGE which is defined by WEDLOCK. Or, using Lily’s surname for example, you could say ‘mathematician nears strife’, and if you apply STRIFE to NEARS you get SERNA, which is the MATHEMATITION.
Richard: So, just to clarify, when you say applies strife, that’s just a synonym to mix it up.
David: That’s right. There needs to be a signal of some upheaval or revolution or rearrangement. Now, if you’ve been listening, I’m going to give you an anagram cryptic clue and see if you can work it out. It is; ‘Teacher cooked trout’, and the answer has five letters and I’m wondering if you could work that out.
Richard: Ok, so if it’s got five letters, one of those words which had five letters has to actually contain the letters in the answer.
David: That’s right. Yes
Richard: So thinking about those, it has to be TROUT.
David: It has to be.
Richard: COOKED, presumably, is the clue about, this has to be mixed up, so that’s the pointer.
David: I like where this is going.
Richard: And so that means what we’ve got left is TEACHER, so that has to be actually the definition of the answer
David: And?
Richard: Is that right? And so from TROUT you have to get a TEACHER, well it has to be TUTOR.
David: Oh, well done grasshopper, beautiful work.
Richard: Well, thank you for the explanation. But you see, before you explained that I would have had no idea what to do with the clue and that’s really the secret, isn’t it?
David: You have to understand the recipe and you then have to identify which part is which, and tomorrow we will look at how container clues work.
Richard: Oh, I will look forward to that. Thank you David.

Episode 357: Container Clues

Richard: Now last night we kicked off the week David with you starting on the first of what’s going to be several explanations about the formulae, or the recipes perhaps, for solving cryptic crosswords. Now we did ANAGRAMS last night, and where are we heading tonight?
David: Hoping to shed some light on a different recipe called the CONTAINER recipe, also called the sandwich recipe, for reasons that I hope become clear. Now you look at a word like swallow and you realise that it’s WALL inside SOW, or a word like PONIES is PIES outside the word ON. And there are several, in fact thousands of words that actually contain smaller words. For example, a clue for something like COUSIN could be, ‘family member puts us in the money’. So you get the word US, you put it in a word for money, which is COIN, and there’s COUSIN.  So for a clue like VACANT,  you can say, ‘empty container within container’. Because you look at VACANT, there is CAN, which is a CONTAINER, inside VAT, which is a CONTAINER and it means EMPTY, because that’s the definition. Now, I will now test you to see how you fare with this. What about if I gave you the clue, ‘fighting between fish and chicken’, now it’s a six letter answer we’re looking for.
Richard: Oh gosh, my mind is slightly blank. Well FIGHTING, I’m thinking battle, war.
Daivd: Yes, WAR.
Richard: WAR
David: That’s good, three letter word.
Richard: Ok, so WAR is somehow sandwiched in between A FISH AND A CHICKEN.
David: Yes, well, you need to sandwich WAR inside FISH to create an answer that means CHICKEN.
Richard: Oh gosh, ok I think I’m getting defeated by this one.
David: That’s ok, it’s a tricky clue because in fact most people will think chicken is the animal when in fact chicken is a COWARD. Because there is WAR inside COD, it’s essentially a cod sandwich, but it creates a very different result.
Richard: But I mean, it’s beautiful when you see the result afterwards, and now you’ve explained it I can see that, but I’m not sure how I would have got there. Although I suppose part of the joy of this is that you spend some time thinking about it.
David: That’s right, it is a joy and tomorrow night, one more recipe and this one will be for you.
Richard: Oh, ok there’s a challenge. Thanks for that David.

Richard: Well David actually you’ve been nibbling though, bit by bit, the approaches to cryptic crossword clue solving over the last couple of nights.
David: I have.
Richard: and the nights to come. Now, we’ve managed two instalments, two recipes, what’s the third one?
David: Here’s the next nutshell and it’s called the CHARADE clue. This is one for you so you do need to listen carefully, now these are quite tricky because they don’t have a signpost, we looked at ANAGRAMS and CONTAINERS, both of which have signposts of either mixing or containing respectively, but the charade clue which is based on that parlor game of charades, so if you break words down into smaller words you might get a word like PIGEON which is PIG plus EON or even a word like ANAGRAM which is A NAG RAM. It’s breaking words down into little small characters that create the whole train. So a word like FORTUNE could be clued with ‘liking songs a lot’. Liking is FOR, song is the TUNE and the lot is a FORTUNE.
Richard: So the pigeon one could be, ‘long time poor sign’.
Daivd: Ahh, yes well, it’s actually quite an art form to create a clue.
Ricahrd: Oh, ok I stepped out of line there.
David: Let’s work on solving them. The other one is a word like SURFACE, which is a ‘swell card to appear’.  Swell is SURF, card is an ACE, to appear is to SURFACE. So, now it’s time for you to try and tackle your first charade clue if you’re ready, and again it’s a seven letter word and it is ‘consumed wharf fish.’ The answer is a seven letter word and I will tell you that answer if you haven’t worked it out already, at the end of the show.
Richard: Oh, look forward to that.  Thank you for the challenge David.
David: Pleasure.

at the end of the program.

Richard: Well, what a wonderful conclusion to Kerin’s reign David, but now you half way through the show told us that you were going to have a solution to that great cryptic clue.
David: Oh, I almost forgot! That’s very true. ‘Consumed wharf fish’ is HAD DOCK, is HADDOCK  So CONSUMED  is to HAD, he had a meal, WHARF is DOCK and a FISH is a HADDOCK, type of cod. So, a tricky one, but that’s how the charade clue works.
Richard: Wow, ok, I think I get it now. Not sure if I would have got it though.
David: Yeah, tricky.
Richard: Good stuff David. See you tomorrow night.

Episode 359: Double Meaning Clues

Richard: Now we were talking at the beginning of the show David about the right environments for concentrating, for working.
David: Yes
Richard: and I guess when people are doing cryptic crosswords, some people like to have absolute silence to concentrate. But over the last few nights you’ve given us the recipes to how to crack those clues. Number four tonight.
Richard: I’m trying to get the hang of this now, I understand the principal but ah, yes. Give me a go.
David: The clue, five letter word, is ‘fruit crate’.
Ricahrd: ‘Fruit crate’. So I’m assuming that perhaps the answer is a FRUIT.
David: Yes it is.
Richard: and so we need to find a synonym for CRATE which sounds like a box or it’s something that perhaps a bit rubbishy somehow.
David: Yes, ah keep going with the rubbish.
Richard: hang on.
David: A car is a CRATE. A car is a…
Richard: is a LEMON!
David: is a LEMON. Beautiful work, and ladies and gentleman *applause*
Richard: But I can see where you’re going with that now, yes.
David: It’s also highlights the deceit of a cryptic crossword because ‘fruit crate’ makes you think of a wooden box when in fact it’s just two servings of synonyms.
Richard: We’re getting the hang of it now though. These are very useful bits of advice. Thank you very much.
David: Pleasure.

Richard: Well here we are at the end of the week, David, and each night you’ve given us a little tutorial on how to deal with those cryptic crosswords, the different types of approaches to clues. Chapter five.
David: That’s right, the last nutshell, tutorial if you like, Richard, looking at a very common formula in cryptic crosswords, the HOMOPHONE recipe. And just to remind everybody, a homophone is a word that sounds the same as another but is spelt differently or has a different meaning and that is why in every homophone clue there has to be a signpost of sound and the signpost most commonly encountered would be say, or hear, or utter, or articulate, or audience, or radio, anything suggesting the audio realm. So a clear example, I hope, of a homophone clue might be ‘bigger kitchen device we hear.’ KITCHEN DEVICE is a GRATER, now that SOUNDS LIKE a GREATER with an E which means bigger, so you really need to figure out which is the answer indicated by the homophone signpost.
Richard: I’m getting the gist of this now, I was a little mystified to start, but that’s making perfect sense.
David: Now they’re tricky if the signpost happens to be in the middle of the word play and the definition, for example ‘just mentioned ticket price.’ Now the answer is FARE, but you don’t know because FAIR means JUST, F-A-I-R, and a TICKET PRICE is a FARE, F-A-R-E, but you don’t know which is the answer because the signpost is right in the middle of those two elements.
Richard: Sounds evil.
David: It is evil, but I’ll give you one that has the signpost to the end so you need to work out, if you can, what the answer is. You ready?
David: This is your final lesson. Ok, ‘two fruit say’ and the answer has four letters.
Richard: So it’s got to be a FRUIT that sounds like it’s got something to do with TWO.
David: Yes, the number two, that’s right.
Richard: Oh, well, a PAIR.
David: A PAIR, well done, now the real question is how do you spell pair? Is it the fruit or the twosome?
Richard: Well I guess I was thinking of the twosome.
David: You are correct and it’s because the two fruit say, so the signpost is right beside fruit, so that’s what you have to say or hear and when you say the word pear, the fruit, it sounds like pair the twosome, which is the definition and your answer. Well done Richard and you have survived your weeks tutorial, well done.
Richard: Guess what, this weekend I’ll be sitting down and trying to work my way through a few cryptic crosswords
David: Best of luck.
Richard: Thank you David
David: Pleasure.

# Audience Announcement

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