Friday, 13 April 2012

Anagrams in Cryptic Crosswords - Solution for 12 April cryptic crossword clue



Point out no one runs to get wine (5,4)
Solution -  Pinot Noir

“Out” is a clue that there is an anagram of “point”
Point (pinot) + “no one runs” ie No 1 R (for runs in cricket) + Pinot Noir, a wine


This clue involves both an anagram and abbreviations. 


These clues usually come in 3 parts – the definition, the target of the anagram ie the letters that will be scrambled up to find the answer, and the anagram indicator or signal or clue that there is an anagram.  There are a myriad of possible indicators.

Examples of anagram indicators include: 
Abnormal
Adapted
All wrong
At sea
Arranged
Assorted
Badly
Broadcast
Broken up
Carelessly
Corrupt
Different
Distorted
Engineered
Exploded
Fermented
Frisky
Garbled
Go to pieces
Haphazard
Horrible
In a mess
In ruins
Knotted
Lunatic
Manipulate
Mixed
Naughty
Newly made
Out of sorts
Peculiar
Perverted
Queer
Rebel
Revolting
Sadly
Stirred
Tangled
Turned
Unruly
Untidy
Variety
Warped
Wild
Wrongly

Most of these indicators have a sense of movement.

When you suspect there might be an anagram because of the presence of something that looks like an indicator, the first thing to do is to look for the target of the anagram.  It will usually be immediately before or after the indicator and, crucially, must have the same number of letters as the required solution.  You will always find the number of letters in brackets after the clue.

When you have found a target, you need to find words that can be made out of it.  In my case I find it easier to write the letters out grouped into vowels (+y) and consonants – in no particular order within each group.  I find it easier to solve if I break the mental connection to the original word or words used in the target.  Any letters you already have as a result of solving other clues will also be of great help.  The biggest help though is the part of the clue that gave you a definition of what the solution will mean.  That will get you thinking of possibilities and may lead you straight away to see that one of them matches the letters to be scrambled.

If you don’t mind cheating a bit you can always use a crossword solver – either off the internet like this one or get a hand held one.  They will have an anagram solver where you just feed in the letters and possible solutions pop out.  But not all anagrams can be solved that way – for example where the answer is more than one word they are not usually able to help you. (Please note I just linked to a couple of examples.  There are many others)

The very best anagram clues are so seamless that they read as a smooth and believable whole – where you have to dig under the surface a bit before you realize that there is an anagram involved.

Happy anagram hunting.


For the next clue in the series, click here 

8 comments:

  1. Oooh oooh I wanna play the next one. When do you post the clues?

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    1. The next clue comes up half an hour after the solution for the day before's one. The solutions come up at 8am NZ time.

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  2. I'll definitely try this next time around, it sounds pretty interesting!

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    1. that's great Tabitha. Happy puzzling.

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  3. My brain hurts, but this looks seriously cool. I've never been much of a puzzle-solver, but I like the idea of it. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Give those brain cells a work out! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  4. I like these, although I'm not any good at solving them!

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    Replies
    1. Practice makes perfect - and once you have "got" how they work you'll never look back. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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