The Difference between Cryptic and 'Straight' Clues
In a 'straight' or 'quick' crossword, the clues are normally simple definitions. For example:
Fictional detective (6)
A cryptic clue, on the other hand, normally consists of two parts: a definition and an additional hint or cryptic indication of the solution - usually involving some form of wordplay.
The definition part will normally occur at the beginning or end of the clue. Part of the fun is analysing the clue to discover which part is definition and which part is cryptic indication.
In the following pages, we will examine the various forms of wordplay that may be used in a cryptic indication. But first here are some examples to show the basic structure of a cryptic clue:
Shorten a card game (7)
Cryptic indication: a card game
Fictional detective left in houses (6)
Definition: Fictional detective
Cryptic indication: left in houses
Some slim men seem huge (7)
Cryptic indication: Some slim men seem
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