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Solving Cryptic Crossword Clues

Anagram Clues

With an anagram clue, you have to rearrange the letters of one or more words to give the solution.

Anagram clues are sometimes encountered in 'straight' crosswords, with clues presented like this:

Cheap (anag.) (5)

An anagram clue in a cryptic crossword is rather more sophisticated than this, and will normally consist of three parts: a definition; the letters to be rearranged (sometimes referred to by crossword fans as the 'anagram fodder'); and an indication that the letters are to be rearranged. This latter is commonly referred to as an 'anagram indicator' and will typically be a word or phrase such as MIXED, CRAZY, CONFUSED, REFORMED or ANOTHER WAY.

Have a go at these anagram clues:

Go near fresh fruit (6)

Keeps dissolving in tears (7)

There are literally hundreds of diferent anagram indicators, but you will find that some are used considerably more than others. A good crossword setter will use an anagram indicator that blends in with the surface meaning of the clue - hence the use of FRESH and DISSOLVING in the clues above - "Go near confused fruit" would not make as much sense.

Here are some more examples to give you some practice.

Get cast adrift in boat (6)

Times when things appear obscure? (6)

A Greek mountain could be so lumpy (7)

Provide only a novel (3,2)

Dreadful nag punter found offensive (9)

An outdoor event Pat and Gerry organised (6,5)

Playing Lydia, Glenda is a star (7,4)

Tour may gather members in seaside resort (5,8)

And here, for reference, is a list of anagram indicators that you are likely to encounter.

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