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Solving Cryptic Crossword Clues


Some words may be reversed to give different words. For example:




In the basic type of reversal clue, the cryptic part of the clue consists of a definition of the word to be reversed, together with an indication that a reversal is to be performed. For example:

Going round stronghold, take a look (4)

Reversal indicator: Going round
Definition of word to be reversed: Stronghold
Definition: take a look

In the foregoing clue, the reversal indicator was going round. Needless to say, there are many other ways in which such a reversal might be indicated: turned, backward, reversed, etc. For reference, we have provided a more extensive list of reversal indicators.

See if you can solve these reversal clues:

Bambi, for example, overturned a plant (4)

Physician brings fish round (3)

Containers for drinks taken back to bar (4)

Tender god of love turns up (4)

Animal going round a shopping precinct (5)

All the foregoing clues involve reversing whole words. We shall see later in this tutorial, however, that cryptic clues might involve reversal of partial words. For example, in a clue for PINTS, the word PINTS might be broken down as PIN + reversal of ST. Such clues will be considered later when we come to the Bits and Pieces section of this tutorial.

Next: Charades

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