Thursday, 28 March 2013

Cryptic Guide 2 "Moving Letters"

Hello readers,

Here is the second part of my guide to solving cryptic crosswords, the next few parts are going to be going through specific types of wordplay that you might encounter in a crossword puzzle. This one is on anagrams.

You can find links to other parts of the guide here.

Hope this is helpful, Banquo.



Anagrams clues are generally some of the most straightforward crytpic clues to solve. In their most basic form they have three parts.

1) The Definition
2) The Anagram Indicator
3) The "Fodder"

The definition, like in all crossword clues will be at the beginning or end of the clue.

The anagram indicator is a word that tells you that you need to find an anagram of a set of letters, there are a huge number of possible indicators but most are fairly intuitive. Examples include: cooked, broken, rearranged, moved, ordered, changed, altered, strange, damaged and fried. My advice would be to look out for these kinds of words in clues as spotting and solving the anagram clues in a puzzle can be an easy way of getting started.

The "fodder" is the set of letters that you have to find an anagram of, it will either precede or follow the indicator. My tip for identifying the fodder would be to count letters, you know how many letters there are in the solution and so it is generally not too difficult to work out which letters make up the fodder.

Examples:

Terrain broke shoe (7)

Broke is an anagram indicator so we look for possible anagram fodder.
Terrain has seven letters so we look for anagrams of terrain and surely enough find TRAINER, a type of shoe.

Result was order to push (6)

Order is an anagram indicator so we look for possible fodder.
to push has six letters so we look for anagrams and find UPSHOT, a synonym of result.