Thursday, 2 May 2013

Cryptic Guide 7 "Thinking Backwards"

Here's Part 7 of the Cryptic Guide on reverse anagrams.

Reverse anagrams are a type of clue that you see only very rarely and are in fact fairly straightforward to solve if you spot them. They can catch you out, however, if you have never seen them before.

The main indicator of reverse anagram is the word 'CLUE', phrases like 'CLUE FOR', 'CLUES' or ' MIGHT CLUE' indicate to us that the answer that we are looking for could be a clue for something else.

The best way to see how these work is to look at an example:

Note’s clue leading to sweet (4,4)

Here we have a reverse anagram clue and it's broken down as follows:

Note's clue: This means that we are looking for a phrase that could be a clue (in a Cryptic Crossword) for Note. Although the phrase could be another type of wordplay, we generally find that these are anagrams.

This leads to...

Sweet: The definition

and gives us...

ETON MESS

ETON MESS could be a clue for 'NOTE' as 'MESS' gives us the anagram indicator and 'ETON' gives us the fodder and it fits with the definition 'sweet'.

As I say, these clues occur only rarely and will almost always lead to phrases. I hope you found this helpful.

Banquo