Just to recap, every Cryptic Crossword clue will contain a 'definition' of the answer (usually at the beginning or the end), or the whole clue will be the definition.

I had talked about ANAGRAMS or a re-arrangement of the letters in Lesson No. 1. The answers to last lesson's anagrams (with the clues) are given below.

Logically and logistically where in the world do TROOPS BUSTLE? (7,5)

What peaceful option is available to those of us who can STAND IT NO MORE (13)

This month, I shall explain 'CHARADES, which are the bread and butter of Cryptic crosswords. Almost any word can be clued with a charade, and you may find that more than half the clues in a standard cryptic crossword are pure or partial charades. The name comes from the parlour game where you try to convey a phrase like the name of a film, by giving clues to each word or syllable. Similarly a charade clue just breaks up the answer into two or more manageable parts and provides a clue for each part, usually in the same order. The elements may be defined directly or by the use of equivalents. A few simple examples will illustrate this.

Sailor remains to embarrass (5)

A skill greeting for this future designer(6)

Agriculture in remote Chinese dynasty(7)

The wordplay in these examples may seem quite ... well, cryptic; but a little practice will reveal recurring schemes for encoding letters. For example: "Head of ..."/"Leading ..." will mean the first letter, "piece of ..."/"bit of ..." will mean a few letters, "Back of ..." will mean the last letter(s) etc.

Leading Madras follwed by America and animal for this Arab city(6) will lead to the solution 'MUSCAT' - M being 'leading Madras' which is followed by US (America) and CAT (animal) and MUSCAT is an Arab city.

A number of abbreviations are also commonly used by Crossword composers everywhere. Some of the common ones can be seen by clicking here

The last clues were very easy. Well, the first lesson is always easy. I hope this time they are not. At the same time, I don't want them so tough as to drive away prople. The clues this time are either anagrams or charades. Get cracking....

Study about publicity (4)

Point has a need to be put differently (6)

Guy to leave tropical fruit (5)

A music troupe on leave (7)

Rise late perhaps, but still be the first (8)

We shall shortly join firm (4,4)

South American girl's study (7)

Pitch raincoat to asphalt (6)

Floods one sister with appointments(9)

Aunt Mabel when wild is uncontrollable(9)

FORWARD to Next Lesson

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