Cryptic clues are a nicely-balanced blend of erudition, lateral thinking, appalling puns and just plain insanity. Be warned: cryptic crosswords are definitely addictive. Once you master the basics, each crossword is a battle of wits between you and the compiler; and you have the edge, very slightly, because the compiler actually wants you to win. Okay, you’re supposed to struggle and sweat first, but ultimately we want you to solve them all. We’re quite nice people, really.
A typical clue will be a sentence, a phrase or a question. It may not be great literature, but it should be more or less grammatical and it should make some kind of sense – however weird or twisted. Let’s take an example:
“Accountant adds fifty-one and a hundred and arrives at nothing, materially” (6)
Can you make any sense of that? No? Well, don’t panic; the trick is to take it a bit at a time.
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