A Tutorial Crossword
For this first crossword, we’ll study and talk through the clues and
write the solutions in the grid.
Of course, when you come to work on crosswords by yourself, you don’t
need to start at 1 Across and work your way through to the final Down clue.
Most people skim through the clues and fill in the ones that spring to mind;
then use the “checked” letters (that is, letters which appear in both an
Across and a Down solution) to help them.
For example, once you’ve filled in 1 Across in this crossword, you know
the starting letters for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Down.
All the solutions are given here. Read through the clues and the
explanations, and look at the logic behind them. When they make sense, write
them in the correct space on the grid and watch your crossword come to life.
Click on any clue text for a full description of how that clue is solved.
might tug awkwardly, or just hold me (3,2,5)
- Let’s dissect the clue: He might tug / awkwardly / or just hold me.
Awkwardly is an anagram indicator. The solution is a phrase in 3, 2
and 5 letters – that’s a total of 10 letters and he might tug fits.
An anagram of he might tug that means hold me (which is the
definition) is HUG ME TIGHT.
discourse with a short tall monarch (7)
- We need to look at short tall. This suggests that the word “tall”
has been shortened, giving us TAL. A monarch is a KING. Together
they give a word for having discourse - TALKING
book about a fox and a lion who lost their tails (5)
- Two words which have “lost their tails” – fox = FO
and lion = LIO. Put them together to get a book - FOLIO.
one of them sounds like a good woman (4)
- This is a homophone – a word that sounds like another word. “Not
one of them”, in this case, sounds the same as a word meaning “a
good woman” = “Nun”. The solution is NONE.
again about cine dirt(8)
- An anagram of cine dirt (indicated by about) gives us
REINDICT, which means to accuse again.
talk? What a laugh! (6)
- Two meanings of the same word - CACKLE.
peal of bells in the church makes me wince (6)
- Church usually means CH or CE. Peal means the same as RING. Put
RING in CE and you get a word that means wince - CRINGE.
about the deluge reveal a double-cross (8)
- This one is a “burial” (one word buried inside another to make a
third) and a pun. Here, “Teachings” (LORE) are about “the
deluge” (RAIN) giving LOR(RAIN)E – the Cross of Lorraine, which
has two cross-bars – a double-cross?
is just stupid – let’s play another game! (4)
- Just stupid here is an anagram indicator. You’re looking for an
anagram of POOL that will give you another game – POLO.
is inside, you think (5)
- This is a “bridge”, where the solution is revealed across two or
more words of the clue. Learn to be sceptical of punctuation in crossword
clues – this one ought to read Teenager is inside “you think”. Here’s
the bridge: YOU THink - YOUTH
in a brook with no ducks went absolutely crazy! (7)
- Duck is one of the compiler’s standard clues for the letter “O”
(because a zero score in cricket is referred to as “a duck”), so a
brook with no ducks is BRK. Irish in this case is ERSE – the
language, not the people. ERSE inside BRK gives you a word that describes
absolutely crazy – BERSERK.
the very heart, the heart has stopped beating (4,6)
- The heart is, of course, a vital organ, and it is also
metaphorically the centre of something. When the heart stops beating the
body will be dead. The clue says the very heart – let’s be
emphatic. DEAD CENTRE.
that a saintly radiance to the north? No, just gas (5)
- This is a straight “read-through”. Saintly radiance = HALO, north
= N, and together they make a gas – the solution is HALON.
sand displays remarkable qualities of endurance (4)
- A double meaning again - GRIT
is inside, on the right, and a little more nervous (6)
- Learn, too, to be sceptical of how words in clues are put together! This
ought to read one is in side. Let’s look at it. One is
often used for “I”, and here the side is EDGE, and the right,
as usual, stands for R. Put I in EDGE – EDGIE – on the R – and you
have a word for more nervous, EDGIER. (Note that “on the right”
only works because this is a Down clue; in an Across clue we would have to
have something like “to the right”.)
- An extremely bad pun – the answer is just INFANTRY
a wicked man – he has a left over lion (7)
- Yes, be sceptical about punctuation and word construction, but if
something looks odd don’t assume it’s a misprint. Look at it very
carefully! Wouldn’t you expect a left-over lion or even a
leftover lion? Why are they two words? Well, it’s a Down clue – left
(or L) over LION just gives you LLION. Remember that HE has LLION and he
is indeed a wicked man – a HELLION.
from a homogeneous group does things according to his own cultural tradition
- Just a read-through. A friend – an ALLY, in other words – from
a homogeneous group – ETHNIC – does things according to his own
cultural tradition - ETHNICALLY
- A double meaning again - ON THE ROCKS.
with ache inside, and turned pale (8)
- Another burial. ACHE buried inside BLED gives you BLE(ACHE)D, and
BLEACHED does indeed mean turned pale.
it up in a vehicle floating on a Yorkshire river (7)
- A read-through clue with the definition coming first. A vehicle
is a CAR, and the Yorkshire river we need is the OUSE. This gives
us CAROUSE, or Whoop it up.
to a sailor the French assist (6)
- Another read-through, with a twist or two! Ready? Points = E and
N (they could have been W or S, as well – we’re talking about compass
points). The sailor is AB - a standard abbreviation. And “the
French” is “the” in French, which is LE (or it could be LA or
LES, but it’s LE we need). Add them all together and you get EN + AB +
LE = ENABLE, which means assist.
gets amorous glances from a bullock (2,3)
- No, Daisy isn’t a seductive cow! The amorous glances she is
getting from a bullock tell us that an OX is giving her the EYE –
we’re talking about that pretty little wild daisy, the OX EYE.
speed at which an actionable breach of duty is returned? (4)
- This is a reversal. The word you’re looking for means “speed” this
way round, but read it back-to-front and you should get a word meaning an
actionable breach of duty. The legal term for that is a TORT – the
speed at which it is returned is a TROT.
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