CRYPTIC CROSSWORDS BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE LESSON # 15 REVERSALS

LESSON # 15 REVERSALS


A word backwards sometimes is the answer you will be looking for in cryptic solving.

The crossword creators seldom tell you in a straightforward way that a word is reversed, that would be too easy. They prefer to sneak it in surreptitiously and it is up to you the solver to spot the indicator. With experience you will quickly catch on to this element.

Example;

“Keats is up to something meaty.”[5]

The main definition in this clue is something meaty. In a crossword puzzle there are clues across and down. When the word up is used it may be one of the many indicators that suggest a reversal of letters. In this case Keats is up and spells STEAK when reversed meaning something meaty.

“A star shooting upwards breeds rodents” [4]

Shooting upwards is the indicator in this clue suggesting that star is on the way back and consequently reversed to RATS, which is the correct answer and synonym for the main definition rodents.

Note the different methods used in the following clues to indicate when a reversed word or phrase is used to define the solution, and have fun

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CLUES

1. Backtracked in a degenerate way [7]…………………………….R

2. Composer made a comeback in clinic cupola. [7]……………….P

3. Coffee choice confronted before turnover. [5]…………………. D

4. Mistakes bowl over a sailor in time. [6]…………………………...E

5. This is no way even to turn right. [7]………………………..…….N

6. Traitors’ celebrity repulsed. [4]……………………………..……..R

7. A returning taxi employs counters. [8]………………………...…..A

8. Breaks up bridges [5]………………………………………..……...S

9. Halts acne coming back [5]………………………………………....S

10. Tears back its drinks. [7]……………………………………….....S

11. Tested backed up soil about environment. [5]……………….....T

12. Looking back how cheese is produced. [4]……………………...M

13. Perhaps many decades are seen looking back. [3]…………….E

14. Ring an agent back at musical presentation. [5]……………..……O

15. Tie up about ten and leave. [4]……………………………………E


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ANSWERS

1. RENEGED                 Starting back from R in degenerate spells renaged

2. PUCCINI starting at P in cupola and reversing reveals the composer’s name.

3. DECAF                       'faced’ for confronted becomes Decaf when inverted.

4. ERRATA                     Era for time Tar for sailor E-R-[RAT]-A

5. NEVER                       Even turns to never with ‘r’ for right added

6. RATS                         Star [celebrity] becomes rats for traitors

7. ABACUSES             a plus bac [returning taxi] plus uses for employs

8. SPANS                       Snaps is reversed to Spans for bridges

9. STOPS                      acne is spots which becomes stops backwards

10. SPIRITS                      Rips for tears back, plus ‘its’ in the clue = spirits

11. TRIED                           Dirt for soil reversed around E for environment

12. MADE                       EDAM is Cheese and made backwards

13. ERA                            Are reversed for decade

14. OPERA                           Ring [O] an agent A REP = O_P_E_R_A

15. EXIT                           Tie is reversed about X [10 in Roman numerals]

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