CRYPTIC CROSSWORDS BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE Lesson # 1 ANAGRAMS

 

Anagram Lesson #1

by

The Cryptic Pro

Excerpt from

THE CRYPTIC CROSSWORD BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE

To solve a cryptic crossword puzzle you have to know how to break down the clues.

 

 

SOLVING ANAGRAMS

 

This lesson deals with the techniques the puzzle creators use to change words or phrases by transposing the letters to form other words or phrases.

 

With practice you can easily spot the anagram clue because of the way it is constructed. The creators use words like; chaos, confusion, mixed up or smashed to signify that a rearrangement of letters is in order. There are literally hundreds of words that can be used for this effect as you will see further along in the lesson.

 

A good point to remember in cryptic solving is that only the principal word or phrase in the clue makes pure sense, as such it needs defining to find a synonym. The rest of the words in the clue must be treated as words only and not as they appear to mean. Understanding this concept helps to clear up the confusion felt by beginners.

 

Simple crossword puzzles are made using only principal words or phrases. Cryptic puzzles add superfluous words but in many cases are just as easy to solve when you realize this. The creators disguise the main words or phrases and add other clues to help the solver come up with the correct answer. While this confuses the solver it actually makes it easier to find the correct solution.

 

Take for example this clue; “Sis held out for guards”[7]. A simple crossword would simply state as a clue “guards”. The desired answer would be shields which is appropriate.

 

‘Guards’ is the principal word in the cryptic clue as well and the synonym is shields but in the cryptic sense look how one knows that shields is the correct answer.

 

Beginners will look at Sis held out and they will imagine a female family member in a fierce struggle with security forces or gendarmes. In this cryptic clue Sis held are words only that have no substance other than seven letters to be transposed to read shields. The little word ‘out’in the clue following Sis held is the puzzle creator’s way of saying these letters are jumbled. The number [7] following the clue is also an aid in determining which word or phrase is in anagram form.

While this lesson concentrates on anagrams not all cryptic clues are like this. The anagram is a fairly common clue but it is only a small part of the cryptic spectrum which will be covered in its entirety in this series of lessons.

 

By studying the following clues much of the confusion will disappear and a whole new way of thinking will develop. Read each clue carefully and look for the main word or phrase suggesting that letters are to be transposed to make new words.

 

Have fun trying to solve the clues before consulting the answers. It will probably appear to be a difficult task at first sight but once you look at the answers with all the details you will certainly be surprised. You may find this part of cryptic to be much less difficult than you imagined.

TO MAKE IT A LITTLE EASIER TO SOLVE AND MORE ENJOYABLE THE FIRST LETTER OF THE ANSWER IS GIVEN.

 

SAMPLE ANAGRAM CLUES

 

Read each clue carefully and look for the word or phrase that suggests a change of letters.

 

Once the letters have been rearranged they will provide the solution to the problem.

 

The anagram clue always contains two distinct parts. One part gives a main word or phrase that needs a synonym as the solution: the other part indicates in a subtle way where the anagram is located. As you progress further in this lesson the methods will become clear and with practice you can easily become an expert anagram solver.

 

Have fun trying to solve the clues before consulting the answers and full explanations.

 

The numbers in parenthesis following the clues correspond with the length of the word

required for the solution.

 

1. I orient pal to become a particular kind of artist.[3,7]....................O

 

2. New gadget bears a label.[6]........................................................T

 

3. Initial batsmen preen so elaborately.[7].......................................O

 

4. Sad egg animatedly drooped.[6].................................................S

 

5. Beat men at chaos reduction.[9]..................................................A

 

6. Tina’s revolutionary material.[5]..................................................S

 

7. Numbers of egrets in ruins.[8]......................................................I

 

8. Doctor was distinguished.[3]...........................................................S

 

9. Lie with E.R.character.[5]...............................................................F

 

10. Make stronger Rio fencer collapse.[9].........................................R

 

11. Not happy about second tint.[10]................................................D

 

12. A Nordic co. developed instrument.[9]........................................A

 

13. Makes a secret assignation.[7]......................................................C

 

14. New rents I put in.[6]..........................................................................I

 

15. Accepts a new edition of Keats.[5]....................................................T

 

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ANSWERS TO SAMPLE ANAGRAM CLUES

 

 

 

1. OIL PAINTER

The main phrase is a particular kind of artist. I orient pal is changed to an Oil painter.

 

 

2. TAGGED

The word new indicates that the characters of the word gadget change. Something that bears a label is therefore Tagged.

 

 

3. OPENERS

Elaborately is an example of the choice of words a puzzle maker has at his disposal to

 

indicate an anagram form which in this case is preen so. Initial batsmen of course are Openers.

 

 

 

4. SAGGED

.Animatedly is another subtle suggestion the puzzle writers use to change the letters.

 

 

Sad egg when reconstructed becomes the answer to drooped. Sagged.

 

 

5. ABATEMENT

The main word is reduction. Chaos indicates that beat men at are changed to read

Abatement.

 

 

6. SATIN

Tina’s revolutionary change is a material which is Satin.

 

 

7. INTEGERS

Numbers when egrets in are in ruins become Integers.

 

 

8. SAW

Was doctored to become a synonym for distinguished. Thus, Saw.

 

 

9. FIBER

Lie with E.R.character. Lie is an untruth and becomes fib + E-R = Fiber.

Fiber is a synonym for character

 

10.REINFORCE

Collapse Rio fencer to make stronger and you get Reinforce.

 

11.DISCONTENT

The main part of this clue is not happy. About suggests that second tint is to be reconstructed to read discontent which is the desired answer.

 

 

12. ACCORDIAN

Synonym required for main word instrument. A Nordic co is developed as required by

 

the clue to make a nine letter word Accordian.

 

 

13.CREATES

The main word is makes. A secret is reassembled by assignation to show Creates.

 

 

14.INSERT

The main phrase is put in. Rents I are new and are changed to find the answer Insert.

 

 

15. TAKES

A new edition of Keats is required thus the answer for the main word in the clue

 

The definition for accepts is Takes.

 

 

 

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crypticpro 7 years ago from http://www.johnstewartbooks.weebly.com/ Author

This lesson deals with the techniques the puzzle creators use to change words or phrases by transposing the letters to form other words or phrases. With practice you can easily spot the anagram clue because of the way it is constructed. The creators use words like; chaos, confusion, mixed up or smashed to signify that a rearrangement of letters is in order. There are literally hundreds of words that can be used for this effect as you will see further along in the lesson.

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