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Cryptic Tips #2


By Jessie

Christine Lovatt has been kindly offering her top cryptic tips to help those of us who are completely baffled (like me)! This week, she talks us through the intricacies of verbal gymnastics and phonetic clues.

Christine’s Top Tip: Verbal Gymnastics

In this case, what we call verbal gymnastics is when part of a word disappears or one word jumps inside another. Sometimes there is a trigger word with this clue.

EXAMPLE: Turn aside from heartless devil’s gate (7)

Heartless tells you that the heart, or centre, of devil’s gate is missing, leaving you with DEVIATE. 

Christine’s Top Tip:

A phonetic clue is one that sounds like the answer. You may have to say the clue aloud – embarrassing if you’re on a crowded train when solving. The trigger for a phonetic clue could be sounds like, heard, listened to, eavesdropped etc.

EXAMPLE: Check broadcast from Prague (5)

Broadcast is the trigger, telling you to listen to another part. Say check aloud – it sounds like CZECH.

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Cryptic Tips #2

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