Here’s the latest bite-sized cryptic! If you’d like more practice with solving cryptics but aren’t yet up to an entire puzzle, be sure to also try the free weekly Browser Sevens.
As many of you know, I’m an evangelist for cryptic crosswords. I make them for The Browser and The New Yorker and I’ll soon be editing them for the AVCXpansion. And of course there’s #crypticclueaday and the #crypticcluecontest on Twitter.
I’ve been really gratified by how many people have told me that the daily clues on Twitter have helped them understand cryptics a little better–that solving an entire puzzle was too intimidating, but one clue at a time was totally doable, especially with explanations come Friday.
I’ve been thinking for a while that just as mini (5×5) puzzles have brought lots of solvers into the fold in the standard-crossword world, the cryptic world desperately needs minis as a gateway drug, er, way to get more Americans to try this wonderful puzzle type. It is likely that at least one market will do this in the not-too-distant future, but I’m getting impatient. So here’s one from me, with the promise that I’ll do at least one a month this year!
If you’ve never solved a cryptic before, start with my Decrypting the Cryptic posts, which explain the various clue types:
- #1: Charades
- #2: Anagrams
- #3: Containers
- #4: Hidden Words
- #5: The Basics
- #6: Double Definitions
- #7: Reversals
- #8: Homophones
- #9: When to Stop and Try Again
- #10: Beheadings et al.
- #11: Letter Banks
- #12: Beginnings and Endings
- #13: Drop It!
- #14: The Cryptic Alphabet
- #15: &lit.!
If you’ve never solved a cryptic before and you give this one a try, please do let me know in the comments. If the evangelism works, I want to know about it! There are only six words in this puzzle, so YOU CAN DO IT!