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Definition and Letter Mix In this type of clue, a sentence includes both a definition and, separately, an anagram of the solution. One additional constraint is often used, whereby the anagram must begin at the beginning or finish at the end of one of the words of the clue. Example Crater is the result of glaciation, perhaps (7) Answer: ERRATIC (anagram of 'crater i') ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Letters latent (LL) The clue will comprise a definition, together with a subsidiary indication that ignores a particular letter of the answer wherever it may occur - it is the modified version that is entered within the diagram. Usually, these omitted letters will spell a thematic message. Clue: "Bird he's after" - It may be a figure of speech (8) Grid: 5 spaces available Answer: ANTITHET - the T's are latent letters Grid entry: ANIHE (ANI + HE) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Playfair A Playfair codeword usually comprises a 5x5 block of non-recurring letters comprising a codeword and the remaining letters with one letter performing double duty (usually I for both itself and J). These read from left to right, then top to bottom. In the example below the keyword is HYDROMAGNETICS. H Y D R O A word is encoded by splitting it into pairs M A G N E of letters for example - CENSORED. For T I C S B pairs that form 'corners' of a rectangle, the F K L P Q opposite corners are the coded results. For U V W X Z example CE becomes BG (not GB which EC would give). For pairs in the same row or column, the coded letters are those immediately to the right of each letter along the same row, or immediately below each letter down the same column. In both instances the row is assumed to loop back upon itself, such the OR would code to HO. When complete, the coded pairs are joined together - in the example above this would form BGSPHOGO. Variations on this theme have involved smaller grids, numbers and differing configurations of the code-square. Where such variations are used, they will always be explained directly or indirectly in the preamble of the crossword concerned. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Printers Devilry (PD) In this type of puzzle, the 'clues' comprise a coherent sentence from which the solution has been omitted and the resultant gap closed, leaving an equally coherent sentence. To achieve this, liberties may have been taken with either punctuation and/or spaces, but the order of the letters must always be maintained. A neater variation to this type is to include a definition in the clue, thereby producing a PDD clue (printers devilry plus definition). Example Can keen glaciologists reconstruct features that the ice moved? (5) Definition: KEEN Answer: EAGER Un-devilled version: Can keen glaciologists reconstruct features that the ic( E AGE R )emoved? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Within advanced cryptic crosswords which indicate the particular themes or methods of solving, there are certain 'special' crosswords with themes which can be identified by convention. A brief description of these is given below (please use the scroll bar):-
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