Posted by BE on October 30th, 2010
If you, like me, are a cryptic crossword nut, the Weekend Herald will provide your most challenging and rewarding mental workout of the week.
You’ll also be aware that the common view that cryptic crosswords are more difficult than ‘ordinary’ crosswords is entirely incorrect. Once you’ve learnt the tricks of the trade and become familiar with the particular style of the compiler, the cryptic crossword is a walk in the park compared to its synonym-finding alternative.
Nonetheless, there are days when you will be stumped and face the demeaning (and costly) prospect of having to ring 0900XWORD to be told the answer/s. Those days are now over, my friend, for fans of the Weekend Herald’s cryptic crossword at least. That is because I am about to indiscreetly release kitty. (3,3,3,3,2,3,3.)
The Weekend Herald cryptic crossword is actually taken from the UK newspaper The Independent. And, if you go onto the Net, you can find a site which includes not only all the answers to The Independent’s cryptic crosswords, but also explanations by the compiler of how each clue was constructed and comments from nuts like myself on the more interesting clues. There are also solutions to cryptic crosswords in other British papers.
There are two occasions to visit the site:
1. When you’re totally stumped by a clue and are certain you’re never going to get the answer.
To find your particular crossword: Go to the site; In the ‘site search’ box, type in the solution to any one of the clues you did get and press ‘search’; The solutions to every Independent cryptic crossword in which that clue was used will then appear.
2. When you’ve successfully completed the crossword, but are uncertain how a particular solution was arrived at or would like to read other people’s comments or make a comment yourself.
Cryptic crossword nuts in other centres may discover that their local rag also borrows from one of the UK papers, so it’s worth visiting the site to find out.
If you don’t want to learn the internet address for this site, DO NOT Read the rest of this entry »