I have been asked to produce something funny or interesting in a video for work (yay working from home, right?)... so I decided to produce a "Puzzle Hunt". As part of it I was hoping for some feedback on the step that I am pretty sure is the hardest. The following cryptic clue was created by me:


Two questions:

  • Does it make sense for seasoned puzzle solvers? (presumably you)

  • Is it too difficult for "normal people"? (tongue firmly in cheek)


1 Answer 1


It's a valid cryptic clue. I don't think it's too difficult for normal people. It took me maybe half a minute, but variance here is really large; it depends on what you happen to think of in what order. (Also, I wasn't timing. It certainly wasn't as little as 15 seconds or as long as 2 minutes, but beyond that I wouldn't trust my judgement much.)

One thing I don't like very much (but it's a minor blemish if it's a blemish at all) is

cluing BOARDS by "company executives", for two nitpicky reasons. The first is that most of the people on a typical board aren't company executives. The second is that "boards" = "executives" feels like a bit of a type error: the things that make up "boards" are the boards, not the people on them. (A board is made up of people.)

For the second of those reasons, I think the clue would be slightly improved by making it

Run company executives graphical information summary (9)

although that doesn't address my other quibble.

The surface reading is pretty good. The only thing I don't like about it is that it seems like it wants to be "executives'" rather than just "executives", but adding that apostrophe would be misleading in a way I'm not sure is quite fair. (Generally punctuation can be ignored, but apostrophes feel to me like they aren't just punctuation.) Ah, how about this?

Graphical information summary run by company executives (9)

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, but even with the answer I have no idea how the puzzle works. $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ Would it be improved with "directors"? Would that remove the first problem? I agree with the apostrophe, I wasn't sure if I should include it or not! I like your reorder but I sort of need the result to be plural if possible! $\endgroup$
    – Graylocke
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ "Directors" is certainly a bit more accurate but I worry that maybe it makes the clue too easy. The reordering doesn't really make any difference to singular versus plural; make it "summaries" and change the enumeration to (10) and it's still fine. Perhaps consider "companies' directors" instead of "company directors" to address my other quibble? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 9:19

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