I was looking at the Hebrew cryptic crosswords in a recent copy of the Israel newspaper ידיעות אחרונות, and I noticed that some of the clues had "(מ)" or "(ש)" — or sometimes both — appended at the end, before the letter count. They seem to be information about the clue or perhaps about the answer (light) rather than part of the clue. There's a lot I don't know about Israeli cryptic-crossword conventions, but I figured I'll start with this: What do those two mean?

  • $\begingroup$ Mostly speculation (since I don't speak Hebrew), but I know that cryptics in English sometimes have similar things to indicate a particular dictionary as a reference for an uncommon word -- for instance, in Run On by Ucaoimhu, you can see the tag [NI2], indicating Webster's New International, second edition. [...] $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Nov 7, 2020 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ [...] I've also seen similar tags for abbreviations, slang, and "foreign words" (as in this noncryptic crossword in Indonesian). Not knowing any Hebrew, I can't say which of these (if any) is plausible, but maybe one jumps out to you, looking at the entries where the extra tags appear? $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Nov 7, 2020 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


ש' = שמיעה. ל' = לעז. ס' = סלנג. מ' = כתיב מלא.

(ש) - Sound (the answer sounds alike to the words hinted at by the clue)

Example: In this video they have "נשק בלתי קונבנציונלי הוא קטלני אבל אין מדובר בביולוגי" (Unconventional weapon which is deadly but we're not speaking of biological). The answer to that clue is אבא חורג (Step father / Pronouced: Aba khoreg) because it sounds like אב"כ הורג (Weapon of mass destruction / Pronouced: Abakh horeg).

(ל) - Foreign word

(ס) - Slang

(מ) - Plene spelling


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1, and many thanks! $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Nov 7, 2020 at 22:11
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    $\begingroup$ @msh210 No problem. Hebrew crosswords are not one of my skills, but Googling is something I've gotten pretty good at and I know a little Hebrew. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2020 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ @DenverCoder1 Could you please spell it out (transliterate) in English and give an English translation of the clue? $\endgroup$ Nov 14, 2020 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Scratch---Cat My translation may not be perfect since I am not a native speaker, but I have attempted it. $\endgroup$ Nov 14, 2020 at 15:57

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