The clue is:

Grass over pretty Cambridge backs

The answer is RYE. I get the grass part, but what is the connection in the rest of the clue? This is from the Saturday Telegraph Cryptic, clue no. 29562


1 Answer 1


"Grass" is the definition of the answer.

"Over pretty Cambridge backs" is the wordplay, in which "backs" means "last letters of the preceding words."

R from "over" + Y from "pretty" + E from "Cambridge" = RYE, a type of grass.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! I got it myself just after I posted it. Thanks again $\endgroup$ Jan 3, 2021 at 12:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If this answer solved your problem, you can Accept it by clicking on the checkmark to the left. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Jan 3, 2021 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ Why not "sryes" then (other than it not making sense)? Or "ye" since the grass is supposed to be on backs of the "pretty Cambridge" and "over" is not part of the pretty Cambridge. I don't think this riddle makes any sense (Is this comment not appropriate for this site?) $\endgroup$
    – s.harp
    Jan 4, 2021 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ @s.harp: Are you familiar with British cryptic crosswords? They have a lot of well-established conventions, and in that context, this clue makes sense and is quite clean. Read as a riddle without that context, I agree, this would be quite ambiguous. $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2021 at 15:55
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    $\begingroup$ @s.harp In other context which may not be obvious to non-British readers (and possibly only to a subset of British readers) "the Backs" is an area of the city of Cambridge (the UK one) beside the river Cam, consisting of meadow land to a large degree, although perhaps not much ryegrass en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Backs $\endgroup$
    – origimbo
    Jan 4, 2021 at 19:48

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