Here is the clue.

Cut cut!

What crazy, bloodthirsty creature remains? (5 letters)

EDIT I added the word 'crazy'. Apologies that I missed this out before.

Please use typical cryptic crossword strategies to solve this but some lateral thinking may be required.

I have made this open-ended so, in the unlikely event that there are multiple valid answers then the one that gets the most up-votes in the next couple of days will be accepted.

If you are not sure that your answer is correct, then it isn't! If you get the intended solution then you will be 100% certain of the reason.

The answer is a single word. Please give the word and explain the cryptic techniques you used. I used two very straightforward ones.


  1. Don't ignore the lateral thinking tag.

  2. Make sure you use all the information provided.

  3. No technical knowledge is needed (apart from a familiarity with cryptic crosswords) and this is a word that I'm sure everyone will know.

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    $\begingroup$ I hope the answer doesn't involve inserting an extra letter into "cut" to get something where blood is sometimes involved... $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 24 '15 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor Awww, you take the fun out of everything... $\endgroup$ – dmg Aug 24 '15 at 9:27
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor - If that is your answer, submit it and see if you win! It doesn't really fulfil the conditions if I have understood you correctly. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Aug 24 '15 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK Nah, I'd probably get flagged as offensive (maybe rightly so). No number in brackets at the end to tell us how long the clue is? :-( $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 24 '15 at 9:29
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    $\begingroup$ if it weren't for the one word requirement, my guess would've been "the IS" (Islamic State) , you can get there by removing two ("Cut cut!" ) of the words in the first sentence ("Here is the clue."). They're crazy and bloodthirsty, but I don't know about creature, ;) $\endgroup$ – dramzy Aug 24 '15 at 16:37

Here is the answer:

If you cut the head from the word 'cut' (leaving 'ut') then cut these two letters from 'the clue', you are left with 'hecle'. The word 'crazy' implies an anagram, so rearranging these letters gives 'leech' which is a five-letter bloodsucking creature.

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  • $\begingroup$ That was my answer. As promised I'll wait for a while to see what other answers there may be and accept whatever gets the most votes. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Aug 24 '15 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK - But shouldn't the clue be "Cut cut cut!"? Since you "cut cut" to get "ut", and then "cut ut" to get "he cle"? $\endgroup$ – Alconja Aug 24 '15 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Alconja - You are of course right. I only realised that that would be better after I had already posted the puzzle and people had started answering. In future I shall have to wait 24 hours before setting a puzzle. It's so easy to miss something if you do it in a rush. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Aug 24 '15 at 23:14
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    $\begingroup$ Or if you want to make it obvious- cut(cut(cut),....) $\endgroup$ – Rohcana Aug 25 '15 at 9:44

The answer is


Cut cut!
What bloodthirsty creature remains?

When you slice something, you are cutting into it. Also, once you chop off the first letter of SLICE, you are left with LICE, bloodsucking insects.

And of course it is 5 letters long.

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  • $\begingroup$ If this is the answer, I don't like the question: it sounded as though the answer was meant to be a bloodthirsty creature. It is clever though. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 24 '15 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ Except that 'lice' is plural (of louse). I specified 'creature' which is singular. Also 'slice' is not a creature. 'louse' has five letters but it is far too distant from the clue to be valid (IMO) $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Aug 24 '15 at 10:02

The answer is



the "cut" command on a computer is implemented by Control+X. In cryptic-crossword lingo, "cut" can suggest either an abbreviation or a shortening of a word by removing some letters. "Cut"="Control+X" can be thought of as an abbreviation, and we can remove some letters from "Control+X" to get trol. Since we want a 5-letter creature, the answer looks like TROLL - we all know those can be bloodthirsty!

Wow ... have I managed to answer a cryptic-crossword question before Bailey M? :-D

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  • $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK In light of the response to rand al'thor... this is nothing but a troll question ;-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 24 '15 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor Not to mention that the larger part of the internet trolls just "Control+X" once and "Control+V" a million times the same thing. $\endgroup$ – dmg Aug 24 '15 at 9:50
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    $\begingroup$ As per the conditions, I'm not entitled to exclude this answer. As a hint to others, here is the main problem with this answer as I see it. In cryptic-crossword terms, to get from 'trol' to 'troll', would need a clue that used the phrase 'looks like' or 'sounds like' or that in some way specified adding a letter was needed. My question has none of those. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Aug 24 '15 at 9:57
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    $\begingroup$ Another troll question! $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Aug 27 '15 at 5:12

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