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I'm designing a crossword right now and am looking for clues for the answers DRAWI and TAKEF. I've been thinking each answer over for awhile and feel like I have a phrase or quote from someone containing those answers (say "draw I") but I can't quite fix on it. It also occurs to me that as these are the only two answers on my crossword where it looks like it's a four-letter-word, followed by a random letter, it might be interesting to connect the clues.

Any thoughts? They don't have to be connected (but they can if you want). I would prefer a regular crossword, though if you have a cryptic idea, I'd enjoy just hearing about it, even if I don't use it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are DRAWI and TAKEF words?? $\endgroup$ – TrojanByAccident Dec 23 '16 at 4:08
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    $\begingroup$ I won't answer because I'm not sure whether this question is in too-broad territory, but some ideas: For DRAWI you could take advantage of the ambiguity between capital I and lowercase L in sans-serif fonts, for something like "Seem to speak slowly, in Arial?". For TAKEF my instinct is some sort of wordplay clue such as "Make flower lower, perhaps". These are obviously not regular clues though (although AFAIK they are OK in a regular crossword). $\endgroup$ – Volatility Dec 23 '16 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ @TrojanByAccident Well no, but they're answers. I've revised the question for clarity. :) $\endgroup$ – Laef Dec 23 '16 at 4:16
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    $\begingroup$ @laef I think you should design your crossword more carefully to have answers that are words and/or you can think any clue for. Think about rearranging the grid or choosing other crossing words. $\endgroup$ – pajonk Dec 23 '16 at 9:00
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If your crossword answers can be multiple words, then maybe some of these ideas will fit, even if they are not entirely cryptic per se:

  • DRAWI could be "Draw one". Maybe this has to do with drawing one card, such as the start of a player's turn in a card game. For example, "Start your turn in Uno?".
  • DRAWI could also be "Draw I", like broken English for "Draw me". The clue could be along the lines of "Tarzan requests a self-portrait?".

  • TAKEF looks like "Take F", which could be "remove the letter F". Take "F" away from one word to create another word. For example, if you chose the words "frock"/"rock", your clue could be something like "Turn clothes into stone?".

  • TAKEF ("Take F") could also mean "receive the letter F", maybe in the context of a word-formation game show or a board game. For example, "Potential 4 points in Scrabble?" might work.

Maybe if you want to indicate that these clues are similar, you could suffix each one with a reference to the other one, or perhaps that is too misleading.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like your first one for DRAWI and your first for TAKEF (though I think the TAKEF one is a bit too cryptic for what I'm working on). I appreciate it! $\endgroup$ – Laef Dec 23 '16 at 16:20
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Like your previous question, both of these are misread answers from gimmick crosswords.

DRAWI is from the New York Times crossword, March 4 2009. I can't see the actual crossword since I don't have a subscription, but from this link, we can see the puzzle's gimmick. Several squares could be filled with "in" or "out", and these squares would be doubly clued. For instance, DRAW[IN/OUT] was clued as "Attract / Protract".

TAKEF is also from the NYT crossword, this time from August 17, 2003. This puzzle's gimmick was that answers having numbers were entered so that the number fit in one box. For instance, "zero feet" was entered as [ZERO]FEET.


In both cases, the parser was incorrectly reading only the first letter of each rebus square. I suggest attempting to fill the grid yourself, downloading an alternate dictionary for your crossword filler, or using software such as QXW that will let you choose words to eliminate nonsense answers such as these.

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually, I am using QXW, but I've fed it an alternate dictionary using words including those from NYT (otherwise, it uses the Unix dictionary, and that's just dull). I fill out a bit of the puzzle along a theme, then use the dictionary for the rest. $\endgroup$ – Laef Dec 23 '16 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ @laef: Then I recommend filling manually, rather than automatically. Or at least removing all words that haven't been used more than, say, twice. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Dec 23 '16 at 4:34
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Since the answers aren't single words or common phrases they aren't standard crossword answers but here are some cryptic clues. I gave them both question marks to indicate something might require a little looseness of interpretation.

DRAW|I

Princess eats uncooked idea for self portrait?

TAKE|F

Accept a bad result on the sixth attempt?

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice! Any reasoning for "on the sixth attempt?" $\endgroup$ – Laef Dec 23 '16 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ @laef "sixth attempt" as in "Take 6" (i.e. when filming something), but using the sixth letter instead. $\endgroup$ – Volatility Dec 23 '16 at 21:26
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Slumdog Millionaire setting backspin? (5) -> DRAWI

In billiards, draw is backspin. I is represented by India in the military alphabet. Slumdog Millionaire is a well-known film set in India.

Ballroom dance earnings? (5) -> TAKEF

In theater, the take is the earnings from a show. F is represented by Foxtrot in the military alphabet. A foxtrot is a ballroom dance.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see how "Slumdog Millionaire" clues "India". Sure, it's set in India, but it isn't India. You wouldn't use "The Godfather" to clue "America", would you? $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Dec 23 '16 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ I added the word 'setting' to the clue. Is that better? $\endgroup$ – wildBillMunson Dec 23 '16 at 20:50
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DRAWI:

Take a card before sounding like a tool of sight (5)

TAKEF:

It can be stealing, near the first fighting. (5)

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    $\begingroup$ "Eye" is not the same thing as "sight". Also, spoilers really aren't necessary here, and neither of these would be acceptable in a regular or a cryptic crossword. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Dec 23 '16 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi True, I guess. Why would they not be acceptable in a cryptic crossword? (the second one, anyway, since the first isn't good) $\endgroup$ – TrojanByAccident Dec 23 '16 at 4:32
  • $\begingroup$ Because neither of them contain definitions. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Dec 23 '16 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi there isn't exactly a definition for 'drawi' or 'takef' $\endgroup$ – TrojanByAccident Dec 23 '16 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ Exactly. That's why they wouldn't be acceptable in a regular cryptic crossword. You're not allowed to just ignore the definition just because it doesn't exist - that just means you need to refill the grid. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Dec 23 '16 at 4:36
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If you can make that TAKEF into TAKEFIVE, i suggest you take a look to Break Briefly Crossword Clue

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    $\begingroup$ Could you elaborate on why you suggest this source? $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Mar 14 at 0:49

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