# Cryptic Rebuses

A cryptic rebus, so says I, is a rebus that has the form of a cryptic clue. That is to say, there are two parts to a cryptic rebus:

• a definition of the answer
• a subsidiary indicator of the answer.

A definition can take the form of a picture which straightforwardly represents the answer, or it can be a synonym of the answer.

The subsidiary indicator of the answer, on the other hand, will be some kind of Rebus word/image play which leads to the answer.

Here is an example:

This clue depicts a donkey beside a ‘D’ on a key. The image of the donkey constitutes the definition of the clue, and the ‘D’ ON KEY Rebus constitutes the subsidiary indicator.

This simple example illustrates the structure of a cryptic rebus.

As with purely verbal cryptic clues, however, it will not always be clear what constitutes the definition and what constitutes the subsidiary indicator. Unlike verbal cryptic clues, where the definition must occur at the beginning or end of the clue, the definition of a cryptic rebus can appear anywhere. It can even appear misleadingly integrated in or around the subsidiary indicator. (Perhaps it can even lend positional relations to the subsidiary indicator!) Part of the fun of these puzzles is the thrill the solver gets upon discovering where exactly to “split” the clue into its components.

Also as with purely verbal cryptic clues, there is an exception to the rule that all clues consist of a definition and a subsidiary indicator. So-called double (or triple) rebuses comprise multiple rebuses, each one of which might yield a definition which points to the answer (as in standard cryptic double definitions); alternatively, one (or two) might yield a definition while the other directly yields the answer.

*I don't own any of the images from which I drew in making these puzzles. Where possible I tried to use public domain images. I believe I may be using the rest in accordance with fair use.

• Could you tell me how to create a cryptic rebus? – Scratch---Cat Jan 13 at 6:18

3.

BOLD MOVE = "courageous action"

4.

FALL DOWN = "trip"

7.

FRENCH KISS = "swap spit" = "bisou" ("bisou" is the French word for "kiss")

10.

MINTING (M IN T IN G) = "making cents?" ('?' indicates definition by example)

13.

CORRUPTED (C OR R (UP TED)) = "spoilt"

15.

EISENSTEIN (sounds like "'i's in stein") = "Russian director" (the Cyrillic is a transcription of "director")

• I am awarding you the green check since you had 6 answers as early as 13 hours ago, whereas @NeilW didn't have 6 until 11 hours ago. This meta post helped me decide who I should give it to. I wish I could award it proportionally to all of you who answered, alas! – GrimGrom Jan 1 '17 at 20:45

5: (might be missing something here)

Batman (Christian BALE) = BALE of hay.

6:

"pachyderm" interspersed in "the room" = elephant in the room = obvious thing unmentioned

8:

Al on E = alone = solo

9: (not exactly sure what is the desired answer here)

Toilet = John, + Snow = Jon Snow, played Kit Harington

11:

Rib (bone) up = bone up = study

12:

MLE (Emily) Dick (Richard Nixon) in S-ON = Emily Dickinson = For whom death stopped (in a famous poem)

• (5) is BALE. The definition is supposed to be the bale of hay and the indicator is Batman. (9) is JON SNOW. The definition is supposed to be "Harington" and the indicator is the toilet/snowflake rebus. – GrimGrom Jan 1 '17 at 16:36
• I awarded the green check to @Volatility since he solved more of the clues sooner (I was actually quite torn about it—see my comment to his answer). Thank you, though, for solving the ones you did. – GrimGrom Jan 1 '17 at 20:56

As I write this, two haven't yet been solved (unless I missed them).

14

(Tin Y / 60s) M in UTE : minute

16

C on VENTI on / STANDARD : convention

but I'm not sure I've quite got 14 right because it seems to have three parts rather than the usual two.

• The question does mention "triple" rebuses in the final paragraph, so 14 is probably right. – Volatility Jan 1 '17 at 10:37
• Yes, 14 is correct, but the construction isn't really kosher. Triple and double definitions usually don't involve wordplay / rebussery. T in Y is a rebus that gives a definition, but not the answer. Without the T in Y, it would be a normal clue. Rendered as "tiny 60s" it would be a double definition. As it is, it's a bit confusing. – M Oehm Jan 1 '17 at 10:55
• @MOehm, you're right that the structure of 14 deviates from standard double (or triple) definitions, but that is some license I allowed myself in creating this puzzle type. I tried to explain these nuances in my final paragraph above. – GrimGrom Jan 1 '17 at 16:32
• @Silenus: Artistic licence granted, especilally since you've tried to create a new kind of puzzle by merging cryptic clues and rebuses. Occasionally I can get a bit worked up on the technicalities of cryptics and my comment above is too harsh. Trying to be more laid back about that would make for a good New Year's resolution. Happy New Year! – M Oehm Jan 1 '17 at 16:53
• @MOehm, my New Year's resolution is to add "rebussery" to my vocabulary! – GrimGrom Jan 1 '17 at 17:04

While no doubt everyone knows the answer to 2, no one has posted it. So for convenience, here is the full list, including the as-yet unanswered 2:

Hands

DOWN UNDER = Australia

BOLD MOVE = "courageous action"

FALL DOWN = "trip"

Batman (Christian BALE) = BALE of hay.

"pachyderm" interspersed in "the room" = elephant in the room = obvious thing unmentioned

FRENCH KISS = "swap spit" = "bisou" ("bisou" is the French word for "kiss")

Al on E = alone = solo

Toilet = John, + Snow = Jon Snow, played Kit Harington

MINTING (M IN T IN G) = "making cents?" ('?' indicates definition by example)

Rib (bone) up = bone up = study

MLE (Emily) Dick (Richard Nixon) in S-ON = Emily Dickinson = For whom death stopped (in a famous poem)

CORRUPTED (C OR R (UP TED)) = "spoilt"

(Tin Y / 60s) M in UTE : minute

EISENSTEIN (sounds like "'i's in stein") = "Russian director" (the Cyrillic is a transcription of "director")

C on VENTI on / STANDARD : convention

Ok the first two questions are easy.

Btw great puzzle

1.hands
2.down under

First one is too easy...

1.

Hands

• They are designed to get progressively harder, much like a video game. – GrimGrom Jan 2 '17 at 13:24