Let me remind you, in case you haven’t read my previous puzzle, that a cryptic rebus 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:

enter image description here

This clue depicts a horse head beside an eel, as well as a heel. The horse head (H) and eel (EEL) are a rebus for HEEL. The image of the heel constitutes the definition of the clue, and the H + EEL 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. The definition of a cryptic rebus can appear anywhere (even misleadingly integrated in or around 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 like 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.

Lastly, rebuses can utilize any standard cryptic conventions. They can, for example, signal reversals or beheadings (as in the hose head example, above). They can also make use of abbreviations.

Answers should indicate the solution, the definition, and the path to the solution. An answer to the above heel example would look something like:

HEEL (H[horse head] + EEL; [def] high-heeled shoe)

Now that you’re all caught up, have at 'em:

enter image description here

*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.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Your toaster appears to have a problem. Good luck making toast. $\endgroup$
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ Will you provide the length of each solution? $\endgroup$
    – Matt
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Matt I didn't provide the length in my two previous puzzles (here and here) and people managed to solve them. I won't add lengths (at least not yet), for fear of making them too easy. $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 21:44

4 Answers 4


Here's what I've been able to come up with:


NET (01 = 10 backwards; [def] net)

2.-Thanks to Matt for solving this one!

BEAR (BARE[minimalist (adj.)] in the auditorium; [def] black or brown, for example)


T.S. ELIOT (anagram of TOILETS; [def] author of a poem entitled The Waste Land)

4.-Thanks to Neil W and Volatility (in chat) for insights into this one!

BOUILLON ([def] stock; BULLION [gold ingots[AU in GOTS]] and BOOLEAN[binary] within the ears)


ROTATES (anagram of TOASTER; [def] whirls)

6.-Thanks to Neil W for solving this one!

PENROSE TRIANGLE (PEN + GOT (Game Of Thrones) UP = ROSE + TRY (synonym of ESSAY) + ANGLE (mixed angel); [def] optical illusion)

  • $\begingroup$ Regarding 1, I'm not sure where you got "neutrality" from. Given the structure of this puzzle type (i.e. cryptic rebuses), they will all contain two sides which "depict the same thing". Regarding your answer to 2, you don't seem to identify a definition... 4 is incorrect. $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ I removed 'neutrality' from #1. I overthought that one. I included a definition for #2. Will have to give #4 some more thought. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ 2 is still incorrect: the definition must appear in the clue. That said, the clue has already been solved, fortuitously, by another puzzler, but there is a more straightforward path to that solution, if you want to search for it. $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 1:02
  • $\begingroup$ I updated to Matt's answer (with perhaps a more straightforward path). So now I just need to figure out #4? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 1:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Haha I didn't know that. Makes sense. It's a homonym AND an anagram. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 3:20

I've got something:


NET (backwards ten) (picture definition)


BEAR ("Baer" (a minimalist) to an audience) (black or brown examples)


VETO(e?)S (anagram of STOVE) (nixes definition)


ROTATES (anagram of toaster) (whirls definition)

  • $\begingroup$ There was an error in clue 3, so I changed it to one that's fair. Sorry about that! $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 22:15

Okay number 6 is...

PEN + game of thrones (got) up (ROSE) + essay (TRY) + mixed angel (ANGLE) = PENROSE TRIANGLE = optical illusion

And number 4 is something like...

Taking @Chris Cudmore's GOAUTS = gold (Au) in gots = gold ingots, gold ingots are known as bullion, and bullion tugs ear sounds like bouillon, which is a stock, not quite. So the binary ascii code claims to be a dead end, as @wildBillMunson has commented, and a type of dead end is a court. And court-bouillon is a stock, not quite. It's a base for a stock, and binary is a base. So there you almost have it? COURT-BOUILLON? And a spare ear for good luck.

  • $\begingroup$ I like that a whole lot more than what I came up with! Is it okay if I edit my answer for #6 to include yours, or should I leave what I have? Not sure of the proper etiquette. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 0:33
  • $\begingroup$ Me neither really. As long as you acknowledge the source it seems to be okay based on what I've seen - and that's fine with me. It seemed largely solved already so I couldn't be bothered doing the full answer myself. $\endgroup$
    – Neil W
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ I changed my answer to yours for #6. Thanks!!!! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ Wow that's an impressive path you took on #4! :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ Very nice try! You noticed something that others have failed to notice so far. But I take "bouillon" to be synonymous with "stock" (at least "cryptic crossword synonymous"). $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 4:36
  1. Partial - rebus only

    GOLD INGOTS (using AU as gold)


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