Cryptic crossword clue from Daily Telegraph puzzle #28,926 (Wednesday 19th December 2018). 25 across.

"Love stay in Scotland - such colour (5)"

The first letter is known to be "O". The third letter is known to be "I". The fifth letter is known to be "E".

We believe the solution is "OLIVE". The clue is of the form "wordplay part, followed by definition part". The definition part is "colour". This suggests that "love" is "O" (resembles the number 0, called "love" in tennis) and that "stay in Scotland" is "live". But we don't understand what Scotland has to do with it. The words "stay" and "live" are near-synonyms of the sort that are frequently used in cryptic crosswords. But the shared meaning doesn't have anything to do with Scotland to my knowledge, and a search of the internet hasn't turned anything up. Why does "stay in Scotland" mean "live"?

Other possible solutions not believed to be correct: "oxide", "opine"


1 Answer 1


According to the OED, the use of "stay" to mean "reside" (i.e., "live") is characteristic of Scotland, South Africa, India and the US. Whether that's enough justification for "in Scotland", I'm not entirely sure, but the Telegraph is often a bit loose.

  • $\begingroup$ I suggest that the puzzle, printed in a paper originating in London, calls out Scotland to highlight the contrast with England, another member country of the state of the UK. Probably the majority of the Telegraph's puzzle solvers are in England, where presumably "stay" is not used to mean "live." $\endgroup$
    – shoover
    Commented Dec 24, 2018 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ Sure. But most of the time when a crossword clue identifies a word as Scottish, or American, or Spenserian, or whatever, it's specifically so, rather than being common use by half the world's anglophones. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Dec 24, 2018 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ It is news to me (an English person) that this sense of the word "stay" is seen as specific to any subset of English-speakers. You live and learn. $\endgroup$
    – Hammerite
    Commented Dec 24, 2018 at 17:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In my (also-English) idiolect, "stay" can mean "live temporarily" but not "live permanently". $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Dec 24, 2018 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan Perhaps, to the Telegraph, the only Anglophones who matter are those living on the main island. :) $\endgroup$
    – shoover
    Commented Dec 25, 2018 at 0:08

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