The clue is "Heartless guest having to figure out aubergine".


I think the answer might be EGGFRUIT But don't have any better explanation than the link between aubergine and eggplant...


It appears that the clue should be parsed as follows:

"Heartless guest" --> G___T

"figure out": "out" is an anagram indicator, so anagram FIGURE

and combine these to get EGGFRUIT, an anagram of FIGURE+GT.

However, there are several problems with this clue:

(1) The "heart" generally refers to the middle letter rather than the entirety of the word apart from the first and last letters.
(2) "Having" is unused here. (The only real option is for it to be a container indicator, but the E is on the outside so that won't work.)
(3) This is an indirect anagram -- and not only that, one where the indicator cannot apply to both parts to be anagrammed without including extra fodder! Even publishers where indirect anagrams are allowed (likely British publishers) would probably not allow this.
(4) The setter mistakenly thinks eggfruit and eggplant are the same thing. They are not; the definition is incorrect.

I would highly recommend not bothering with the cryptics from this publisher.

  • $\begingroup$ For an answer that not only provides the answer, but also provides a comprehensive explanation of the flaws in the cryptic, I can't just stop at upvoting the answer, hence this comment. Nice one! $\endgroup$ – Phylyp Jan 11 '19 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ 'having' on its own might be borderline defensible as just vaguely meaning 'along with', but the 'to' is unused as well $\endgroup$ – aPaulT Jan 11 '19 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot Deusovi. For anyone wondering, this was from the New Statesman, 4th of January this year. $\endgroup$ – Moos Hueting Jan 11 '19 at 9:18

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