Is there a cryptic crossword clue that just contains some letter groups, numbers, and other things, but no actual words?
I mean the clue, not the solution.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm really sorry, but the answer that hexomino just gave isn't cryptic. There's no definition for the phrase. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 10:26

4 Answers 4


There was such a Clue in the Independent (I think)
The Clue was:


The answer is:

NIX.(0 is the def. .=point=Compass point=N(for north) and 9=IX)

You can also slightly change the clue to make it,


For this the answer is the obvious:

SIX (Same as above with a changed def and a different compass point)


Here is an example

1T3456789 (3,3,3)

which is an adaptation of a puzzle already on this site: A numerical rebus

I think, in general, you could

Use a rebus which can be typed out as the clue. I think this still qualifies it as being cryptic.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm really sorry, but the clue isn't cryptic. Pay attention to the tag. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 10:12
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think this answers the question as yes, these types of cryptic clue are published. For example, one from the Guardian Weekly was: N + 1 = 0 (4) $\endgroup$
    – Tom
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Tom maybe yours is a better answer as it sort of contains two definitions which is possibly what my one lacks. $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 10:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Tom , I think the answer is "none". (N + one = none) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 10:27

There's another example that's so good and so evil that it deserves an answer of its own. This clue is a Puzzling original and was created by Deusovi.
Here's a link to the clue itself: One of Deusovi's most evil clues.

For those of you too lazy to click a link, here's the clue itself:


The answer is:

Ovoid. (O+Void)

  1. There is a whole crossword with s, and the clues indeed don't contain any words.
  2. Another emoji crossword.
  • $\begingroup$ I made an update $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 11:11

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