Skip to main content

Questions tagged [cryptic-clues]

A puzzle that involves cryptic clues of the type found in cryptic crosswords, but is not a cryptic crossword. DO NOT use this tag for puzzles that are stated cryptically; use [enigmatic-puzzle] instead. Use [cryptic-crosswords] for whole crosswords; [crossword-clues] for crossword clues not obeying the conventions of cryptic crosswords (even if they are stated cryptically).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
113 votes
1 answer
21k views

Cryptic Clue Guide

This post is not a puzzle. There is nothing puzzly hidden inside it or the self-answer, posted at the same time. What exactly is a cryptic crossword clue, and how do I write one?
Deusovi's user avatar
  • 147k
33 votes
1 answer
4k views

The first Density™ Puzzle!

Welcome to the very first puzzle in a new series! It's all about (hopefully) exploring new ways of creating puzzles, as densely as possible. If you'd like to create your own Density™ puzzle, the ...
Dmihawk's user avatar
  • 4,506
12 votes
1 answer
671 views

Piece de Resistance - Six-six-six. An Ultimate Wall of Cryptics

Six - six-six. An Ultimate Wall of Cryptics This puzzle is part of the "Piece de Resistance" series. Go back to Part 1 (Ace) for the story.Ace Two Three Four Five Six ... Aha! This one is of ...
Omega Krypton's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
460 views

Simply Cryptic #1

No back story, no setting, no theme, simply a cryptic clue to solve: One large cake performance Since cryptic clues traditionally indicate the number of letters in the solution, I'll provide that ...
James Webster's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
763 views

Simply Cryptic #2

No back story, no setting, no theme, simply a cryptic clue to solve: Mark hidden in plain sight and it's close. Listen! Since cryptic clues traditionally indicate the number of letters in the ...
James Webster's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
206 views

Simply Cryptic #3

No back story, no setting, no theme, simply a cryptic clue to solve: Leading to effect, endless pause in large town with LA reversal Since cryptic clues traditionally indicate the number of ...
James Webster's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
227 views

Simply Cryptic #4

No back story, no setting, no theme, simply a cryptic clue to solve: Easy, he finishes walking strange, strangely. Since cryptic clues traditionally indicate the number of letters in the solution, ...
James Webster's user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
971 views

Cryptic Poem: a study in what?

One day, while you work through one of your countless puzzle books, you notice that a sheet of paper has been slipped inside with a curious little poem written on it. A Study An ancient man ...
Volatility's user avatar
  • 5,099
17 votes
1 answer
825 views

Ingrid Deduction pops by with a puzzle

The other night I was sat at home in Providence when the doorbell rang. To my surprise, my very good friend Ingrid Deduction stood on the step, a huge grin on her face and a piece of paper held out ...
Stiv's user avatar
  • 145k
17 votes
3 answers
783 views

Traversing Africa: A Cryptic Journey

Each answer is a place, landmark or attraction in Africa, one per country. The answers first traverse all countries on the mainland by crossing land borders, and then the remaining ones go around the ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
16 votes
1 answer
737 views

PSE Advent Calendar 2021 (Day 8): Reindeer Family Reunion

This puzzle is part of the Puzzling StackExchange Advent Calendar 2021. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation.< Previous Door Next Door > In the style ...
Jeremy Dover's user avatar
  • 28.4k
14 votes
6 answers
3k views

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 ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
  • 9,186
12 votes
5 answers
1k views

The Word Web of horror - Clue Twenty Two

<<---First clue <---Previous clue As you say the word, the floor starts rising. You are now able to reach the trapdoor. You push it open and climb out. You blink in surprise. You appear to ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 8,874
11 votes
2 answers
11k views

gegs? (9, 4) - a british cryptic crossword clue

gegs? (9, 4) I hope this is a suitable forum for this British crossword clue, as it's my first post and I'm trying something new. This is a cryptic crossword clue, so (9, 4) tells you about the ...
MD-Tech's user avatar
  • 221
70 votes
4 answers
10k views

Discover the meaning of life!

You've trekked through jungle and tundra, across mountaintops and deserts, into giant caverns and beneath the ocean to find the person known as The Oracle. Finally, after all your hard work, you find ...
Bailey M's user avatar
  • 17k
56 votes
2 answers
3k views

Help! I am infected with the puzzling bug!

Argh...I can't get this bug of puzzling off my head! It's really weird, and so annoying, you know...I can't help thinking about puzzles all the time. It's like... when I see a word, I think of ...
Ankoganit's user avatar
  • 19.6k
55 votes
1 answer
3k views

Japanese Fusion Alphabet Soup

The Dish... ...is an intriguing blend, with a base of classic Western flavours, and a twist of the Orient at its heart. The Ingredients... ...are diverse and are combined in such an unexpected - dare ...
Alconja's user avatar
  • 37.3k
39 votes
6 answers
3k views

Chess Fortnight is finally over!

(Note: the backstory here may or may not be entirely fictitious.) The fortnightly chess theme is finally over! I couldn't stand it. It was chaos! Pieces moving around in all the wrong ways... I was ...
Deusovi's user avatar
  • 147k
25 votes
3 answers
782 views

The Video Gamers' Double-Duty Crossword

"OK, so I know that you two are always arguing about what type of crosswords to do- 'Normal crosswords are too boring!' 'Cryptics are too esoteric!!' Trivia vs wordplay, yeah, I've heard both ...
TwoBitOperation's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
637 views

Cryptic quote from a press conference

(Buzz, expressions of hesitance) "The United Nations, together with a European nation", repeated USA's leader, "discovered Papuan area for exotic fish" (21)
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
16 votes
2 answers
516 views

Race to the Past: A Historical Scavenger Hunt

This was intended to be for History Fortnight, but I didn't quite get it finished up in time. (I now have a history of just missing these cutoffs.) Here's the puzzle, though you'll definitely need ...
Dan Russell's user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
2k views

Cryptic Rebuses Hit the Books

In order to learn more about Emily Dickinson and T. S. Eliot, who made cameos here and here, cryptic rebuses are going to the library. If you're unsure how cryptic rebuses work, you may want to check ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
  • 9,186
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

A Metacryptic Puzzle

Solve the 5 cryptic clues to reveal a final cryptic clue. Solve that one, too. Stiff butt inside capital punishment, initially (5) Blinded tin turned ton with ocean sound (6, 3) Drink for Eastern ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 10.9k
13 votes
1 answer
519 views

PSE Advent Calendar 2021 (Day 14): An international reunion

This puzzle is part of the Puzzling StackExchange Advent Calendar 2021. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation.< Previous Door Next Door > This is a &...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
13 votes
1 answer
769 views

A Cryptic Clue Nineteen

<<---First clue <---Previous clue You close the computer and stand up. You now have 18 clues. Only [redacted] more to go!, you think. You head to the door and try to open it. It didn't open....
Mithical's user avatar
  • 8,874
13 votes
1 answer
687 views

Portraits and quotes - Clue Twenty Four

<<---First clue <--Previous clue A note from @Mithrandir: I have given explicit permission for @Randal'Thor to post this, and gave him the answer to encode. If you want to post one, ping @...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

What do these things have in common? (Albert Iteration)

Following is a list of lines; each line contains two riddles written by my pal Albert Iteration. Each riddle describes a single word. Your task is to identify the words being described and find what ...
NeedAName's user avatar
  • 11.6k
10 votes
2 answers
925 views

Recondite key locked another puzzle... - Clue Twenty Nine!

<<---First clue <---Previous clue A note from @Mithrandir: I have given explicit permission for @Techidiot to post this, and gave him the answer to encode. If you want to post one, ping @...
Techidiot's user avatar
  • 18.9k
10 votes
1 answer
487 views

PSE Advent Calendar 2023 (Day 19): A Christmas Family Union

This puzzle is part of the Puzzling Stack Exchange Advent Calendar 2023. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation.< Previous Door Next Door > In the ...
Jeremy Dover's user avatar
  • 28.4k
9 votes
3 answers
870 views

Traversing Oceania: A Cryptic Journey

Each answer is a place, landmark or attraction in Oceania, one per country. The answers traverse all countries by crossing maritime borders (or close enough). Each clue is missing a country name from ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
7 votes
2 answers
653 views

The etched words - Clue Twenty Six

<<---First clue <---Previous clue A note from @Mithrandir: I have given explicit permission for @Khale_Kitha to post this, and gave him the answer to encode. If you want to post one, ping @...
Khale_Kitha's user avatar
  • 8,442
6 votes
4 answers
7k views

Revenge [cryptic] rebus puzzles

Enjoyed these did you? Felt they were a bit too easy? The rebuses are feeling bitter about their loss, and they will only concede defeat if you break their puzzle: Wait a second... they've sent a ...
Wen1now's user avatar
  • 9,253
5 votes
8 answers
822 views

A strange sight in London

While travelling in London, I noticed something strange. I saw some numbers which appeared to be counting up but which then switched to counting down. Later on, I saw the same thing, but the numbers ...
paolo's user avatar
  • 1,074
5 votes
1 answer
603 views

PSE Advent Calendar 2022 (Day 13): Sweden’s Sankta Lucia

This puzzle is part of the Puzzling Stack Exchange Advent Calendar 2022. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation.< Previous Door Next Door > Ahhh, that ...
user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
228 views

Traversing the US and Canada: A Cryptic Journey

Each answer is a place, landmark or attraction in the United States or Canada. The answers traverse all Canadian provinces, Canadian territories, U.S. states and the District of Columbia. This is done ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
87 votes
3 answers
5k views

The Puzzling Times

$$\bbox[orange]{\begin{array}{rcl}\\\hline\huge\ \ \star\ \ \star\ \ The&\huge{Puzzling}&\huge{Times\ \ \star\ \ \star\ \ }\\\hline\\\end{array}}$$   Vol. 4, No. 1 $\raise 2pt \tt{\large{\...
Rubio's user avatar
  • 41.7k
54 votes
1 answer
2k views

re-re-reCAPTCHA

Last Friday, I was feeling a bit sad because I hadn't earned much rep recently, so I decided to try this awesome sock puppet thing everyone's been raving about. I logged out of my normal Puzzling ...
Dan Russell's user avatar
35 votes
4 answers
4k views

literally no idea

Clues What a conductor gives to an out-of-tune player? You perform this in Spring Sung by musical miners? Those behind bars keeps tabs on this Sounds something like a big colourful Spanish bird ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
33 votes
3 answers
2k views

The Cryptic Writing On The Wall

The goal is simple: solve the cryptic clues to get a Only-Connect wall, consisting of 16 words, which then must be grouped into 4 groups of 4 words each sharing a common property. Investigate the ...
Ankoganit's user avatar
  • 19.6k
25 votes
1 answer
743 views

Chain Puzzle: Tabletop Games #10 – Risky Finale

This is the tenth and final Chain Puzzle in the Tabletop Games series, in which all puzzles are themed around board games, card games, tile games, and the like. Once this puzzle is solved, this Chain ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
18 votes
1 answer
688 views

Chain Puzzle: Tabletop Games #09 - “The” Cryptic Movies

This is the ninth Chain Puzzle in the Tabletop Games series, in which all puzzles are themed around board games, card games, tile games, and the like. The answer to this puzzle is a thematic word or ...
bobble's user avatar
  • 10.4k
18 votes
2 answers
1k views

PSE Assessment Exam

An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #27: Treasure-Hunt... Welcome to the PSE Assessment Exam! This exam is designed to assess your aptitude, knowledge and experience as a high profile member of ...
Rubio's user avatar
  • 41.7k
18 votes
2 answers
1k views

Gladys unchained

This puzzle is part 2 of Gladys' journey across the globe. If you're new to the series, feel free to start at the beginning: Introducing Gladys. Dear Puzzling, Today I spent the ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
16 votes
1 answer
403 views

Neo-Futurist Poetry

This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #4: Cross-*non*-words Skyline's better half mirrored – a perfect pangram and yet a poem. (5) The answer to this crossword is the unclued 1-Down, a ...
Parcly Taxel's user avatar
  • 7,720
16 votes
6 answers
2k views

Moons and messages

This puzzle is part 15 of Gladys' journey across the globe. Each part can be solved independently. Nevertheless, if you are new to the series, feel free to start at the beginning: Introducing Gladys. ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
15 votes
2 answers
525 views

Shipwreck hunting

An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #46: "Tales From the Cryptic" My Uncle Redbeard, the great sailor and shipwreck-hunter, is in trouble and needs my help! This morning a mysterious ...
Stiv's user avatar
  • 145k
14 votes
3 answers
605 views

Twisted Connections

This is an entry into the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #36 The following is an Only-Connect wall seen in the BBC TV series. You have to divide the 16 words into groups of 4 each satisfying a specific ...
Sid's user avatar
  • 15.2k
14 votes
2 answers
951 views

The English Department

After walking through the computer science department, the tour entered the English department. The interior was very spartan, and the only thing I could see was a pinboard with the following items: ...
boboquack's user avatar
  • 22k
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Horribly broken and just plain wrong

This puzzle is part 6 of Gladys' journey across the globe. Each part can be solved independently. Nevertheless, if you are new to the series, feel free to start at the beginning: Introducing Gladys. ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
13 votes
1 answer
391 views

Cryptic Rebuses Go Meta

At the library, cryptic rebuses read a book on self-reference. If you're unsure how cryptic rebuses work, you may want to check out this primer. *I don't own any of the images from which I drew in ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
  • 9,186