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).

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79
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1answer
6k 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?
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3answers
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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{\...
68
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4answers
8k 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 ...
52
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2answers
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 ...
46
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1answer
1k 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 ...
45
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1answer
2k 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 - ...
39
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2answers
2k views

Salt, pepper, herbs and spices

This puzzle is dedicated to an avid violinist. Who is the violinist? I got lots of upvotes for my previous "one-liner wonder" so thank you very much! Since you guys liked it, I have made another. ...
39
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1answer
2k views

Cryptictionary!

After someone showed me "Cryptictionary" from the recent NPL con, I was inspired to make a puzzle, because I like drawing and I like cryptics :D The rules are basically the same as cryptics, except ...
39
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2answers
1k views

Circuit Diagram

An entry to Fortnightly Topic Challenge #35: Restricted Title 1 - based on the following xkcd. Circuit diagrams can be quite difficult to understand, so here are some documents that will hopefully ...
38
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6answers
2k 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 ...
34
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4answers
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 ...
26
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3answers
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. (Click on the image ...
26
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1answer
753 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 ...
24
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1answer
376 views

Self-Referential Humor

This is an entry into the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #38. I hope it fits the theme! The answer to this puzzle is what you should do to solve this puzzle. Getting 51 and nice guy to start (7) Level ...
23
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5answers
3k views

Which number am I thinking of?

Which number am I thinking of? Here's a set of clues: Call it sin, and mess it up (9) between θ and κ (4) engage emotionally (5) half a byte (6) mottle (5) Never mix meds & gin (7) ‐ (4) ...
22
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5answers
3k views

Potter Cryptic Clues

Today is July 31st, which, according to JK Rowling, is apparently Harry Potter's birthday. So, let's celebrate with some Harry Potter themed cryptic clues! The final answer is a good bit of trivia: ...
21
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3answers
1k views

Cryptic Mastermind

And now for something completely different: Cryptic Mastermind! Given below are five sets of five cryptic clues each, all resulting in five-letter words. The black and white pegs, like in regular ...
21
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2answers
960 views

Letter to the Editor

These are clues to two-word phrases that all have something in common: Sustainable power Fair-haired countess Nice bull’s-eye Furious swashbuckler Quiet spoon Peculiar heirloom Understated whiskers ...
21
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3answers
1k views

Cryptic Clue Maze

The maze The paths Malfunctioning oven trade fixed kitchen (9) Damages small vehicles (5) Coastal airport department's vulnerability (3,8) Happy about rook color (4) Anger about queer, out ...
20
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1answer
996 views

Counter, Clock and Wise

Remember I told you that I am slowly turning eccentric? Well, turns out, it's worse than I had imagined. See, writing some random words on a piece of paper is one thing, and taking apart the hands of ...
19
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6answers
2k views

The Unfinished Puzzle Section

Simply complete the sudoku and crossword, happy puzzling. Across 1. Achieved acclaim by being knowledgable about strange apron (3, 6) Down 2. Explode asteroid five to refrain from inactivity or ...
19
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3answers
2k views

We feast in Hell's kitchen, we swim through the deep

We feast in Hell’s kitchen, we swim through the deep, we wait in the shadows for printers to sleep. At midnight we come and we jumble your prose. We pluck out your words because god only knows! And ...
19
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2answers
608 views

Seven levels through Europe

Let's take a little trip through Europe, shall we? Each level forms a word chain. Even-numbered levels (yellow) go clockwise, odd-numbered ones (white) go anticlockwise. Each level has ...
19
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1answer
567 views

Baring my Heart

This is an entry into the Fortnightly Topic Challenge: Restricted title 1 Alice has sent a message to Bob. Can you help Bob figure it out? Ordinary vehicle turning all Finished challenged ...
18
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9answers
3k views

Can you feel the fire?

Can you feel the fire? It burns us up; Then it starts feeling fine. It becomes a place of hope, Where we endlessly rest in agony. Now tell me, friend, after all we've been through, ...
18
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3answers
392 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 sides. ...
18
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3answers
576 views

Cryptic clue with cryptic clues inside

English [artist to burn, burns heart] (6) [bits of nazis covering animal] (6) dollar with [familiar comrades, abbreviated, with the console] (7) residing on [forest endless street, rearranged] (5) (7) ...
18
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1answer
531 views

The Ooh-Aah Cryptic Maze

As you come to consciousness, your first thought is not of the cold stone floor beneath you, nor of the skull-adorned torches hanging on the walls. ugh... I stayed up too late on PSE last night... My ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Unusually Cryptic

Here are some cryptics which have been made to be particularly unusual. You might find some easy, some hard, but hopefully, and most importantly, you find them all fun! Edit: I've added an extra clue ...
17
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2answers
1k views

Big star initially shows gratitude (6)

A cryptic clue I originally wrote in a card to my cryptic crossword sensei: Big star initially shows gratitude (6)
17
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2answers
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 ...
17
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2answers
1k views

Oh, woe is me, the creature's back

Oh, woe is me, the creature's back to give me certain heart attack! He's plucking words and shifting glyphs. What sort of devilry is this? I love the gates of hell; I’m kind of a rod (6) The apple ...
17
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1answer
1k views

A printer's imp has run amok

A printer's imp has run amok distorting clues but with some luck you'll spy the hidden seams whereat the devil’s work can be turned back. Feral Ulysses S. Grant keeps the troops aroused (6) A giant ...
17
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3answers
687 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 ...
17
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1answer
378 views

A cryptic mix up

So I was working on my first cryptic puzzle for this site, writing the front part of each clue on one slip of paper, and the back part of each clue on another, as you do. Somehow things got mixed up ...
17
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1answer
860 views

Is this a puzzle? If so, what is the solution?

In the 2032th xkcd comic Cueball utters a sentence that may (and probably does) contain a word puzzle. [Cueball and Megan standing together, musical notes hanging in the air as if music is ...
16
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3answers
743 views

Three Blind Mice - rhyming cryptics!

Each line of the following poem is a cryptic clue. Free blind mice with spirit are bound; Hack tail off, our first glorious inch. Tool is almost fine after quick sound; The mice's tails in ...
16
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2answers
504 views

An endless loop in a desolate wasteland

You check your position tracker. Back at the beginning. Slowly, once again, you begin taking steps and counting cracks in the sidewalk. One. Two. Three. Four. Five You look around. Pitch darkness....
16
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2answers
903 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 ...
16
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2answers
417 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 ...
15
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8answers
1k views

High and low rebus

What may the following represent? $\large\underline{US}$ $\large01100111$ $\large00\Large\color{green}\bullet$ The 3 rebuses give 3 proper nouns. They are in alphabetical and ...
15
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3answers
641 views

Mathematical cryptic clues

Programming language, after removing loss for you, reverses time (6) Complex arithmetic begins, Turing tests start beforehand (7) Quadruply male doctor Einstein, familiarly (11) Lie on a ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Cryptic Hour Pyramid!

A pyramid is on fire. Being an archaeologist, you went to Egypt to study a very ancient pyramid. While you were on top of it, the pyramid caught fire. It was time to run when you discovered that, ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Crime lords and valuables

Lost consciousness's rate of return is Spanish valuables in Swedish valuables. (5) The light side running a confused non-gay. (6) Stirring a Malay T for a grateful Spanish spirit. (6) Dear ...
15
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2answers
534 views

Elle Rend Le Coeur Plus Amoureux

"Protected... Always... Semimetal" I woke - I think - with those words in my mouth. I was in an odd state of mind and the words tasted strange in my mouth. I was not speaking a language of my country ...
15
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1answer
166 views

Areas of Focus: Cryptic Clues

What follows are fifteen standard cryptic clues to solve. The catch is, I've removed the letter count from each clue. To help you out, note the following: No answers have the same number of ...
15
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1answer
875 views

The Three Retiree's Cipher

Three high school friends who took different paths after high school are now all enjoying retirement. Each one settled for a different job but all enjoyed cryptography throughout their lives. Now ...
14
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4answers
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 ...
14
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7answers
1k 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 ...
14
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6answers
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. ...