Questions tagged [cryptic-crosswords]

Cryptic crosswords are a special type of crossword puzzle where clues combine a definition with wordplay. Use [crosswords] where the clues don't obey the conventions of cryptic crosswords; [cryptic-clues] or [crossword-clues] for clues not assembled into whole crosswords.

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84
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1answer
7k 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?
67
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1answer
2k views

The Two-Trench Truce

This is an entry into the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #41. The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I just passed a few days ago! In memory of this, in this puzzle we're going to reconstruct an ...
46
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2answers
1k views

A crossword to appease all

(Click for full size) Across 1. Steal extremely experimental metal song or 26-across maybe (6) 4. "Wardrobes malfunctioned", most rang for short interval (8) 10. Future engineer edits New York, USA'...
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 - ...
43
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9answers
4k views

A Page of Puzzling

I found this puzzle page from a newspaper and found it absolutely confounding. The sudoku had question marks and other things all over it, the logic puzzle made no sense, the cryptic crossword was ...
38
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4answers
2k views

GRID-THIRTY-SIX

Solve 36 puzzles (or more) to find the final 6 letter answer.
35
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1answer
1k views

What xkcd Means

What xkcd Means This is a variety cryptic inspired by the comic "What xkcd Means" (linked above) and the work of Ucaoimhu. It is also an entry into the 35th Fortnightly Topic Challenge: Restricted ...
28
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1answer
581 views

Station to Station

The gang can't wait for their upcoming trip. Whereabouts are they headed? ...
28
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1answer
550 views

Arc (&) Reactors

(Note: This puzzle may require a small amount of research if you aren't familiar with the work from its theme.) It was exactly 11 years ago -- April 14, 2008, in Sydney -- that the first Iron Man ...
27
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1answer
486 views

A Ghastly Cryptic

Oh no! Hallowe'en has weakened the borders between this realm and the spirit realm, allowing some tenebrous nogoodnik to release several ghosts from other universes upon you! In this cryptic, each ...
25
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2answers
535 views

Popularity Within a Target Audience

This is a metapuzzle with four component puzzles and a final meta. Creations of CSIRO The Australian research institute CSIRO is notable for producing inventions such as gene shears, the insect ...
24
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1answer
678 views

Plot Twist (variety cryptic)

This is an entry into the 36th Fortnightly Topic Challenge: "Twisted Classics". Each clue/answer pair in this puzzle has been affected by one of these types of plot twist: 28 of the clues have ...
23
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8answers
4k views

Headless horseman claims new head

Solve the clues and fit the answers into the grid so that each of the coloured squares contains exactly four different letters. Sahara desert capitals of historically African region in ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Emojional cryptic crossword

ACROSS 3. 🌟½☥🐪🚫👣 (9) 7. 🏆❌🖽⚔️ (3) 8. ½🍔🇫🇷🌊🏢 (6) 11. ♉½🇬🇷✉️ (3) 12. 🔫⭐⏺️♥️🗽🎭 (5) 13. 🍈♥️🇨🇴🏙️⏮️🍟🔚💐 (6) 14. 👂♀️🦌💰 (5) 16. 🎩👦♻️🐴🦄☝️🗾🏝️ (6) 19. 🐏💪🔀 (3) ...
21
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1answer
957 views

Plenty of Clues in the Crossword

This is a variety cryptic. Each clue or answer will be modified in one of four ways: ONE CLUE: These clues are lonely. TWO CLUE: These clues are twins - they have a bit of an identity crisis. ...
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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2answers
594 views

Deceptive Diagramless

Note: You will probably want some form of graph paper, square paper, crossword-constructing program, spreadsheet software, or some tool for inputting things into a grid to solve this. A blank 25x25 ...
19
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2answers
777 views

The friendly cryptic where nobody has to die!

Warning: This puzzle may contain spoilers about Undertale and its plot. Please don't proceed if you don't want to be spoiled, since nothing will be in hide tags! Undertale was released for the Switch ...
19
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1answer
233 views

Getting All Riled Up

Recently, there's been an awful lot of Riley riddles across PSE. Why are they so prolific? I think there's three main reasons: they're quick to write, quick to solve, and apart from its minor gimmick ...
18
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3answers
945 views

Cryptic with missing capitals

Solve the clues and fill the grid. Each clue is missing a different European capital city. Across 1. Funny beret men strike $??$ to convene (4) 3. Containers found in a $??$ plaza (...
18
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3answers
1k views

Cryptic cross… with words

Solve the clues and fit the answers into the grid. Far north Silicon Valley's research & development leaders surround Jessica (8) Pop star loses British-American distribution ...
17
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2answers
433 views

Creatures of Darkness

The shadows are scary! I feel like there are beasts watching me everywhere I go... What kind of person would be able to handle the dark well? (Your answer will be an 8-letter phrase. The crossword ...
17
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1answer
897 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 ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Cryptic Sucrosswordoku

Maybe I'm a little bit evil. I've combined a couple of puzzle types in a novel way (to me, at least). I'll lay down some rules. The solution to the sudoku works exactly the way a normal 9x9 sudoku ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Elves, Hobbits and Dwarves

Across 1. Nice ladies kiss without men? (11) 6. Ask about a music style (3) 7. Messy ski campsite, without a doubt (10) 10. Performance of Cats troubled after loss of leading star (3) 11. Be ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Discover the secret to eternal happiness!

Your good friend told you about a wise man named The Oracle, who once helped them discover the meaning of life. You've led a content life, but you're dying to discover the secret to true happiness. ...
14
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1answer
734 views

Colourful cryptic

No numbers in this grid. The clues are grouped into 12 squares by the location of the word's first letter. No guesswork is needed – if you have the correct answers, there's only one way to fit ...
14
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1answer
500 views

Making Things Difficult​

This puzzle was meant to be for Fortnightly Challenge #35: Restricted Title #1, but due to various reasons I only got around to starting it recently. Constructed with apologies to my friend Atrus. ...
14
votes
1answer
526 views

On The Subject of Marble Tumble

(This is part of a series of puzzles written for Timwi for a Secret Santa puzzle exchange, themed around various custom modules for the game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. No KTaNE knowledge is ...
14
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1answer
401 views

My first completed cryptic in a while (arguably NSFW) (13x13)

I started this at least a year ago, and somehow never finished it. Some of the topicality may have worn off. Anyway, this is the first time I've posted a complete puzzle here, so apologies if I've ...
14
votes
1answer
440 views

Another cryptic crossword (and request for feedback)

In the same vein as my previous post, this is my second attempt at setting a cryptic crossword. Comments / criticism / feedback would be great! There is still no theme or common link between the clues....
13
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4answers
2k views

Disembodied hand growing fangs

Across 2. Puzzle expert breaks first dilemma partially (7) 10. Nobleman bandleader (4) 13. Lead singer, AC/DC's second; extremely over-the-top (5) 18. Actor Morgan and organ lying on the same ...
13
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5answers
1k views

Why is “trapeze” the solution to this cryptic crossword clue?

I was doing a cryptic crossword this morning and I came across the following clue: Circus equipment has chimpanzee, say at the centre The answer is "TRAPEZE" (confirmed by "check answers"). The ...
13
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2answers
841 views

Completing the square?

As you work through one of your (also) countless maths books, enjoying (but also slightly concerned about) the lack of puzzling notes from your brother, you discover that he has struck once again, ...
13
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2answers
405 views

Long John and the Persian poet

Across 1. Blast forty-second drink, about half pint (3,5,4) 8. Kind of fabric of which a suit is cut (3) 9. Fast and furious drama with vacuous action (7) 10. Part of keyboard amplifier ...
13
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2answers
872 views

3D cryptic featuring Mao, Stalin and Simba's uncle

This is a three-dimensional cryptic crossword. The eleven squares above represent the layers of a $11\times11\times11$ cube. Across 21. Tribunal's way to imprison you in the old days (10) 25. ...
13
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2answers
451 views

A cubeful of three-dimensional devilry

This is a three-dimensional cryptic crossword. The seven squares represent the layers of a $7\times7\times7$ cube. The clues are a mix of Printer's Devilry and normal cryptic clues. Across 13. ...
13
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1answer
910 views

What rules are there for clue composition in a British cryptic?

Growing up on the cryptic crosswords I found in Games magazine and The New York Times, I'm used to a very rigid rule for clues: Every clue comprises two parts, one of which directly (if opaquely) ...
13
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1answer
299 views

For the price of one

This puzzle is part 12 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. ...
13
votes
1answer
478 views

White to mate in 2

This is a cryptic crossword puzzle. Clues are normal, however some entries clash with one another. Each such clash is resolved by adding the clashing letters using the standard A1-Z26 numerology, ...
13
votes
1answer
551 views

Cryptic Crossword #4: Build Your Own Crossword

Note: This isn't an ordinary cryptic crossword, but it's certainly cryptic, and it's certainly a crossword, so I've adorned it with the title anyways. Across 1. A fishy complaint,    &...
12
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6answers
2k views

Treasure hunt 'round the world! (Interlude 1)

If you're interested in starting the treasure hunt from the very beginning, check out the prologue! Upon your arrival at Parc Natural de la Vall de Sorteny, you're greeted by a group of ...
12
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3answers
713 views

3D Crossword, Cryptic, Statue View & Maze

The following image depicts the layers of a $5\times5\times5$ cube. Using 3-dimensional thinking, can you find the way out of the cube? Empty version with no crossword numbers Empty version ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Where did my darling go?

Most of today was good. I met my darling for a lunch date; we love doing that, meeting up during the day. I had the soup of the day, and he had a Caesar salad. He promised me a surprise when I got ...
12
votes
2answers
332 views

Cryptic Crossword with Missing LUGs

Inspired by jafe's Cryptic with missing capitals and Tzu Li's Tokyo Metro puzzle: Solve the clues and fill the grid. Each clue is missing a different London Underground Station As jafe has noted in ...
12
votes
1answer
674 views

Cryptic Quote #1: To Infinity and Beyond!

This kind of puzzle is relatively straightforward - solve the cryptic clues, fill in the grid, and find the concealed quote! Bonus points for anyone who can tell me who said it without Googling it. ...
12
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1answer
920 views

Old British Empire

Across 1. #1 in Waterloo: a famous Duke (10) 7. Material essential to hotel management (3) 8. In Cuba, three facing death for unauthorized entry (11) 9. Exotic free-diving spot (4) 10. About-...
12
votes
1answer
481 views

A cryptic tricolour

This puzzle is part 8 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. ...
12
votes
1answer
332 views

Cryptic crossword #36

Fairly straightforward, I think. Across 1 Changing climate? Ban car transport (8,5) 8 As Aladdin rubs his lamp, the contents turn to fire (4) 9 CBBC hit is a calculated insult to woman of ...
12
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1answer
598 views

Double feature: Braaains

This puzzle is part 1 of the Double feature series. The series will continue in "Double feature: Russian desman". Rules of Akari (also known as Light Up)1 Insert light bulbs into any ...