Questions tagged [explanation]

The answer to a problem may be known but it is not understood. These questions explicitly request additional details on how a problem is solved or why the current solution is appropriate.

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Man of note got TE Lawrence in one (7)

Man of note got TE Lawrence in one (7) I guessed the solution from the cross clues and have, what I believe, is the correct answer. Please provide an explanation.
Dave's user avatar
  • 49
17 votes
4 answers
3k views

Magic: the Gathering – Scry-sort

Let me start with a formulation of the problem for people who aren't familiar with Magic: the Gathering. You have a stack of distinct cards face-down. You can apply the following actions arbitrarily ...
A. P.'s user avatar
  • 5,948
3 votes
1 answer
231 views

2013 MIT Aquarium Hunt #1

The puzzle is Alter Rival from 2013 Aquarium Hunt. Every article or post I found tells me it is a fairly easy puzzle. The answer of the puzzle: What I tried: I noticed the capitalized letters at ...
Jusolin's user avatar
  • 75
4 votes
2 answers
311 views

Beach Umbrellas puzzle: did I make a mistake or is Brainzilla wrong?

https://www.brainzilla.com/logic/logic-grid/beach-umbrellas/ has the following puzzle: Four families are going to the beach in the morning and are bringing their family-size umbrellas. Which family ...
Joseph Sible-Reinstate Monica's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
180 views

Three cryptic clues from 7 Directory magazine

Rainwear wrapped around heartless lothario (6) ANSWER: Golash It's not drunk at the Officer's Mess - the public can't buy either (7,4) ANSWER: Private Sale Improve at noon? (5) ANSWER: Amend I ...
Dee's user avatar
  • 31
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Explain why "A Fate who didn’t finish the material (5)" is Cloth

A Fate who didn’t finish the material (5) Answer: CLOTH This is a cryptic clue from The Post (NZ) and appeared on the 22nd Jun 2023
Suchi's user avatar
  • 69
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Explain how the answer to "A world that was once bereaved of children" is "Orb"

Clue: A world that was once bereaved of children Answer: "ORB". What is the the connection between "orb" and "bereaved of children"?
Dave's user avatar
  • 51
3 votes
1 answer
668 views

Rotational Symmetry on Digital Clock

In the NPR Sunday Puzzle recently, the "weekly challenge" asked about what times on a digital clock (not using military i.e. 00-24:00 time) would read the same if the clock was turned upside ...
DreiCleaner's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
375 views

Explanation of NYT crossword clue 'front' with answer 'van'

The NYT crossword on 10/29/2005 had the clue 'front' for 34 across. The answer turned out to be VAN. Can someone explain the logic behind that to me?
Emlee's user avatar
  • 29
2 votes
0 answers
216 views

Explain answer "COURTESY TITLE" to cryptic clue "Certainly not a rude man."

The question is Certainly not a rude man. (8 5) The answer is COURTESY TITLE I’m relatively new to cryptic crosswords and I can’t figure this one out at all.
JaneP's user avatar
  • 21
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Cryptic crossword phrase 'One left'

What does the term ‘one left’ mean in relation to cryptic crosswords? I can see from some answers that it basically means to add a letter ‘L’ to the definition answer, but this clue has me stumped… ...
Danielle's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
261 views

Five figures are coded with symbols, find the code for Fig. 1

There are 5 figures shown on the top With their code written at the bottom of each figure, We need to find the code for fig.1 Source: UCEED 2016 question paper (entrance exam for design colleges in ...
Sumeet Redhu's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
167 views

Crossword clue “Trouble follows loud bomb” [closed]

Please explain this clue: Trouble follows loud bomb The answer given is:
John Lofthouse's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
410 views

Why do 1 and 1 complete 120, 10, 3, ?,?

This is a question from an IQ test (NSE test designed by Ivan Ivec and Theodosis Prousalis). The link for this test is https://free.ultimaiq.net/nse.htm The sequence is: 120, 10, 3, ?, ? The answer ...
Von's user avatar
  • 59
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

'Middle Row' crossword clue in today's Sunday Times concise crossword

In today’s Sunday Times concise crossword, there’s a clue (Middle Row) ———- (7) with brackets and a dash, as shown. The answer appears to be Lebanon. I’m baffled. It’s not a cryptic clue. Any ideas?
Sally-Anne Thomas's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Cryptic crossword clue: "Regularly clean and wet washing"

The answer to the clue is 'laundry', which is l-a-undry. Where does the 'la' come from? Source: The i's Five-Clue Cryptic, 12 April 2023
user82519's user avatar
  • 385
0 votes
1 answer
452 views

Understanding solution for this puzzle where truth-tellers and liars describe game scores

Source (Page 26-28) Frieda was fond of visiting exotic locations. On her visit to the island of Yippiekaiyay, she was surprised that the natives of the island could be classified into one of two ...
Fin27's user avatar
  • 111
11 votes
1 answer
936 views

Cryptic-clue explanation: What does “One in 10?” mean in the definition of ‘Ladle’

The clue in question is Labour leader entering into deal upset one in 10? (5) I have solved this via the wordplay but I don’t see how the definition applies. The answer is 'ladle' (L in (DEAL)) but ...
LongwellJ's user avatar
  • 113
-2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Two masons laying bricks [closed]

I'm having trouble solving a puzzle in Swedish. I've translated it to English: Two masons work on a project. One mason can complete the project alone in 8 hours, while the other can complete it alone ...
cricket900's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
304 views

Why is "Candy" the answer to "Last two of juicy sweets"? [closed]

The clue was "Last two of juicy sweets?" and the answer was 'Candy'. I don't understand why.
Kevin Lea's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
458 views

Cryptic clue explanation: "Lock up devil is said to be in revolt"

I know the answer to the crossword clue ‘lock up devil is said to be in revolt’ is 'imprison' but I can’t explain the wordplay ‘devil is said to be in revolt’. This clue was in The Sun's 2-speed ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 41
9 votes
4 answers
703 views

How to make gifs showing a puzzle's solution process?

I've been repeatedly asked to turn this into a PSE question, so here goes. Some people may have noticed that, when I answer a grid-deduction question, my answer often includes, as well as a step-by-...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
215 views

Why is “ELL” the solution to the crossword clue "Loss Leader?"?

I was doing a crossword from the NY Times (from Tuesday, October 25, 2022 By Ashleigh Silveira, Nick Shephard / Will Shortz) and I got the following clue. 29 DOWN - Loss leader? The answer is "...
lipeiran's user avatar
  • 543
-2 votes
1 answer
457 views

Cryptic clue explanation: “I’m not as active for Vacation times.” [closed]

Explain why “anagram” is the answer to the clue “I’m not as active for Vacation times.”
JNM's user avatar
  • 1
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Policeman's large Elvish dagger (5)

The clue is: Policeman's large Elvish dagger (5) The answer is: Sting How is the answer derived?
user82519's user avatar
  • 385
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Understand answer to "Herb ducks hugging ungrateful daughter (7)"

Found this cryptic clue in the #1 Times quick cryptic book. I got it for Xmas so I could graduate to some more complicated cryptic puzzles than the rubbish you see in the mass market ones though, if ...
paxdiablo's user avatar
  • 296
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Explain answer to "Men in a state of agitation a very long time"

This crossword clue: "Men in a state of agitation a very long time (7)" has the answer Please explain the "men" aspect.
user82519's user avatar
  • 385
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is "necropolis" the answer to "Weird arachnid with venomous tail in the French cemetery"?

This is a clue from the Irish Times cryptic crossword: Weird arachnid with venomous tail in the French cemetery Answer: "necropolis". How was this arrived at?
Paddy's user avatar
  • 91
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

US auditors confiscating a vague amount of pentane and neopentane, say

The cryptic clue is: US auditors confiscating a vague amount of pentane and neopentane, say The solution is Can anyone explain why?
Wayne Uroda's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
872 views

What approach can I use to solve this wooden packing puzzle?

I am looking for an approach to solve a wooden packing puzzle which my three-year-old got as a present. We enthusiastically unpacked and disassembled the puzzle when she got it. (It came put-together ...
justfortherec's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Standing upright? It's time to slice fish!

Standing upright? It's time to slice fish! Why is the answer BRISTLING? The clue is from The Independent Cryptic Crossword August 30, 2018.
Emma's user avatar
  • 91
4 votes
1 answer
797 views

Explain this NY Times Mini Crossword clue from Sept 20, 2022

In The Mini Crossword in the New York Times for Tuesday, September 20, 2022, there is a clue: What "taxes," "wonkery" and "I mean" are each anagrams of [5 letters] And ...
FlanMan's user avatar
  • 5,722
6 votes
2 answers
355 views

How one would solve the Cisternian cipher problem?

Premise I was looking at a problem from the Panini Linguistics Olympiad called "Cistercian Numerals". It is, as the title suggests, about Cistercian numerals, a code used by monks in exile. ...
MeltedStatementRecognizing's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
8k views

Three airplanes with enough fuel for halfway around the world - how can one make it all the way?

Consider three identical airplanes starting at the same airport. Each plane has a fuel tank that holds just enough fuel to allow the plane to travel half the distance around the world. These airplanes ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 635
3 votes
1 answer
240 views

Conclusively solving the extreme gerrymandering puzzle

This is the source of the following puzzle: CMU puzzle 20 When I look at the official solution though, I feel that the proof is not comprehensive. First the question (slightly rephrased to improve ...
Hemant Agarwal's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
458 views

Generalization of twelve balls and scale problem

This problem is a generalization of Twelve balls and a scale problem. So I can solve and understand how things are going if we have 12 balls or 9 balls but how do I generalize? If say we have $3^n$ ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 635
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why are all numbers from 1 to 2N covered by weights with powers of 3?

This is from What's the fewest weights you need to balance any weight from 1 to 40 pounds? Suppose you want to create a set of weights so that any object with an integer weight from 1 to N pounds ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 635
2 votes
1 answer
231 views

Word Arrangement Machine Problem

Input: All Indians Are My Brothers And Sisters Step I: 23 32 12 38 65 17 81 Step II: 30 70 41 156 328 104 568 Step III: 568 328 156 ...
InanimateBeing's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
256 views

Need Thorough Explanation of Coin Weighing Puzzle Solution

One of the coolest things I've seen on Puzzling is this puzzle, and especially the solution in 7 static weighings posted by Julian Rosen. I have revisited that solution many times over the years, ...
JLee's user avatar
  • 18.3k
6 votes
1 answer
398 views

Explanations for three clues in a cryptic crossword

I've just solved a cryptic by LR that was originally published on 22 June 2020. My best effort at explaining the clues is below, spoilered in case you want to try the crossword yourself: As indicated ...
Parcly Taxel's user avatar
  • 7,678
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

A duck for a well-known bowler (5): How to solve it?

The following is a cryptic clue1: A duck for a well-known bowler (5) I know that the answer is: While I understand that: How does it relate to the cryptic clue? 1 The source for this cryptic clue ...
Sanjay Fuloria's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
283 views

Why can R1c3 not be a 4?

Take the following Killer Sudoku (from the app "Killer Sudoku" by Studio Goya LLC) I have been struggling with for the last few hours. "Penciled" numbers are my notes about which ...
jeyk's user avatar
  • 123
-2 votes
2 answers
200 views

How to solve this problem on overlapping? [closed]

In cases of problems involving order and ranking where there are two indices (namely left and right) there is a particular chance of overlapping. Let us take an example to justify this: Ranjan is ...
user avatar
33 votes
8 answers
3k views

Two out of a dozen cartons have Easter eggs. Two people try to find one Easter egg carton, each using a different strategy. Who is expected to win?

I have found a counter intuitive puzzle. I have read the answer given at the source and understand it completely. But, what I am unable to understand is why my intuition turned out to be wrong. ...
Hemant Agarwal's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
576 views

100 blue-eyed people riddle N=4

The solution of this riddle is usually given with explicit reasoning for two cases: Case where there is only 1 blue-eyed person, Case where there are 2 blue-eyed people. That logic is clear, and I ...
jas's user avatar
  • 51
4 votes
2 answers
203 views

Cyclic squaring

Find a complex number $a$, which satisfies the following conditions: If you square $a$, you get a different complex number $b$. If you square $b$, you get a complex number $c$, which is different ...
A. P.'s user avatar
  • 5,948
5 votes
1 answer
364 views

Very modest contract: leading with a king makes good sense (5)

This is from a Times puzzle in an old book: (DOWN) 4. Very modest contract: leading with a king makes good sense (5) I know the answer is LOGIC but I can't see why - please can somebody explain it?
Harry's user avatar
  • 51
4 votes
2 answers
751 views

3 hats with numbers, where 2 hats sum to the third

I have outlined a puzzle below, and provided two sources which provide answers. I am disputing that the answer provided in the sources is correct, and I am looking for others to validate or invalidate ...
Jack Reilly's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
328 views

How is "OPPOSE" the answer to "Don't act like a pro (6)"?

Clue from the West Australian Cryptic Crossword 13/5/2021: "Don't act like a pro (6)" Answer: OPPOSE I can see that "act" gives POSE", but how do you get to "OPPOSE&...
Michael Dove's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
625 views

Open dice Problem

The following figure is folded to form a box. Choose from the alternatives (A), (B), (C) and (D) the boxes that is similar to the box formed. Source: YouTube Video How to answer these type of ...
Sourabh's user avatar
  • 15