Perfect for beginners and seasoned pros, and all levels in between, our new CryptoQuiz game presents and explains cryptic crossword clues in an engaging and fun way. Although they’re outwardly devious, cryptic clues are always fair: you just have to know the rules of the game.
Each clue is dissected and examined to aid familiarity with the ins and outs of cryptic solving. Already proficient with cryptics? You can use CryptoQuiz to aid with your speed and clue recognition. Compatible with PCs, phones, and tablets,bthe multiple-choice format of CryptoQuiz is sure to remove that shroud of mystery from those curious clues!
Have you found a technical issue with the game or an error in a clue explanation? Use the ‘report an issue’ button and we’ll look into it. If you think you’ve spotted an error in a specific clue, please note the question ID number.
TYPES OF CRYPTIC CLUES
Triggers include: about, around, out, off, perhaps, maybe, somehow, confused, mad, strange, different, letters, characters,
at sea, cocktail and many more.
Clue: Moon-starers, perhaps? (11) Solution: ASTRONOMERS
Clue: Same agent, different alias (5,4) Solution: STAGE NAME
Clue: Somehow eat and drink at the same time (3) Solution: TEA
The answer is sitting between two or more adjacent words of the clue. Triggers include: in, hide, include, part,
piece, some, little, etc.
Clue: Some female islander’s flower garland (3) Solution:
Clue: Favourite musicians include The Birds (4) Solution:
Clue: Act part of pauper for me (7) Solution: PERFORM
The answer is contained within a word in the clue. Triggers include: keep/kept, hold/held, ring, wrap, embrace, about,
Clue: Large amount held by Charlotte (3) Solution: LOT
Clue: Maiden rings helper (4) Solution: AIDE
Clue: Seafarer kept at a distance (4) Solution: AFAR
These are often shorter clues, with no triggers..
Clue: Best toy (3) Solution: TOP
Clue: Greatly enjoy pickles (6) Solution: RELISH
Clue: Reminder to be punctual (6) Solution: PROMPT
PHONETIC CLUES / HOMOPHONES
Triggers for these clues include: sounds, hear, say, said, call, told, speak, reportedly, apparently, etc.
Clue: Without company calling for a loan (5) Solution: ALONE
Clue: Takes stock when Russell’s speaking (7) Solution: RUSTLES
Clue: I heard Stan doubt project (5,3) Solution: STAND OUT
ODDS & EVENS
Triggers including odd, even, alternate, every other or every second, tell you to look at every second letter in
the clue or part of the clue.
Clue: Even acquire
vicious dog (3) Solution: CUR
Clue: It’s added to chips – and the odd shal
lot (4) Solution: SALT
Clue: Swindle every other accou
nt? (3) Solution: CON
BITS & PIECES
Parts of a word are clued separately in some clues.
Clue: Board operated by ghosts? Yes, in France and Germany (5) Solution: OUI+JA
Clue: Get angry with fortune-teller and news boss (3,3) Solution: SEE R+ED
Clue: Author’s income has links to the Windsors (9) Solution: ROYAL+TIES
These clues tell you to look at words backwards. Triggers include: back, return, reverse, turning up/back; these
can be hidden as well.
Clue: Whip back for golf (4) Solution: FLOG
Clue: When in reverse, yell up to block and tackle wheel
(6) Solution: PULLEY
Clue: Tool was returned (3) Solution: SAW
Triggers including leave, left, lose, drop, remove, ignore, gone, without or missing, tell you to take letters out
of a word.
Clue: Beatles lost bet
for pub drinks (4) Solution: ALES
Clue: Manage to remove dogs from groun
ds (3) Solution: RUN
Clue: Finn left finances
to experts (4) Solution: ACES
Triggers including initially, start, leading, original, first, head, primarily, etc, tell you to look at the first
letter of each word.
Clue: Starts as lettuce
and dressing (5) Solution: SALAD
Clue: Dreary, uninteresting leading
letters (4) Solution: DULL
Clue: This important bone
is an original
(5) Solution: TIBIA
These clues usually require some lateral thinking – or in many cases, literal thinking.
Clue: These are trying places! (10) Solution: COURTROOMS
Clue: They pop up in kitchens (8) Solution: TOASTERS
Clue: A lot of his life is in ruins (13) Solution: ARCHAEOLOGIST
GOING TO EXTREMES
These clues tell you to use the outside extremities of a word or words in the clue. Triggers include: extremely,
Clue: Move suddenly to the outskirts of Davenport(4)
Clue: Priests have extremely common allergy (6) Solution:
Clue: Following bully outside is madness! (5) Solution: FOLLY
COMPANION clues are often indicated by: with, goes with, found with, seen with, before, following, etc.
Clue: It goes with coat and cane, honey (5) Solution: SUGAR
Clue: Celebrity seen with signs (4) Solution: STAR
Clue: Shrieks with excitement before a daisy (6) Solution: WHOOPS
When you see the word Spooner in a clue, you need to switch the first sounds of two words around to find the answer.
Clue: Guard came to Spooner for a session of poker (4,4) Solution: CARD GAME
Clue: Spooner says B chords make fine music (9) Solution: KEYBOARDS
Clue: Insincere smile on Spooner’s greasy chin (6,4) Solution: CHEESY GRIN