Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cryptic Crossword Helpers

Trying to do American Cryptic Crosswords can occasionally require snippets of US pop culture that few Australians recognise, so I'm going to start collecting them here so that others I try to turn on to cryptics don't give up in despair.  This blog entry, more than any of my others, is likely to see edits as I encounter new references that need explaining:

letters clued as
EL Train, Railway why?
OTT Baseball player, Mel why?
TY Baseball player, Cobb why?
A, A's Baseball team, Oakland team why?

And some, perhaps obvious, common clue indicators

clue suggests
! An exclamation mark usually means that the entire clue should be read two different ways, rather than looking to seperate it into two clauses
? An question mark usually means that the wordplay in the answer may be even more groan-worthy in terms of punnishness.
Reverend Spooner Two words will have their prefixes phonetically switched.
To shout across the harbour might be a "Bay Hail" which is also clued as a "Hay Bale".

Siebenstein-Spiele 5-L Box

I bought this on a recent trip to Paris (from Tumbleweed - recommended highly) and it took enough time to solve that I'm happy with the purchase.

If you search for solutions in Google, they turn up quite quickly - but I only searched after I had independently arrived at this one:

However, #1 son had previously beaten me to it with this one:

which is obviously not what the designer intended but is just as legitimate a solution.  All the pieces move freely, nothing has been jammed in - in fact many of the pieces have a bit of wiggle room - note the gaps at bottom-right and bottom-left.