Kosman and Picciotto on their Nation puzzle, cryptic crosswords, wordplay and puzzles in general.
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We are not the only ones to have written introductions to cryptic clues. (See last week’s Hinter Land.) Here are links to some other explanations of the basics:
• Our predecessor (Frank Lewis): http://www.thenation.com/crossword
• Wall Street Journal (by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon): http://s.wsj.net/blogs/html/wsjcrypticguide.pdf
• The UK’s Big Dave: http://bigdave44.com/crosswords/crossword-guide/
• India’s Crossword Unclued: http://www.crosswordunclued.com/2008/08/tackling-cryptic-crosswords-7-step_11.html
Since no one posted comments, we have no idea whether the format we launched last week is serving anyone’s needs. For now, we’ll continue in the same vein, but please, let us know if you’re finding it helpful!
Here are hints for Puzzle 3230. The whole puzzle becomes a lot easier after you solve 7D, so you might check out that clue before reading any further.
11A “To the west” indicates a reversal.
16A The memoirist was in the news in 2006, but you can still solve the clue if you have never heard of him. The definition is “craze.”
27A The musical instrument is not well-known, except perhaps to habitual crossword solvers. “Superficially” means “on the surface,” which in this case refers to the first and last letter of “celesta.”
8D Republican is often abbreviated to R.
24D “Getting high” indicates a reversal (in a down clue).
For experienced solvers:
1A First solve 30A.
17D The question mark indicates something is not quite right about this clue.