What cryptic solvers need to know

What cryptic solvers need to know – in one page

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Peter Biddlecombe has written his equivalent of “Cryptic Crosswords for Dummies” (now there’s an idea for a new book!).  This article counterbalances Anax’s Crossword Rules, and gives a number of pointers as to how you can solve cryptic puzzles without having the technical knowledge of what is and is not allowed by the various Crossword Editors – all in a single page.

You can access this guide from the Crosswords page, or you can go directly there.


  1. Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    My original hope was that as well as being one web-site page, you’d be able to print my advice on one side of A4. I missed by a long way, but if you can do double-sided printing, it should just fit onto one sheet of A4.

    • crypticsue
      Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      A double-sided one and a third pages is not bad. Very useful even for the experienced. Thank you.

  2. Lea
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Pete – that will be very helpful – interesting read.

  3. Giovanni
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    My experience of setting for all the quality papers suggests that the interpretation of A on B meaning only B+A ( and excluding A+B) is a particular rule for The Times. While I respect that house rule, I have never been persuaded by its logic and certainly wouldn’t insist on it myself. To learn about cryptic puzzles in more than a page, you could always try Chambers Crossword Manual of course — by one Don Manley. Since the new publishers seem to be making so little effort with it, perhaps a mention here would be timely (even if I am being immodest) for newcomers.