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Subject: Cryptic Games rss

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Dave Lartigue
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Lately I have discovered the fun of Cryptic (British-style) Crossword puzzles. These are puzzles in which the clues consist of two parts: a straight-up clue for the word, and then a second clue involving some kind of wordplay. Because of puctuation and other tricks, it's not usually easy to tell one part from the other, so deciphering the clue is half the fun. For example:

Catch upset parent (6)

The answer here is "entrap". "Catch" means to entrap, and "upset parent" is a clue that the word "parent" is "upset" or scrambled -- "entrap" is an anagram for "parent". The "(6)" shows how many letters are in the solution.

You can read more about cryptic crossword hints and how to decipher them here:
http://www.biddlecombe.demon.co.uk/yagcc/YAGCC2.html

Meanwhile, I've tried my hand at creating cryptic crossword-style clues for ten boardgames. These are my first attempts at this sort of thing, so I'm sorry if they're either too obtuse or too obvious. See if you can figure them out and try creating your own!

1. In Edo, omen means a curse. (4)

2. Contemporary painting of confused worker bee found in shop. (6, 3)

3. Declining politely, Mr. Williams and Mr. Aaron come after backing up 2000 pounds. (2, 6)

4. Lousy railroad going through tofu source. (5)

5. One? Many? In Greek, it's total control! (8)

6. In abandoned villages, Scott lies, I go crazy! (4, 5)

7. What, Al, is man holding a magical trinket? (8)

8. To eat one's relatives indicates a poor sort of gamer. (8)

9. Grow 500 ripe bananas in order to make the lights work. (5, 4)

10. The big, cut-off elder holds grain without me. (2, 6)
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Stephen Tavener
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A few of my favourites:

Red setter (3)
Long thin summer (5)
SGEG (9,4)
E (13)
 
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Benjamin Keightley
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Thanks for these, Dave, and thanks for the reminder in last night's cryptic list that this post was unfairly neglected. Your clues are pretty decent, and it's fun reading ones related to the hobby. I remember a point when I was seeing more or less everything in terms of 'what is a good clue for this word' or 'what is the 'solution' to this sentence?' I got hooked on these puzzles about a year ago. After tearing through the New Yorker's collection of easy puzzles, I've been attacking the Harper's archive and it's been a blast.

Current puzzle: 'Misprints,' from 2002. In this puzzle, half of the clues (which ones are obviously up to the solver to determine) have a misprint of one letter in the definition part of the clue. Answers are to be entered in the diagram normally. The OTHER half are clued accurately, but must be entered in the diagram with a misprint of one letter (always a checked letter). Fun!

Stephen, you waltz into every cryptic thread that comes up and wave that E (13) clue around. How about you just come out with it already?
 
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The Steak Fairy
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If only it were E (9) then I'd think "capitally", but honestly, cryptics suck. Such senselessness! Here are my patented Cranky answers to Lego's clues:

1) Doom
2) Gumby
3) No Thanks (alternately: Weasel Potato Flapjack)
4) Gumby
5) Gumby
6) Gumby
7) Pokey
8) Hannibal Gumby
9) Curious George
10) Man in the Yellow Hat
 
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The Steak Fairy
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the scrambled eggs one is really lame.
 
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Phil Alberg
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Thanks for posting these, Dave. I missed them the first time around.

Here are some answers:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
1. Doom
2. Modern Art
3. No Thanks
4. Sorry
5. ?
6. ?
7. Talisman
8. ?
9. Power Grid (but I'm not sure why)
10. El Grande


meeple
 
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Jacco Versteeg
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I've always found I tend to think the wrong way around for these kinds of puzzles. Even so, I've found solutions for 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9, even I don't always understand the answer. Especially 3 stumps me on that one.

Solutions for 5 and 9:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
5: One? (Mono) Many? (Poly) In Greek it's total control! (Monopoly)
9: 500 = D (roman numerals). I presume that 'bananas' is code for 'scramble this', so 'grow D ripe' becomes an anagram for Power Grid
 
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Benjamin Keightley
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Phil:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
D is the Roman numeral for 500. So the clue is telling you to anagram ('bananas,' one of my favorite words) GROWDRIPE.


Jacco:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
'Declining politely' is obviously the definition. Just follow the directions to get the solution. Mr. Williams and Mr. Aaron are both Hanks. 2000 pounds make a ton. TON 'backing up' is NOT. HANKS 'come after,' for NO THANKS

 
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Carol Carpenter
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Excellent fun!!!
Bravo!
 
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The Steak Fairy
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Spielfreak wrote:
Thanks for posting these, Dave. I missed them the first time around.

Here are some answers:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
1. Doom
2. Modern Art
3. No Thanks
4. Sorry
5. ?
6. ?
7. Talisman
8. ?
9. Power Grid (but I'm not sure why)
10. El Grande


meeple


Really, Phil? You REALLY couldn't get number 8?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
You're such a munchkin!
 
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