Remiss, I am. I suggested I’d write a bit more about cryptic crosswords in the future, but that was a long time ago and I’ve done nothing of the sort. To be fair, I’ve not written much about anything else either, so please take that with as much positivity as you can muster.
Anyway, I came across this clue at the weekend:
Nature’s rich mixture: ‘obi’ clued cryptically? (12)
It led me to thinking about clues I’d had in the past, where the answer can be read as a cryptic clue itself, which then leads back to part of the original clue. I’ve come across a few of these before, such as:
D’s place out in the sticks (4, 2, 6)
Cool phone? (4, 4)
The first of those is reasonably obvious. There’s so clearly something going on with “D’s” that the setter didn’t even bother putting the question mark in to indicate he was being a bit tricksy. Also (and I don’t know whether this is just me), having an answer in more than one word makes it a lot easier. Especially when one of them has only two letters – you try a few possibles – on, to, of – and pretty soon you have the answer: Back of beyond.
Similarly, the ‘obi’ clue isn’t too hard, what with ‘bio’ being the only thing you can make out of it, the definition being more transparent than most, and ‘clued cryptically’ giving the game away a bit.
Cool phone, however, is probably one of my favourite clues of all time (alongside “Bust down reason“). It’s one of those I only got when all cross clues had been filled in, but even then the satisfaction in finding the answer was immense.
Anyway, this has led me to devise a challenge: come up with a two-word clue, the answer to which is also a clue consisting of two words, leading to another two word answer. And so forth. One point is scored for every successful link, and if you can work it so that the answer to any clue is the original two words, you get a bonus of 10. Submissions can be posted below in the comments.
Biodiversity, Laid back.