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Thursday, June 4, 2015

New GG episode: Crossword Puzzles

Here's my latest exciting episode for Grammar Girl!

2 comments:

Carl Green said...

Tried to leave a comment on the transcript for Episode #469 but could find no way to do so. So I'm putting it here!

Regarding the cryptic clue answer 'Restraint', I can explain it.
As a Brit now living in Canada, I grew up on the crosswords. Once you have the answer, it appears blindingly obvious though, of course, cryptic.
Let's break it down. The given clue was "Check others shower on time"
In this case, what you refer to as the 'base clue' is the word CHECK. That is a synonym for RESTRAINT. As in, a seat belt checks your forward motion, which makes it a restraint.
Like simplifying an equation, that cancels out since it's not part of the actual clue.
So, we are left with OTHERS (REST) SHOWER (RAIN) on (Added to the beginning of) TIME (T) - REST-RAIN-T = RESTRAINT
Many of these components become shorthand to regular crossword solvers and as such form a seemingly complex word salad. Once the code is known however it can be found in many clues. For example, 'on time' always means 'T'. The hard part is usually finding the base clue. That can throw you off or send you down the wrong path. That makes it fun, and challenging. Some of these crosswords can last hours, or days, or weeks. I owned a book of crosswords from the age of 12 which I was still working on until I went to work for a living at 18. And yes, that is even with the answers in the back of the book. Hey, no fun in cheating. :)
Hope this helps. All the best and keep up the good work.

The Sentence Sleuth said...

Thanks for enlightening me.