Sorry, our cryptic crossword was a bit too cryptic

We apologise to our Cryptic Crossword fans for a mistake in Monday's paper which resulted in a mismatch between the clues and the grid, making it impossible to solve. The correct answers and grid will be in Tuesday's edition or just follow the link below. 



CRYPTIC  crosswords are a mystery to most people.

The clues seem to make no sense, so how can you solve them?

Actually, the clues do make sense - if someone explains how they work.

If you've ever wanted to learn, we're about to help you.

Starting today, we have begun running a series of hints below the daily cryptic in our print products, written by the compiler, which will explain the many secrets in cryptic clues.

Each hint will focus on one of the many devices used by compilers and after reading just a few, you'll start to see the hidden meanings.

You'll also be able to ask questions through this forum and have clues explained, either by the compiler or by other cryptic fans. We hope our website will become a place where puzzle fans go to talk with other puzzle fans.

The cryptic hints will appear in print over a number of weeks, as space allows. And we'll also run them here on the days they appear in print.

So you'll be able to find all of the hints at this address over time.

We encourage readers to ask questions or even share your tips for solving the puzzles.

You can do that by just adding a comment below.

If you not a registered user of our website you will have to do that first. But it's simple and you only have to do it once.

And remember to tick the box to get notified of others comments so you can follow the conversation.


TIP 1- Introduction to Cryptic clues

Cryptic crossword clues are normally in three parts - a straight clue, the answer hidden somehow, and words that indicate how it is hidden.

These are made into a sentence - not necessarily in that order - that sort of makes sense literally, but usually the wrong sense.

I will cover each type one by one in coming hints (there are 36 types!)  

TIP 2 - Anagram cryptic clues(the most common)

The solution is hidden as an anagram of the answer, Words to indicate this are e.g. change, mixed, unfortunately etc.

Open the voter changes (5) The straight clue is "open" - the cryptic clue is "voter" - indicator is "changes"

So the answer is an anagram of voter = overt