Crosswords…angry elements of speech are puzzles? (10)

Carrots and peas, Romeo and Juliet, actuaries and puzzles…matches made in heaven!  Actuaries (well, mathematicians, but close enough) have been associated with puzzles for centuries. It must be something about our competitive and dogged streak when it comes to problem-solving (or our cryptic nature in general) which will not allow us to overlook the challenge of a juicy cryptic crossword clue. In fact, anyone who has studied history (or Keira Knightley films) will know that in the Second World War many of the British military intelligence heroes, the mathematicians of Bletchley Park who broke the apparently unbreakable Enigma machine code, were crossword fanatics.

Cryptic crossword creation is both a science and an art.  There are guidelines around creating clues, for example, a good clue should contain:

1. A precise definition
2. A fair subsidiary indication
3. Nothing else

There are also well-known tools and devices crossword fanatics use to crack clues, such as common abbreviations, indicators of anagrams and the use of punctuation.

Some of the more ingenious clues we’ve come across include:

Opposed to previous duck course (9)
(Answer: ANTIPASTO – Anti = opposed, past = previous, o = duck (0 in cricket); definition = course)

Bank deposits say, key currency (5,6)
(Answer: LEGAL TENDER – LENDER (bank) deposits i.e. contains E.G. (say) ALT (key, the one on the computer keyboard); definition: currency)

Risk acne eruption without this? (8)
(Answer: SKINCARE – RISK ACNE is an anagram for SKINCARE, which is also the definition of the clue)

Need some more procrastination?  Why not try your hand at an actuarial cryptic crossword (yes, they do exist!)? Try this one by Actuaries Digital.

Read more Lighter Side articles here.

Pamela Hellig