Combinations



We've now looked at many basic types of cryptic clues.  Often in a real puzzle, the clues will be combinations of these basic types of wordplay.
 

Sample clue:

Deal with difficulties, having a regressive diseased organ (8)
This is a toughie.  It is a combination of a container, charade, and reversal.  Can you see how it works?  COPE = deal with difficulties, A= a, ILL = diseased.  There are two indicators in the clue.  Having is a container indicator, and regressive is a reversal indicator.  So COPE, having (A + regressiveILL) = a word meaning organ.

The solution for organ is therefore C(A+LLI)OPE (ill rev.).  This particular clue is a difficult one, and would probably be one of the clues you'd solve only after having some crossing letters in the grid.
 

Back to Solving Guide