Cryptic Crosswords


Nellie Clark 07 3201 8494

Bruce Duckett

All Cryptic Crossword Classes are held at Woodend Campus

BEFORE TURNING UP TO A CLASS PLEASE CONTACT THE TUTOR. Presenting yourself at a class unannounced can lead to disappointment for all involved.

REQUIREMENTS: An open mind, pen, pencil, eraser.

Q.What is a cryptic crossword?

A.. Just a crossword with cryptic clues!… a crypt is an underground cell or chapel, a secret place, the word ‘cryptic’ is defined as ‘hidden’, ‘secret’, ‘mysteriously oscure’

BASICS – Monday 11 am – 12.30 pm

During the ‘basic’ lessons we will let you into the cryptic secrets with some simple explanations of the way the clues are constructed.

You will be happy to learn that most cryptic clues are actually composed of two clues, one of which must always be a ‘straight’ clue, [the sort of clue that is used in an ‘ordinary’ or ‘straight’ puzzle]

The other part of the cryptic clue uses one or more of various wordplays to hide the ‘fodder’ [the letters that are needed to form the answer]

Some of the setters, or authors, of the clues are kind enough to also include hints as to the type of wordplay and sometimes even hint at the positioning of the letters.

Once we have spent time using the above facts to deconstruct and solve the clues you will find it quite easy to solve the very basic puzzles.

Subjects to be covered this term include the cryptic crossword glossary, rules for the setter, construction and deconstruction, the various types of wordplay, sorting the fodder, recognising and interpreting the indicators, copies of basic puzzles and exercises will be provided. We have air-conditioning and tea/coffee making facilities.

This class will proceed at the most comfortable rate for each student.

For the comfort of all concerned, competition in this class is strongly discouraged

If you wish to go on to develop the skill to solve more difficult puzzles, and/or if you are enjoying the company and input of the other class members you may wish to go on to join the ‘intermediate’ class that is run by Bruce Duckett This class is for students who know how to find the straight part, how to recognise the wordplay, have spent some time deconstructing the clues and are familiar with the cryptic glossary.

INTERMEDIATE – Monday  9.15 – 10.45 am

Intermediate class will be expected to tackle newspaper style cryptic crosswords as a group, and to work on these at home. Nellie has outlined the prerequisite understandings for this level, but I accept that individuals will be at different levels of expertise.

ADVANCED –  Thursday 1.30 – 3.00 pm

This class is for experienced solvers who enjoy the challenge of more difficult puzzles and the camaraderie and cooperation that is involved. In this class there is no actual teaching although we do learn from each other