Crosswords UK

A resource for fanatics and beginners

Wednesday 12th December, 2018

No. 4,068

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Word Constructions Page 2

Here's an example of a word construction that needs a little more manipulation:

Ruined achievement, accepting rambling story (9)

Once again the setter is out to mislead us because 'ruined' is the straight clue, not an indication of an anagram. The solution to this is 'destroyed' and here's how it breaks down.

Firstly, an 'achievement' is a 'deed' and the word accepting tells us that 'deed' is going to be split. Rambling indicates that we need to make an anagram of 'story' and there's the solution. 'De' from deed, 'stroy' from story (not a particularly tricky anagram!) and 'ed' from the other end of deed.

We'll have one final example of how nasty word constructions can be...

Shock vote for right - nothing smart (11)

We're looking for eleven letters here which is no mean feat and the construction is as follows. The straight clue here is 'shock', once again attempting to mislead us into looking for an anagram. To 'vote for' is 'elect', and 'smart' is 'cute'.

By now you may be able to see that the solution is 'electrocute' but where do the 'r' and the 'o' come from. Here we can see more favourite tricks of the Telegraph. The word right almost always means the letter 'R' and left means 'L'. Nothing indicates an 'O' (as in zero) as, usually, does love or duck. So it's elect, plus an 'r', plus an 'o', finished off with 'cute'. Electrocute

Simple, eh?

There's no real trick for identifying word constructions although they can have quite long clues. As usual, experience will give you an instinct for spotting them but always remember to rethink your approach if a solution seems impossible.


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