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Cryptic Indicator Definitions
  This is the current list of cryptic indicators that are recognised by the clue solver and dictionary tools

Anagram indicator (left positioned)
Anagram indicator (right positioned)
Anagram indicator (centrally positioned) Extremely rare
Insertion indicator (left positioned, inside letters first)
Insertion indicator (left positioned, outside letters first)
Insertion indicator (centrally positioned, inside letters first)
Insertion indicator (centrally positioned, outside letters first)
Insertion indicator (right positioned, inside letters first)
Insertion indicator (right positioned, outside letters first)
Charade indicator (left positioned, normal order)
Charade indicator (left positioned, reverse order)
Charade indicator (centrally positioned, normal order)
Charade indicator (centrally positioned, reverse order)
Charade indicator (right positioned, normal order)
Charade indicator (right positioned, reverse order)
Hidden word indicator (left positioned)
Hidden word indicator (right positioned)
Reversal indicator (left positioned)
Reversal indicator (right positioned)
Alternate letters indicator (left positioned)
Alternate letters indicator (right positioned)
Middle letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
Middle letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
Double the letters indicator (left positioned)
Double the letters indicator (right positioned)
Final letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
Final letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
Remove middle letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
Remove middle letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
Take first letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
Take first letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
Removal indicator (left positioned, letters to remove second)
Removal indicator (left positioned, letters to remove first)
Removal indicator (centrally positioned, letters to remove second)
Removal indicator (centrally positioned, letters to remove first)
Removal indicator (right positioned, letters to remove second)
Removal indicator (right positioned, letters to remove first) exceptionally rare
Sounds like (homophone) indicator (left positioned)
Sounds like (homophone) indicator (right positioned)
Remove final letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
Remove final letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
Remove first letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
Remove first letter(s) indicator (right positioned)

Anagram indicator

Anagram indicators are a very important indicator in cryptic clues. They indicate that the order of the letters should be changed.

The specific types are:

  • Anagram indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. broken orchestra -> carthorse
  • Anagram indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. orchestra after shuffling -> carthorse
  • Anagram indicator (centrally positioned) Extremely rare
    e.g. arch mixed with store -> carthorse

Insertion indicator (container and contents)

This is a common indicator. It says that the answer should be created by placing one set of letters inside another (one set of letters around another). There are numerous ways that this can be indicated.

The specific types are:

  • Insertion indicator (left positioned, inside letters first)
    e.g. around road best -> broadest
  • Insertion indicator (left positioned, outside letters first)
    e.g. within best road -> broadest
  • Insertion indicator (centrally positioned, inside letters first)
    e.g. road into best -> broadest
  • Insertion indicator (centrally positioned, outside letters first)
    e.g. best swallowing road -> broadest
  • Insertion indicator (right positioned, inside letters first)
    e.g. road best around -> broadest
  • Insertion indicator (right positioned, outside letters first)
    e.g. best road within -> broadest

Charade indicator (letters next to each other)

This is a very common indicator. It simply says that words should be placed next to each other to form the answer. Common examples for across clues include 'after', 'and', 'against' etc. For down clues indicators like 'above' and 'below' can be used.

The specific types are:

  • Charade indicator (left positioned, normal order)
    e.g. after man kind -> mankind
  • Charade indicator (left positioned, reverse order)
    e.g. before kind man -> mankind
  • Charade indicator (centrally positioned, normal order)
    e.g. man and kind -> mankind
  • Charade indicator (centrally positioned, reverse order)
    e.g. kind after man -> mankind
  • Charade indicator (right positioned, normal order)
    e.g. man kind afterwards -> mankind
  • Charade indicator (right positioned, reverse order)
    e.g. kind man before -> mankind

Hidden word indicator

This indicates that the answer is hidden (directly) in the words before or after.

The specific types are:

  • Hidden word indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. within more lice -> relic
  • Hidden word indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. more lice contains -> relic

Reversal indicator

This indicates that the letters should be reversed in order (a form of anagram). For across clues this can be indicated with words like "back". For down clues, concepts like "rising" can be used.

The specific types are:

  • Reversal indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. backward pupils -> slip up
  • Reversal indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. pupils running backwards -> slip up

Alternate letters indicator

This indicator says that every other letter should be used and the other letters ignored. i.e. Letters 2,4,6 etc. or 1,3,5. Some indicators such as 'oddly' mean specifically 1,3,5 but should still be categorised under this heading.

The specific types are:

  • Alternate letters indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. Every other happy -> hpy
  • Alternate letters indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. happy oddly -> hpy

Middle letter(s) indicator

This indicator implies you should take the centre letter(s) of the word it applies to.

The specific types are:

  • Middle letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. middle of the night -> igh
  • Middle letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. night core -> igh

Double the letters indicator

This simply says that you should write the letters twice.

The specific types are:

  • Double the letters indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. double ass -> assass
  • Double the letters indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. ass twice over -> assass

Final letter(s) indicator

Take the ending of a word or words.

The specific types are:

  • Final letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. first of many people -> ye OR first of many -> y
  • Final letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. many people finally -> ye OR people finally -> e

Remove middle letter(s) indicator

This indicates that the letters that start and end the word should be taken and the central letter or letters removed.

The specific types are:

  • Remove middle letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. empty night -> nt
  • Remove middle letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. night disheartened -> nt

Take first letter(s) indicator

This says that the first letter of the word or words should be taken.

The specific types are:

  • Take first letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. initially many people -> mp OR initially people -> p
  • Take first letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. many people firstly ->mp OR people firstly -> p

Removal (of specified letters) indicator

With this indicator the letters of one word are removed from the letters of another to form (or partially form) the answer.

The specific types are:

  • Removal indicator (left positioned, letters to remove second)
    e.g. subtract from broadest road -> best
  • Removal indicator (left positioned, letters to remove first)
    e.g. erasing road broadest -> best
  • Removal indicator (centrally positioned, letters to remove second)
    e.g. broadest without road -> best
  • Removal indicator (centrally positioned, letters to remove first)
    e.g. road taken from broadest -> best
  • Removal indicator (right positioned, letters to remove second)
    e.g. broadest road removed -> best
  • Removal indicator (right positioned, letters to remove first) exceptionally rare
    e.g. road broadest extras -> best

Sounds like (homophone) indicator

Indicates that the word you have should be substituted for another word that sounds like it when it is spoken. Examples are any word or phrase which imply that the answer is spoken or heard. 'We hear', 'so it is said', 'rumoured' etc.

The specific types are:

  • Sounds like (homophone) indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. by the sound of it I'll -> aisle
  • Sounds like (homophone) indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. I'll audibly -> aisle

Remove final letter(s) indicator (tail deletion)

Indicates that the final letter should be removed from a word.

The specific types are:

  • Remove final letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. tailless bag -> ba
  • Remove final letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. bag having no tail -> ba

Remove first letter indicator (head deletion)

Indicates that the first letter should be removed.

The specific types are:

  • Remove first letter(s) indicator (left positioned)
    e.g. decapitated bag -> ag
  • Remove first letter(s) indicator (right positioned)
    e.g. bag losing its head -> ag
 
 
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