I love cryptic crosswords. They are an intellectual challenge both to solve and to compile. Both operations extend your grasp of English and power for lateral thinking. Moreover, as the last respectable bastion of the corny joke, they are entertaining. Where else can you call an organist a manual worker or a gambler a better?

Why not try your hand at one of mine? I change the example from time to time. I suggest you print off the page so you can fill in the grid. If you get stuck on a clue, click on its number for help.

No 136




1 He wields his knife in a crafty manner (4,6)   1 As evil as a candle? (6)
6 Image shown by a flipped coin (4)   2 Speak against crazy popes taking in nothing (6)
9 Brown, perhaps, set a limit to talent (10)   3 Occupation of incoming PM? (12)
10 Attract toward destruction (4)   4 Part of hazy lore (4)
12 Ages in chaos making life more comfortable (6)   5 Disoriented humanists coming to the east with zeal (10)
13 Vanity of feminine service! (8)   7 Four take part in fleshly celebration (8)
15 Cattle as part of a deal? (5-2-5)   8 Recently recruited to the union! (5-3)
18 Sense X-ray? Rot! Confoundedly supernatural (12)   11 Nuns at the bar? (7-2-3)
21 A few words or several years? (8)   14 Predator finds food in damaged baskets (7,3)
22 Godly guess (6)   16 Fellows curse this gear (8)
24 Short test? (4)   17 Regular flag (8)
25 Got together when I sold ices a little incompetently (10)   19 Cloud, reportedly, whose absence is felt (6)
26 Dire confusion on journey (4)   20 Mowed a design in a pasture (6)
27 Poisoner or victim? (5,5)   23 Might topaz include this element? (4)


To see the solution to an individual clue click on its number and follow the link that appears at the end of the hint.

To see the solution to the whole puzzle click here.

What do you mean by Cryptic ?

In a cryptic crossword the clues are deliberately misleading. There are about ten types of cryptic clue. In most there is a synonym part which describes the solution and a structural part which tells you how the solution is made up. If you aren't familiar with cryptic clues, just try your hand at the example puzzle here. Clicking on the number of a clue will bring up a hint as to how it works. If you still can't solve it, a further click will give you the solution.

© Roger Amos 2016