Calling the composer an author`s crossword may seem worthy of a mosquito, but references in a “British” crossword have many literary characteristics: wisdom, humour, even a pseudo-aphorist grace. In the best puzzles, Clue`s writing styles are distinctive and reveal particular areas of interest and small mannerisms, as in any style of prose. The author`s instructions, who call himself “Ximenes” in the London Sunday Observer, are so different to the eye of a puzzle fan from those who are Maugham savages, for example in The Manchester Guardian. But a “Bantu hartebeest” remains a “Bantu hartebeest”, whether in the New York Times or the Daily News. Both containers and their contents often use symbols and abbreviations, as in fact all kinds of clues. But there are only known symbols and abbreviations used and in the Americanized puzzles on these pages only those that the American reader knows. There are dozens of them that appear all the time. If you see the north, east, west or south or “point” (i.e. compass point) in a note, think of N, E, W or S. For “nothing” or “no” or “love” (as in a tennis score), think of O. For “for example,” think “re” (meaning “concern”) or “c” (an acronym for “circa”). “Note” often refers to scale notes – “do,” “re,” “mi,” etc.
“One” can mean “a,” “an” or “I.” Other Roman numerals: V, X, L, C, D and M can be indicated by their Arabic equivalents. “Steamship” for SS, “holy” or “street” for ST, glamor for IT or SA (an acronym for Sex Appeal), “acceptable” or “high-class” for U (unlike non-U), “first-rate” for AI (A1), “soft” or “loud” for P or F (musical dynamics) – these are some of the devices you can pay attention to. Unusual shortcuts are always referred to by “short” or “short.” “Generally speaking, in a nutshell” might indicate GEN as part of a word. The two halves of the index can often be linked in a way that masks the separation. Both parts may contain words that seem to mean something that seems to contradict what they actually display. For example, “Putter” may refer to a golf club, but could be called “Dawdle.” 5. Container and content. This kind of clue resembles that of the Charades by having whole pieces and pieces, but the pieces are on the outside and inside instead of the other. The words in the reference such as “in,” “for,” “keep” and “cuddle” are container signs. Z.B.
“Crooner takes clarinet – good manners (8).” What crooner? Of course. What is a clarinet? A reed. Let BING take a REED “in” and you get the BREEDING. Good manners. 4. Charades. These lead to words that fall into comfortable parts (following page 129) (more from page 124). Here is an example of Ximenes: “Stay exactly as it is (5).” You probably wouldn`t think of “remains” as a noun in this context, but that is the definition. And the answer is ASHES.