GROUP – Cryptic Crosswords

Group Leader: Frances Gilbert

The group meets on the 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month. We meet via Zoom online from 10.00am until around 11.45am


About our Group

The cryptic Crossword Group had its inaugural meeting on 21st September 2017. Since then, the group has continued to flourish. Initially, the group facilitated by Sue B, worked through the Workbook ‘Learn How To Solve Cryptic Crosswords. A Course for Beginners by Henry Howarth, U3A National Subject Advisor on Cryptic Crosswords. The Workbook is available to U3A members for £10. For some time now we have been using the SUN Two – Speed Crosswords, Collection 3.

This group is suitable for near beginners and improvers. We work together in a friendly environment in members’ homes on the first and third Thursdays in the month from 10.00am to 11.45am. Frequent tea/coffee breaks with biscuits help to oil the brain cells. You might surprise yourself by how much of a devious mind you have when you get chatting to others!

If you are interested in seeing how this group works, please contact our Group Leader.

See the Diary of Events for more information about what is planned.


Group Contact Details

If you are not yet a member of Ravenshead u3a and would like to find out more about this or other groups, then contact the Group Leader using the link below.

Contact the Group Leader :  Frances Gilbert

Commentary

To see the diary of meetings from previous years, click on Cryptic Crossword Records All

(The meeting, on 18th April, was CANCELLED.)

Week 134: Thursday 4th April 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

We were soon down to work and completed our two set crosswords in no time!

Anagram indicators today included: strangely, incredibly, sadly, arranged, sharing, tortured, wrongly.

Interesting clue: Girl has an incredibly fabulous place (7-2). The Answer? Shangri-La.

Homework:   Crosswords 40, 41 and 42

Next meeting: Thursday 18th April 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom



Week 133: Thursday 28th March 2024 at 9.30am via zoom and hosted by Sue B

Five of us settled down this morning to work through crosswords 35, 36 & 37.

As normal, some clues were quite easy whilst others were a challenge to all. Hidden word clues are certainly more favoured by this compiler!

Anagram indicators today included: amazing, revised, ordered, disaster, splattered, beating, crashes, sliced and cooking.

Next meeting: Thursday 4th April 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom
Homework: SUN crosswords 38 & 39. Only two as we only have one week to complete them!



Week 133: Thursday 28th March 2024 at 9.30am via zoom and hosted by Sue B

Five of us settled down this morning to work through crosswords 35, 36 & 37.

As normal, some clues were quite easy whilst others were a challenge to all. Hidden word clues are certainly more favoured by this compiler!

Anagram indicators today included: amazing, revised, ordered, disaster, splattered, beating, crashes, sliced and cooking.

Next meeting: Thursday 4th April 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom
Homework: SUN crosswords 38 & 39. Only two as we only have one week to complete them!


Week 133: Thursday 7th March 2024 at 9.30am via zoom and ‘hosted’ by Frances G

Almost a complete group today. Sue B was unable to host the meeting, so Frances G was conscripted as host and did her best!

We worked steadily through our three crosswords. Everyone participated and Brenda frequently helped us out with difficult clue constructions.

Anagram indicators today included: demolished, adjusted, strange, knocked, treatment, amended and explode.

Next meeting: The meeting on March 21st, the 3rd Thursday in the month, has had to be cancelled. A new meeting date has not yet been decided.


Week 133: Thursday 7th March 2024 at 9.30am via zoom and ‘hosted’ by Frances G

Almost a complete group today. Sue B was unable to host the meeting, so Frances G was conscripted as host and did her best!

We worked steadily through our three crosswords. Everyone participated and Brenda frequently helped us out with difficult clue constructions. Anagram indicators today included: demolished, adjusted, strange, knocked, treatment, amended and explode.

Next meeting: The meeting on March 21st, the 3rd Thursday in the month, has had to be cancelled. A new meeting date has not yet been decided.

Homework: SUN crosswords 35, 36, 37 and 38.

Week 132: Thursday 15th February 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

The Cryptic Crossword Group was highlighted at Tuesday’s monthly general meeting and we were pleased with the interest shown by quite a few members. As a consequence, we were delighted to welcome a new member to our Zoom CC meeting today. So, with 8 members contributing to the session, we were all very involved as we worked through our homework!

Anagram indicators to day included: changes, about, explosive mix, prepared, strangely, rewritten.

Homework: SUN crosswords 32, 33 and 34.

Date of next meeting: Thursday 7th March at 9.30am via Zoom


Week 130: Thursday 18th January 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

A beautiful morning but very cold! This is where zooming is really a benefit – no need to leave the home!

Today we tackled SUN crosswords 23, 24 & 25. Without exception we all found them a challenge and on a couple of occasions we found it impossible to give complete explanations for the answers.

Anagram indicators today included: ground, trashed and terribly.

Next meeting: Thursday 1st February 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom

Homework: SUN crosswords 26, 27 & 28.


Week 129: Thursday 4th January 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

The first meeting of the year got off to a good start with 6 members attending. We recently started SUN Collection 10 and have now reached Crossword 22.

Anagram Indicators today included: upset, spinning, about, smashed, dancing, drunken & changed.

Homework: SUN Crossword 10, crosswords 23, 24 & 25.

Next meeting: Thursday 18th January 2024 at 9.30am via Zoom.


Week 128: Thursday 7th December 2023 at 9.30am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

All members were present today. We had a very busy session and lots of interesting conversation.

Anagram Indicators today included: spoiled, crazy, bubbly, revitalised, might be, broken, gone bad, soused, explosive, exploded, disturbed, bad, strangely and terrible.

There we no unusual or strange clues today.

Homework: SUN Crossword 10, crosswords 19 to 24 (six in total).

Next meeting: The group agreed to meet again in the New Year on Thursday 4th January 2024 at 9.30am


Week 127: Thursday 16th November 2023 at 9.30am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

We completed our meeting in record time today!

Anagram indicators today included: smashed, messy, nasty, disturb, restructured, unique.

One interesting word is worth mentioning. The clue? ‘Old song about duke and duchess’. (4). Answer? ‘Lady’. A ‘lay’ is a term for an old song. The ‘d’ of course, comes from the first letter of duke and duchess. A ‘roundelay’ is a simple song or poem with recurring refrains. 

Homework: SUN crosswords (Collection 10) 16, 17 and 18.

Next meetingThursday 7th December 2023 at 9.30am via Zoom


Week 126: Thursday 2nd November 2023 at 9.30am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Despite the dreadful weather, we were able to meet up this morning via Zoom from the warmth and comfort of our own homes! Six of us tackled three interesting crosswords today and this stimulated more than the usual amount of discussion.

 Anagram indicators today included: chopped, cooked, collapsed, transformed, agitated, uproar, upsetting and wrong.

Several clues stimulated interesting discussions.

Ashram: Clue: ‘Retreat when sheep surrounding horse’ (6). Answer: Ashram. Ashram is a place where a group of Hindus live together away from the rest of society, or a place where Hindus can go in order to pray.

Harry: Clue: ‘Room to keep horse in Sussex resort’ (7). Answer: Harry. The verb ‘to harry’ means to repeatedly demand something from someone, to assault, to persistently harass.

Homework: SUN crosswords (Collection 10) 13, 14 and 15.

Next meeting: Thursday 16th November 2023 at9.30am via Zoom


Week 125: Thursday 26th October 2023 at 9.30am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

We met today via Zoom after a three week gap rather than our usual two. Five of us tackled three interesting crosswords today and this stimulated plenty of discussion. Overall, I think it is fair to say that we are enjoying this compiler’s crosswords.

Anagram indicators today included: strange, unfortunately, exotic, reckless, roused, cracked, cooked, turning and bizarre.

Homework: SUN crosswords (Collection 10) 10, 11 and 12. Yes, three crosswords to try and complete in one week (to return to our usual 1st and 3rd of month slots) is a lot, but we agreed to give it a try!

Next meeting: Thursday 2nd November 2023 at 9.30am via Zoom


Week 124: Thursday 5th October 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

We are getting used to the way this complier sets these crosswords and so far we are enjoying the change. Certainly, we are meeting far more hidden words, and the clues are, dare I say it, considered to be more cryptic!

Today, anagram indicators included rebuilt, perhaps, stirred, moving, crumbling.

Homework: SUN Crossword Collection 10, crosswords 7, 8 and 9

Next meeting: THURSDAY 26th OCTOBER at 9.30am via Zoom. The meeting on 19th October has been cancelled.


Week 123: Thursday 21st September 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Another productive meeting. Today we commenced our new Crossword Book: SUN Two-Speed Crossword Collection 10. We completed three crosswords as usual and the group soon noticed that there was a subtle change in the nature / construction of the crossword clues and also an increase in the number of hidden words.

Anagram indicators today included: sabotaged, wounded, out, rude, madly, crushed, drunk

One clue was of special interest: ‘Codger as drunk remains here! (4,4)’. The answer: ‘God’s Acre’. It seems that the term comes from the German for churchyard (Gottesacker meaning Field of God), specifically the burial ground. There is even a Charity  called ‘Caring for God’s Acre’ – a Conservation charity for Burial Grounds across the UK. https://www.caring for godsacre.org.uk

Next meeting: Thursday 5th October at 9.30am via Zoom. Please note earlier time.

Homework: SUN Collection 10, 4,5&6.

Week 122: Thursday 7th September 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

The group was almost complete today with 7 members ready to finish the last few crosswords in Sun Collection 2. We started it on 4th February 2021 and it has taken us 2 ½ years to complete!

Anagram indicators: several previously unmet indicators today: savaged, scuppered and abandonly.

No clue words were considered to be worthy of further elaboration on this occasion.

Next meeting: Thursday 21st September 2023 at 10am via Zoom.

Homework: SUN Two-speed Crossword: Collection 10. Crosswords 1 to 3


Thursday 17th August 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

We had several apologies today, but undaunted, a brave group of 5 worked our way through the homework.

Along the way, several words stimulated further discussion: ‘anneal’, ‘lien’ and ‘smelt’.

Next meeting: Thursday 7th September 2023 at 10am via Zoom

Homework: SUN crosswords 156 to 160. Yes, five crosswords, if possible! This completes Sun Collection 2! We will then start our new SUN Collection 10


Thursday 8th August 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

We finally restarted again today with six of the group ready to pick up their pencils, rubbers and SUN Crossword Book (Collection 2)!

All of us felt somewhat out of practice, but we soon settled down and worked through crosswords 148 to 151.

Homework: Complete crosswords 152 to 155

Date of next Meeting: Thursday 17th August at 10am via Zoom


Thursday 20th July 2023 at 10am via Zoom

Today’s meeting was planned to be our first meeting following an 8 week break. However, there were some difficulties at the start of the meeting, so it was decided to restart on Thursday 8th August.


Week 118: Thursday 1st June 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

A busy morning working through our three cryptic crosswords ‘homework’.

Anagram indicators: today these included: gnarled, irregularly, out, wildly and ruined.

Homework: SUN crosswords 148 – 160. This completes our SUN two-speed  crossword Collection 2. Yes, twelve crosswords!! We agreed that we would just do the best we can! it does seem a lot but we will not be meeting again until 20th July. We decided to have a break for the Summer holidays. We will start our new book, Collection 10 after that.

Date of next meetingThursday 20th July 2023 at 10am via Zoom


Week 117: Thursday 18th May 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

An interesting morning working through our three cryptic crosswords ‘homework’.

You might think that after some years doing these crosswords the group members would find them much easier – but no – we are often challenged, and very occasionally, cannot fully explain the clues! You could say that is what makes doing them so interesting!

Anagram indicators: today these included: thus, special, display, modified, important, strangely, upset, ruptured, shaken up, clumsily, incorporate.

One interesting word was considered worthy of further comment – ‘evince’. The clue? ‘Display in Venice’ (6). The verb ‘to evince’ means ‘to make something obvious or show something clearly’. It’s obvious when you know!

Homework: SUN crosswords 145, 146 and 147.

Date of next meeting: Thursday 1st June 2023 at 10am via Zoom


Week 116: Thursday 4th May 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

A busy morning as six of us met up to work through our ‘homework’.

There were, as usual, a number of anagram clues, some of which included: possibly, amendment, unusual, deformed, contrived.

Homework: SUN crosswords 142, 143 & 144

Next meeting: Thursday 18th May at 10am via Zoom


Week 115: Thursday 20th April 2023

Meeting as usual


Meeting on 4th April  2023 cancelled


Week 114: Thursday 16th March 2023

Meeting as usual


Week 113: Thursday 2nd March 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Once again, the group had a busy morning working through the three ‘homework’ crosswords.

There were numerous anagram clues today, but all the indicators were quite familiar to us.

Several clues stimulated further discussion.  

  1. Can’t / Cant. The clue? ‘Is unable to use it, being insincere’ (4). We discussed some of the many uses of ‘cant’. A cant refers to hypocritical and sanctimonious talk of a moral, religious or political nature. It may refer to language used by a particular group or profession and regarded with disparagement. It can also refer to an affecting singsong or whining speech. As a verb ‘to cant’, it refers to the action of leaning or sloping as in ‘the roof canted gently’. Most interesting!
  1. We also spent a few minutes chatting about the word ‘discompose’. The clue? ‘Agitate, having record award put forward (10)’.  No one owned up to the use of the word but all of us preferred the word ‘discombobulate’!?

Next meeting: Thursday 16th March 2023 at 10am via Zoom. FG gave her apologies.

Homework: SUN crosswords 132, 133 & 134

ADVANCE NOTICE: It was agreed to CANCEL the CC meeting on Thursday April 6th The Following meeting will be on Thursday April 20th


Week 112: Thursday 16th February 2023 at 10am  via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Another busy morning working through our three selected crosswords.

Today’s anagram indicators included: organised, unusually, requirement, rough and badly.

There were no especially unusual or interesting words today except perhaps  ‘esparto’. The clue? ‘Sort of seaport handling grass’ (7).

Not all of us were aware that esparto is a course grass with tough narrow leaves, native to Spain and North Africa. It is used to make ropes, wickerwork and good quality paper. Since the u3a is about ‘Live, Laugh and Learn’ it’s fair to say that we do this in the Ru3a CC group!

Homework: SUN crosswords 129, 130 & 131.

Next meeting: Thursday 2nd March 2023 at 10am via Zoom.


Week 111: Thursday 2nd February 2023 at 10am  via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Another busy morning working through three quite challenging crosswords. Fortunately, the collective mind power of the group always ensures that all clues are eventually solved!!

Today’s anagram indicators included: attainable, aimlessly, unexpectedly, of sorts, new look, otherwise.

We were especially  interested in one clue answer, ‘game’. The clue? ‘Willing to play it?’ (4). Of course, there are may words associated with ‘game’, and these include all the names of games and associated words. It’s an activity that one engages in for amusement or fun.

However, it can also mean ‘eager or willing to do something new or challenging’ as in ‘they were game for anything’. It can also to indicate manipulation. For example,’ they were game for anything, perhaps in a way they way that is unfair or unscrupulous’.

Homework: SUN crosswords 126, 127 & 128.

Next meeting: Thursday 16th February 2023 at 10am via Zoom.


Week 110: Thursday 19th January 2023 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

We were soon at work and finished our crosswords in good time. There were a number of challenging clues, but between us, all clues were solved. A good brain workout!

Anagram indicators today included: hotchpotch, converted, unusual, appear thus, changed, tangle, taking shape, secreted, upset.  

Homework: SUN crosswords 123, 124, 125.

Next meeting: Thursday 2nd February 2023 at 10am via Zoom.

Week 109: Thursday 5th January 2003 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

It was nice to be back in the routine again after the Christmas break. Today we managed to work through four SUN crosswords and still manage time for a coffee break and a chat!

Anagram indicators: We encountered many anagram indicators today: many old favourites and several less well used. Today these included: on the move, in a mess, type, wild, out of shape, like this, capable, alteration, acting this way, perhaps, obvious, made available, breakdown, somehow, silly, ruin, change and unease.

Interesting word: Several of us had not come across the word ‘theist’ before. Always keen to improve our knowledge base we found that the word describes a person who believes in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.

Homework: SUN crosswords 120, 121 & 122.

Next meeting: Thursday 19th January 2023 at 10am via Zoom


Week 108: Thursday 15th December 2022 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Six members were able to meet up via Zoom today and we were soon at work! Even so, we were still able to discuss some of the burning issues of the day especially relating to the state of the public’s health!

  • Anagram indicators today included: mixed, incorrectly, in, so changed, confused, devious, lively.

One clue answer was unknown to most if not all of us, Otiose. The clue? ‘Is too confused to take note – so serving no purpose’ (6)

The word ‘otiose’ can be used as an adjective to mean ‘serving no practical purpose or result’. It can also mean ‘indolent or idle’. All we need to do now is to find some reason to use the word and then we might remember it!

Next meeting: Thursday 5th January 2023 at 10am via Zoom
Homework: SUN crosswords 116, 117, 118 & 119

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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107: Thursday 1st December 2022 at 10am via Zoom hosted by Sue B

This meeting was cancelled on the day as only three members were able to attend.
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Week 106: Thursday 17th November 2022 at 10am and hosted by Sue B via Zoom

We started with four and ended with 6 members. The first two crosswords proved to be quite challenging and frustrating but nevertheless the group worked diligently until the very end. The thought of a welcome coffee break always helps maintain motivation!

Anagram indicators today were quite numerous and included: revised, like this, irritates, silly, sorted out, mess, firm, has developed, badly, accident, rebuilding, frenzied stir, available, astutely and get attention.

Next meeting: Thursday December 1st at 10am via Zoom. The final meeting of the year will be on Thursday 15th December. Mince pies and a glass of sherry are encouraged!

Homework: SUN crosswords 113, 114 & 115.
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Week 105: Thursday 20th October 2022 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

We had a busy session this morning and worked through our homework in almost record time!
Anagram indicators today included: devious, new, sort of, special, about, out of hand, perhaps, poor state, tricky, like this and wildly.
Interesting words:

  • Osier: The clue? ‘A lot of it could end up in baskets’ (5). An osier is a willow twig used in basketry.
  • Crates: The clue? ‘They may be old but can still bear their burdens’ (6). A crate may be a slatted wooden case used for transporting goods. It may also refer to an old and dilapidated vehicle.

Homework: SUN crosswords 107, 108 and 109
Next meeting: Thursday 3rd November 2022 at 10am via Zoom

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Week 104: Thursday 6th October 2022 at 10am via Zoom, hosted by Sue B

We had six members attending today and after a ‘catch-up’ we were soon working our way through SUN crosswords 101,102 and 103.

As always, many of the clues were anagrams, and all the indicators were well known to us. That’s no surprise to us now – we have come across hundreds!

Only one word stimulated much discussion: ‘Rankling’. The clue? Foul-smelling fish causing resentment (8). To rankle means to cause annoyance or resentment. It can also mean to fester, as in a wound.

Next meeting: Thursday 20th October 2022 at 10am via Zoom.
Homework: SUN Crosswords 103, 104 and 105.

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Week 103: Thursday 15th September 2022 at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

A satisfying morning working through our 3 crosswords.
Anagram indicators included: about, perhaps, arranged, conditioned, upset, misused, troubles, used, foolishly, deliver and roughly.

Two clue answers were of particular interest today.

  • Banditry. The clue? ‘Prohibit the use of dirty lawlessness’ (8). Banditry is a type of organised crime committed by outlaws typically involving the threat or use of violence. Wikipedia
  • Camera. The clue? ‘Private in it’ (6). Not the common use of the word. In essence, ‘in camera’ means private, in particular taking place in the private chambers of a judge.

Next Meeting: Thursday 6th October at 10am via Zoom
Homework: SUN crosswords 101, 102 & 103

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Week 102: Thursday 1st September at 10am via Zoom hosted by Sue.

There were only four of us today, so we decided to just work through one of our crosswords, 97.

Next meeting: Thursday 15th September at 10am vis Zoom
Homework: SUN crosswords 98, 99 & 100

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Week 101: Thursday 18th August at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Another busy morning working through our crossword homework.
There were quite a few anagram indicators today and a few were new to us – ‘brewed’ , ‘being awkward’ and ‘dug up’.
Other anagram indicators included: figured, especially, in trouble, sort of way, mistakenly, somewhat, wrong, covering and no.

Next meeting: Thursday 1st September at 10am via Zoom

Homework: SUN crosswords 97, 98 & 99.
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Week 100: Thursday 4th August 2022 via Zoom and hosted by Sue B
Today marked our 100th session! Once again another busy session working through our crossword homework.

Anagram indicators today included : upset, covering, applies, thus, disintegrating, make………
As always, several words especially interested us.

  • Distaff: The clue? ‘The side monopolised by women (7)’. It appears that a ‘distaff‘ is a tool used in spinning. It is designed to hold the unspun fibres. It can also relate to the ‘female side of the family’. Apparently the male side is sometimes referred to as the ‘spear side’!
  • Colliers: The clue? ‘To make profitable moves, they must have fuel’ (8). It seems that ‘collier’ is a French word. A collier is a coal miner yet the word also refers to a ship carrying coal.
  • Prorogue: The clue? ‘What pro needs to prevent meeting’ (5)? A prorogue is the discontinuation of, say, a parliamentary session.

Homework: Complete SUN crosswords 94, 95 & 96.
Next meeting: Thursday 18th August at 10am via Zoom

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Week 99: Thursday 21st July 2022, by Zoom and hosted by Sue B
The group were soon at work. We easily worked through our homework and even managed to make a start on crossword 90.

Anagram Indicators: Today, these included: deteriorating, sort of, wrongly, broken up, somehow, handling, in, set-up, somewhat, confused, new, must use.
Normally, at least one or two words stimulate further discussion. Today they included:

  • Manse: The clue? ‘Fellow’s got a point- it’ll attract a good occupier’ (5)’. A manse is a clergy house inhabited by , or formally inhabited by, a minister, usually used in the context of Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist and other Christian traditions’. Wikipedia
  • Inners: Some us, or maybe just me(!), did not know that ‘Inners’ refers in archery and shooting, to a division of the target next to the bullseye. Of course we knew that it referred to the inner part of something! The clue? ‘Score on board could be wrongdoers (7)’ The answer: ‘sinners’.
  • Amity: The clue? ‘Friendliness – but the girl does hide it. (5). The meaning of ‘amity’ is friendship, especially between nations.
  • ‘Blue pencil’: Some of us had forgotten that the use of ‘blue pencil’ means to censor or make cuts in, say, a book or manuscript.

Homework: Try to complete SUN crosswords 90, 91, 92 & 93.
Next meeting: Thursday 4th August 2022 at 10am via Zoom

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Week 98: Thursday 7th July 2022 via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Today was our first meeting since early May and it was nice to be working together again.
We worked our way through SUN crosswords 82 to 86.
Anagram indicators included: ‘of some sort’, ‘badly’, ‘carelessly’, ‘isn’t right’, ‘wrong’ and ‘mixture’.

Several clue words interested us.
Gainsay: the clue? ‘Deny this, say’ (4) To gainsay is to deny or contradict, or to speak against or oppose someone.

Germane: The clue? ‘Relative has letter from European?’ The word ‘germane’ means ‘pertinent to a subject under consideration’.

Card: Of course, ‘card’ has many everyday meanings! The clue ‘Where to find droll man if about to introduce funfair’. A card is a still piece of paper, or a small rectangular piece of plastic containing personal data in a machine readable form i.e. a credit card. It can also be used as a verb ‘to card’ – to write something on a card, especially for indexing.
However, it is also ana informal term – ‘a usually clownish amusing person’.

Next meeting: Thursday 21st July at 10am via Zoom.

Homework: Complete SUN crosswords 87, 88 and 89.

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Week 97: Thursday 5th May 2022 via Zoom, hosted by Sue B

We were very busy this morning and completed three crosswords in record time!

  • Anagram indicators included: puzzles, possibly, broken, varied, movement, like this, not-so-good.

Homework: SUN crosswords 82, 83, 84, 85, 86 & 87. Yes, 6 crosswords!

Next meeting: Thursday 7th JULY 2022. We are having a two month break as there are so many other activities, especially Jubilee events and holidays making it difficult for us all to meet up.
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Week 96: Thursday 21st April 2022 via Zoom, hosted by Sue B

We were a busy group today, with almost full attendance. We completed three crosswords with not too much difficulty and it does seem we are slowly making progress! At the next meeting we will be starting on crosswords by a new compiler, so that will likely make a difference!

Anagram indicators today included: corrupted, variation, unusual, involved, badly, construction, scattered, in place of, unexpectedly and like this.

Today we came across several words that stimulated further discussion.

  • ‘Ambit’ was the first. The clue? ‘Scope, provided some can end in the morning’ (5). It seems that ‘ambit’ means ‘scope, extent, or bounds of something’. Several of us have taken a liking to this word and plan to make use it as soon as possible!

‘Martinet’. The clue? ‘Flyer in France (and disciplinarian) (8).’A martinet is a person who demands complete obedience, a strict disciplinarian. Origin: late 17C named after Jean Martinet a 17C French drill master.

  • ‘Outré’. The clue? ‘Dismissed again – being eccentric? (5)’ From the French verb outrer, outré means ‘unusual and typically shocking’.

Next meeting: Thursday 5th May 2022 at 10am via Zoom

Homework: SUN crosswords 79, 80 and 81.
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Week 95: Thursday 7th April at 10am via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Six of us were able to sign in today. After initial greetings and catch-up news we settled down to work through our homework.

Anagram indicators included: falsely, becomes, available, moving, of a sort, about and make.

There were no especially interesting words today, but some of us did not realise that the outer part of an airfield is called an ‘apron’.

Homework: SUN crosswords 76, 77 & 78.

Next meeting: Thursday 21st April at 10am via Zoom.
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Week 94: Thursday 17th March 2022 at 10am hosted by Sue B via Zoom
A busy group of 5 members met today and tackled the three homework crosswords with gusto!

Anagram indicators included: unworried, obscuring, as being, in trouble, in turmoil.
Several words were found rather interesting today.

  • Haft: Essentially, ‘haft’ means ‘the handle of a weapon such as an axe or knife’. For example, ‘he leaned on the haft of his axe’. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/haft.

The clue? ‘Hot at the rear, it’ll be taken in hand’.

  • Fathead: The clue? ‘Overweight, he is given notice – the idiot!’ Quite simply, a ‘fathead’ is a stupid person. However, I must confess that this term is new to me!

Homework: SUN crosswords 73, 74 & 75.

Next meeting: Thursday 7th April at 10am via Zoom.
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Week 93: Thursday 3rd March 2022 at 10am, via Zoom and hosted by Sue B

Several members were away on holiday this week so just 6 members joined the meeting via Zoom.

All members found the crosswords challenging. One new word ‘exigent’ was ‘marked out’ as a matter of interest. The clue? ‘Urgent way-out intelligence coming’. According to https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exigent exigent means ‘requiring immediate aid’, or ‘requiring or calling for much’.

Homework: SUN crosswords 70, 71 & 72.

Next meeting: Thursday 17th March at 10am via Zoom.
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Week 92: Thursday 17th February 2022 at 10am via Zoom

A very lively meeting today! The recent crosswords are considered ‘hard’ by everyone and we are looking forward to a change of setter!

Today’s anagram indicators included: diverted, out, perhaps, thus, maybe, odd, strange way, cover, arrange, unusual, stew, mixture.

Two words were of special interest today.

  • ‘Mendicant’. This word was not actually a clue answer, but a ‘coffee time’ clue, unfamiliar to some of us.

A mendicant is ‘someone, especially a member of a religious group, who lives by asking people they do not know for money’. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/mendicant

  • ‘Lighter’. Obviously this word was well known to us, however, it was the answer to the clue ‘uploaded boat’.

A ‘lighter’ is also a term for ‘a low, open boat used to move goods to and from ships in a harbour’. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/lighter

Homework: SUN crosswords 67, 68 & 69

Next meeting: Thursday 3rd March 2022 via Zoom at 10am
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Week 91:Thursday 3rd February 2022 via Zoom hosted by Sue B

We had a full house today and we worked hard on completing the three crosswords set at the previous session. It was generally agreed that these crosswords had been found more of a challenge than normal.

Today, several words which were considered to warrant further development seemed to follow a loose theme.

  • Firstly, ‘Censor’. The clue? ‘He sees much others don’t!’ (6)

According to https://www.lexico.com/definition/censor ……a censor is ‘an official who examines films, news, etc. that are about to be published and suppress any parts that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security’. In ancient Rome, a censor was one of two magistrates who held censuses and supervised public morals’.

  • ‘Blue Pencil’ also started a group discussion. It means ‘to censor or make cuts’. It can be used as a noun for example, ‘holding up each paragraph for preliminary blue-pencilling’. Another example: ‘Also, true excellence in writing will be quickly blue-pencilled into oblivion’. https://www.lexico.com/definition/censor
  • Another word was ‘obviate’. The clue? Get round at (and above) it perhaps?’ (7).

As a verb, obviate means to remove a need or difficulty, as in ‘the presence of roller blinds obviated the need for curtains’, or ‘a parachute can be used to obviate. https://www.lexico.com/definition/obviate.

Anagram indicators today included: ripe, scrambled, poor, perhaps, breaking, awkward, somewhat, modified, enmeshed, frantically, eccentric and not quite.

Homework: SUN crosswords 64, 65 & 66.

Next meeting: Thursday 17th February at 10am via Zoom
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Week 90: Thursday 20th January 2022, via Zoom, hosted by Sue B

A happy band of Cryptic Crossworders met again via Zoom. Great to see you back again Meg! Meeting via Zoom works very well for this group! It means that we can receive deliveries, take and make calls and still participate in the crossword solving!!

We worked hard, had a coffee break and still managed to work through all our homework.

  • We agreed that ‘augured’ was a word worth exploring. The clue: Foretold rude outburst after a month’.

The noun ‘augur’ refers to an official diviner of ancient Rome (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/augur). Their role was to divine whether the gods approved a proposed undertaking i.e a military move. The noun generally refers to one held to foretell events by omens. As a verb auger means to ‘give promise of’, i.e ‘this decision doesn’t auger well. ‘Augur’ is from the Latin verb ‘augere’, to increase’.

  • Anagram indicators today included: wild, possibly, not fully, somewhat, intends, mad, great if, for example.

Homework: SUN crosswords 61, 61 and 63.

Next meeting: Thursday 3rd February 2022 at 10am via Zoom.
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Week 89 : Thursday 6th January 2022 via Zoom hosted by Sue B

A keen group met up today and busily worked through our crossword homework. It was nice to get back into our regular routine.

Anagram indicators: Todays anagram indicators included: devious, badly, using, weird, not exactly, about involved, unusual, somehow, new, wild.

Today’s ‘interesting’ word was ‘prelate’. The clue? ‘Quietly tell Bishop’. Quietly (p) tell (relate) = Bishop (Prelate). Not everyone was familiar with the term ‘prelate’.

According to https://wikidiff.com/bishop/prelate

As nouns the difference between bishop and prelate is that bishop is (Christianity) an overseer of congregations: either any such overseer, generally speaking, or (in eastern orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, etc) an official in the church hierarchy (actively or nominally) governing a diocese, supervising the church’s priests, deacons, and property in its territory while prelate is a clergyman of high rank and authority, having jurisdiction over an area or a group of people; normally a bishop.

As verbs the difference between bishop and prelate is that bishop is (Christianity) to act as a bishop, to perform the duties of a bishop, especially to confirm another’s membership in the church or bishop can be (uk-colloquial-obsolete) to murder by drowning while prelate is (obsolete) to act as a prelate.

Homework: Complete SUN crosswords 58, 59 & 60

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