Clued In #122 | Cryptic clues are literally figurative!

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Why are cryptic puzzles are so much fun? Well, they give your brain a workout. Also, they make you think in metaphors and understand how neatly language sums up the otherwise chaotic jumble that is life. Thinking in metaphors is a wonderful feeling. You should try it, if you aren’t already in the habit of doing it. It makes you understand how something can be different and yet the same. A very spiritual thing, if you ask me.

But never mind that. Here’s a nice short clue that should be fun to work out!


Everyman #3845 | 12 Across

CLUE: Fool almost getting married, in a manner of speaking (5)

Clue types: letter-pick, abbreviation

Definition: manner of speaking

Answer: IDIOM

Clue explained:

In this clue, we’re looking for a 5-letter word.

Now, as we know, in standard cryptic clues, the definition is either the first word or set of words or the last word or set of words. So, the 5-letter word we’re looking for here is either the word ‘fool’, or ‘speaking’, or likely, ‘manner of speaking’.

If ‘fool’ is the definition, then a 5-letter synonym could be something like IDIOT, or DUNCE.

But let’s say the definition is ‘manner of speaking’. In that case…

‘Fool almost’ might suggest the word IDIOT is incomplete (because, ‘almost’). So, you have IDIO.

If IDIO is ‘getting married’, you might want to add (as indicated by ‘getting’) the letter M (abbreviation for ‘married’) to it, and get IDIOM…

… which happens to be a 5-letter word that means ‘manner of speaking’ as well. Hey, look how that worked out!

Don’t worry about the words ‘in a’. That’s just a way to link the definition to the wordplay. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any in a cryptic clue. And even if there are, they should fit in perfectly without sticking out. But hey, which marriage is perfect?

Did you like that clue? If you haven’t tried very many cryptic crosswords, this may be just what you need to give your brain a bit of a buzz every now and then. Click right here to subscribe to the interactive THCrosswordPlus, so you can solve on your mobile phone, get hints, and even check your answers on the go!


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