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Cryptic crossword, Issue 14

Cryptic #2, set by Humbug:

Across clues

  • 1. $\int2x\,\mathrm{d}x-x^2$, $6-6$, $6-10$, $1 – \text{O}$, $a\div h$. (6)
  • 4. Ape rambling by grand mountain. (4)
  • 7. How much is contained inside Far East?. (4)
  • 8. Fifty-one first, million second, six third, until eventually tending to this. (5)
  • 10. Limits of nonangle and torus can be folded up to make 3D shapes. (4)
  • 11. $\nabla\cdot(\text{kinetic energy}-y+t)$ is limitless. (9)
  • 14. Knight on the telephone regularly called after band. (6)
  • 15. Ball concealed by cusp, he realises. (6)
  • 17. Romeo, for example, coming to grips with TeX archive, initially loads editing box. (9)
  • 20. Boundary of zero-free area contains trivial origin‽ (4)
  • 22. A principle of astronomy leads people home again. (5)
  • 24. Contentless sudoku reworded to become irrational. (4)
  • 25. Head left, alternatively split in two. (4)
  • 26. Carla’s confused without direction. (6)

Down clues

  • 1. Disoriented duck halts magazine. (9)
  • 2. How quickly deep end fills up. (5)
  • 3. 50 and 5 dividing $3\times2.718$, adding $n$ makes a prime. (6)
  • 4. Endless DPhil leads to a solution of $x^2-x-1=0$. (3)
  • 5. Quadrilateral built from potassium, iodine and tellurium. (4)
  • 6. $x$, for example, starts after eleven seconds. (4)
  • 8. Function that can be split into smaller pieces using axes. (3)
  • 9. For example, $[0, 5)\in T$ precedes perturbed real around five?. (8)
  • 12. Calculates the area of misshapen triangle. (8)
  • 13. Dreamer in disarray produces rest. (9)
  • 16. Timeless tangles might be sharp?. (6)
  • 18. Third part of ratio mnemonic initially takes odd approach. (3)
  • 19. Is a bit of curve quality?. (5)
  • 20. Heading for Zambia Egypt result: nil-nil. (4)
  • 21. More complex than hyperbolic function. (4)
  • 23. Shared divisor ends much algebraic faff. (1,1,1)
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Cryptic crossnumber (including hints)

Cryptic clues can sometimes be a little intimidating, especially if you are not familiar with how they work. However, they all share the same basic structure, and have to follow certain rules. Most clues come in two parts: the definition and the word-play. The definition is a word or phrase which simply means the same thing as the answer to the clue, and it can be found almost invariably at the start or end of the clue. The rest of the clue forms the word-play which constructs the answer in some non-literal way. This could be as an anagram, say, or built out of other unrelated words and initialisms.

Some key things to bear in mind: the clue has to be fair, the setter cannot add in irrelevant words to trick you, and once you know the answer it should make sense how the whole clue points to that answer. What the setter is allowed to do is to write the clue so that it’s meaning at face value distracts from it’s cryptic meaning, and this includes the punctuation, so it is usually best to try to ignore these as much as possible. That said, occasionally punctuation can have a cryptic meaning too, for example “?” can indicate that a clue requires lateral thinking, or that the definition does not literally mean the same thing as the answer. Continue reading