November 02, 2006

Curious George: Cryptic Crosswords? British Riddles? I'm looking for some active online discussion boards focusing on cryptic crosswords or otherwise arcane riddles.

I have a few I'm trying to solve for a competition, so I didn't want to just ask (going for that 'learning to fish' half of the proverb and all.) I'm not good at cryptics because I didn't grow up with them and US crosswords are more 'you know this pop singer, right?'. The riddle I have isn't a cryptic crossword, I don't have a letter count, but the kid who wrote it is British, so it has that feel to it. I've found a bunch of old, 2000-2002 era forums online but nothing that looks vibrant and new. I've browsed quite a few lists of 'solving tips' but they aren't giving me anything new.

  • This is an article by the author of a good print guide to cryptic crosswords that my parents have a copy of. The bits I dipped into seemed pretty good. There's a whole language of accepted key words and cognates which I only really picked up by osmosis over many years of enjoying the cryptic crossword, so something like that might be what you need to get up to speed.
  • Which is obviously not an active online resource. I'm here to fail to help!
  • Earlier crossword discussion. Looks as though Plegmund and goetter might have some advice.
  • I'm no crossword buff, I'm afraid. If it's a forum you want, you could try this; not hundreds of members, but they seem pretty good. They have a thread where each successive post has to be a new cryptic clue which contains the solution to the clue in the previous one, which makes M.O.N.K.E.Y. look a bit easy. The only discussions I can find are at a rather rarefied level - about whether clues adhere to Ximenean principles, etc. Sure you, er, don't want to mention the riddle and see if we can sort of give you a hint? Unless it's about people building toilets, in which case you're on your own, mate.
  • Yeah, what the heck. "A reverend and a pirate share a name. What will you plant in their honour?" I don't know if it's notable that it's preceeded by 'Yes, a one-eyed giant.' which is a reference to the last riddle's answer (it's a chain.)
  • "reverend" = "rev", "rr", "dr", "dd"?
  • roryk - that's the kind of cryptic thinking I needed! Too bad I still have no idea what the answer is, but I never would have thought of 'rr' or 'dd'. (Although 'cap.' follows easily from that.)