Posted July 08, Writer and broadcaster David Astle creates crosswords for Fairfax newspapers under the initials DA, which fans say stand for "Don't Attempt". But Astle said anyone could attempt cryptic crosswords with a little knowledge of how they worked.
The best way to get started on a cryptic crossword, Astle said, was to look for the shortest clue. If a clue only has two words it is most likely using the double-definition recipe, in which you are given two synonyms of the answer.
The clue also calls for a synonym for "sweet", so we can deduce that the five-letter solution to this clue is "fudge". Rearranging the letters of "terrain" into a word that means "coach" gives you the answer "trainer". The word "some" indicates that this clue follows the hidden formula, where the answer is hidden in the clue.
The appearance of the word "sounds" gives away that this clue is asking for a homophone — a word that sounds like another word. By combining "bran" cereal and "dish" bowl we can construct a word meaning "wave" — "brandish".
The word "hides" is a possible signpost that this is a container clue, where one word is put inside another to create the answer. An across clue might say "going west" or "left", while a down clue could say "going up" or "rising".
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