Crossword lovers will be in for a treat when they come to Swindon Arts Centre on Wednesday 5 September to hear Cracking Cryptics, Tony Long’s amusing explanation of how to master cryptic crosswords.
With cryptic crosswords, you never take a clue at face value. There is usually only one possible answer to a cryptic clue, and the trick is finding the right way to read the clue that leads to the solution.
Tony will talk about the ten principal kinds of clue encountered and his three golden rules for solving them. They range from anagrams, such as ‘carthorse / orchestra’ where the letters in a word or phrase are re-arranged, to homophones, such as ‘great / grate’ where words sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
The audience are involved throughout and Tony provides plenty of clues to solve, such as –
· Sub-standard equipment (7): answer ‘torpedo’
· Salt is swallowed by naked hanger-on (8) : answer ‘barnacle’
But it’s not all hard work ! Tony believes that cryptic crosswords should be fun and the show is peppered with humorous quips and quotes –
‘Have you heard about the crossword compiler? When he died he was buried 6 down and 3 across.’
Cryptic crosswords appeal to young and old alike. There are good reasons for doing them, as they help improve vocabulary and keep the mind active. Memory tasks like crossword-solving have been shown to delay symptoms in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Tony, whose other passion is acting on stage, especially in comedies and pantomimes, is well-placed to talk about cryptic crosswords. His interest in them began in the 1950s when he used to help his father solve the Daily Telegraph crossword. Since then he has solved well over 10,000 crossword puzzles and has been compiling them himself for nearly twenty years.
For an entertaining experience combined with a master class in solving cryptic crosswords, Cracking Cryptics is a must for novices who would like to try cryptic crosswords as well as cryptic crossword solvers looking to improve their skills.
There is one performance only at 2.30 pm on Wednesday 5 September. Tickets are £6 each.
For more information visit www.wegottickets.com/swindonartscentre or call the Box Office on 01793 614837.