Times cryptic chess clue

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MJMcCready
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:12 pm

What if I said Enthusiastic laser. As a clue for a chess player or would that be far too easy?

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:15 pm

"Eventually you should find cryptic clues easier than the 'quick' crossword synonym ones because you are getting two or more pointers in each clue. There is always a definition, usually at the beginning or end of the clue, so the technique often is to work backwards from a possible definition and try to make the other indicators click. Lots of instructional internet sites available of course."

Yes - quick crosswords tend to have clues like "animal" (3 letters), so, er, dog, cat, rat, bat, elk...

I usually fail to get chess-related clues as I'm not expecting chess to appear!

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:17 pm

"What if I said Enthusiastic laser. As a clue for a chess player or would that be far too easy?"

I think you should include something like "sounds like" as one word is not spelled the same way.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:24 pm

"I'm intrigued by mention of that 3-2-1 show (which never made it to NZ TV). Can anyone provide a specimen clue or two?"

Here's one... (Dusty Bin was the useless prize)

"For example, a wishbone brought on by Sonny Hayes came with the clue "Take one that never changes, add a pub and a precious stone, bring them all up-to-date, and now, you're on your own.", which the contestants rejected hoping it referred to Dusty Bin. Rogers' explanation of the clue was: "'Take one that never changes', well, that could be Dusty Bin which of course is where you might throw a wishbone. 'Add a pub and a precious stone', well, that doesn't point to Dusty. 'Bring them all up-to-date, and now you're on your own.'. Well, what about the wishbone? Sonny said 'a large wishbone', so what might a large wishbone come from? Something larger than a chicken. Turkey, maybe? Now, 'one that never changes.' is a constant, a pub can also be an inn, there's a lot of precious stones but how many go with 'constant inn'? How about opal? Yes, Constantinople, up to date, the pride of Turkey, you've rejected a 3–2–1 holiday!".

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MJMcCready
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:34 pm

I don't know of any other show where contestants looked so baffled and bemused as 3-2-1. If you could answer all those questions, you would find giving a clock simul blindfold to the top 50 and giving odds of a queen in each game so ridiculously easy it wouldn't be worth bothering with. Winning a Formula 1 race on a unicycle would be a cinch also.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Joey Stewart » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:09 pm

Paul Habershon wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:57 am
Joey Stewart wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:33 am
They do seem to require you to be very tuned into the way of thinking of whoever wrote the clues, especially in this case where half the clue can simply be ignored.
The cryptic conventions do take a bit of getting used to. However, every word should count for something in a good clue, so none should be ignored.

Eventually you should find cryptic clues easier than the 'quick' crossword synonym ones because you are getting two or more pointers in each clue. There is always a definition, usually at the beginning or end of the clue, so the technique often is to work backwards from a possible definition and try to make the other indicators click. Lots of instructional internet sites available of course.

It sounds like cryptic crossword clues are comparable to chess tactics puzzles where there is a huge difference between one that has been thoughtfully composed to result in a single elegent solution and the lazy garbage created using an engine which is needlessly complex and leads to an unsatisfying and inconclusive final position.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:20 pm

"It sounds like cryptic crossword clues are comparable to chess tactics puzzles where there is a huge difference between one that has been thoughtfully composed to result in a single elegent solution and the lazy garbage created using an engine which is needlessly complex and leads to an unsatisfying and inconclusive final position."

That sounds fair enough and it applies to sudoku too.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Alistair Campbell » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:59 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:38 am

Do you remember any other chess related cryptic clues Paul?
One piece on board that is for a raw recruit (6)

Paul Habershon
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Paul Habershon » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:01 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:12 pm
What if I said Enthusiastic laser. As a clue for a chess player or would that be far too easy?
I may be missing your idea but 'Enthusiastic laser' doesn't seem to be a valid clue for CHESS PLAYER. Can you parse it? Where is the definition?

Taking up the challenge, I think the phrase is ripe for anagramming. So a first attempt might be 'Earl psyches out board gamer' (5, 6)

'Out' is often an anagram indicator, meaning that the letters of the preceding word(s) are out (of order). 'Out' fits naturally with 'psyches' here but there must be loads of better attempts.

'Cold Nazi on quiet level as games man' works cryptically but is rubbish because it doesn't read naturally.

C is the accepted abbreviation for cold. Hess was a Nazi. P is the accepted musical abbreviation for quiet (piano). Level=layer. The 'on' here requires this to be a 'down' clue. You can play about endlessly with so many ideas - 'chicken' occurred to me for 'layer'.

My main problem is finding a fair definition of 'chess player'.
.
Last edited by Paul Habershon on Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Geoff Chandler » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:01 pm

'Rookie'

The tip I had for solving cryptic crosswords was put a comma behind each word and read again.
I figured out how to spot an anagram in there, key words like 'unsettled', 'mixed up' , 'confused; etc.

Also setters: I've heard experts can see, or have a real good guess at who set it.
(apparently the clue setters are well known to crossword fanatics.)

The Friday Metro cryptic I usually complete (probably easy to the experts)
But during the rest of the week one or two I struggle with. Different setters (yes?)

Recall being on a 70's NATO exercise and one lad was using the all stations radio to ask for help with cryptic clues.
Top brass were going nuts demanding he cease but it continued, answers were coming in from all over the place for two-three days.

(321 - awful clues. though only saw it a few times, is it on catch-up TV somewhere.)

Paul Habershon
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Paul Habershon » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:59 pm
MJMcCready wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:38 am

Do you remember any other chess related cryptic clues Paul?
One piece on board that is for a raw recruit (6)
I like it, Alistair, though perhaps the 'One' is redundant.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:46 pm

Okay I was thinking of Ray Keene not sure if this qualifies as a crossword clue or how to make it into one.

Reg Clucas
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Reg Clucas » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:59 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:33 am
especially in this case where half the clue can simply be ignored.
The only word in the clue that could be ignored is 'fair'. It wouldn't work without any of the others.

Paul Habershon
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by Paul Habershon » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:24 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:46 pm
Okay I was thinking of Ray Keene not sure if this qualifies as a crossword clue or how to make it into one.
Ah, so there was some substance in your enthusiastic laser, but I think it may qualify only as a dingbat.

Additionally it would be an invalid solution in the Times:
1) RDK is not well enough known for a non-specialist crossword.
2) The Times has a rule that only deceased persons may be a solution. I was told that they once mistakenly broke the rule with Giscard d'Estaing, then still alive, if not kicking, at 94.
His name is the maximum length for that crossword - 15 letters. Apostrophes don't count but are permitted in spirit.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Times cryptic chess clue

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:22 pm

Someone should make a chess cryptic crossword, it would drive most players mad, me included. Even when I was living in the states briefly my partner back then was a huge fan of the NY Times Crossword. I could do some of that but not much as it became progressively harder as the week days rolled on, Friday being the hardest crossword of the week. There was one clue that had her stumped which I will never forget. I can't remember the number of the clue so I shall improvise that, it went: 13. (6)

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