A third contender on the Sneer Cryptic Crossword scene arrives! Veeder enters the arena with a possibly difficult puzzle for you to do battle with. When you are cryptic crossword masters like we are, it’s hard to tell if something is difficult, of course. B) But still, if you wanna reach the top, you gotta solve ’em all. Actually, honestly, it was hard to tell if this was very difficult, or very easy once you think of the theme. There IS a theme.
If you are new to the endeavor, you can read the introduction to our first one, which is probably all you need?
Apparently driven by molten jealous fury, cchris broke his frosty content contribution silence on the same day that AlexT‘s crossword appeared. He vowed to make one for us to post, too, after he learned “what they even are!” So he’s slithered in with a puzzle about 200 times harder than the last one. Special Hint: the answers are all about cchris! So we hope you’ve been paying attention or even stalking him! (If you have been stalking him, please contact me so that we can share notes.)
Also, horror alert: one of the clues is extra special next level difficult, even for those of us who do these puzzles for fun (even though we are like baby novice skill level), even for those of us who have been talking to him like every day for the past thirteen years. Actually that probably speaks more of how mysterious he is than anything. You know those cold case files and unsolved murders that people still like to try to crack? Well, I’d say that even the Zodiac Killer has nothing on cchris.
Also, if you don’t know how to do these, go to the Inaugural Cryptic Crossword post and read the paragraph AlexT provided.
Greetings. What you lucky fellows see before you is the first, best, and only bespoke Sneer Campaign cryptic crossword. It’s small, and near-perfectly formed, like a friendly armadillo.
For the uninitiated (which I will assume is most people – I’m told cryptics are a largely British preoccupation), here is a quick guide:
Cryptic crosswords are like regular crosswords, except generally more difficult, and definitely more insane-looking, to begin with at least. Unlike regular crosswords, the clues don’t give you a single word or phrase that you have to find an alternative meaning for. They give you a collection of words ordered in a seemingly baffling and incoherent way. Crucially though, one of the words (or phrases) in the clue is always still effectively a synonym for the answer. The rest is then some sort of wordplay that can lead you to the answer. Helpfully, you are not told which part is which. Tricks commonly found in cryptics include anagrams, acronyms, backwards words, letters being used as visual representations, hidden words, and other such skullduggery. For example, a clue to a four-letter word might read “bad rumblings conceal quality instrument,” to which the answer would be “drum.” Instrument is the synonym, conceals tells you something is probably hidden somewhere, and bad rumblings contains the word ‘drum’. See? Easy peasy when you know how. There are often themes within one crossword; sometimes they are helpful, sometimes they are not.
Print it out and enjoy!