Thank you for visiting! My name is Tony Chesterley and for over 20 years I’ve enjoyed cryptic crosswords, the fiendishly addictive form of crossword invented in the United Kingdom. I draw inspiration from the many creative crossword writers who have imported the cryptic into the United States, and look to follow in their venerable footsteps. Dissatisfied by the lack of American-friendly cryptics on our side of the Atlantic, I published my first book in the Cranium-Cracking Cryptic Crosswords series in April 2012; I've since released the follow-up Volume 2.
What are cryptic crosswords?
In a cryptic crossword, every clue is a puzzle unto itself, an innocent looking phrase (the surface reading) that offers two roads to its answer: a straight definition and a wordplay equation. The wordplay indication may involve charades, anagrams, word reversals, words within words, or other tricks. For example:
Least organized schedule (5)
The answer is SLATE, defined as “schedule.” The wordplay indication is “least organized,” which tells you the answer is an anagram (an arranged or “organized” version) of the letters in LEAST.