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This puzzle is based on finding pairs of words that are anagrams of one another. A clue is given that includes definitions (nothing cryptic or obscure) of both words, and the solver is told how many letters there are. Then it is stated which letter of which word is to be found, giving two letters to be entered into a crossword-type grid. For example, if you are told to find a pair of four-letter words that are anagrams of one another, and the clue is "A source of sugar gives you a skin problem" you are supposed to find the words 'cane' and 'acne'. If you are further told to take the first letter of the first word and the fourth letter of the other word, then you get the combination 'CE' to put in the stated squares of the grid.

When all the letter pairs are found and put in the grid, the result will be an array of simple words in what looks like a portion of a crossword puzzle, as in the simple grid below. No clues are given for these words themselves, and note that filling in one section of the grid provides little help in finding answers to the remaining clues (so In the example below where I have given away the letters for squares 1 and 2 as B and E, square 3 could easily hold the letter D or G or T or Y).


 1,2   (6 letters)   Walked slowly into chaos [3:2] (answer--BE)
3,5   (5 letters)   No hollow images [5:3] 4,6   (6 letters)   Take no
notice of this part of the country [1:3] 7,8   (4 letters)   Lose your
temper over your kit [2:1] 

The first clue yields AMBLED and BEDLAM, providing the letters B and E to go into squares 1 and 2 respectively.

Grids can be of any size. In some grids, certain squares will appear in more than one clue, though in the above simple grid there is no need for that. It is also possible to specify more than one letter from each of the two anagrams, filling the grid with more than two squares at a time, as in the examples that follow.

In this example some of the clues give rise to more than two letters to go in the grid. In the second clue, the expression (6,5:4) means that the 6th and 5th letters of the first word are followed by the 4th letter of the second word.


 1,2        (6)   A few words from the mountain guide (1:6) 3,4,5
(9)   Cancelled the order you made out (6,5:4) 6,9        (6    Fruit of
the countryside (4:2) 7,11,15    (5)   Further down the joint (4:3,2)
8,13       (8)   On the edge of being scary (2:7) 10,11,12   (5)   Warm
yellow colour of fish (2,1:1) 14,17      (6)   Divine drink from a Greek
islander (1:3) 18,19,20   (6)   Thin strip of precious metal (4,5:6)
16,21      (6)   Srart the week like a bundle
                    of energy (4:2) 


 1,2        (4)   Careful but not going straight (2:3) 3,4,5
(5)   Ahead of time in the team race (3;4,5) 6,9,14     (7)   Give up
hope of being given a
                    compliment (3,4:4) 7,11,15    (6)   Pass, if you
would be so kind (6:4,2) 8,13,16    (6)   Cleric went for a paddle
(5,1:5) 10,11,12   (7)   Put a wrong number in, if you've
                   lost it (7,6:2) 17,18,19   (6)   Likely to go pale at
the movies (6:6,5) 20,21      (6)   Ability yet to be developed (4:1) 


Ruislip, United Kingdom

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Author:Shaw, David
Publication:Word Ways
Date:May 1, 2016
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