Also Known As:

Hide and Seek

This crossword variant features a simplified version of a cryptic clue favourite, the hidden word, in which the clue contains the letters of its answer. The answer must appear intact in the clue, with its letters appearing consecutively, and in the correct order, but the letters may span word spaces or punctuation.

For instance, the clue 'Angel Falls (3)' could give any of the answers GEL, ELF (which we've highlighted) or ALL. Solvers will need to determine which of the options will fit with other answers in the grid. Tackling the longer answers first will usually yield some clues that have only one possible hidden word.

Occasionally, these puzzles appear with clues that also contain a definition of the answer. This can be quite a challenge for the setter, but tends to make the puzzle easy for the solver. The clues in these puzzles may be made wordier to compensate for the help given by the definition.

The full cryptic version of this clue type contains a definition of the answer, wording that conceals the answer, plus an 'indicator' that the answer is among the letters of the clue, or that the clue is somehow holding the answer.

eg for ARMY: Farmyard houses soldiers (4)

The indicator may simply be a word such as 'in', 'among', 'concealing' or 'accommodating', or may be a phrase about 'appearing in', or being 'part of' the rest of the clue. When this full version of the clue is used, it is generally deemed fair for the setter to hide some words backwards, as long as the indicator refers to this fact. The answer may be 'reversing into' the clue, or being 'held back' by it.

eg for OPEL: Car getting back into pole position (4)

For a Down answer, which would normally read from top to bottom in the grid, the sense of the hidden word being 'backwards' in the clue, will be replaced with an 'upwards' sense.

eg for LAME: Weak uprising in Guatemala (4)


Each answer is hidden in the word or words making up the clue. Eg, the clue 'Two men here' could yield the answer 'OMEN'. (A hint: start with the clues that yield only one possible answer.

Related Puzzles

Crossword Cryptic Crossword