A few pointers

A few standard crossword norms to be used in clue setting and solving :

Ship — SS
Nothing — o
Sailor — ab
Goggles/Glasses/Spectacles — oo
Journalist/Editor — ed
Soldier — GI
Albert — Al
Edward — Ed
Gangster — Al
Quiet — sh
Left — l
Right — r
One — i
Former — ex
Accountant — CA
East — E
West — W
South — S
North — N
The — t ( when not used as a filler/ connector word … How you interpret it, is of course, the question. You’ll get better as you keep doing more crosswords )
Numbers — usually Roman numeral representation ( for eg. Hundred is C etc.)
oddly — odd letters
evenly — even letters
regularly — letters selected in some regular sequence  (usually 1 or 2 apart)
in/contained — the word is contained in the parent word or is more often than not in the conjunction of  two  words
Words in the middle of the clue with Capitalized first letters — The first letter
Proper nouns — first letter(s) (For eg. Royal Air Force is RAF)
heartless — word minus the middle letter
endless — word minus the last letter
Perhaps — er
somehow — word, in some form, usually a part of it
hollow/within the limits(or boundaries) of — Only first and last letters of the word
going up/backwards/turned back — word in reverse ( for eg. ‘it’ turned back( or going up) is ‘ti’ )
girl — usually represents a girl’s name ( like eve or anna etc. )
Anagram indicators
A sort of

I’ll keep adding stuff as and when I remember  or come across more ….
Pl. feel free to add others in the comment section


Lets clue !!!

Right … So we’re solving crosswords now. The next step?? Why, making clues of course. How many times have we seen the solutions in the paper the next day and felt “Oh! come on now …. That was a sad clue. Even I could have framed a better one.” So whats stopping you then? Go ahead.. You’ll soon find that you’ll quite enjoy cluing and soon enough, you’ll start cracking more crosswords simply because you will now be tuned to the mind of a cruciverbalist and will be looking at clues from the point of view of a crossword setter.

Now, creating a clue is simple enough. All you have to do is to break down a word, give its meaning and then somehow, cryptically, clue it. Sound simple enough, and it is. But the real catch is creating clues that are of an acceptable standard.

Here are a few basic ground rules :

1. Every clue, MUST have an indicator to the meaning of the solution.
2. Do NOT over complicate the clues, keep ‘em simple.
3. Shorter the double definition clues, the more elegant they are.
4. Use standard abbreviations and annotations while cluing.
5. Try to keep the clues as short as possible.
6. Take care of the tense. ( If the clue indicates the past tense, the solution must be in the past tense as well.)
7. Do not use too many connector words. Use only those that are absolutely necessary. (Connector words are those that do not have any role to play in the solution but are necessary to maintain the grammar of the clue.)
8. Clearly give indicator word for anagrams.
9. Homophones must be indicated as best as possibly by placing the indicator words such as “loudly” or “overheard” close to the homophone, and not the solution. (For eg. Put a lid on the loud rooster(4) means ‘cork’ and not ‘cock’. )
10. Avoid ambiguity. Make your clues as precise as possible.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN !!!



Carlito’s way

He came under a cloud. Gave an all action performance. Endeared himself to the fans. Scored a fair amount of goals. Worked his socks off …. and two years later, went Blue. That’s Carlos Tevez for you.

His arrival in England was nothing sort of sensational. Both he and his fellow countryman, Mascherano were signed up by West Ham in what can only be called a sensational coup. In truth, it was one of the most complicated deals in the history of the game in which both players were bizarrely, not owned by a club but by a company, or in particular, one Mr. Kia Joorabchian. After a slow start to life in the Premier League, he quite came alive in the second half of the season and helped West Ham beat the drop with some sensational performances, and a particularly stunning goal against who would turn out to be his future employers. After helping West Ham to beat the drop, he did what any player in his position would have. He answered the door when Manchester United came calling.

A two year loan deal, with an option to make the deal permanent, was signed and soon Carlos Tevez was the new number 32. His first goal for United was a super one. A diving header at the near post against Chelsea. More goals followed and he, along with Wayne Rooney and a certain number 7 were the fulcrum of the United team that went on to retain their Premier league crown and also won the Champions League (in which he scored a penalty in the shoot out in the final). All was well.

Then came what could possibly be called the beginning of the end. Berbatov was signed and was put straight into the first team. At first, it wasn’t much of an impact as Ronaldo was injured and so Rooney, Tevez and Berbatov were accommodated. But soon, Ron was back and Carlos was, more often than not, relegated to the bench. His frustration was for all to see and this was compounded by the fact that Berbatov did not seem to adapt to the United playing style well either. Soon, cracks began to emerge with Carlos stating that he wasn’t too happy with the situation and who could blame him!

As the season progressed, it became evident that he would, more likely than not, be plying his trade away from the theater of Dreams very soon. His last appearance for Manchester United was the Champions league final, in which he was introduced as a second half substitute. In his last few games, he performed to the hilt, as ever, and scored a few.

Then came the announcement in the summer that Carlos Tevez had declined the offer of 25 million pounds that United were offering for his services and would be moving out. Duly, he was signed by Manchester City for around the same amount and will indeed wear the number 32 jersey.

All the noise he was making was that he had not been treated with respect, and that he was not getting enough game time, hence feeling unwanted. Fair enough, until you consider his decision to join City. Apart from Tevez, they have 6 other strikers on the payroll. Now if Mark Hughes decides to rotate his squad from time to time, it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

At the end of the day, Red became blue. Tevez became a cityzen. All the best mate. Lets just hope for your and everyone else’s sake that you win at least as many, if not more trophies in your ENTIRE spell at City than your two glorious years at Man United…

15 of the best !


     WIMBLEDON 2004
           US OPEN 2004
          WIMBLEDON 2005
                   US OPEN 2005
        AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2006
  US OPEN 2006
     US OPEN 2007
  US OPEN 2008