SIGN UP

Daily Mail Prize Crossword

17:30 Thu 31st Oct 2013 |

 The Daily Mail Prize Crossword appears in the newspaper every day, and has previously been compiled by setters such as Roger Squires and Chris Feetenby. It offers a £20 prize to three correct winners drawn out of a hat, and one £1,500 prize for the Mail on Sunday Prize Crossword. Below we have put together some cryptic crossword puzzle help, with examples from the Daily Mail Prize Crossword to help you complete this particular puzzle.

 
Frequently in the Daily Mail Prize Crossword, clues can be split into two halves, with both halves leading you to the same answer. For example:
 
Clue: Plug city (4)
Answer: Cork
Explanation: A cork can be used as a plug, and it is also a city.
 
Clue: Label exactly the right thing (6)
Answer: Ticket
Explanation: A ticket is a label, and the saying “just the ticket” means something is exactly the right thing.
 
Clue: House in Isle of Man or Skye demolished (4)
Answer: Keys
Explanation: The House of Keys is parliament in the Isle of Man, and keys is an anagram of Skye.
 
Clue: Crudely lay down inferior wine (5)
Answer: Plonk
Explanation: Plonk is wine, and to plonk something down is to lay it down.
 
Clue: Adjust these to admit more light for flowers (6) 
Answer: Irises
Explanation: Irises are flowers, as well as a part of the eye that lets in light.
 
Clue: He criticises what’s used to announce entrance (7)
Answer: Kknocker
Explanation: To criticise something is to knock it, and knocker also refers to a door knocker.
 
The word hospital in the clue often means that the letter H will appear in the answer:
 
Clue: Hospital fruit has no power to produce pulse (7)
Answer: Haricot
Explanation: Apricot, plus H.
 
Clue: Mop up hospital almost wrecked by this animal? (12)
Answer: Hippopotamus
Explanation: Animal beginning with H.
 
As with many cryptic crosswords, anagrams are often used:
 
Clue: How clocks vary in loyal NZ perhaps (7)
Answer: Zonally
Explanation: Anagram of “loyal NZ”.
 
Clue: This cost shocked UK national (8) 
Answer: Scottish
Explanation: Anagram of “this cost”.
 
Clue: Extreme left-winger overturned legal infringement (4)
Answer: Trot
Explanation: Trot is tort “overturned”.
 
The word initially refers to the initials of certain words in the clue appearing in the answer:
 
Clue: Initially many unpleasant flies around horse (7)
Answer: Mustang
Explanation: Answer uses initials of “many unpleasant”, and the word “gnats” for flies is reversed.
 
Sometimes each word or phrase in the clue gives you two or three letters which when put together create a one word answer:
 
Clue: County defeat American giant (8)
Answer: Colossus
Explanation: Co comes from county, a defeat is a loss, and American giant refers to the US.
 
Clue: Wartime allies turned over houses to solve puzzle (6)
Answer: Sudoku
Explanation: Wartime allies US and UK have been reversed (“turned over”) and do is added between them to create the puzzle Sudoku.
 
Clue: Ring wife or daughter for some trendy jargon 
Answer: Buzzword
Explanation: Buzz refers to ringing someone, the W comes from wife, and the D comes from daughter, with “or” in between them.
 
Other tactics include hiding the answer backwards within the clue, using words that sound like other words, and other more straightforward clues:
 
Clue: Section of code man resubmitted turns up as his ID (8)
Answer: Username
Explanation: The answer is hidden backwards in the clue: “code man resubmitted”.
 
Clue: Stick one's nose in prize, say (6)
Answer: Meddle
Explanation: Sounds like medal.
 
Clue: Real-life documentary killed by newspaper (3-2-3-4)
Answer: Fly on the wall
Explanation: Refers to a fly on the wall documentary.
 
Clue: Fool filling beakers with liquor (7)
Answer: Muggins
Explanation: A muggins is a fool, and the liquor in this case is gin, the beakers being mugs.
 
Clue: Latin-American lost his feeling of terror (5)
Answer: Hispanic
Explanation: Answer can read Hispanic or his panic.
 
Clue: Comedy actor's no good as boxer (3)
Answer: Ali
Explanation: Refers to both boxer Muhammad Ali and comedian Ali G.
 
We hope this crossword puzzle help has provided some insight into what to look out for when working with cryptic clues. For more crossword help, take a look at our crosswords section.
 

Do you have a question about Crosswords?