Sample Clues

The seamstress’s sensation? (4, 3, 7)

PINS AND NEEDLES

Explanation

This is a purely cryptic clue.

The question mark at the end of the clue indicates the clue requires lateral thinking and that the answer may be a pun.

The answer is of course both a tingling sensation and equipment used in sewing.

Ultimate nerd is endlessly seeking girls on this social news site. (4)

DIGG

Explanation

This is a charade clue:

Definition: social news site

  • “Ultimate nerd” = D – Ultimate (or last) letter of nerd
  • “is endlessly” = I – drop the end letter off IS to give I
  • “girls” = GG – G is an established abbreviation for girl, thus plural girls gives GG

D  I “seeking” GG = DIGG, a (once) popular social news site.

What dogs do on trees (4)

BARK

Explanation

This is a double definition clue:

What dogs do || on trees (4)

  1. Dogs bark.
  2. Outer layers of a tree are bark.

This is an excellent example of where a setter may try and trick the solver into reading the clue as one phrase. Someone unfamiliar with cryptic crosswords might be misled into believing PISS is a more appropriate answer.

The seamstress's sensation? (4, 3, 7)

See solution