Beware the cryptic bug! Once you get a glimpse behind the seemingly baffling clues, an alluring realm of wordplay, wit and poetry is revealed.
And, while beginners can sometimes feel that cryptics are a bridge too far for their brains, The Saturday Paper’s resident cruciverbalist, Liam Runnalls (aka LR), promises that the key is simply learning a series of linguistic tricks. According to LR, “It’s like the first time you hear someone speaking pig Latin – it makes little sense. Then you learn the trick and, voila, you can understand perfectly.”
In the tradition of the late, great Mungo MacCallum, LR tries to infuse his puzzles with humour, wordplay and poetry to give readers plenty of “Aha!” moments. They will be accessible, but always with a handful of curly ones deliberately thrown into the mix.
But hang on, are cryptics really “poetic”? "When I was studying poetry at uni,” says LR, “I noticed a striking similarity between Emily Dickinson’s poems and cryptic clues. Ever since, I've held the art form in high regard.”
So, happy solving. After all, as Dickinson wrote, “Much Madness is divinest Sense!”
Your answers will be saved on this device only. You can leave this page and return whenever you wish. Clearing your browser's cache, however, will remove your answers.
Answers will be made available on the Saturday following the publication date.
is a puzzle maker and cartoonist living in regional Victoria on Dja Dja Wurrung country. Twitter: @LRxword
Almost a year after the Taliban seized Kabul, Afghans who worked for Australia are being told to cross the border into Pakistan, some without documentation, without their families and at great risk.