The secret life of cryptic puzzles

Funny story written by Les Being

Sunday, 10 July 2011

image for The secret life of cryptic puzzles
The easy quiz

Almost every newspaper has a section devoted to some type of quiz. Quizzes are good; they give readers an opportunity to exercise their brains. It also makes them come back for the answers if they fail in their efforts.

There are many types of quizzes available. Questions that rely on general knowledge are fun but they are also far too easy to cheat. Asking a question like, What is the world's busiest airport? Is almost pointless as the answer can too easily be found on Google.

The point of a good quiz is that you must find the answer yourself. It's far more satisfying to solve a clue than simply look it up on Google.

The sign of a good cryptic clue is that it can only ever have one answer. If a clue is so vague that more than one answer fits the clue then it's probably not worth the effort in solving it.

An example of a good cryptic clue is; "Small woman with child". Everything you need to know is in the question. The answer is staring you in the face. Small = (mini), and woman with child = (mum). So the only answer that perfectly fits the clue is "minimum".

You could spend all day on Google and never find that simple answer. It does however feel good when you get the answer by using the world's fastest computer, that massive brain of yours.

Here are some for you to try. Remember the answer is in the question if you look hard enough. All of the clues are names of famous films. If you can't get any of the answers, don't worry I've put them at the bottom of the page. Don't look yet. Have a go first.

1. Famous Hollywood actors do battle
2. The world is ending as we speak
3. It was there a minute ago
4. 2880 minutes
5. Start at this place and live forever

I hope you at least took a stab at them. If you got them all right then you are the "genius of the day", well done.

I know its five minutes of your life you'll never get back but at least it was a bit of fun.

If you would like to see more of this then please use the thumbs up voting system. That's the only way I will know if you liked it.

I'll leave you with one to ponder. The answer sounds like a famous Scottish singer. The question is "WC2"

The answers are, 1 Star Wars. 2, Apocalypse Now. 3, Gone in sixty seconds. 4, 48 Hours. 5, From here to eternity.

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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