The Times Crossword Friday Masterclass: Episode 49

Cracking The Cryptic
19 Jan 202453:27
32 Likes 10 Comments

TLDRIn this video, the host dives into solving the Times cryptic crossword, a challenging puzzle known for its difficulty. The host discusses the unofficial ranking of the puzzle's difficulty, shares insights from other solvers, and provides a detailed walkthrough of the solving process. The video is part of the masterclass series, showcasing the host's strategic approach and deep appreciation for the intricacies of cryptic crosswords.

  • 🧩 The video is part of a series where the host attempts to solve The Times cryptic crossword puzzle.
  • πŸ† The difficulty of the crossword is measured against a ranking system, with today's puzzle having a score of 147, indicating a challenging puzzle.
  • πŸ“Š The host references the 'Crossword Snitch' website, which unofficially ranks the difficulty of crossword puzzles.
  • πŸ“ˆ The video discusses the stats and times of other solvers, highlighting the variability in solving times and the challenge of the current puzzle.
  • πŸ€” The host shares an email from a friend, emphasizing the difficulty of the puzzle and the time it took to solve it.
  • πŸŽ₯ Patreon supporters get access to a monthly special video where Mark, another host, solves a puzzle without using a dictionary.
  • πŸ’‘ The host expresses enjoyment in solving difficult puzzles and the process of deciphering cryptic clues.
  • πŸ” The video involves a detailed walkthrough of several clues, showcasing the thought process and strategies used in solving the crossword.
  • πŸ“š The host contemplates creating a 'definition-only' version of a previous day's puzzle for educational purposes.
  • πŸŽ“ The host appreciates the educational aspect of the videos, noting that viewers have learned to solve puzzles by watching.
  • πŸŽ‰ The host celebrates the successful completion of the puzzle, encouraging viewers to share their experiences and progress in crossword solving.
Q & A
  • What is the theme of the video?

    -The theme of the video is solving the Times cryptic crossword puzzle as part of the masterclass series.

  • How does the speaker describe the difficulty level of the crossword puzzle?

    -The speaker describes the crossword puzzle as 'monstrously hard' and notes that it has a ranking of 147 on the crossword snitch website, indicating it is more difficult than average.

  • What is the significance of the 'crossword snitch' website mentioned in the video?

    -The 'crossword snitch' website provides an unofficial ranking system for the difficulty of Times crossword puzzles, with 100 being the score for an average difficulty puzzle.

  • What is the speaker's strategy for solving cryptic clues?

    -The speaker's strategy involves analyzing the clues, looking for hidden words, anagrams, and other cryptic indicators, and using starting letters to build the solution.

  • What is the speaker's comment on the community's engagement with the crossword?

    -The speaker appreciates the community's engagement, mentioning that many people enjoy participating in solving the crossword and sharing their progress and insights.

  • How does the speaker handle difficult clues?

    -The speaker acknowledges the difficulty of certain clues and sometimes expresses uncertainty. However, they persist by trying different approaches and using the crossword's structure to help find solutions.

  • What is the significance of the 'Quorum' clue in the puzzle?

    -The 'Quorum' clue is significant because it represents the smallest number needed for decision-making in a corporate meeting, and it is a hidden word within the clue's context.

  • What does the speaker think about the challenge of the puzzle?

    -The speaker enjoys the challenge and finds it rewarding when puzzles are difficult, as it tests their problem-solving skills and provides a sense of accomplishment.

  • What is the speaker's approach to creating a definition-only version of the crossword?

    -The speaker considers creating a definition-only version of the crossword for educational purposes, but they have not yet done so and may need to prepare it for a future video.

  • What is the speaker's final verdict on the crossword puzzle?

    -The speaker concludes that the crossword puzzle is brilliant and one of the great puzzles they will encounter in the year, appreciating the cleverness of the clues.

🧩 Introduction to the Cryptic Crossword Challenge

The speaker introduces the video, expressing excitement about tackling the week's cryptic crossword from The Times. They mention the Crossword Snitch website, which ranks the difficulty of puzzles, and note that today's puzzle has a high difficulty score of 147. The speaker also shares an email from a friend, Robert, who found the puzzle very challenging. Additionally, the speaker promotes a Patreon offering of a monthly special video solving a Times Club crossword without a dictionary.

πŸ€” Grappling with Challenging Clues

The speaker delves into the crossword, encountering a series of difficult clues. They discuss their thought process as they attempt to solve them, sharing their successes and frustrations. The speaker also mentions the enjoyment they derive from the challenge of cryptic crosswords, especially when the clues are particularly 'chewy' or difficult to decipher.

🧠 Brainstorming and Anagrams

The speaker continues to work through the crossword, focusing on anagrams and cryptic definitions. They discuss the process of deciphering clues that involve anagrams and the satisfaction of finding the correct word fits. The speaker also reflects on their own solving strategies and the importance of understanding the structure of words.

🎯 Clues Solved and Themed

The speaker successfully solves several clues, often involving wordplay and clever use of language. They discuss the themes of the clues, such as references to geography, history, and everyday phrases, and express admiration for the setter's skill in crafting such intricate puzzles.

🀯 Encountering Roadblocks and Perseverance

The speaker hits roadblocks with some of the clues, struggling to find the right answers. They discuss the process of elimination and the importance of perseverance in crossword solving. The speaker also reflects on the learning process and the joy of eventually solving a particularly challenging clue.

🎨 Artistic Clues and Wordplay

The speaker encounters clues that involve references to artists and artistic concepts. They discuss the wordplay involved in these clues and the satisfaction of solving them. The speaker also reflects on the creativity of the crossword setter and the joy of engaging with such cleverly crafted puzzles.

πŸ” Deciphering Cryptic Clues

The speaker continues to tackle the crossword, focusing on cryptic clues that require a deep understanding of language and word meanings. They discuss the process of deciphering these clues and the satisfaction of finding the correct answers. The speaker also shares their admiration for the setter's ability to create such challenging and enjoyable puzzles.

πŸ“š Reflecting on the Puzzle and Learning

The speaker concludes the video by reflecting on the crossword puzzle, discussing the learning process and the skills developed through solving cryptic crosswords. They express gratitude for the setter's work and the enjoyment they derive from these puzzles. The speaker also encourages viewers to share their experiences and progress in solving cryptic crosswords.

πŸ’‘Cryptic Crossword
A type of crossword puzzle that requires a deeper level of understanding to solve, often involving wordplay, anagrams, and other forms of linguistic trickery. In the video, the host is attempting to solve a particularly challenging cryptic crossword from The Times newspaper, which is known for its difficult puzzles.
πŸ’‘Masterclass Series
A series of instructional videos or lessons, often led by experts, aimed at teaching specific skills or knowledge. In this context, the masterclass series refers to the host's ongoing videos where they solve cryptic crosswords to share strategies and techniques with viewers.
πŸ’‘Crossword Snitch
A website that unofficially ranks the difficulty of The Times cryptic crossword puzzles, with 100 being the average difficulty. It provides a score for each puzzle, allowing solvers to gauge the challenge level before attempting it.
πŸ’‘Difficulty Ranking
A system of assigning a numerical value to a puzzle or task to indicate its level of difficulty. In the context of the video, the host uses the crossword snitch website to understand the relative difficulty of the cryptic crossword they are about to solve.
πŸ’‘Puzzle Solving Strategies
A set of techniques or approaches used to solve puzzles, such as crosswords. These strategies can include pattern recognition, understanding clues, and using prior knowledge to deduce answers.
πŸ’‘Clue Interpretation
The process of understanding and deciphering the clues provided in a puzzle, which is crucial for solving cryptic crosswords. This involves analyzing wordplay, phrases, and hints to determine the correct answers.
A word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of a different word or phrase, commonly used in cryptic crosswords as a clue type. Solvers must identify the original word or phrase and then rearrange its letters according to the clue.
πŸ’‘Hidden Words
A puzzle technique where certain words or phrases are concealed within other words or phrases. Solvers must spot these hidden elements to progress in the puzzle.
πŸ’‘Crossword Stats
Numerical data or records related to crossword puzzles, such as solving times or difficulty rankings. These stats can provide insight into the general performance of solvers and the relative challenge of different puzzles.
πŸ’‘Patreon Support
A platform where creators can offer exclusive content to supporters who subscribe with a monthly payment. In the video, the host mentions that Patreon supporters get access to additional crossword content.
πŸ’‘Web Design
The process of creating the visual design and layout of a website, often involving the use of various software and coding languages. In the context of the video, 'web design' is used as a clue in the crossword, relating to the word 'weave'.

The video is part of a masterclass series focused on solving the Times cryptic crossword puzzle.

The crossword puzzle being solved is from a Friday edition and is considered difficult with a ranking of 147 on the crossword snitch website.

The video creator's friend, Robert, mentioned that the puzzle was very difficult and took longer than usual to solve.

The video creator discusses the stats of the puzzle, mentioning times of other solvers and the rarity of such a difficult puzzle.

The video creator mentions a Patreon-supported feature where Mark solves the Times Club monthly special without a dictionary.

The video creator expresses enjoyment in solving challenging puzzles and the process of deciphering cryptic clues.

The video creator uses the term 'setter' to refer to the person who creates the crossword puzzle, expressing admiration for their work.

The video creator discusses the importance of understanding the clues and the art of deciphering the word play involved.

The video creator mentions the use of abbreviations in crosswords and the necessity of them being supported by the dictionary.

The video creator provides insights into the solving process, such as the use of homophones and anagrams in the clues.

The video creator shares the satisfaction of solving difficult clues and the learning experience it provides.

The video creator discusses the cleverness of the puzzle's clues, such as the one involving the French artist and the gold element.

The video creator expresses the desire to create a definition-only version of the crossword for educational purposes.

The video creator concludes the puzzle-solving session with a sense of accomplishment and encourages viewers to share their experiences.

The video creator plans to return with more puzzle-solving content, specifically more sudoku editions.

Rate This

5.0 / 5 (0 votes)

Thanks for rating: