Cryptario - Cryptic Crosword Solver mdi-home Anagram Solver mdi-account Cryptic Crossword Solver Anagrams And how to solve them

Anagrams are popular types of cryptic crossword clue.

With an anagram you rearrange the letters of one or more words to find another.

But how can you tell that the clue you are looking at is an anagram type clue? And how do you solve it?

Here is a typical anagram-type clue:

Get cast adrift in boat (6)

These clues generally consist of three parts:

  1. The definition. This is the solution you are looking for, Get in the case above.
  2. An anagram "indicator" - This is a word (or words) that signal to the solver that the clue is in fact an anagram clue. Because anagrams are all about re-arranging letters, anagram indicators tend to be words that signify change or upheaval, like cast adrift above.
  3. The word or words to rearrange - These words contain the letters that you need to rearrange in order to solve the clue. In this case in boat.

You can rearrange the letters of in boat to give you Obtain, which is a synonym of Get.

There are a few "rules" when it comes to anagrams. For example: You always use all the letters in a word when you anagram, and all the letters to anagram are usually (but not always) adjacent to each other. So counting letters in adjacent words to see if they total the required number of letters in the answer can often give you an indication that you are dealing with an anagram-type clue.

There are hundreds of anagram indicators. Other examples are words like "explode", "ruin" or "crazy". So you can't memorise them all! You just need to get a "feel" for the sorts of words that signal "this is an anagram clue".

Now try this clue:

Delays upset traders (7)

If you are stumped, give it to the machine!

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