Diplomacy Cryptic II
By Tony Nichols
For all those who enjoyed the cryptic in last edition and now want to
practice those new skills and warped thought patterns on a somewhat
more demanding puzzle. Crank the grey matter's starter motor and take
a look at the grid below.
Oh and if you know what's good for you, read
the questions and answers below.
|| Sounds like you twice spent a long time in a body of
|| Columbus plays dip in not so old city.
|| Bone in tank needed removal.
||Sought after the stab, revenge ending with a twisted
||Late steam creates an impasse.
||Planes ordered to Southern city.
||Turk distilled wood twice.
||Statue raised commerating very one sided conflict. (2
||Electrons heard amusing those East of French city.
||Central province throws a celebration.
||So game obsession drove her to drink?
||Once Spanish capital, now only an aberration.
||E added to minced bio-ham in King Wenceslas' realm.
||Fleet starts in a tankard, hardly fit for war with Italy.
||No convoy Tun - Rom, had to walk instead and
remembered every step.
||Neutral centre and not!
||Heard animal fat built this nation.
||Port where it's unorganised.
||"East, East of port" he cried, hair erect on back of
||& 24. Justify Russia's elimination. (2 words)
||Fate affects a great deal.
||Pleasant French city, named after a greek victory?
||Left Gaul out for the Atlantic coast.
||Wickedness of Modern invasions.
||Game is basis of discrimination.
||Characters in a song bounce here in S1901.
||God sounds worthless.
|| see 11.
||Trouble brewing in Makeyevka, Donbas.
Questions and Answers
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
- Hey where did the black squares go?
Well, I didn't want to waste all your printer toner. No seriously,
because many of the answers are dip provinces giving the length
of the answers makes it too easy. Trust me, on seeing a 15 letter
answer starting with C would you really need to read the clue before
entering constantinople? So you have to work out which squares are
To make things easier the clue numbers above are correct and the
crossword has the usual 180 degree rotational symmetry. Hence if (x,y),
denoting column x and row y is black then (16-x,15-y) is also black.
Alternatively keep rotating
the grid through 180 degrees and ensuring it looks the same.
How do I solve it if I don't know where the answers go?
Best method is probably to go through all the clues and solve as many
as possible and then figure how the answers can be fitted together. To
give you a start 1 down is very easy.
That reminds me I can't solve the clues either, how do they
Cryptic clues come in two parts, one of which will always be literal,
i.e. will mean the same as the answer. The second part may also be
so Rear end of Queue(4) is "back", which means both rear
end of queue. Alternatively the second part of the clue can be cryptic,
two elements, itself; the clue and a bit telling you how to solve it. An
example Four week period when normal hunt is sabotaged
answer: "Lunar month", literal clue: 4 week period, cryptic clue: normal
hunt and solution keyword: sabotaged, meaning the cryptic clue is an
anagram. Note these 3 parts can come in any order. Alternative cryptic
types are soundalikes (words spelt differently
but phonetically indistinguishable), reversals (words backwards) and
containers (short words in longer ones).
How did you design a Diplomacy crossword with symmetry?
Thanks for spotting that it can't be easy, so you'll hopefully excuse the
fact I cheated. Cheats it's helpful to know about are:
- A few clues have nothing to do with Diplomacy whatsoever.
- Other clues use the three letter province abbreviations. This is
only when the abbreviation is the first three letters of the province
name. It is obvious from the clue whether I've abbreviated even before
calculating the grid. Two examples: Steer it erratically toward
the Adriatic coast is Trieste [thanks to Gary Kennedy] in full
because all letters of the anagram are given while Majority take
tea East of Russian capital is Most, meaning majority, with T
(or east of) Mos. Here the answer obviously isn't Moscowt because it
isn't a word and certainly doesn't mean majority. Yes I know this clue
is awful, nothing in the puzzle is so bad, honest, well maybe just the
- A couple of clues also relate to variants although they are not
impossible with no variant knowledge. No knowledge of pbem or judges
is assumed and the crossword is international (no answers are spelt
differently by people on different sides of the Atlantic -- or should that
be "spelled" differently?).
Okay, I've read all that but still can't get anywhere, please
Practice makes perfect, so try last
seasons puzzle which now has answers online in this issue of the Zine.
This doesn't really attempt to follow the cryptic conventions outlined
above so, for the really stuck, I'd recommend trying the
Daily Telegraph Crossword
(a non-Pouch site that sadly also requires a short registration) and
returning tomorrow to get the answers and then work out how it's done.
You can also e-mail me but I won't give out help until sometime in May so
that people who are able to solve the puzzle without help will have had
the opportunity to do so and submit solutions to The Pouch. If I
of similar requests I'll post to rec.games.diplomacy in May.
If you wish to e-mail feedback on this article to the author, and clicking
on the envelope above does not work for you, feel free to use the
"Dear DP..." mail interface.