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Wine-themed cryptic crossword!


For some, this might seem like a nightmare, for others a delicious challenge.

My colleague Rachel’s dad has created this wine-themed cryptic crossword and I thought there might be a few people here who are up for taking it on!

Here you go:

Hoping you can open this image in a large format if you’d like to print/fill it in. Let us know if you manage it! :smiley:

(Personally, I wouldn’t have a single clue - literally).


I’ve no idea to any of them either but am intrigued as to what 13 Across is!


Hahaha, I hadn’t seen that one! Blimey. 29 across looks fun too!

I wish I had the first clue how cryptic crosswords work… I’ve been slightly fascinated/scared of them ever since that Inside No. 9 episode which was equal parts horrific/masterful.


1 Across might be ‘Claret’…? This will be quite fun to work out, methinks! :face_with_monocle:


Yes I thought 1 across might be claret.
I’ve only managed 19, 23 & 25 Down


A few possibles from me. Blurred so as not to spoil the fun!

1 A - Claret
12A - Bali
15A - Instep
20A - Matures
24A - Acetic Acid
26A - Bail

1D - Calabria
2D - Andalusia
3D - Etna
19/23D - Adelaide Hills
25D - Eagle
27D - Brut


I believe this will be Rothschild



24A - Acetic Acid

6D - Get Married
8D - Yakima
14D - Beautician


In addition to @Alchemist 's answers, I think the following work:

4: Burgundy
10: Ladanum
11: Setback
13: Plagiarism
21: Metred
28: English??
29: Lorelai
30: Sternest
31: At once

5: Unsigned
9: Smell
17: Tarpaulin
18: Detaches
22: Labels


And many thanks to Rachel’s dad and Laura for posting!


And to anyone who doesn’t really know where to start with cryptic crosswords, there are essentially two key things (and lots of lesser conventions) to know: (1) the answer is almost always a synonym (or example) of the word / phrase at either the beginning or the end of the clue; and (2) loads of the answers are essentially just anagrams of bits of the clue - it’s just a case of getting used to which words indicate that you should be looking for an anagram.

To take 1 Across as an example (because people already got the answer):
(Part 1) “Bordeaux red” is the phrase we’re looking for a straightforward synonym for/example of; and
(Part 2) the rest of the clue (“Treacle endlessly mistaken”) is essentially a more cryptic way of expressing the same answer: you take the end off “treacle” to make “treacl” and then you find an anagram of this (the word “mistaken” is the indication here that you’re looking for an anagram… anything like “wrong” “changed” “drunken” etc. tends to indicate an anagram).

The cryptic bit (i.e. Part 2 above) can be a bit hard to see at first, so most people just try to think of options for Part 1 that have the right number of letters, and then see whether they can figure out the secondary, cryptic bit as a way of essentially confirming that their Part 1 guess was correct.


I got one so far I think… this will help hopefully. Will print it tomorrow…


@Mooble, you’re a star! For the first time in my life I think I sort of understand cryptic crosswords! Thanks for this brilliant explanation that even a total div like me can understand. :smiley:

I’m going to print this off and have a look later… and try not to cheat by looking at the answers given so far! :smile:


Does that just leave 16 across to get? In which case… Secrete


Good fun! Got most, peeked at a couple that I was stuck on, struggled with 15A cos I spelt 2D with a C, not an S. I don’t understand the answer to 30A!


On 30A: Saint-erne-saint. An Erne is apparently a type of eagle (I had to Google it!)


How marvellous and thanks to Rachel and her dad. I love a cryptic so what better than to combine it with wine. I’ll try it out tomorrow on my afternoon off when not updating my wine blog…

PS I haven’t forgotten your request for pictures of The Mole. Watch this space…