Last week I left you with this clue to consider:
Welsh factories rebuilt in a straight line (2,3,4,5)
If you have been following this series you will have already guessed that the answer is unlikely to have anything to do with Welsh factories as such. But the solution is an anagram of those two words. How do we know? The hint is in the word ‘rebuilt’. The 14 letters in the words WELSH FACTORIES have been taken apart and rebuilt in a different order to give 4 words meaning ‘in a straight line’.
Did you get it? The answer is:
AS THE CROW FLIES
As the crow flies is an idiom used for expressing the shortest distance between two points, a crow being a bird which supposedly flies in a straight line (although apparently it does not!). Giving the distance from A to B ‘as the crow flies’ does not take into account the practicalities of how one would actually travel from one place to the other. See the Wikipedia entry here. Thus one could say: ‘As the crow flies, it is 45 miles from here to London – but it is almost 55 miles by road.’
Two clues now from Daily Telegraph Crossword Puzzle No. 27,660 of 29th November 2014, both of which provide some interesting vocabulary to talk about.
The first is an example of a clue where letters are removed from one word to give another. It reads:
I have withdrawn from repeated achievement (7)
As you know ‘I have’ is frequently contracted to I’ve. So let us bear those three letters IVE in mind.
A word which could mean ‘repeated’ is ‘successive’. Successive means in succession, or following one after the other – see the definition here. It can be used in a sentence such as ‘this was their third successive holiday in France.’ ‘Consecutive’ is a good synonym for ‘successive’, and an informal or slang expression which has the same meaning is on the trot. You could hear (but are unlikely to see in writing): ‘this was their third holiday in France on the trot’.
If IVE is now ‘withdrawn’ (removed) from SUCCESSIVE we are left with the answer – SUCCESS – which is a synonym for achievement, the remaining word in the clue!
The second clue is a little more straightforward. It reads:
Unfashionable clothes seen in suburbia
A good place to start is to think of another word for unfashionable. The first word that comes to mind is ‘unpopular’ but, despite being 9 letters long, it cannot be the answer since it has nothing to do with the rest of the clue.
So, back to the drawing board, and perhaps we should try to find a short word for unfashionable which can be added to a word for ‘clothes’ to mean ‘in suburbia’.
There is a short word for unfashionable, fairly often used in everyday speech, and that word is ‘out’ (meaning out of fashion). What is in fashion one month (‘in’) may soon become unpopular and completely ‘out’ the next. Of course not just clothes, shoes or hairstyles can be unfashionable. The word can apply to anything – for example an area of a city to live in, restaurants, or names for new babies.
Now let’s turn to ‘clothes’. There are obviously many possibilities but one needs to think of 6 letter word which could logically follow ‘out’. Something that perfectly fits the bill (meets those requirements) is ‘skirts’. Take OUT and put it together with SKIRTS and you have the answer: OUTSKIRTS.
We know immediately that is the correct solution since if you are on the outskirts of a town or city you are some way from the centre – in the suburbs or in suburbia. For a definition of outskirts please see here.
Here is one last clue from the same crossword for you to ponder (think about) over the weekend. It is not an anagram this time, but if you read last week’s post you should have no trouble with it. The clue is:
Some devil erupts, getting more unpleasant (5)
Good luck! More next week.