Do cryptic crosswords leave you a bit puzzled? Or perhaps you solve a few clues, then run out of steam? Come along to our fun-filled Masterclass and you’ll learn how to have a good crack at the cryptic crossword – and perhaps even finish it!
This hands-on class is led by John Halpern (aka Paul), one of the Guardian’s leading crossword setters. During the course, you’ll be introduced to the 12 types of cryptic clues – from anagrams to deletions and abbreviations – and learn how to recognise and solve them.
Over the course of the day, you’ll receive expert insights into how crosswords are written (a bit like learning how magic tricks are done) and get involved in practical activities, where you’ll tackle cryptic clues and solve a whole puzzle as a team.
A brief history of the cryptic crossword
An introduction to the different types of cryptic crosswords across various newspapers, plus insights into how they’re written
The 12 types of cryptic clue – how to spot them and solve them
Session 1 – anagrams, hiddens and double definitions
Session 2 – reversals, containers and sound-alikes
Session 3 – deletions, cryptic definitions, charades
Session 4 – abbreviations, &Lit, miscellaneous
Session 5 – solving a full cryptic crossword – yippee!
Practical activities – learn how to crack each of the 12 types of cryptic clue, then solve a whole puzzle as a team
Handouts to help you to solve cryptic clues and continue improving your skills after the class
Regular opportunities for feedback and Q&A – plus a few laughs along the way
John Halpern (aka Paul) is the Guardian and the UK’s most published cryptic crossword setter. His crosswords also appear in the Financial Times, The Independent and The Times, among other publications. John lives in Brighton and is married to a woman whose name is an anagram of ‘entail’; they have a son whose name is hidden in the word ‘taramasalata’. He’s the author of The Centenary of the Crossword and tweets @crypticpaul.
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.
In order to purchase these tickets in installments, you'll need an Eventbrite account. Log in or sign up for a free account to continue.