Monday, 28 October 2013


My marketing and promotions department (me) told me that I should do a little plug for our CrypticGuide app. Plug plug plug ...

Splash screen of CrypticGuide

This is an app that took us over a year to develop — my husband had to do vast amounts of tricky iOS database programming, and I had to write the vast database of info!

So, what is it? It's a handy little cryptic dictionary — so you can enter a word from a cryptic clue, and if it's in our database, CrypticGuide can tell you that there's an abbreviation arising from that word, or maybe it's an anagram indicator, or has some funny cryptic meaning, or is a homophone.

Screen from CrypticGuide
So, in the example here (which shows the iPad version), if you type in the word 'about', you'll see that the word 'about', found in a cryptic clue, could lead to a few cryptic synonyms (circa, on, a fight), a range of abbreviations (A, C, CA, RE), and a bunch of cryptic indicators (anagram indicator, container indicator etc).

Unlike other cryptic dictionaries, we include brief explanations for why some words lead to certain abbreviations, as they're not always obvious! French art = ES isn't clear, until you know that French art refers to 'I am, thou art' translated to 'Je suis, tu es' — so 'art' (archaic form of are) is 'es' in French.

While CrypticGuide is not as comprehensive as a full cryptic dictionary like Bradford's, of course, we still have nearly 7,000 entries in the cryptic database, and hopefully can help you find a way into most cryptic clues.

If you know of entries that have been missed, you're very welcome to contact us with your suggestions, and we will update the database in new versions of the app.

CrypticGuide also has an anagram solver (handy for writing clues as well as solving them), and a wildcard solver, for finding all words that fit into a particular letter pattern, for those times when you're really stumped.

OK, shameless self-promotion all done, I hope that keeps the dicks over in marketing happy for a while ... as you were  ;)

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