‘The Pauline word, a nifty approach which
may help you solve a difficult clue …’
LESSON 18 in ‘How to solve cryptic crosswords’
When all else fails - look for the Pauline word.
This is a nifty approach named after an exponent, who has often shown me its effectiveness.
Simply, it's a word which has a vague connection to the clue, fits the given spaces and doesn't affect any other answers!
You'll be surprised just how often the word turns out to be correct.
Sometimes it's not until you've written down an answer that you can see how it fits the clues. (This is the case particularly with visual puns.)
Sometimes, filling in the spaces helps you solve other clues even though you may not be able to explain why the word is right.
And sometimes, it may stimulate your thinking to find the correct answer.
Pencil a Pauline word in lightly and see what happens!
Now for the rules ...
Lesson 19: Cryptic rules
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