The M&G's cryptic crossword

Welcome to the Mail & Guardian’s new cryptic crossword. Compiled by Professor George Euvrard of Rhodes University, it has been piloted in Grocotts Mail for the past 18 months as the first South Africanised cryptic crossword. The perspective is proudly South African, decolonised, and full of local references and words.

Although it’s still in the classic English cryptic crossword tradition, forget “artist” being “RA” (Royal Academy) or a “river” being “Exe”. Here you will need to delve into your Dictionary of South African English (free online at to confirm bhuti and windgat, and to take out your South African atlas to check the spelling of Nossob!

The solutions will appear in the next M&G, but in the meantime you can also come here to see explanations of each solution (at the right time), as well as engage with other solvers and the compiler on particular clues, solutions and related crossword matters.

JDE 145


1 GENIUS Maestro charging back, filled with energy (6)

SUIN (E) G backwards

4 GLORIOUS Terrific log topples over and green note appears to you and me (8)

log anag + R10 + US

9 DIGEST Take in mine that was established (6)


10 FETCHING Getting sweet (8)

double definition

12 ECLIPSED Obscured Eastern Cape borders to journalist (8)


13 IMPUTE Time up! Remove charge (6)

15 TENNIS PLAYER She serves X to back evil actor (6,6)

TEN + SIN backwards + PLAYER

18 STANDARDISED Stereotyped Grade is emasculated, emptied (12)


21 CALICO Cloth about a wound coil (6)

C + A + coil anag

22 CONTRIVE I convert neglected plot (8)

i convert anag

24 PETITION Fondle it; no-one will come back to ask (8)

PET + IT + NO 1 backwards

25 ROTATE Medic in cost turn around (6)


26 EDENDALE Town garden next to valley (8)


27 ASCENT Climb when directed aloud (6)

AS + CENT sounds like sent


 GEDOENTE Gee, ten do make a fuss (8)

gee ten do anag

2 NIGGLING Uncomfortable after mixing grand, large double-gin (8)

g l gin gin anag

UNSOPHISTICATED Simple dictaphones suit organisation (15)

dictaphones suit anag

5 LEEK Green centreboard is raised (4)

KEEL backwards

6 RECOMMENDATIONS Tips about credits (15)


7 ODIOUS Horrible 50-over match gets big round zero with us (6)

ODI + 0 + US

8 SIGHED On radio team moaned (6)

sounds like side

11 BEDPANS John in retirement dabs pen around (7)

dabs pen anag

14 PARADOX Endlessly exhibit beast, which is an enigma (7)


16 ESTIMATE Reckon I am in English country (8)

E + ST (I’M) ATE

17 ADHERENT Head off to hire fan (8)

head anag + RENT

19 ICEPHE Spoon hot piece wantonly (6)

h piece anag

20 BLITHE Black, agile and happy (6)


23 FOIL Lubricate after loud pip (4)

OIL after F

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