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 165


1 INSTALL Establish everything on the other side of popular thoroughfare (7)

ALL after (IN + ST)

COLOBUS Monkey about loco and other public transport (7)

loco anag + BUS

9 OMBUDSMAN Old Marine leader shoots fellow mediator (9)

O + M + BUDS + MAN

10 SIREN Meneer points to temptress (5)

SIR + E + N

11 ACKNOWLEDGING Bill has endless understanding in First Grade, responding to ... (13)


13 INSOLENT... ten ‘lions’ trying to be defiant (8)

ten lions anag

15 STRING Drove along street to circle (6)


17 MNANDI Nice assimilation of hymn and improvisation (6)

hyMN AND Improvisioncontainment

19 SEAHORSE He rose as awkwardly as a male who gives birth (8)

he rose as anag

22 BARBECUE SAUCE Ban live reminder to add flavouring and to put this on your braai (8,5)


25 ALARM A large weapon instils fear (5)

A + L + ARM

26 ELOPEMENT Running away from work in group (9)


27 HOSANNA Praise even the ou’s girl (7)

tHe Ou’S + ANNA

28 END USER Nude res excites final recipient (3,4)

nude res anag


1 IDOL Report lazy hero (4)

sounds like idle

2 SUBWAYS Replacement paths - are other roads and tracks superior to them? (7)


AFDAK African fig, doringboom and kiepersol primarily used for lean-to (5)

A + F + D + A + K

4 LAMPOON SMakes fun of light and so-on, unfortunately (8)

LAMP + so-on anag

5 CANDLE Led astray after prison and taper (6)

led anag, after CAN

6LAST-DITCHDesperate ending in front of trench (4-5)


7BERNINISculptor carved in brine (7)

in brine anag

8SYNAGOGUESRandom guess: no gay temples? (10)

guess no gay anag

12MIAMI BEACHHeading north I hurt - first big ache about American coast (5,5)

(I + MAIM) backwards + B + ache anag

14LADIES’ MANBoy is full of energy - geesh he loves women’s company (6,3)

LAD + I (E) S + MAN

16KEYSTONEBase note affects tones (8)

KEY + tones anag

18ARREARSA Rolls Royce lugs debt (7)


20REEFERSDagga cigarettes are amazingly free in student accommodation (7)

RE (free anag) S

21TUGELADraw rolling lea to river (6)

TUG + lea anag

23UPENDTurn over page found in shifting dune (5)

P inside dune anag

24STIRSit around before first revolutionary commotion (4)

sit anag + R

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