In case you’re wondering, that last post featured a cryptic crossword I created in Spanish. I’ve been trying to find one in another language that followed the style that we know and love from the publications in the Anglophone world, but to no avail. So I decided I might as well make one even though Spanish is far from my native language. The wordplay is pretty simple — I don’t have the linguistic ability for anything too fancy — and I’m sure there are a few solecisms in there, but I figured it would be a fun exercise to create one anyway.
Curiously, I tried compiling a cryptic in Greek originally, but I ended up switching to Spanish — I found Greek clue writing to be too difficult even though I speak Greek better than I do Spanish. The declensions in Greek and the longer words in general made for a lot of failed attempts at creating the simplest of clues.
2 thoughts on “A Spanish Cryptic Crossword”
Bien hecho, AS. This is a quite a feat.
Cluetopia – my next book, due out due in November – goes tramping in quest of crosswords across the world. In the 100 years since their invention, crosswords have cropped up in almost every tongue: Arabic, Chinese, Maori, pidgin, Turkish, Czech, Esperanto. Even Martian and and prison slang.
But finding exotic cryptics was a taller order. I lucked on variations in France, Italian, Sweden and The Netherlands – other weird corners too – but this fusion of English rules and Spanish words is a lollapalooza – una tapa rara. Enhorabuena.
I’m very much looking forward to reading that book of yours, DA. It’s right down my alley, as I assume it is for most people on this site. It’d be interesting to see too what proportion of cruciverbalists speak a foreign language. I would assume it’s higher than the norm.
I must say I’ve been surprised at how few (none, basically) cryptic crosswords there are in the languages I can get around in, Spanish, Greek and Portuguese. I only published the crossword last night and it’s already fourth in rank when you Google for crucigrama críptico — clearly not a term that abounds in relevant results.
Although I don’t think the richness of trickery is possible for cryptics in Spanish, Greek or Portuguese, you can still have some reasonable fun with them. The crossword I made is really quite simple — but it should be a bit more enjoyable than an ordinary synonym-based crossword. A native speaker should be able to really improve on that.
And I hope a native Spanish speaker attempts the crossword I made so that they can point out all the mistakes I missed. I’ve already eliminated a few prepositional errors, which are always the bane of non-native speakers’ attempts at speaking a foreign language, but I’m sure there are others solecisms I’ve left behind.
By the way, this article on creating a Hindi cryptic is pretty interesting: http://www.crosswordunclued.com/2012/07/hindi-cryptic-crosswords.html
Cheers for the kudos.