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⁂ George Ho

Loplop Cryptic #013 [15×]

We’re back with a regular-sized themeless puzzle! But before we dive in, I want to quickly plug my newsletter, which is the best way to get notified whenever a new Loplop puzzle goes up.

As always, a huge thank you to Michael Colella and dadgumituh and jsmr25 at The Rackenfracker for the test solves — I hope you enjoy!

Clue Workshop

Today’s clue workshop discusses a clue from a previous quiptic, so if you haven’t given that a go yet, please come back later!

Tyrant sustaining authoritarian rule, primarily! (4)

Click here for solution and discussion
  • Answer: TSAR
  • Definition: Tyrant sustaining authoritarian rule, primarily!
  • Wordplay: T[yrant] S[ustaining] A[uthoritarian] R[ule]

This is actually a clue I regret, simply because it’s too easy! I’ve learnt to make the clues for the shortest entries (so three-, four-, maybe even five-letter entries) as hard as I’m willing to push it in the puzzle, since otherwise those entries are just gimmes, neither challenging nor entertaining to solvers.

To put another way: the shorter an entry is, the easier it gets, in the absence of a countervailing increase in cluing difficulty. With the shortest entries, you shouldn’t hold back from cranking up the difficulty as far as you’re willing to go.

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