Cranium-Cracking Cryptic Crosswords, Volume 2
Volume 1 also for sale

link words
ContainersWordplay devicesDouble definitions

Wordplay devices


A cryptic clue may apply a reversal on one word to beget another word or letter sequence. Look for words that suggest reversal, retreat or change of direction such as returned, around and back:

Pull protection over (4)

The solution is DRAW (“pull”), a reversal of WARD (“protection”).

Some reversal indicators are directional: they can only be used in across or down clues. Across-only indicators include left, to the west and from the east; while down-only ones include up, to the north and from the south:

[A] Dull poet left (4)
[D] Rising star sings (4)

The answers are DRAB, which is the reverse of BARD; and RATS (as in “betrays”), a reversal of STAR.