Cranium-Cracking Cryptic Crosswords, Volume 2
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SpoonerismsWordplay devicesSubstitutions

Wordplay devices

Letter shifts

One of the rarer types of wordplay moves one or more letters in a word from one position to another. For example:

Rod heading back to quarries (4)
Two leaders in Asian capital go east to Japanese city (5)

Answers: PITS (SPIT with first letter moved back), KYOTO (TOKYO with first two letters moved back)

Letter shifts are uncommon. Though they generally involve indicators suggesting motion or shifting, such indicators are much more likely to be anagrams or reversals.