Central and ends deletions
Sometimes the setter needs to remove the centre of a word or its end letters to help form part or all of the answer word. To do this she employs central and ends deletion indicators.
Here are some examples:
To get from TOURISTS to TS, the setter may employ a central letter deletion indicator:
tourists on vacation ...
... here the central letter deletion indicator ON VACATION is telling the solver that the central letters of the word TOURIST are to be deleted. So TOURISTS (on vacation of the central letters) becomes TS.
To get from TOURISTS to OURIST the setter may employ an ends deletion indicator:
... edges away from tourists
... here the ends deletion indicator EDGES AWAY FROM clearly indicates that the edges of the fodder TOURISTS must be removed. And so TOURISTS becomes OURIST.
Any words that fairly indicate the remove of the middle or ends of a word may be used as edge and centre deletions Here are some more examples:
Central deletions: HEARTLESSLY/EMPTY
Ends deletions: TOP AND TAIL/UNLIMITED
Peter's lack of heart is concerning Nick (6)
peter - centre subtraction fodder
[ha]'s lack of heart - central letter subtraction indicator
is - IS
concerning - ON
nick - PRISON (definition)
NOTE: In this clue there is a contraction of HAS that will be explained in the later section on PUNCTUATION.
Also note that, although you will usually have to find a synonym of words to build the answer, sometimes a setter will give the a word bare and no synonym will be needed - as with IS in this clue.
Finally, there is a misdirection here with the FALSE CAPITALIZATION of the word nick - this is to make you think of a person rather than a prison. Misdirection will be discussed later in the section of the guide originally named MISDIRECTION.
An ends deletion clue:
Naked knees-up that's the talk of Bollywood?
naked - ends subtraction indicator
knees-up - SHINDIG
that's the talk of Bollywood - HINDI (is the language Bollywood films are made in.
? - for non- dictionary definition
NOTE: This clue uses the QUESTION MARK to indicate a non-dictionary definition is being employed. Use of the question mark will be explained in more detail in the PUNCTUATION section of this guide.