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CURRICULUM VITAE: Clue by Four

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CLUE BY FOUR
(Wordplay)

Each round of the game features a common, four-letter crossword entry in which all four letters are different. Three of the letters making up the entry are chosen, and the most common words starting with these letters that appear in crossword clues for the entry (according to Matt Ginsburg’s clue database of major crossword puzzle sources) are presented to the players. Using this information, players must determine 1) the crossword entry and 2) the most common crossword clue word starting with the remaining letter. For example, given the clue words TITLE, SOVEREIGN, and AUTOCRAT, a player must guess the crossword entry TSAR and the most common R-word that appears in crossword clues for TSAR, which is RUSSIAN. Related forms of the missing clue word, e.g. RUSSIA for RUSSIAN, are accepted as correct.

* * *

Clue by Four title image

While ostensibly a wordplay puzzle, Clue by Four was presented as the warm-up group game at the Crosswords LA tournament in 2013. The audience was divided in half and the first half to raise ten hands was eligible to answer. Additional examples of game rounds appear below. The enumeration of the missing clue words is provided, as it was in the 2013 game session.

UPPER
LIMB
NEIGHBOR
(3)

APEX
MAIL-ORDER
E.
(6)

HEAVEN
LIGHT
OVERHEAD
(5)

EGGSHELL
RAW
UNBLEACHED
(5)

TELEGRAM
OCTAGONAL
PERIOD
(4)

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