I quite often find I have to leave a clue or two for weeks at a time as my brain has caught the wrong train. Nine times out of ten when I go back to it, I get it right away and realise that I had been fixated on that one wrong train of thought. That is the hard part of cryptic - once you look at it one way, you can't get your brain to see it another way. My brother is super smart and occasionally this will happen to him and I say, "Oh, it's such and such" . . and he gets really annoyed and then we laugh.
The newsagent sells, or at least used to sell, cryptic crossword books that help to teach you. The one I had was very helpful. The puzzles became increasingly difficult as you went through. The book basically explained the different types of clues, breaking them down to show you how the answer is derived.
How rewarding this must be for you! I gave up on these years ago when I was always left with a few unsolved answers!!!! I am cryptic enough in my own self without adding these puzzles to the mix! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!
I only do them when in a doctor or dentist waiting room. Can usually finish them while waiting, but sometimes get one or two clues that elude me. If I have any that I cannot see, it usually keeps my mind busy while being treated.
Hahaha! I had one from about four years ago that had one miserable answer missing. I found the book in my suitcase and opened it to see if I had done them all. As soon as I looked at the one clue it clicked and I could not understand why I hadn't seen it all that time ago. Heehee.What a dafty.
I'm not fussed on these at all. I prefer the ones where you're given 3 letters in the grid and you have to work out what letters correspond with each letter. I thinkuyou need a good command of English to complete these and I nearly always get them out right away but when I can't I leave it for a day or two and tbe missing words/letters jump out immediately when I go back to it.
My Grandmother and I used to do them together. We weren't fast but we laughed a lot. ..at first she would get some and so would I, but as her dementia crept in, her skill dropped and mine rose from practice. I haven't done them for a few years now.
Some of my happiest memories were created at my Grandmummy's kitchen table.
No, I have never been able to do them either. I can only do the 'Find the Word' puzzles, & where you have 9 letters, to make up words. using the letter in the middle,in each word. My m-i-l loved her X words. My mother never did any x words, she just read books.
I think doing x-words, may put the dementia back further, into later life, perhaps. My mum has dementia, & has had it for 4/5 years now. She's now 96. My m/i/l doesn't have dementia, has done x words all her life, & is 93. I'm sure I'll get dementia early in my later life, (I'm nearly 71! now,) as I've never been able to master the technique of x-words!