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1.10 Using sub-patterns

In the preceding steps we've learned the basic types of patterns and seen that a template and anagram pattern can be used together. Sub-patterns are another way to combine more than one pattern: you can have a template that's anagrammed with other letters and you can include a jumbled set of letters in a template. A sub-pattern is enclosed in round brackets ( and ).

We'll use some cryptic clues to illustrate how sub-patterns can help. Suppose you encountered this clue:

Bishop's cope is adjusted by associate (9)

You might suspect that the answer starts with an anagram of COPE IS, but have difficulty guessing what the "associate" indicates. You can use a TEA sub-pattern to indicate that the anagram is at the start of the word, and that the last three letters are unknown:

Step 10 initial image

Type (;copeis)... into the box below the Pattern label and click on the Word Search button. Looking at the possibilities, it's clear that episcopal (belonging to a bishop) is the answer, as "associate" indicates the PAL. Note that if the pattern had been ;copeis... many more words would have appeared.

The first example shows an anagram sub-pattern as part of a template. The next will show a template sub-pattern as part of an anagram; we'll use another cryptic clue to illustrate this:

Shrine of priest found in ruined quarry (9)

This looks like an anagram of QUARRY with a three-letter word meaning "priest" included somewhere. You could use a TEA sub-pattern to indicate that a consecutive three-letter sequence occurs as part of the anagram:

Step 10 final image

Type ;quarry(...) into the box below the Pattern label and click on the Word Search button. reliquary is the only common word that appears and, as this is a shrine, it must be the answer - ELI is the priest (seen in the first book of Samuel and many crosswords). Note that if the pattern had been ;quarry... many more words would have appeared.

You can use any number of sub-patterns in both the template and anagram parts of a TEA pattern. You can also nest sub-patterns within sub-patterns.

You've now used all the basic types of patterns, but remember that the pattern types can be combined in hundreds of different ways and only a few of these have been illustrated: the power of TEA is the freedom to construct the precise pattern required to home in on the words you're looking for.

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Sub-Patterns

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