Ironic Sardonic Crossword Clue

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Crossword puzzles are popular games that challenge our vocabulary, spelling, and problem-solving skills. Solving crossword clues can be both fun and frustrating, especially when encountering an ironic or sardonic clue. These clues can be tricky and often require a deep understanding of wordplay and humor. In this article, we will explore the meaning of ironic and sardonic crossword clues and how to solve them.

What is an Ironic Crossword Clue?

Irony is a literary device that involves using words to convey a meaning opposite to their literal or expected meaning. An ironic crossword clue is one that appears to mean one thing but actually means the opposite. For example, a clue that says “hot and cold” may seem to refer to two opposite temperature extremes. However, in a crossword puzzle, it may refer to the word “spicy” and “icy,” which are words that are phonetically similar.

Irony can also be used to create humor in crossword puzzles. For instance, a clue that says “not funny” may lead you to think of words that are not humorous. However, the answer may be “ironic,” which is a word that is itself humorous in its contradiction.

How to Solve an Ironic Crossword Clue

To solve an ironic crossword clue, you need to think beyond the literal meaning of the words in the clue. Consider the context of the puzzle and the potential wordplay involved. Pay attention to the word’s spelling and pronunciation, and try to find a word that fits both the literal and ironic meanings of the clue.

What is a Sardonic Crossword Clue?

Sarcasm is a form of irony that involves using language to convey a mocking or bitter tone. A sardonic crossword clue is one that uses sarcasm to create humor or to mislead the solver. These clues often have a biting tone that suggests the answer is something unexpected or unpleasant.

For example, a sardonic clue might say “lovely weather we’re having” when it is, in fact, raining outside. The answer might be “raincoat” or “umbrella,” both of which are items you would need on a rainy day.

How to Solve a Sardonic Crossword Clue

To solve a sardonic crossword clue, you need to read the clue carefully and pay attention to the tone. Consider the context of the puzzle and look for words or phrases that suggest the answer is unexpected or unpleasant. Try to think of words that fit the sarcastic tone of the clue and that make sense in the context of the puzzle.

Tips for Solving Ironic and Sardonic Crossword Clues

  1. Look for words that have multiple meanings: Ironic and sardonic crossword clues often rely on words that have multiple meanings. Look for words that can be interpreted in different ways, and consider how they might fit into the context of the puzzle.
  2. Pay attention to the tense of the clue: The tense of the clue can give you a clue as to whether the answer is meant to be ironic or sardonic. For example, a clue that is in the past tense might suggest that the answer is something unexpected or contradictory.
  3. Consider the wordplay: Wordplay is a common technique used in crossword puzzles, especially for ironic and sardonic clues. Look for puns, anagrams, homophones, and other wordplay that might be used to create a double meaning.
  4. Think outside the box: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when solving ironic and sardonic crossword clues. Consider unconventional answers that might fit the context of the puzzle and the tone of the clue.
  5. Practice, practice, practice: Solving ironic and sardonic crossword clues requires practice and familiarity with the techniques used to create them. Keep solving puzzles and pay attention to the clues that challenge you the most.


Ironic and sardonic crossword clues can be challenging, but they can also be a lot of fun. By paying attention to the tone and wordplay of the clue, and by practicing your problem-solving skills, you can become a skilled solver of these types of clues. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get them right away – with practice and patience, you’ll be able to solve even the most ironic and sardonic of crossword clues.


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