*Expulsion* and *departure* indicators direct the solver to remove one piece of text from another. An expulsion involves X getting rid of Y (result = X-Y), as in ‘rookie drops everything’ for CALLOW – ALL = COW; a departure means X being lost from Y (result = Y-X), as in ‘Britain quits group’ for BAND – B = AND. This list is long but not exhaustive – in general, any term which suggests something being removed from something else is likely to be acceptable, although setters should avoid ones which are normally used only in a restricted context (eg ‘disembarks’, which relates specifically to ships). Where the indicator is a verb, other forms are possible, such as the infinitive (eg ‘right to avoid exercise’ for DRILL – R = DILL). With past participles or adjectives, the form in the wordplay will be along the lines of ‘X with Y removed’, eg ‘depressed when stripped of diamonds’ for DOWN – D = OWN. Note that a few verbs, such as ‘leave’ and ‘abandon’ can be used to indicate either expulsion *or* departure (‘I left the broccoli’ / ‘I left the table’). *Reduction* indicators direct the solver to remove letters from a specific position in the target word(s) – at the start, at the end, or in the middle (eg ‘nearly finished’ for DONE without the last letter = DON). Setters should be aware that some publications will not accept first letter reduction indicators that suggest decapitation.

*Date last modified: 27/3*/24

*Recent changes:* (27/11/23) added *flushes/flushing/flushed* (flush = ‘to rouse and cause to move off’), (22/1/24) added *buries/burying/buried* (bury = ‘to hide’), (25/1/24) added *bereft of*, *robbed of, separated from, parted from, taken from,* (7/3/24) added last letter reduction indicators *much of, a great deal of*, (27/3/24) added *renders/rendering/rendered by, banned, relieved of, barring*.

Indicator | Alternative form(s) | Variety | Type | |
---|---|---|---|---|

a great deal of | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

a lot of | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

abandoning | abandoned/abandons | Departure | Standard | |

abandoning | abandons | Expulsion | Standard | |

abject | Departure | Advanced | ||

abrupt | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

all but | all except | Expulsion | Standard | |

almost | almost entirely | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

apart from | Expulsion | Standard | ||

avoiding | avoids | Expulsion | Standard | |

avoiding | avoided/avoids | Departure | Standard | |

away | away from | Departure | Standard | |

axed | Departure | Standard | ||

axing | axes | Expulsion | Standard | |

banished | Departure | Standard | ||

banishing | banishes | Expulsion | Standard | |

banned | Departure | Standard | ||

bar | Expulsion | Standard | P*N | |

bare | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

barring | Expulsion | Standard | ||

belted out | Departure | Standard | ||

belting out | belts out | Expulsion | Standard | |

bereft of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

binned | Departure | Standard | ||

bins | Expulsion | Standard | V*N | |

bitten off | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

blanked out | Departure | Standard | ||

blanking out | blanks out | Expulsion | Standard | |

blotted out | Departure | Standard | ||

blotting | blots | Expulsion | Standard | |

blowing | blown/blows | Departure | Standard | |

blowing | blows | Expulsion | Standard | |

blues | Expulsion | Advanced | V*N | |

bounced | Departure | Standard | ||

bouncing | bounces | Expulsion | Standard | |

boundless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

brushing off | brushing aside | Expulsion | Standard | |

bulk of | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

buried | Departure | Standard | ||

burying | buries | Expulsion | Standard | |

but for | Expulsion | Standard | ||

bypassed | Departure | Standard | ||

bypassing | bypasses | Expulsion | Standard | |

cancelled | Departure | Standard | ||

cancelling | cancels | Expulsion | Standard | |

cashiered | Departure | Standard | ||

cashiers | Expulsion | Standard | V*N | |

cast out | Departure | Standard | ||

casting out | casts out | Expulsion | Standard | |

ceded | Departure | Standard | ||

ceding | cedes | Expulsion | Standard | |

chapped | Reduction - last letter | Advanced | ||

chiefly | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

chucked | chucked out | Departure | Standard | |

chucking (out) | chucks (out) | Expulsion | Standard | |

clear of | cleared of | Expulsion | Standard | |

cleared | cleared out | Departure | Standard | |

cleft | Departure | Adavnced | V*N | |

clipped | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

coming out | comes out | Departure | Standard | |

concealed | Departure | Standard | ||

concealing | conceals | Expulsion | Standard | |

conceded | Departure | Standard | ||

conceding | concedes | Expulsion | Standard | |

consumed | Departure | Standard | ||

covered | covered up | Departure | Standard | |

covering head(s) | Reduction - first letter(s) | Standard | ||

cropped | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

curt | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

curtailed | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

cut | cut out | Departure | Standard | V*N |

cut | Reduction - last letter | Standard | V*N | |

cut by | Expulsion | Standard | ||

cutting | cuts | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

declined | Departure | Standard | ||

declining | declines | Expulsion | Standard | |

deducted | Departure | Standard | ||

deficient in | Expulsion | Standard | ||

deleted | Departure | Standard | ||

deleting | deletes | Expulsion | Standard | |

delivered | Departure | Standard | ||

delivering | delivers | Expulsion | Standard | |

denied | Expulsion | Standard | ||

denied opening | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

departing | departs | Departure | Standard | |

deported | Departure | Standard | ||

deporting | deports | Expulsion | Standard | |

deprived of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

deserted by | Expulsion | Standard | ||

deserting | deserts | Departure | Standard | |

detached | Departure | Standard | ||

devoid of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

disappearing | disappears | Departure | Standard | |

discarded | Departure | Standard | ||

discharged | Departure | Standard | ||

discharging | discharges | Expulsion | Standard | |

discounted | Departure | Standard | ||

discounting | discounts | Expulsion | Standard | |

disgorged | Departure | Standard | ||

disgorging | disgorges | Expulsion | Standard | |

disheartened | Reduction - middle letters | Standard | ||

dismissed | Departure | Standard | ||

dismissing | dismisses | Expulsion | Standard | |

disowned | Departure | Standard | ||

disowning | disowns | Expulsion | Standard | |

dispatched | Departure | Standard | ||

dispatching | dispatches | Expulsion | Standard | |

disposed of | Departure | Standard | ||

disposing of | disposes of | Expulsion | Standard | |

disregarded | Departure | Standard | ||

disregarding | disregards | Expulsion | Standard | |

ditched | Departure | Standard | ||

ditching | ditches | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

divested of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

docked | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

doesn't close | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

doesn't enjoy | not enjoying | Expulsion | Advanced | |

driven out | Departure | Standard | ||

driving out | drives out | Expulsion | Standard | |

dropped | Departure | Standard | ||

dropping | drops | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

ducking | ducks | Departure | Standard | V*N |

dumped | Departure | Standard | ||

dumping | dumps | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

eclipsed | Departure | Standard | ||

eclipsing | eclipses | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

ejaculating | ejaculates | Expulsion | Advanced | |

ejected | Departure | Standard | ||

ejecting | ejects | Expulsion | Standard | |

eliminated | Departure | Standard | ||

eliminating | eliminates | Expulsion | Standard | |

eluded by | Expulsion | Standard | ||

eluding | eludes | Departure | Standard | |

emerging | emerges | Departure | Standard | |

endless | endlessly | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

endless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

eradicated | Departure | Standard | ||

eradicating | eradicates | Expulsion | Standard | |

escaping | escapes | Departure | Standard | V*N |

eschewed | Departure | Standard | ||

eschewing | eschews | Expulsion | Standard | |

ex | Expulsion | Advanced | P*N | |

except | except for | Expulsion | Standard | |

excluded | Departure | Standard | ||

excluding | excludes | Expulsion | Standard | |

exiled | Departure | Standard | ||

exiling | exiles | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

exiting | exits | Departure | Standard | V*N |

expelled | Departure | Standard | ||

expelling | expels | Expulsion | Standard | |

expressed | Departure | Standard | ||

expressing | expresses | Expulsion | Standard | |

expunged | Departure | Standard | ||

expunging | expunges | Expulsion | Standard | |

extracted | Departure | Standard | ||

extruded | Departure | Standard | ||

extruding | extrudes | Expulsion | Standard | |

exuding | exudes | Expulsion | Standard | |

exuding | exuded/exudes | Departure | Standard | |

faceless | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

failing | fails | Departure | Standard | |

fired | Departure | Standard | ||

firing | fires | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

flushed | Departure | Standard | ||

flushing | flushes | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

flying | flies | Departure | Standard | V*N |

for the most part | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

forbidden to | Departure | Standard | ||

forgetting | forgets | Expulsion | Standard | |

forgotten | Departure | Standard | ||

forlorn | Departure | Advanced | ||

frameless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

free | Departure | Standard | A*V | |

free of | free from | Expulsion | Standard | |

getting rid of | gets rid of | Expulsion | Standard | |

going | gone/goes | Departure | Standard | |

guts | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

hampered | Reduction - last letter | Advanced | ||

having no | has no/hasn't | Expulsion | Standard | |

having no leads | Reduction - first letters | Standard | ||

headed | Reduction - first letter | Advanced | V*V | |

headless | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

heartless | heartlessly | Reduction - middle letters | Standard | |

hidden | Departure | Standard | ||

husked | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

ignored | Departure | Standard | ||

ignoring | ignores | Expulsion | Standard | |

incomplete | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

infinite | infinitely | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

inside | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

interminable | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

interminable | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

isn't available | not available | Departure | Standard | |

isn't enjoyed by | Departure | Advanced | ||

isolated | Departure | Standard | ||

isolating | isolates | Expulsion | Standard | |

jettisoned | Departure | Standard | ||

jettisoning | jettisons | Expulsion | Standard | |

junks | Expulsion | Standard | V*N | |

kicked out | Departure | Standard | ||

kicking out | kicks out | Expulsion | Standard | |

killed | Departure | Standard | ||

killing | kills | Expulsion | Standard | |

knocked back | Departure | Standard | ||

knocked out | Departure | Standard | ||

knocking back | knocks back | Expulsion | Standard | |

knocking out | knocks out | Expulsion | Standard | |

lacking | lacks | Expulsion | Standard | |

lacking | Departure | Standard | ||

laid aside | Departure | Standard | ||

largely | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

laying aside | lays aside | Expulsion | Standard | |

leaderless | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

leaking | leaks | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

leaking | Departure | Standard | ||

leaving | leaves/left by | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

leaving | leaves | Departure | Standard | V*N |

leaving out | leaves out | Expulsion | Standard | |

less | Expulsion | Standard | P*A | |

lessened by | Expulsion | Standard | ||

let out | Departure | Standard | ||

let slip | Departure | Standard | ||

letting out | lets out | Expulsion | Standard | |

letting slip | lets slip | Expulsion | Standard | |

liberated | Departure | Standard | ||

liberating | liberates | Expulsion | Standard | |

limitless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

lining of | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

lopped | Reduction - first letter | Advanced | ||

losing | loses | Expulsion | Standard | |

losing head(s) | Reduction - first letter(s) | Standard | ||

lost | Departure | Standard | ||

mainly | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

minus | Expulsion | Standard | ||

missing | misses | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

missing | missed out | Departure | Standard | |

most of | mostly | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

much of | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

naked | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

nearly | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

needing | needs | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

nicked | Reduction - last letter | Advanced | ||

no | Expulsion | Standard | ||

not | Expulsion | Standard | ||

not quite | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

not the first | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

not the last | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

nowhere to be seen | Departure | Standard | ||

obliterated | Departure | Standard | ||

obliterating | obliterates | Expulsion | Standard | |

obscured | Departure | Standard | ||

obscuring | obscures | Expulsion | Standard | |

ousted | Departure | Standard | ||

ousting | ousts | Expulsion | Standard | |

out of bounds | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

out of sight | Departure | Standard | ||

outing | Expulsion | Standard | V*N | |

outing | Departure | Standard | V*N | |

parted from | Departure | Standard | ||

passed over | Departure | Standard | ||

passing | passes | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

passing | passed | Departure | Standard | |

passing over | passes over | Expulsion | Standard | |

peeled | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

polled | Departure | Advanced | ||

polling | polls | Expulsion | Advanced | V*N |

pruned | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

pulled out | Departure | Standard | ||

pulling out | pulls out | Departure | Standard | |

put away | Departure | Standard | ||

put out | Departure | Standard | ||

putting away | puts away | Expulsion | Standard | |

putting out | puts out | Expulsion | Standard | |

quitting | quits | Departure | Standard | |

racing | races | Departure | Standard | V*N |

rebuffing | rebuffed/rebuffs | Departure | Standard | |

rebuffing | rebuffs | Expulsion | Standard | |

reduced by | Expulsion | Standard | ||

refused to | Departure | Standard | ||

regardless of | Expulsion | Advanced | ||

rejected | Departure | Standard | ||

rejecting | rejects | Expulsion | Standard | |

rejecting outsiders | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

released | Departure | Standard | ||

releasing | releases | Expulsion | Standard | |

relegated | Departure | Standard | ||

relegating | relegates | Expulsion | Standard | |

relieved of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

relinquished | Departure | Standard | ||

relinquishing | relinquishes | Expulsion | Standard | |

removed | Departure | Standard | ||

rendering | renders | Expulsion | Standard | |

renounced | Departure | Standard | ||

renouncing | renounces | Expulsion | Standard | |

rid of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

rids | ridding | Expulsion | Advanced | |

robbed of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

rubbed out | Departure | Standard | ||

rubbing out | rubs out | Expulsion | Standard | |

running | runs | Departure | Standard | V*N |

save | Expulsion | Standard | P*V | |

saving | Expulsion | Standard | P*V,P*N | |

saving skin | save skin | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

scored | Departure | Standard | ||

scoring | scores | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

scrapped | Departure | Standard | ||

scrapping | scraps | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

scratching | scratches | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

scratching | scratched/scratches | Departure | Standard | |

scratching backside | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

scratching head(s) | Reduction - first letter(s) | Standard | ||

screened | Departure | Standard | ||

screening | screens | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

scrubbed | Departure | Standard | ||

scrubbing | scrubs | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

sending out | sends out | Expulsion | Standard | |

sent out | Departure | Standard | ||

separated from | Departure | Standard | ||

set aside | Departure | Standard | ||

setting aside | sets aside | Expulsion | Standard | |

shed | Departure | Standard | V*N | |

shedding | sheds | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

shelled | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

shifting | shifts | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

shifting | shifted/shifts | Departure | Standard | V*N |

short of | short | Expulsion | Standard | |

shortened | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

shot of | gets shot of | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

shoved out | Departure | Standard | ||

shoving out | shoves out | Expulsion | Standard | |

shunning | shunned/shuns | Departure | Standard | |

shunted | Departure | Advanced | ||

shunting | shunts | Expulsion | Advanced | V*N |

shy of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

sidestepping | sidesteps | Departure | Standard | |

skinless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

skinned | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

skipping | skips | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

snatched | Departure | Standard | ||

snubbed | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

snubbing | snubbed/snubs | Departure | Standard | V*N |

snubbing | snubs | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

spending | spends | Expulsion | Standard | |

spent | Departure | Standard | ||

spilling | spills | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

spilling | spilt/spills | Departure | Standard | V*N |

spirited away | Departure | Standard | ||

splitting | splits | Departure | Standard | V*N |

spurning | spurned/spurns | Departure | Standard | |

spurning | spurns | Expulsion | Standard | |

squeezed out | Departure | Standard | ||

squeezing out | squeezes out | Expulsion | Standard | |

steering clear of | steers clear of | Expulsion | Standard | |

stifled | Departure | Standard | ||

stifling | stifles | Expulsion | Standard | |

stolen | Departure | Standard | ||

stricken | Departure | Standard | ||

striking | strikes | Expulsion | Standard | V*A,V*N |

stripped | Departure | Standard | ||

stripped of | Expulsion | Standard | ||

struck | Departure | Standard | ||

stunted | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

suppressed | Departure | Standard | ||

suppressing | suppresses | Expulsion | Standard | |

surrendered | Departure | Standard | ||

surrendering | surrenders | Expulsion | Standard | |

tailed | Reduction - last letter | Standard | V*V | |

tailless | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

taken from | Departure | Standard | ||

taken out | Departure | Standard | ||

taking out | takes out | Expulsion | Standard | |

throwing out | throws out | Expulsion | Standard | |

thrown out | Departure | Standard | ||

tipped | Reduction - first letter | Advanced | V*V | |

topless | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

topped | Reduction - first letter | Advanced | V*V | |

torn out | Departure | Standard | ||

trimmed | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

truncated | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

turned down | Departure | Standard | ||

turning down | turns down | Expulsion | Standard | |

unbounded | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

uncapped | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

unconfined | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

uncovered | Reduction - both ends | Standard | V*V | |

uncrowned | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

unemployed | Departure | Standard | ||

unending | not ending | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

unfinished | Reduction - last letter | Standard | ||

unframed | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

unloaded | Departure | Standard | ||

unloading | unloads | Expulsion | Standard | |

unopened | Reduction - first letter | Standard | ||

unremembered | Departure | Advanced | ||

unsettled | Departure | Advanced | ||

unsettling | unsettles | Expulsion | Advanced | |

unsheathed | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

unwanted | Departure | Standard | ||

unwrapped | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

vanished | Departure | Advanced | ||

vanishing | vanishes | Departure | Standard | |

vanishing | vanishes | Expulsion | Advanced | |

vanquished | Departure | Standard | ||

vanquishing | vanquishes | Expulsion | Standard | |

vented | Departure | Standard | ||

venting | vents | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

voided | Departure | Standard | ||

voiding | voids | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

wanting | wants | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

wanting | Departure | Standard | ||

wasted | Departure | Standard | ||

wasting | wastes | Expulsion | Standard | |

wingless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

wiped | Departure | Standard | ||

wiped out | Departure | Standard | ||

wiping | wipes | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |

wiping out | wipes out | Expulsion | Standard | |

with heart void | Reduction - middle letters | Standard | ||

withheld | Departure | Standard | ||

without | Expulsion | Standard | ||

without limits | Reduction - both ends | Standard | ||

won't have | Expulsion | Standard | ||

yielded | Departure | Standard | ||

yielding | yields | Expulsion | Standard | V*N |