Replacement indicators tell the solver that one sequence of letters in an element of the wordplay should be replaced by another sequence. So in the clue “Pass afternoon in repose having succumbed to drink (6)” the A in EASE must be replaced by LAP, producing ELAPSE.

When the string to be replaced occurs more than once in the target, it is usual to indicate which instance is to be replaced, as in “Grasp problem when son drives off first tee (6)” for MASTER (where S replaces the first T in MATTER).

There are certain replacement constructions in which a number of different verbs can be used, and not all possible variations are included in the list. Among these generic constructions are:

- Rejection: [element] <rejecting> X for Y (eg ‘dropping’, ‘abandoning’, ‘giving up’, ‘sacrificing’, ‘doing without’ etc)
- Submission: X submitting to Y in [element] (eg ‘yielding to’, ‘giving way to’, ‘stepping aside for’)
- Transformation: [element] with X <becoming> Y (eg ‘transformed into’, ‘turning into’, ‘changed to’)
- Displacement: Y <displacing> X in [element] (eg ‘driving out’, ‘ousting’, ‘replacing’)
- Substitution: Y <substituting for> X in [element] (eg ‘standing in for’, ‘playing part of’, ‘assuming role of’)
- Effacement: Y <effacing> X in [element] (eg ‘obscuring’, ‘doing away with’, ‘overwhelming’)
- Introduction: Y <being provided> for X in [element] (eg ‘entering’, ‘required’, ‘arriving’, ‘coming in’, ‘included’ etc)
- Correction: [element] <having> Y not X (eg ‘using’, ‘involving’, ‘possessing’, ‘enjoying’, ‘featuring’ etc)

The list below can be sorted alphabetically on Indicator, in either ascending (default) or descending sequence. The Search box allows full and partial searching of the first column in the list.

*Date last modified: 13/08/24*

*Recent changes:* (27/3/24) added *relieving/relieved by*, (13/08) added *trading*.

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

becoming | X becoming Y | Standard | |

bumping | Y bumping X | X bumped by Y | Standard |

changed | X changed to Y | Standard | |

coming in | Y coming in for X | Standard | |

concealing | Y concealing X | X concealed by Y | Standard |

conceding to | X conceding to Y | Standard | |

covering | Y covering X | Y covering for X | Standard |

displacing | Y displacing X | X displaced by Y | Standard |

doing duty | Y doing duty for X | Standard | |

downing | Y downing X | X downed by Y | Standard |

driving out | Y driving out X | Y driving off X | Standard |

dropping | dropping X for Y | X dropped for Y | Standard |

exchanging | exchanging X for Y | Standard | |

expelling | Y expelling X | X expelled by Y | Standard |

falling for | X falling for Y | Standard | |

forcing out | Y forcing out X | X forced out by Y | Standard |

getting | getting Y for X | Standard | |

giving up | giving up X for Y | X given up for Y | Standard |

giving way | X giving way to Y | Standard | |

going | X going for Y | Standard | |

having | having Y for X | having Y not X | Standard |

hiding | Y hiding X | X hidden by Y | Standard |

instead | Y instead of X | Standard | |

knocking out | Y knocking out X | X knocked out by Y | Standard |

leaving | leaving X in favour of Y | Standard | |

made invisible by | X made invisible by Y | Standard | |

making way | X making way for Y | Standard | |

obscuring | Y obscuring X | X obscured by Y | Standard |

ousting | Y ousting X | X ousted by Y | Standard |

overcoming | Y overcoming X | X overcome by Y | Standard |

overthrowing | Y overthrowing X | X overthrown by Y | Standard |

overwritten | X overwritten by Y | Standard | |

playing part | X playing part of Y | Standard | |

preferred to | Y preferred to X | Standard | |

put aside | X put aside for y | Standard | |

putting out | Y putting out X | X put out by Y | Standard |

relieving | Y relieving X | X relieved by Y | Standard |

replacing | Y replacing X | X replaced by Y | Standard |

squeezing out | Y squeezing out X | X squeezed out by Y | Standard |

standing in | Y standing in for X | Standard | |

submitting | X submitting to Y | Standard | |

substituted | Y substituted for X | Standard | |

succeeding | Y succeeding X | X succeeded by Y | Standard |

succumbing | X succumbing to Y | Standard | |

superseding | Y superseding X | X superseded by Y | Standard |

supplanting | Y supplanting X | X supplanted by Y | Standard |

suppressing | Y suppressing X | Standard | |

surrendering | X surrendering to Y | Standard | |

swapping | swapping X for Y | Standard | |

taking | taking Y for X | Standard | |

taking over | Y taking over from X | Standard | |

taking place | Y taking place of X | Standard | |

taking role | X taking role of Y | X assuming role of Y | Standard |

trading | trading X for Y | Standard | |

turning into | X turning into Y | X turning to Y | Standard |

with | with Y for X | with Y as X | Standard |

yielding | yielding X for Y | X yielding to Y | Standard |

How about “Y bought for X”? Chambers has this definition for “buy”: “to obtain something by giving up or sacrificing something else”

Hmm, that’s a tricky one. I think that you could certainly make a reasonable argument for its validity, but I’m inclined not to add it on the somewhat arbitrary basis that it doesn’t ‘feel’ quite right. If you trade something for something else, then a swap is implied, but if you buy something it’s almost always in exchange for money, which doesn’t seem like a swap, and you wouldn’t buy an item ‘for a pound coin’ but ‘for a pound’. I accept, though, that buying, selling, purchasing etc strongly suggest an incoming and an outgoing of some sort – it’s just the idea that the thing bought takes the place of the thing used to do the buying that I feel a bit uncomfortable with. Can you think of a situation where any kind of like-for-like is involved? I’ve looked at the examples in the OED under ‘buy v trans 2’ and they don’t convince me – eg ‘A war which could buy them neither spoil nor land’.

Jack sold a cow for magic beans. Before he had a cow. Now he has beans.

She bought their freedom with her life. A trade of two things she deemed equal.

I agree.. it’s.. tricky

I’m going to exclude buying and selling for the moment, but I realize (belatedly – sorry!) that your initial point about the generic constructions is spot-on. I will introduce another one, where an element takes in Y to replace X (eg ‘bringing in Y for X’). I think this should probably be termed ‘introduction’, while the one that currently has that name is perhaps closer to ‘insinuation’ or ‘intrusion’. Many thanks for pointing that out.

Impressive effort trying to categorise those different constructions. Makes my brain melt just a bit! 🙂

Did you have any thoughts on this? Kosher? http://www.clueclinic.com/index.php/feedback/#comment-36202

How about “trading X for Y”.. it doesn’t seem to quite fit a generic construction as they are written?

Thanks, Johannes

Good suggestion – I will add it to the list. I think it ‘fits’ with the other constructions where the participle comes at the start, eg ‘dropping X for Y’.

This is great. Your list includes most of the ones I had in mind and several more. Apart from “Y assuming the role of X”, which I mentioned yesterday, the others I have in my list are: “Y doing duty for X”, “X making way for Y”, “doing without X for Y”, “Y being provided for X”, “Y posing for X”, “losing X to Y”, “Y required for X” and “using Y not X”.

Thanks, Richard.

Looking at your additions, I realized that there were certain ‘generic’ constructions which were probably better dealt with in the introductory text – I hope that makes sense. There were two on your list which I was slightly uneasy about – ‘Y posing for [as?] X’ and ‘losing X to Y’. I wonder if ‘posing’ can truly have the sense of ‘taking the place’, or whether it only indicates impersonation, and when something is lost to Y, is it taken by Y rather than being replaced by it? Perhaps I’m being even more pedantic than usual…I’m open to persuasion! The others I have all incorporated in one form or another, many thanks for that.

Thanks. There’s nothing I’d put up a fight for here. I’ve been compiling a list for some time of the examples I’ve seen used – mainly in Times puzzles – and the ones I supplied were from that. Your generic forms are helpful – is it perhaps worth adding a fourth category dealing with transformation?

Thanks for that suggestion – I have taken it a step further and tried to categorize the majority of replacement constructions.