*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.

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

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

abandoning | abandoned/abandons | Departure | Standard |

abandoning | abandons | Expulsion | Standard |

abject | Departure | Advanced | |

abrupt | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

almost | almost entirely | Reduction - last letter | 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 |

bar | Expulsion | Standard | |

belted out | Departure | Standard | |

belting out | belts out | Expulsion | Standard |

binned | Departure | Standard | |

bins | Expulsion | 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 | |

bounced | Departure | Standard | |

bouncing | bounces | Expulsion | Standard |

boundless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

brushing off | brushing aside | Expulsion | Standard |

bulk of | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

but for | Expulsion | Standard | |

but for | Expulsion | Standard | |

bypassed | Departure | Standard | |

bypassing | bypasses | Expulsion | Standard |

cancelled | Departure | Standard | |

cancelling | cancels | Expulsion | Standard |

cashiered | Departure | Standard | |

cast out | Departure | Standard | |

casting out | casts out | Expulsion | Standard |

ceded | Departure | Standard | |

ceding | cedes | Expulsion | 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 | |

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 | |

curt | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

curtailed | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

cut | cut out | Departure | Standard |

cut | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

cut by | Expulsion | Standard | |

cutting | cuts | Expulsion | Standard |

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 |

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 |

ducking | ducks | Departure | Standard |

dumped | Departure | Standard | |

dumping | dumps | Expulsion | Standard |

eclipsed | Departure | Standard | |

eclipsing | eclipses | Expulsion | Standard |

ejected | Departure | Standard | |

ejecting | ejects | Expulsion | Standard |

eliminated | Departure | Standard | |

eliminating | eliminates | Expulsion | 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 |

eschewed | Departure | Standard | |

eschewing | eschews | Expulsion | Standard |

ex | Expulsion | Advanced | |

except | except for | Expulsion | Standard |

excluded | Departure | Standard | |

excluding | excludes | Expulsion | Standard |

exiled | Departure | Standard | |

exiling | exiles | Expulsion | Standard |

exiting | exits | Departure | Standard |

expelled | Departure | Standard | |

expelling | expels | Expulsion | Standard |

expressed | Departure | Standard | |

expressing | expresses | Expulsion | Standard |

expunged | Departure | Standard | |

expunging | expunges | Expulsion | Standard |

extracted | Departure | Standard | |

exuding | exudes | Expulsion | Standard |

exuding | exuded/exudes | Departure | Standard |

failing | fails | Departure | Standard |

fired | Departure | Standard | |

firing | fires | Expulsion | Standard |

flying | flies | Departure | Standard |

forbidden to | Departure | Standard | |

forgetting | forgets | Expulsion | Standard |

forgotten | Departure | Standard | |

forlorn | Departure | Advanced | |

frameless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

free | Departure | Standard | |

free of | free from | 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 | |

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 | |

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 | |

largely | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

leaderless | Reduction - first letter | Standard | |

leaking | leaks | Expulsion | Standard |

leaking | Departure | Standard | |

leaving | leaves/left by | Expulsion | Standard |

leaving | leaves | Departure | Standard |

leaving out | leaves out | Expulsion | Standard |

less | Expulsion | Standard | |

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 |

missing | missed out | Departure | Standard |

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

naked | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

nearly | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

needing | needs | Expulsion | Standard |

no | Expulsion | Standard | |

no | Departure | Standard | |

not | Expulsion | Standard | |

not | Departure | 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 | |

outing | Departure | Standard | |

passed over | Departure | Standard | |

passing | passes | Expulsion | Standard |

passing | passed | Departure | Standard |

passing over | passes over | Expulsion | Standard |

peeled | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

polled | Departure | Advanced | |

polling | polls | Expulsion | Advanced |

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 |

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 |

released | Departure | Standard | |

releasing | releases | Expulsion | Standard |

relegated | Departure | Standard | |

relegating | relegates | Expulsion | Standard |

relinquished | Departure | Standard | |

relinquishing | relinquishes | Expulsion | Standard |

removed | Departure | Standard | |

renounced | Departure | Standard | |

renouncing | renounces | Expulsion | Standard |

rubbed out | Departure | Standard | |

rubbing out | rubs out | Expulsion | Standard |

running | runs | Departure | Standard |

save | Expulsion | Standard | |

saving | Expulsion | Standard | |

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

scored | Departure | Standard | |

scoring | scores | Expulsion | Standard |

scrapped | Departure | Standard | |

scrapping | scraps | Expulsion | Standard |

scratching | scratches | Expulsion | Standard |

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 |

scrubbed | Departure | Standard | |

scrubbing | scrubs | Expulsion | Standard |

sending out | sends out | Expulsion | Standard |

sent out | Departure | Standard | |

set aside | Departure | Standard | |

setting aside | sets aside | Expulsion | Standard |

shed | Departure | Standard | |

shedding | sheds | Expulsion | Standard |

shelled | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

shifting | shifts | Expulsion | Standard |

shifting | shifted/shifts | Departure | Standard |

short of | short | Expulsion | Standard |

shortened | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

shot of | gets shot of | Expulsion | Standard |

shoved out | Departure | Standard | |

shoving out | shoves out | Expulsion | Standard |

shunning | shunned/shuns | Departure | Standard |

shy of | Expulsion | Standard | |

skinless | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

skinned | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

skipping | skips | Expulsion | Standard |

snatched | Departure | Standard | |

snubbed | Reduction - last letter | Standard | |

snubbing | snubbed/snubs | Departure | Standard |

snubbing | snubs | Expulsion | Standard |

spending | spends | Expulsion | Standard |

spent | Departure | Standard | |

spilling | spills | Expulsion | Standard |

spilling | spilt/spills | Departure | Standard |

spirited away | Departure | Standard | |

splitting | splits | Departure | Standard |

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 |

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 | |

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 | |

topless | Reduction - first letter | Standard | |

topped | Reduction - first letter | Advanced | |

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 | |

unconfined | Reduction - both ends | Standard | |

uncovered | Reduction - both ends | 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 |

voided | Departure | Standard | |

voiding | voids | Expulsion | Standard |

wanting | wants | Expulsion | Standard |

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 |

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 |