The Times, July 17, 2018

Even the compilers of Times crosswords can no longer be relied upon to understand English. The clue for 8 across is ‘Imply, no fire’ and the answer (as you can see from the puzzle completed by my husband) is ‘inferno’ (‘imply’ = ‘infer’ + no, thus ‘fire’). But imply and infer are not synonyms. To imply is to hint or suggest, as in ‘he implied that the man was of questionable honesty’. To infer is to deduce from the evidence, as in ‘he inferred from the state of the body that the victim had been dead for weeks’.


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