The Stickler Weekly 114 Solution

The Christmas/New Year/School holiday period is often a time when people take a break from work or normal activities and get together with family and friends. There’s a really good chance that you’ll meet some new people over this time and talk about various aspects of your life. When I meet someone for the first time I stay away from talking about their occupation for as long as possible because I know the counter-question will soon follow. In fact, when I used to write crosswords full-time, I would dread hearing those words “what do you do for a living?”, and actively try and change the subject and hope that they don’t come back to it. Why? Simple. As one of a handful of people in the world (at the time) who wrote nothing but crosswords for a living, I knew that once we started talking about it, the conversation would stay there for a long time and I’d do most of the talking. Crossword solvers and non-solvers alike are fascinated by the cruciverbalist’s art and have dozens and dozens of questions that need answering: “how did you start?”, “do you use software?”, “how long does it take?” , “who do you write for?”, “how much does a crossword cost?” etc etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about it, but, as it’s a unique profession, there are many more questions than an accountant or doctor might get, and I tend to be effusive once I get started. Unlike me, I’m hoping that Stickler solvers don’t shy away talking about their love of cryptics and spreading the word every chance they get.

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 DISPUTE
Challenge is established in middle of ordeal (7) (IS + PUT) inside OR(DE)AL
5 SNAPPY
Smart agent catching 40 winks (6) SPY outside NAP
9 STOOP
Quit sucking in oxygen and lean forward (5) STOP outside O
10 TOP-DOLLAR
Very expensive work everyone backed in redesign of port (3-6) [DO + (ALL reversed)] inside anagram of PORT
11 SMOOTHIE
He is worried about subject to debate sweet talker (8) Anagram of HE IS outside MOOT
12 ROUTES
Audio version of family history courses (6) Sounds like ROOTS
13 BUTT
American behind an object of ridicule (4) Double Definition
14 ANNOUNCED
Broadcast part of speech expressed in choreographed dance (9) NOUN inside anagram of DANCE
17 IN EARNEST
One close to secluded retreat with sincere intentions (2,7) I + NEAR + NEST
18 OLIO
Duck fat sitting around stew (4) O + (OIL reversed)
20 APPEAR
A soft fruit’s surface (6) A + P + PEAR
21 DIVIDEND
Benefit did stop around six (8) (DID + END) outside VI
24 DEATH WISH
Desire to pass on ground wheat in bowl (5,4) Anagram of WHEAT inside DISH
25 KEDGE
Stern of hulk connected to line and anchor (5) HUL(K) + EDGE
26 PERSON
Individual is essentially shortened in operation (6) (PERS)E + ON
27 TENDRIL
Look after rail missing a climbing attachment (7) TEND + (RAIL minus A)
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 DOSES
Deer injected with small amounts of medicine (5) DOES outside S
2 SLOW ON THE UPTAKE
Walk to penthouse, in a drunken state, is not quick (4,2,3,6) Anagram of WALK TO PENTHOUSE
3 UPPITY
The heart of stupid fellow feeling self-important (6) ST(UP)ID + PITY
4 EXTRICATE
Cat featured in detailed supplement that is free? (9) CAT inside [(EXTR)A + IE]
5 SAPS
Weak people left out of cheeky strikes, perhaps? (4) SLAPS minus L
6 APOLOGUE
No right to argue about sport story that means something (8) (ARGUE minus R) outside POLO
7 POLITICAL LEADER
Party bigwig is courteous about one name a socialist brought up (9,6) POLITE outside (I + CALL) + A + (RED reversed)
8 PRESIDIO
Side beaten by one in specialist military post (8) (Anagram of SIDE + I) inside PRO
13 BRIGANDS
Outlaws equipment used in music groups (8) RIG inside BANDS
15 NOT WITH IT
No fool on strike is distracted (3,4,2) NO + TWIT + HIT
16 BREACHES
Barrister’s opening gets to violations of the law (8) (B)ARRISTER + REACHES
19 SINK IN
Penetrate religious crime family (4,2) SIN + KIN
22 DWELL
Remain strong after start of dialysis (5) WELL after (D)IALYSIS
23 LIEN
Foreigner forgoing a right to seize property (4) ALIEN minus A

 

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One Response to The Stickler Weekly 114 Solution

  1. Richard Sternes says:

    hi David

    ‘cross-wordsmith’ – love that
    very basic Latin taught in Qld. country schools in 1950’s
    must have had an excellent (though not remembered) teacher
    have never forgotten Latin roots – still fundamental to much language today