The Stickler Weekly 126 Solution

A while back a device was used in a DA crossword that caused a little discussion on the Australian Crossword Club forum. He uses many devices that I don’t subscribe to, but this one I quite like. DA first mentioned it on his blog as one he’d seen in another puzzle (like this one). Setters tend to collect devices like normal people collect stamps, except, of course, every new valid device is an extra string to our bows and another way to achieve a wordplay goal. The more we have, the easier the setting becomes. This is the clue in which DA used this device most recently: On vacation, trusty cleric arranged kids’ transport (8)* [SMH 25/3/16]. The deception here is with the term “on vacation” which appears to mean on holiday but actually means “when cleared out”, with vacation meaning the act of vacating. However, even though I’m happy with what “on vacation” can mean in a cryptic sense, I think the positioning of the indicator gives just too much for the solver to do. Here, at least, there’s a comma to maybe help indicate with the order necessary to make it work, but that’s not always a given in the modern-day cryptic. There’s an old “rule” in cryptics: ignore punctuation, but the truth is, the solver sometimes needs to do more: they have to add punctuation too, as without implied punctuation many cryptic clues don’t work properly.  I constantly talk about the need to look after the solver, otherwise wordplays will have only a minor role in the solving of clues. Just imagine reading through a clue where, in theory, there could be a comma at the end of every word, changing the structure of the wordplay. Nightmare. A solver who is constantly going back after finding the answer and spending lots of time unravelling wordplays is being dudded by the setter. Back to the clue. The solver has to realise the deception in the device then apply it to fodder that follows rather than what’s in front of it as would be the natural flow. The two things together are too much for me and I doubt this wordplay would be sorted out in the build-up to finding the answer.
(* anagram of (T)RUST(Y) + CLERIC = TRICYCLE)

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 SOLUTION
Tortured soul turned it on with key (8) Anagram of SOUL + IT reversed + ON
5 THEISM
Belief in God is held by people generally (6) IS inside THEM
9 DIVERSIFICATION
One following some down under lies about a marketing strategy (15) I after DIVERS + (FICTION outside A)
11 BUDGERIGAR
Australian flyer is to shoot engineer wearing outfit? (10) BUD + (RIG inside GEAR)
12 ONTO
Able to see right through window of front office? (4) frONT Office
14 TREATY
Formal agreement to address hunger secured by judge (6) EAT inside TRY
16 WARPLANE
Military aircraft’s deviation acknowledged ahead of formal airspace (8) WARP + LANE
18 PREPARED
Trained salesman included in cut (8) REP inside PARED
19 ORGASM
Climax or excellent film’s ending (6) OR + GAS + FIL(M)
22 UREA
Drops of pure alkaline substance in waste matter? (4) pURE Alkaline
23 LOWER-CLASS
Inferior cow, say, caught by girl (5-5) LOWER + C + LASS
26 MATERIALISATION
Couple is clothed by a tailor in organised appearance (15) MATE + (IS inside anagram of A TAILOR IN)
27 TILTED
Worked on a roof, securing middle of battens set at an angle (6) TILED outside BAT(T)TENS
28 THIEVERY
This virtually described each one, without exception, in robbery (8) (THI)S + EVERY
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 SIDE BET
Small wager one newcomer put in place (4,3) (I + DEB) inside SET
2 LIVED
Bad person, hung upside down, survived (5) DEVIL reversed
3 TORRENTIAL
Coming down fast hill, hire car steered around one (10) TOR + (RENTAL outside I)
4 ORIGIN
Head of operations outfit in base (6) (O)PERATIONS + RIG + IN
6 HEAT
The broadcast covering a preliminary race (4) Anagram of THE outside A
7 IRIAN JAYA
Land bird moved around – one associated with a province of Indonesia (5,4) [(IRAN + JAY) outside I] + A
8 MANHOLE
An opening of hatch sealed by spy could be an access point (7) [AN + (H)ATCH] inside MOLE
10 ISAIAH
Man of the bible is a spotless Messiah? (6) IS + A + (MESSIAH minus MESS)
13 APPRECIATE
Relish soft boiled rice coated in a form of minced meat (10) (P + anagram of RICE) inside (A + PATE)
15 ELEMENTAL
Primitive sort of eel soft in the head (9) Anagram of EEL + MENTAL
17 PELOTA
Game lot tucked into vegetable (6) LOT inside PEA
18 PLUMMET
Fruit gathered in Fall (7) PLUM + MET
20 MASONRY
Jesus’ mother holding Him in stone building? (7) MARY outside SON
21 PERISH
Stuff carried by camper is hard to break down (6) camPER IS Hard
24 AGILE
Athletic goalie missing ball badly (5) Anagram of GOALIE minus O
25 BRIE
Bar that is out of a creamy cracker topping (4) (BAR + IE) minus A

 

This entry was posted in Stickler Weekly Solutions, The Stickler and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 126 Solution

  1. Richard Sternes says:

    hi David – time for much anticipated weekly fix again
    always glad that you are there

  2. Steve Ball says:

    “The solver has to realise the deception in the device then apply it to fodder in front rather than behind as would be the natural flow.”

    This is making my brain hurt. “On vacation” starts the clue so there is no “fodder in front” to apply it to. What am I missing?

    Also, what’s the answer (in ROT13 if you want to leave it for others to solve).

    • David Stickley says:

      Mine too, I’ve got that the wrong way round. Thanks, I’ll fix it and add the solution too.