The Stickler Weekly 170 Solution

It seems 15-down caused a few of you some issues. It’s no wonder, really, as the last thing you would expect is a complete reversal clue with a 15-letter answer. In all the time that I’ve written cryptics, I’ve never seen a reversal that long, but I’ll have to admit that was the furthest thing from my mind when I started writing the clue. The STRESSED/DESSERTS association has been used countless times in cryptic circles, so when I saw DESSERTS I wondered straight away whether I could use reverse STRESSED somehow. Imagine my delight when I realised the remaining part of the answer, POONS, was itself a reversed word! More, SNOOP, can be a noun or a verb, so plently to work with. I think reversals, like hiddens and sounds-like clues, tend to be the most obvious clue types due to a relatively limited set of acceptable indicators available, but luckily there are a couple of reversal indicators that are common words (like ABOUT, AROUND and OVER) with multiple cryptic uses and ABOUT suited perfectly in this case. The more natural the clue in flow, the easier it is for the solver to miss elements of the wordplay. Trickiness isn’t necessary when simplicity is available.

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 MAGISTRATE
Publication is first to truly appraise judge (10) MAG + IS + (T)RULY + RATE
6 WAND
Staff pale and sickly died (4) WAN + D
9 DEATH
Departure date changed by hospital (5) Anagram of DATE + H
10 SALAD DAYS
Youth speaks about schoolboy lawyer in the US (5,4) SAYS outside (LAD + DA)
12 EXTROVERT
Newspaper edition ignoring a public figure who is not retiring (9) (EXTRA minus A) + OVERT
13 SHELL
Hard structure to attack with bullets (5) Double Definition
14 RAMP
Drive hard down last bit of steep slope (4) RAM + STEE(P)
15 FORENSIC
Thief’s offsider corrupted cronies connected with courts of law? (8) THIE(F) + anagram of CRONIES
18 OVERSEAS
Exotic introduction to odes and poetry, for instance (8) (O)DES + VERSE + AS
20 STUB
Worn-out writer, perhaps, backed objections (4) BUTS reversed
24 TOILE
Ladies, say, trimmed transparent fabric (5) (TOILE)T
25 SHARPENER
Distributor accepting stockholder’s steel, for instance? (9) SHARER outside PEN
26 TIMESHARE
Drain containing mesh adjoining a jointly owned property (9) TIRE outside (MESH + A)
27 OVARY
Ring to change egg supplier (5) O + VARY
28 PASS
I have pulled out of non-violent sanction (4) PASSIVE minus IVE
29 RECONSIDER
Take another look at equestrian going around scattered cones (10) RIDER outside anagram of CONES
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 MIDGET
Slow up to pick up small person (6) DIM reversed + GET
2 GO AFTER
Words from screaming oaf terrified dog (2,5) screaminG OAF TERrified
3 SCHOOLMASTERS
Teachers rearranged the classrooms (13) Anagram of THE CLASSROOMS
4 RUSHER
River guide is one in a hurry (6) R + USHER
5 TELETHON
Interrupted service fixed up on the broadcast fund raiser (8) LET reversed + anagram of ON THE
7 AMADEUS
Biopic of a composer produced in a foreign country (7) MADE inside (A + US)
8 DISPLACE
Shift clasp badly wedged in sink (8) Anagram of CLASP inside DIE
11 DESSERTSPOONS
Busybody highly strung about consumer products (13) (SNOOP + STRESSED) reversed
16 FOOTSTEP
Fine favourites extremely upset with pace (8) F + (PETS + TOO) reversed
17 NAUSEATE
A union’s leader in Senate stirred up revolt (8) [A + (U)NION] inside anagram of SENATE
19 ENIGMAS
Puzzling problems developed in games (7) Anagram of IN GAMES
21 BANDAID
Plaster and adhesive originally included in tender (7) [AND + (A)DHESIVE] inside BID
22 GAZEBO
Watch boat docked at summerhouse (6) Gaze + (BOAT minus AT)
23 PRAYER
Petition got yanked away from drunken partygoer (6) Anagram of PARTYGOER minus GOT

 

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4 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 170 Solution

  1. Richard Sternes says:

    Hence – my “Pick of the Week”……………..

  2. Wendy Simpson says:

    Loved this one, took me all week to solve it, but I got there in the end, thanks, Richard and Arthur.

  3. Arthur Maynard says:

    Consumer products had me way off beam. So I totally overlooked the indicator. Acheck of the clue hints after solving set my mind at rest.

    Thoroughly enjoyed looking for a worn out writer and the play with non-violent.

    Apparently Richard is an early riser. I was in NSW but still rose later than that.

  4. Richard Sternes says:

    Weeks of humid restless nights Arthur.
    Toowoomba is approx. 700m above sea level – not supposed to happen.
    Remnants of Debbie arriving now, hopefully will fix it.

    Glad we could assist Wendy.
    Love this ongoing dialogue, prolongs Stickler & all David’s great work.