The Stickler Weekly 187 Clue Hints

(click on the clue number to see the hint)

Click on underlined text for explanation of terms.

Need more hints for these or other clues? Just leave a reply below.












The answer is hidden among the words of the clue. No spare words should be present. A suitable hidden indicator will point to the buried text.

Examples: part of, associated with, types of.

The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
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29 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 187 Clue Hints

  1. Christine Hulley says:

    That was a difficult one this week! 17a confused me as did the NE corner. Oh and 5a and 20d as well.

  2. Wendy Simpson says:

    Interesting, I found it mostly easier this week.
    Loved 17a, not sure how the wordplay works though.
    Still stuck on 20d to finish.

  3. Arthur Maynard says:

    I am with you Wendy. I thought David had gone easier on us this week.
    Several times I tried to read clues in total, and had to resort to reading them slowly word by word. 14a is a good example.
    LOL at 12a.
    I got jammed up trying to parse 20d, but the penny eventually dropped. A bit of sleight of hand here David.
    I might have 5a wrong, I thought part of the solution in the solution was an Australia term mostly used by children, and should have attracted a comment for overseas solvers.
    Parsing of 17a is an enigma, I understood half of David’s clue hint. With the crosses, it became clear. However I need to analyse the word play.
    Only 13d to go. I have all the crosses, but cannot make any headway.
    A nudge in the right direction would be appreciated.

  4. Arthur Maynard says:

    I just signed off and walked through the doorway when it all became clear. I have spent too much time with W or O as possible inclusions, but that was way off the mark.

    Now to work out parsing for 17a

    • Wendy Simpson says:

      Did the same thing, walked away and came back to it and finally the penny dropped with 20d. Trying to use the wrong word as the definition, and then had to get away from dogs!
      So this would be my gold star for the week.

  5. Richard Sternes says:

    GOSH! Sadly lacking here, barely half-way there with many gaps in bottom half.
    Hopefully some Clue Hints will assist…..

  6. Arthur Maynard says:

    David you little beauty. the clue for 17a is exactly right. This one takes the cake. I have a grin from side to side.

  7. Steve Ball says:

    I’m still stuck on the parsing for 17-ac. I worked out that “booked” meant “in books”, but I don’t understand “four” = “look around”. On a golf course “fore!” means “look out!” and that’s as close as I can get. But if I accept “four” meaning “look around”, I still have no idea how to turn “our four … circumstances” into the answer. :-S

    20-dn is very clever, methinks. 😉

    Steve = : ^ )

    • David Stickley says:

      Hi Steve,

      The clue hint is “four” – look around. I try to be consistent when writing the clue hints and usually equation is shown by “=” followed by a word or term in uppercase. When a dash is used, like in this case, it’s more of a comment that points the solver somewhere.



      PS 20-down isn’t hard but I like it too

  8. Richard Sternes says:

    Baffled writes – What-is-Going-on…….
    Far too much reliance on “Solver” already
    & still have 17a coming up part-hairy (surely not) & 23a???
    both of which may just lead to 13d & 20d.

    • David Stickley says:

      Hi Richard,

      If “solver” is a website or program that lets you find out the matching words, then I suggest you banish it until a couple of days out from the next puzzle. I believe are doing yourself of a whole lot more enjoyment by avoiding the opportunity to fully explore wordplays. I might write something about this as I think the modern solver doesn’t get nearly the same out of a crossword as I did 40 years ago.


      • Richard Sternes says:

        Thanks for The Tip David. My nature I guess. Let’s Fix This…..
        & 17a Too-Too-Cute. Now have to work out why!!!

        • Arthur Maynard says:

          17a This is probably one of the best known detectives in literature. Certainly there have been many crime stories which featured him. By your comment I think you may have worked him out. For the parsing, the clue tells you it is an anagram, but it does not have enough letters in the fodder. David’s hint points you to where the rest is.

          • Richard Sternes says:

            Yes Arthur. Nailed him.
            I was looking for more, but have accepted that anagram+ … sufficient.
            Like everyone else – but still pondering 20d
            & have a VERY convoluted “Why So” for 13d which involves Meetings & Minutes.

  9. Arthur Maynard says:

    13d Your newspaper has a close similarity to this word. Google the first two syllables and you will find it is confirmed. then the last syllable (pronounced differently) is the next part of the clue. I think you may have the right answer, and it could be related to minutes, but could apply to any number of odysseys.

    17a is just a straight anagram with two parts one clear and one awaiting discovery in what you can see. A bit hard if you have not solved the second bit.

    20d has nothing to do with dogs or crosswords. Read the clue carefully because there is nothing to indicate the type of clue, but you will find the answer right there staring you in the face.

    I would support David and suggest you use crossword solver as a last resort. This forum seems to work well with people willing to try to help. We try to give you another angle of approach so it does not spoil the clue, and leaves you with the “aha” moment.

    Good luck

    • David Stickley says:

      Are you saying there’s no indicator(?) in 20d Arthur?


      • Arthur Maynard says:

        I cannot identify an indicator which I would expect for the type of clue which I think this is. I have completed the puzzle on line to confirm that I have the correct word.
        I have not previously noticed the ? at the end. Is that the indicator? I have only struck that as an indicator for a cryptic or & lit clue and I did not identify this as either of those. Do I have the wrong clue type? I have not been solving crosswords for as long as you have been setting them, let alone for as long as you have been solving them, so I will be happy to learn from your comments.

        • Richard Sternes says:

          FINALLY 20d gelled after being in quite a Jam
          & in plain sight. Now – Why crossword?
          “setter?” was indeed the key/indicator/definition.

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            See my discussion with David. The ? is the indicator. Think outside the square. This type of clue often has extraneous words so the sentence construction is sound, and to lead you up the garden path

          • Steve Ball says:

            “Why crossword?” Because it crosses the two words “Respect India’s”. It’s a cross-word word, and it means setter. David often uses a “?” to indicate a missing hyphen, as in 3-dn where “representation” has to be read as “re-presentation”.

            Setter is the definition (and that’s all).

        • Arthur Maynard says:

          David, My own teaching notes on indicators say “? Often used at the end of a clue to indicate the clue will requjre lateral thinking or different interpretation of the clue. I even commented on the sleight of hand in the clue. It seems the I have previously confined the ? to &lit or cryptic clues.

  10. Richard Sternes says:

    Thank you Steve.
    Oh Bliss! Oh Rapture! ALL now makes sense & a new insight too.

  11. Greg C says:

    I don’t recognise the indicator 20d either, I wrote the answer straight in and didn’t give it any more thought till I came here. Maybe you separate the second last word of the clue ?

  12. Greg C says:

    Ah, Steve, I see you beat me to it.