The Stickler Weekly 205 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 using the sound of a word or phrase. Sounds-like indicators point the way.
The answer is found by removing a letter, letters, or a word (either found directly in the clue or derived) from a word or words (or their synonyms). Subtractions involving synonyms must be done with contiguous letters, that is, a word will subtract directly unless specifically indicated. A subtraction indicator is present to initiate the action.
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 removing a letter, letters, or a word (either found directly in the clue or derived) from a word or words (or their synonyms). Subtractions involving synonyms must be done with contiguous letters, that is, a word will subtract directly unless specifically indicated. A subtraction indicator is present to initiate the action.
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.
Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
This entry was posted in Stickler Weekly Clue Help, The Stickler and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 205 Clue Hints

  1. Richard Sternes says:

    10a – really Weird, Twilight Zone material this.
    Last evening I was posting on my FB page about 1986 memories of this.

  2. Richard Sternes says:

    Having a shocking run. Holes everywhere. Barely 25% complete.

  3. Christine Hulley says:

    Old grey cells letting me down today. Done about 50% and floundering now.

  4. Arthur Maynard says:

    I am about 60% but have holes all over the place. I had to use David’s hints for a few, but they do not provide enough light for some others
    Much to like among the answers so far. 19a, 26a 24a and 29a. I needed David’s hints for 19a and 20a.

    I’ll put this one aside for a couple of hours and see what surfaces in the interim.

  5. Richard Sternes says:

    Glad it’s not just me. Still struggling big-time @ about 60% too.
    Really like the ones you have noted Arthur, but don’t have 20a, despite Hints.
    Agree – time to put aside, tomorrow being another Day.
    Was concerned about the Hubris Factor a couple of weeks ago,
    seems with some justification!!!

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      20a. Smokers are not people. You still see many of them, but they are seldom in use in summer. A word which sounds the same means rushed.
      9d is one of your favourites. I needed the cross at 27a to get the second word. I had to correct 22d to get 27a my original choice fitted the space but had two letters wrong which was obvious when I studied the clue for 27a.
      27a moves toward the top of my list this week, but there are still a good number to sort out.
      Thank you David for the major challenges this week. The grey matter is getting a work out.

      • Richard Sternes says:

        Did have 20a after all Arthur, closer scrutiny – Confirmed.
        Not helping so far with 16a, 2d, 3d, 6d, 17d & 18d tho.
        This has been/is still seriously challenging.

  6. Steve Clarke says:

    I’m glad the rest of you are struggling, I thought my brains had leaked out. Two days in and only 1/3 done, feel a little inadequate 😳

  7. Christine Hulley says:

    Got about 60% now but feeling challenged. Going to sleep on it tonight. Sweet dreams folks, here’s to lucidity tomorrow!

  8. Wendy Simpson says:

    Only just started, but judging by the comments, I’ll have my work cut out.

  9. Christine Hulley says:

    Down to 18d, 21d, 23a and 27a now. Got no idea.

    • Christine Hulley says:

      Just 21d and 23a now. Head hurts.

    • Richard Sternes says:

      Can assist a little Christine
      18a – have an answer but not entirely convinced – first four letters = “time off”
      2nd four are “creative pursuits”
      21d – maybe groove would be better (reversed) first Three letters
      then 2nd Three letters is “price” at Auction? Needed help with this.
      23a – is all there, can’t say much you’ll be surprised how easy it is
      but not what you would expect – ship abandoning a letter.
      27a – is cute & unusual, anagram of gin + ore + end of water.
      …..Think I am down to 16a, 6d & 17d

      • Christine Hulley says:

        I have them all now but am not getting the congrats message so there must be an error but I can not see where.

      • Christine Hulley says:

        16a warmer is a noun, might even come from South Wales …
        6d the man is 2 letters, notices is 3 and stylish is 3 and together are another word for command
        17d, think of a fracture

        • Arthur Maynard says:

          You are spot on with 18d
          command is not an order.

          • Richard Sternes says:

            Yes slip of the finger, did mean 18d of course.
            Fell over the line at last – Thanks Christine.
            THAT kind of “warmer” – not less cool at all
            & yes large Welsh one of these.
            Will make this my Pick of the Week. Too exhausted to think of others!!! Will see.

  10. Christine Hulley says:

    Got the congrats at long last, helps to spell 1d correctly lol. Very hard this week.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      Finally got the congrats. I was not happy with 6d, because I was stuck on the bowling green. That led me astray with 16a. I understood early that warmer was a noun, but could only think of one which starts with c. Turns out that is correct. Finally the parsing fell into place when I re-evaluated the clue word by word. Incidentally 16a is not exclusively NSW. There was (and still may be) an earl, and we often use in parts of Queensland.

      Perhaps David was thinking of a white Christmas when setting this puzzle.

      Thank you David. Blind alleys, Eureka moments, digging into the fogettory for seldom used terms. What more could a person ask.

      • Christine Hulley says:

        I was actually referring to OLD South Wales back in the U.K.!

        • Arthur Maynard says:

          Typical of me. I saw South Wales and ignored the missing New. And I complain about people who tweet in ignorance of reality.

  11. Richard Sternes says:

    Agree Arthur & everyone else, this had THE LOT – & best part of Three days.
    Probably Best Ever – Thank You David.
    Had to have a go at Picks of The Week –
    1a – for the obscurity, 10a for the wonderful memories,
    aforementioned 16a of course, 28a & 29a Fine Art of brilliant, succinct cluing.
    4d for the distractions, 6d more cluing & 9d (with 4d) the beloved Alphabet Soups.

    • Richard Sternes says:

      In review, delete 4d from Soups but still loved the construction.

    • David Stickley says:

      Richard, you’ll have to explain why you consider the answer to 1ac to be obscure. Have you never heard of it?


      The Stickler

      • Richard Sternes says:

        NO! NO! & YES! YES! David.
        Natives is a South American jungle were just so completely unexpected. But one of many facets of your work that give me so much enjoyment.

  12. Steve Clarke says:

    Three long days and I’ve still got 7 to go, will give up and move to today’s AFR Stickler to try and vindicate myself.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      That is unusual for you Steve. It makes me feel a lot better about my struggles this week. And when you get it solved you will say “Why couldn’t I see that before.”
      I agree with David, this has to be one of the best, if not the best Stickler I have seen. Just too many good clues to pick a winner.

      • Steve Clarke says:

        Thanks for your support Arthur, I’ve had some practice today solving David’s other cryptic in the AFR so I’m ready to have another go at the weekly. Maybe the the clues will now be a little less obscure, but you’re right there are some fine clues this week, 4d being a favorite. Thanks again

        • Steve Clarke says:

          Finally I’ve got congrats after getting 6,7 and 8 down and 16 and 20 across. As pointed out by many this week it was very hard, well done David 👍🏻

  13. Richard Sternes says:

    Arthur – & LO – It came to pass – The Hubris Factor.
    Self fulfilling prophesy!!!

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      Yes, but not just you. I thought I was on a roll with two weeks puzzles finished in a couple of hours. I looked forward to finishing one with my breakfast cuppa. Oh yeah!

  14. Greg Mansell says:

    Finished at last. The SW corner was the killer for me: I puzzled over 4 clues for a couple of nights.
    1a, 16a, 27a, 28a, 29a & 15d: nice definitions
    4d: clever misdirection with “beautician finally”, which I initially assumed resolved to “N”
    23a: I assumed that “captain” resolves to “C” – as in “Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc)…”. This is confirmed in David’s hint above. However, surprisingly, none of the Chambers, Macquarie or Collins contain “captain” as a definition for C, c, C. or c.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      I was on your wave length with 23a and 4d, but nothing worked. 8d had a similar ploy to 23a, and that left me puzzling for some time also.

      I agree with your clue analysis, bujt I would be hard pressed to choose my absolute favourite.