The Stickler Weekly 212 Solution

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 SKITTISH
Outfit entering street is hard and difficult to handle (8) KIT inside ST + IS + H
5 THWART
Check the slightly diminished growth on skin (6) (TH)E + WART
9 RISER
This part of stair is erect (5) staiR IS ERect
10 INTERSECT
Meet in court holding brief (9) (IN + CT) outside TERSE
12 MACHINE LANGUAGE
Speed unit in dash gauge changed processing instructions (7,8) MACH + IN + ELAN + anagram of GAUGE
13 LIST
Write down orderly’s tip (4) Double Definition
14 KNEE-DEEP
Heavily involved guard checking what’s required (4-4) KEEP outside NEED
18 DECANTER
Put off collecting tin container of wine (8) DETER outside CAN
20 SPUN
Star, handling pressure, turned around (4) SUN outside P
24 AS A MATTER OF FACT
Blob in fat farm eats spread before function actually (2,1,6,2,4) O inside anagram of FAT FARM EATS + ACT
25 REALITY TV
Natural soap, perhaps, is lacking in versatility somehow (7,2) Anagram of VERSATILITY minus IS
26 ACTOR
Animated cartoon missing out on person with role-playing experience (5) Anagram of CARTOON minus ON
27 DREDGE
Drive to border for digging equipment (6) DR + EDGE
28 INFERRED
Last part of dinner, after a blend of fine wine, is concluded (8) [DINNE(R) after anagram of FINE] + RED
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 SCRAMBLED
Leave drained and confused (9) SCRAM + BLED
2 INSECTS
Insignificant people in isolated religious groups (7) IN + SECTS
3 TORPID
Slow to river, duck toppled over (6) TO + R + (DIP reversed)
4 SNIPER
Cold feeling admitted by serial killer (6) NIP inside SER
6 HERE GOES
Starter’s call, say, accepted by champions (4,4) EG inside HEROES
7 ACETATE
Film star, and tragedy’s lead, had something (7) ACE + (T)RAGEDY + ATE
8 TITLE
Time left in match and championship (5) (T + L) inside TIE
11 TRAINS
Members of orchestra in secondary schools (6) orchesTRA IN Secondary
15 PUNCTURED
Turned up irritated about car’s first flat (9) Anagram of TURNED UP outside (C)AR
16 SNEAKING
Hidden moon finally eclipsed by Neptune? (8) MOO(N) inside SEA KING
17 GENTRY
High-ranking group’s grand admission (6) G + ENTRY
19 CRANAGE
Heavy lifter’s charge should be managed in a restricted enclosure (7) RAN inside CAGE
21 PLANTAR
Think about black substance occurring on the sole of the foot (7) PLAN + TAR
22 CRAVEN
Yellow head of common black bird (6) (C)OMMON + RAVEN
23 A-FRAME
Dwelling with built-in character? (1-5) Cryptic Definition
24 ACRID
Bitter cold experienced in desert (5) C inside ARID

 

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4 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 212 Solution

  1. Arthur Maynard says:

    9a I had the correct answer but got it the wrong way. I saw it as a pure cryptic, where is is an inclusion. As a result I was puzzled by “riser” as “erect”.

    23a I read 23a as & lit.

    Hence my comments in the blog this week.

  2. Greg Mansell says:

    David – regarding 9a: Doesn’t an &lit normally end with a question mark? Or am I mistaken?

    • David Stickley says:

      Yes, Greg, I use a question mark normally for an @lit. Americans and some others use !, and some people don’t indicate at all. There is no hard-and-fast rule outside the US. In this case I was reluctant to use a ? because technically speaking it’s not a pure @lit, with “This” playing no role in the wordplay. In setter-speak, this is called a semi-@lit, where something is added to the wordplay to complete the definition. By sticking a ? on the end, I may be seen as claiming something I shouldn’t, so I left it out. Also, unlike many clues of this type, the wordplay is straightforward, so the solver probably doesn’t need extra information.

      Stickler

      • Arthur Maynard says:

        I considered the & lit issue. I understood that the & lit normally had a punctuation mark (usuallly ?) because there was something special going on. So I say this as & lit without the ?
        After Greg’s query I consulted Alec Robins TGeach yourself Crosswords. In chapter 18 he suggests & lit should be considered as Read it again.
        He then provides clues with and without the ? and with !
        On page 152/3 he discusses the punctuation mark. As I read it the punctuation mark is not essential, but was introduced by clue writers to draw attention to the fact that something special is going on. “If the setter inspects the clue a second time, his enjoyment of it may prove to be a fitting reward.” Further on he refers to the punctuation mark as “the extra nudge which may be dispensed with” (paraphrased)

        9a is solvable as a hidden clue. This (definition – but not a really a clear one) part of staiR IS ERect. This supports the issue discussed by Alec Robins, I missed the & lit on my first reading, whereas when I read it again, it was there. A ? or ! might have drawn me away from the “hidden” solution.

        In the final analysis, I read Robins to say no punctuation is necessary. It was introduced by setter to direct the solver to what else is going on.

        As with all things cryptic, it might be. Usually there is an indicator to direct us to the solution which the setter wishes us to reach.