The Stickler Weekly 217 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.
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.
A type of clue where the WHOLE clue defines the answer, and the WHOLE clue also is the wordplay (a mechanism to derive the answer through various cryptic devices). "&lit" is short for "and literally".

To qualify as an &lit, a clue must have no unused components either in the definition or the wordplay - it must be readable one way as a definition, and another as the wordplay.

A question mark has been used to indicate "language abuse", that is, a word or words in a clue are used in a technically incorrect way, but the meaning can be still inferred.

Example: A indeed (?) could mean to insert A inside deed.

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 clue has two parts, each one defining the answer without using cryptic devices. Ideally each definition should have no etymological relationship.
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 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.
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28 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 217 Clue Hints

  1. Michael Kaiser says:

    Having trouble with 21d. Can’t figure out what is being asked for. Is clowns an indicator of word play?

    • David Stickley says:

      Hi Michael,
      What you are looking for may appear to be nounal in form, but actually is in verb form. “clowns” is definitely part of the wordplay.


      The Stickler

  2. Steve Ball says:

    finished over breakfast with no aids. I think I’m getting the hang of this! But what do I do for the rest of the week? :-\

    Thanks for another enjoyable puzzle.

    Steve = : ^ )

  3. Steve Clarke says:

    Not too hard on us this week David though it took me ages to get 20a (kept thinking fur) and 21d (very clever).
    Other favourites are 14a, 18a (was surprised to see you could spell this intruder 2 ways), 29a, 4d (my Dad used to say this all the time, usually about the television), 7d and 26a (which was nice for an old sparky), Thank you 😃

  4. Richard Sternes says:

    Must have hit a Purple Patch. Challenging as always, but going like a train.
    Now waiting for the sudden stop!!!

  5. Patrick Lewis says:

    Thanks David. 20a and 21d were the last to go. Liked the parsing in 28a – a new one for me and something to watch for in future.

    • Richard Sternes says:

      I am where you were Patrick – baffled by 21d & therefore unsure of 20a.
      Can see a commercial? product in 20a???
      If not for these would have been done by Sun-down yesterday, an all time record.

  6. Greg Mansell says:

    Knocked it off in a night – which doesn’t happen very often.
    14a, 7d: Nice definitions
    28a: I loved “is”
    29a: A new word for me – but not too difficult to work out
    30a: A ripper
    21d: Good fun
    Bring on next Wednesday!

    • Richard Sternes says:

      Definitely no need for Picks of The Week from me Greg.
      Loved your list too & Yes, 28a was Brilliant. Loved it.

  7. Arthur Maynard says:

    I know I am going to kick myself later but I am totally bereft of ideas for 21d. If my cross at 20a is correct I will start with A. I have other crosses which appear to be okay. This clue appears to have been a breeze for all but me. Has anybody got a cryptic suggestion to send me in the right direction?
    Meanwhile this has been a great puzzle with a few chuckles and wry smiles as words fell into place. Very clever cluing. In addition to the clues mentioned above I like 4d, 16d, and 17d.

    • Patrick Lewis says:

      Hi Arthur, I didn’t get the airing at first in 20a but went with pelting rain anyway and sure enough it didn’t sound too good! This means that A may not begin 21d. David’s answer above made me think about clowns separately from two of our. However, he usually manages to do this to us (it’s his role, after all) until we say ahh!

      • Richard Sternes says:

        I struggled with this too – as above.
        Good leads Patrick, Arthur will surely get it now.
        Can almost hear the “Ouch” as he kicks himself.

        • Patrick Lewis says:

          I can hear Ow! fools!

          • Patrick Lewis says:

            Arthur’s really got me thinking…… how’s this:
            “Gets the better of unfashionable jokers”?
            Or is it a stretch too far (not in = ?)?

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            A very loud noise got an airing this morning, as I announced my disappointment. In 20a, my one track mind was on Davy Crockett. The dictionaries on line mentioned rain, but I just ignored them. Then for 21d I just could not work out how to use “two of our” and fit the letters I already had. So I was a total clown in this one.
            Thanks guys. I like Patrick’s double definition, but in comparison it would be a breeze.
            This is one time when I was way off base, so Good one David.

  8. Maggie says:

    Thanks for the blog, I finally managed to work out 21d and 20a. They are clever. The rest was good fun and was on my wavelength more than some weeks. Thanks David.

  9. Christine Hulley says:

    When am I going to remember this crossword comes out on Wednesday not Saturday? Been looking forward to today only to realise you all completed it a couple of days ago. Oh well, I suppose the upside is I still have all the fun to look forward to.

  10. Greg C says:

    Hi Chrisine, I am Saturday solver too.
    I’m with Steve B, a pretty gentle solve. I did particularly like the extended homophone indicator at 20a, and the “basic” reference at 15 (which I only worked out after solving the clue). I think I must have seen the “is” device at 28 recently elsewhere.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      Steve Lots of clever clues here. I puzzled over the “is” at 28, and recalled that it had been used recently.
      Luckily my wife is into gardening, That helped in confirming the “basic”. I also got this through the back door, as I had the answer and had to check that it fit he clue.

  11. Kate says:

    Really enjoyed this one! Thanks!

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