The Stickler Weekly 230 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.


1-across


12-across

13-across

15-across

19-across

24-across


27-across

2-down


4-down

5-down

6-down


8-down

14-down


17-down


21-down


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.

A pointer that signifies the placing of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents) around the OUTSIDE of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents).

Examples: holding, keeping, embracing - anything that creates the image of containment.

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.

The clue has two parts, each one defining the answer without using cryptic devices. Ideally each definition should have no etymological relationship.
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 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.

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.

The entire answer is found by reversing part of the clue, or a synonym for part of the clue. A suitable reversal indicator will be present.
A pointer that signifies the placing of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents) around the OUTSIDE of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents).

Examples: holding, keeping, embracing - anything that creates the image of containment.

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 word or series of words that signify the turning around (across & down clues), or overturning (down clues only) of letters.

Examples: upset, reversed, retired, in withdrawal, over etc.

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 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.

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59 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 230 Clue Hints

  1. Arthur Maynard says:

    I have made my first pass and have to say I loved 13a (No idea of the answer yet) 5d This is the first time I have seen a clue for this solution in a cryptic. Really admirable Back to domestic duties now.

  2. Arthur Maynard says:

    I think I am there. Solutions for all. Don’t have time to check it on line now, so will go to my cryptic sessions now and try it later this afternoon.
    A really great puzzle with some highly commended clues. 1A went in easily but the parsing eluded me (two letters) before the penny dropped.

  3. Wendy Simpson says:

    Haven’t got the congrats, so back I go!

  4. Arthur Maynard says:

    Celebration time. Compliments to the chef. So many good clues to test mental agility.
    1a A lovely mixture requiring thinking outside the square.
    11a The last two words could be considered redundant. Not sure how others would feel about that.
    13a. So glad to solver this one. A challenge to untangle. I first sought the definition at the wrong end.
    225a Simple in the end, but it took me a while.
    27a A classic charade.
    2d and 7d Some of the best. More &lits for practice.
    4d A new word for me – I had heard similar
    8d and 14d. Your sense of humour is showing.

    • Christine Hulley says:

      I would disagree about 11a Arthur, I think the last two words are essential to the clue.

      • Arthur Maynard says:

        When I say either the short or long word, it sounds the same. Perhaps it is the Queensland pronunciation. But I will acknowledge the last two words confirm the longer one.

        • Steve Ball says:

          The last two words of 11-ac uniquely supply the last two letters of the answer. The clue doesn’t work without them.

        • Arthur Maynard says:

          We do not use this term at home. In public we occasionally ask for directions as to where they are located. Often there is more than one set on the premises. I cannot recall seeing an apostrophe to indicate whether they are plural, or possessive. There is usually at least one seat and one standing room in the gents. The ladies frequently get more than one seat. Therefore either the singular or plural works for me. But the plural when I say it is an acceptable homonym. Just another of the vagaries of the English language.

        • Greg Mansell says:

          Arthur, you said “When I say either the short or long word, it sounds the same”. It’s just occurred to me that you read “ladies, say” as “sounds like ladies”. Whereas I’ve read it as “ladies, for example”. In which case the last 2 words are required.

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            Greg. Yes I read it as “say” homophone. I also identified it as “say” for example. Either way the answer was the same.
            However I can see that David would have been queried if he had gone with my interpretation.
            While I do not know whether David uses “say” for a homophone, it is in common use by many setters, and is recorded as a homophone indicator is several lists I have examined in preparing my lessons.

        • Greg Mansell says:

          David – do you ever use “say” as a “sounds like” indicator?

  5. Steve Clarke says:

    Another beauty this week David, couple of new words for me (had never heard of 23d). Last in was 21d, so hard to get yet so simple. 💡
    Favourites are 13a, 27a, 2d, 5d, 16d and 17d.
    Thank you. 🎗

  6. Christine Hulley says:

    I hadn’t heard the definition of 18a before but there couldn’t be a different solution.

    Another good one.

  7. Richard Sternes says:

    Almost there excepting 21d but the “Why So” List is long.
    1a – does “Major” twinkle in the sky???…
    12a – last Four letters sound like abbreviation for a London Airport???
    19a – Again – What’s with the last Four letters?
    25a – “doctor again” Why?
    8d – It’s hidden there, buy what’s with all the Rest?
    14d – Thought these were the 100’s & 1000’s of helping Grandma ice cakes!
    Left overs – YUM. …Even “limiting about clip” seems to have no bearing there.
    Just take me by the hand & gently lead me to the explanations please,
    as Grandma so often did

    • Steve Ball says:

      Here we go; mind the step.
      1-ac: Think “major attraction”.
      12-ac: Resistance as in electronics; if the reason something happens is the why, then the manner is the ???
      19-ac: Well, in my opinion, or to me, …
      25-ac: Might to “doctor again” be to “re-doctor”?
      8-dn: A cross-section of = hidden indicator; Australians were = hidden fodder; solvent = definition.
      14-dn Nothing = ???; limiting = container indicator; about = ??; clip = ????; is = link; unique = definition.

      • Patrick Lewis says:

        Thanks for the ‘major attraction’, Steve. Like Richard and Arthur, I was stuck on a military meaning but it seems only the USA has those twinkly things, and at a much higher rank.

      • Richard Sternes says:

        Thank You Steve, gradually ticking them off with your assistance.
        Still pondering 25a.
        8d – Like others can’t see where final letter comes from despite much overall discussion about this.
        & still pondering 14d.
        As well as – still totally clueless on 21d.
        Been a long time since I had so many unresolved issues.

        • Patrick Lewis says:

          Hi Richard. Wary of giving away too much as it’s only Friday, and can hardly add to Steve’s suggestions, still:

          25a – in this case it could be better to give up the fight!
          8d – all 6 letters can be seen where Australians were.
          14d – how about this completely different clue: Not standard sound of ‘L’, but in French, ‘A’ ?
          21a – instead of waiting for the penny to drop, try an apple!

        • Richard Sternes says:

          WHAT a mess!!!
          Yes. Have them all now Patrick – Thank You.
          Two letter switch, incorrect spelling at end of 14d
          explains THAT – as well as 25a & 21d.
          All Better now!!!

  8. Arthur Maynard says:

    that’s a yes from me for 1a, and12a.
    19a David has used this form before. It is two words.
    25a double definition – not anagram
    8d I like the humour in the definition. This one runs north south rather than east west which would have been perfect.
    14d Yes Grandma did use them, and they were the best. Each word in the clue is important. I would not use clip for this particular part of the answer but it achieves a similar result. Perhaps a translation of the word to English will reveal why it meets the definition. Schoolboy French again.
    In grandm’s day you had a cup of milk after the 14ds, but you are now old enough to add some rum. (nothing to do with the clue).

    • David Stickley says:

      Re 8d Arthur. Could you explain what you mean by “runs north south” please?

      • Arthur Maynard says:

        David with the discussions below I felt it was superfluous to respond directly to your query. But I have decided it it should be acknowledged. Thanks

    • Steve Ball says:

      Arthur,
      the clue for 8-dn runs east-west (west-east, actually). The fact that I then write the answer vertically (north-south) doesn’t spoil anything for me.

      Just my 2¢.

      • Patrick Lewis says:

        Well, if it was about directions or geographical cross-sections, I can see ‘a cross’ that covers all four points of the compass but there’s nothing to indicate the final letter – so that really would be stretching a point! Hidden it is.

        • Steve Ball says:

          No one’s questioning whether it’s a hidden or not. Arthur’s suggesting the answer doesn’t work as well when inserted as a ‘down’, and I’m saying that any clue that works for an ‘across’ is just as good as a ‘down’.

          However, the fact that some words *are* inserted into the grid vertically adds other options for cluing those words.

          So, “A to the south of B” leads to BA – but only for a down clue.

          However, “A to the east of B” leads to BA *no matter which way – across or down – you then write it in the grid*. Down is no less “perfect” than across.

          Again, just my $00.02.

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            Oh dear.
            I felt there was a paradox when the clue with this definition was 8d. Steve understands my allusion and I take his points. The orientation did not spoil anything and it was not a criticism of the crossword. I just felt that it might have added another dimension if the clue had not been a down. I certainly did not want to give away the definition or solution at this stage of the discussion.

            Clearly I am not ready to be a stand up comedian.

          • Patrick Lewis says:

            No problems with that. Maybe Arthur is looking at ‘A cross’(-section) as even more fitting for the clue? Even David is curious, so hopefully the solvent to this mystery will emerge soon.

          • Patrick Lewis says:

            Quicker than my reply to Steve, obviously!

          • Steve Ball says:

            Ah, I’d missed that “A-cross” might be read as “Across”, though it doesn’t change anything much.

            Arthur, don’t give up your day job (and I won’t give up mine!)

          • Patrick Lewis says:

            I did wonder briefly if he was thinking of sandgropers versus those other Australians across the Nullabor. Too much time on my hands, obviously….. 🙂

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            A cross is where it all started. It jumped out as the definition for a type of clue. So the solution had to be found in the rest. That was also readily available within the clue. QED.
            Steve suggested that I felt the clue did not work as well when inserted as a down, whereas I was commenting on the oddity and suggesting that it would have added another level of “cryptic-ism” (to coin a word) if this answer had been aligned differently.

          • Greg Mansell says:

            Arthur – I’d also suggest that you don’t give up your day job (as did Steve)…but I believe it’s way too late for that…

  9. Patrick Lewis says:

    Finally got it late last night after grinding to a halt in the NW corner and 14d. Resorting to the clue hints helped remove the blockage in the end, especially 4d.
    Laboured long over 1a trying to decipher which end was the definition and it took a lot of google searching to confirm the definition of 18a.
    Altogether, 1a, 13a and 14d turned out to be wonderfully intricate but perfectly clued puzzles. Thumbs up and thanks again, David.

    • Greg Mansell says:

      Patrick – if you have a smartphone, I recommend the Chambers Dictionary app. It confirms the definition of 18a with minimal effort.

      • Patrick Lewis says:

        Thanks for the tip, Greg. I’ll check it out and consider the expense but I notice there’s a free trial version too.

        • Arthur Maynard says:

          Why not just access it with thorugh computer network. there are multiple dictionaries available and you can explore definitions and synonyms.

          • Patrick Lewis says:

            I do that already, Arthur, but 18a was hard to find. Chambers doesn’t have free online version as far as I can ascertain.

  10. Greg Mansell says:

    I knocked it off in a night, so either:
    (a) it was relatively easy this week, or
    (b) I’m getting smarter.
    I’m inclined to reject option (b).
    1a: Last in. I needed all of the cross letters to see the answer, and was able to work out the (very nice) wordplay from there. A very tricky clue.
    2d: Loved it…although, if I was being pedantic, I’d point out that the definition is, and always will be, extremely unrealistic. But I’m not, so I won’t.
    4d: We’ve had a feast of &lits in the past couple of weeks. Hooray!
    5d: Nice definition
    8d: A new meaning of the definition word for me
    21d: Tricky for me…and many others, it seems. I quickly worked out the definition, but then looked for a type rather than an instance. And it’s always a lot tougher when you don’t have the first letter. The wordplay was beautifully simple and elegant in the end – much like the most famous outputs of 21d.

    • Patrick Lewis says:

      Re. 4d, I just came across a neat obverse clue to this in Stickler #55 from October 2014. It’s a great puzzle too, if anyone’s looking for an ‘extra’ to while away the time till next Wednesday.

  11. Greg C says:

    Isn’t the definition of 8d simply the first word, with the last word being redundant?

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      The last word completes the phrase from which the solution is drawn. The clue could not read A cross-section of Australians were. Any number of words would be okay. I liked solvent as a possible misdirection towards an alternative to solution, but it could also mean they are not bankrupt.

  12. Greg C says:

    I was just wondering if the “A” was also meant as the definition, being a common abbreviation for the six letter word.

    • Greg Mansell says:

      Greg – as far as I know, the definition is at the other end of the clue. David can confirm this, but I don’t think he intended “A” to be the definition. If he did, then there is a definition at each end of the clue, with the wordplay in between.

      • Arthur Maynard says:

        I have always thought of solvent as being able to pay bills, or as an agent to dissolve. I was initially inclined to dismiss Greg M’s suggestion that the definition was solvent. But in a very short time I have found several on line dictionaries which define solvent as something which solves. Accordingly the definition could be at the beginning (6 letters – two words) or at the end. I vote for my definition at the beginning, but will look forward to Wednesday when all is revealed.

        • Greg Mansell says:

          Arthur – pardon my ignorance. How can “a cross” be a definition of the answer to this clue?

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            This is what started it all. The clues and therefore the solutions are separated into down and across. So if many clues can be listed as across, it is reasonable to say that one single clue and its solution is a cross. Perhaps it is the way we see and use language.
            Most references I have found define a solvent as a liquid which dissolves other substances (or similar)
            I found two references which offer the alteernative. Vocabulary dictionary records “As a noun, solvent is either a certain kind of chemical or an idea that solves a problem.”
            So for me there is little support for solvent as the definition.

  13. Andrew Gibson says:

    The answer to 8d is very simple. My problem is with 4d, 13a & 18a ????

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      18a The definition is at the end. build a word from the start, with another three letter word for bit in this particular context. As I said a few days ago, I thought this was the coat, but google confirmed David’s definition.
      13a David’s clue hint says pinpoint is a verb. It is the definition. Since pinpoint is a verb, the “a” must be part of the wordplay. There is a short word for proboscis. Google might help you to find it.
      4d This is an &lit clue. Check David’s clue hint. Note particularly that ultimately applies to more than one word. I had heard a similar word.Again google confirmed the answer. There are two indicators in the clue, one being a container indicator.

      • Andrew Gibson says:

        Thanks for helping Arthur, things are a bit “patchy” here at the moment and 4a is in the funeral parlour but I am going to have to wait until Wednesday for the unlucky 13! But having said that “a pat” is not a bit of butter, but rather an implement for shaping a bit of butter????

        • Arthur Maynard says:

          I have just learned that there are 36 calories in one pat of butter. Among the references is a description of a pat as a piece of butter formed into a ball or other ornamental shape for table use. The term was well used when I was a child. A pat may well be the implement used to make the shape, but there are many references to the pat of butter including shape, size, weight, etc.

  14. Andrew Gibson says:

    Thanks Arthur you have obviously done the research and I accept what you say. My distant memories revolve around, first milking the cow, separating the cream from milk with a hand operated separator and then pouring the cream into a hand operated butter churn. The whole process did not take a lot of time and once the buttermilk and butter had been separated it was necessary to use wooden “butter pats” to expel the excess buttermilk and shape the butter into a useable form.

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