The Stickler Weekly 243 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.





11-across

12-across

13-across

15-across

18-across

19-across


25-across





3-down



8-down

14-down

18-down


24-down

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 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.

There is only one part to this clue, a definition, and it's usually a play on words. There aren't any indicators.
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.
A word or series of words that signify the position of wordplay elements in the answer.

Examples: before, after, leading, in the middle of, under (down only) etc.

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 using the sound of a word or phrase. Sounds-like indicators point the way.
The entire answer is the result of removing the first or last letter from part of the clue or its synonym. A truncation indicator will be present.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 entire answer is the result of removing the first or last letter from part of the clue or its synonym. A truncation 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.

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32 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 243 Clue Hints

  1. Steve Ball says:

    Good morning. I found this difficult. I generally attempt the cues in numerical order and some weeks I’m halfway through the grid before I have to leave a clue unsolved and move on. Today I was halfway down the grid and only had three answers! The lower half yielded a little more easily and, after an hour or so, I was only missing three answers, and I had all the checking letters so I started looking at clue hints, which didn’t help, so I pattern-searched for words that fit.

    The first was 3-dn and once you parsed the clue there’s only one word that fits, but this was a new meaning of the word for me, as was the synonym for “bolt”.

    21-dn The “digger” and the answer are less than obvious (they might be moreso in the UK). If I’d mentally tried all the possible words that fit, I might have got it.

    24-dn By this point I didn’t bother with the clue hint, which is a pity because it would have fixed my persistence in mis-parsing the clue and I might well have got it.

    I loved 9-ac. and, it’s simple, but I thought 24-ac. was particularly elegant, too.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      I am in trouble with 3d, and 12a. My last letter for 3d is an n, and I think this might be wrong. I am not overly happy with my parsing of 11a.

      12a I am happy with all my crosses, but cannot find the elusive missing letters. The clue hint mass=m might help when I resume later.

      21d I was stuck on a chinese farm labourer, but needed another o, and some political correctness. My alternative appears to work as it is truncatedand not the potential farm worker I had envisaged.

      Again thanks for the introduction of a variety of indicators which encourage second thoughts.

      Later I hope to get the puzzle solved, then I can comment on specific clues.

      24d fell into place once I really looked at the clue.

      • Steve Ball says:

        Your ‘n’ at the end of 3-dn is wrong.

        12-ac The retreat is of a different sort than is implied by the surface.

        21-dn Does your farm labourer know any kelpies?

        24-dn I couldn’t get past “X over time” in a down clue must mean “X above T”.

        • Arthur Maynard says:

          Thanks Steve. I have a new starting point for 3d and 11a. I was not happy with my 11a, and could find no 5 letter word for 3d that ended in n.

          12a. Now makes sense. I took time to find synonyms for retreat that had my known letters. Tradition does not spring to mind when looking at the word play, but it is certainly so.

          21d Outside the square to get inhuman potential farm worker.

          Yet another of the brain stretching exercises being produced by David. Perhaps he should lay off the sourdough bread making as he rises to the occasion.
          I am still not out of the woods yet as I consider my two errant solutions.

          • Patrick Lewis says:

            11a- If you have the first and third letters, the first word is pretty obvious, then given ‘run’, should be altogether above board, Arther.

        • Patrick Lewis says:

          Hi Steve, 24d – ‘over’ as in the variety of apple pie!

  2. Cathy says:

    Great puzzle David. Only sticking point 3d. Any suggestions welcome. Thanks

  3. Steve Ball says:

    If you have the crossing letters and understand “was originally”, there’s only one word that fits. You may have to consult a dictionary, perhaps twice – I did – to understand why it fits.

    Good luck.

    • Greg Mansell says:

      Same here. Two new definitions of familiar words in the one clue. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had that before.

  4. Cathy says:

    Thanks ++ Steve. My rarely visited 2 volume OED came up trumps….very interesting new words! Thanks David for the vocabulary expansion.

  5. Joy Whalley says:

    Grandchildren staying so was a late starter today.
    My last two were 2d and 21d.
    Thanks Steve for the kelpie clue. K think I may have been thinking along the same line as Arthur until then.
    Thanks David for stretching my greg matter once again. I particularly enjoyed 11a. Very clever.

  6. Joy Whalley says:

    Not 2d … it was 3d that had me thinking!

  7. Patrick Lewis says:

    Well, that was quite a battle – mainly because of 3d, of course. After a lot of searching I finally found the obscure word for the reel, led by the parsing, but as for the synonym for bolt, I give up and just take Steve’s word for it. Took a while over 14d until realizing I had the passive version of 18a rather than the active. In the same vein, a little surprised that 4d was active rather than passive as grammatically indicated by the clue, but the parsing only allowed the former. Once an English teacher, always…. but still a struggle to get those dots! 15a was really clever when parsed retrospectively and I thought 24d was super-neat.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      9d At least I know this one. I thought your 4 dots was an error. I understand the genuine article typically has three thus …, but if it comes immediately after a grammatically complete sentence, that sentence still needs its period. Thus you may find 4dots. David has put …? which is grammatically correct, as is yours.

      Google provided several references and this is the limit of my knowledge on this issue.

      • Patrick Lewis says:

        Yes, I just read ‘series of dots’… but just noticed there’s three right here on my iPad keyboard!

      • Steve Ball says:

        Though a cryptic crossword is (usually) a grammatically complete sentence, it doesn’t have a full stop at the end, so three (not four) dots would be correct.

  8. Arthur Maynard says:

    That pesky northwest corner. Like Patrick, I do not understand “bolt” in 3d, and had to resort to combinations of letters, and using google to find an example of the definition. I thought it might be a brand name, but that proved to be incorrect.
    11a was solved when the penny dropped that one definition is (5) and the other is (3,2). Should have gone to spec savers or read David’s hints.
    These are my choices for top clues this week, but there are many other excellent clues.
    New ways of looking at words in 12a, 13a (subpoena),
    Indicators in 25a, 7d,
    The cryptic-ese in 5d amd 21d
    Many thanks David

    • Steve Ball says:

      This is from the Oxford.
      bolt4 /bəʊlt/ ♫ (also boult)
      verb [with object] archaic
      pass (flour, powder, or other material) through a sieve

      And this from Chambers:
      boult or bolt /bōlt/: transitive verb
      To sift through coarse cloth
      To examine by sifting

      And this from the Macquarie:
      bolt[2]
      /bohlt/.
      verb (t)
      1. to sift through a cloth or sieve.
      2. to examine or search into, as if by sifting.
      Also, boult.

      In each case this definition is some fair way down the list of possible meanings.

      • Arthur Maynard says:

        Thanks again Steve There had to be a reference somewhere. I rely on online dictionaries, and failed to find references to sift. Today I searched again, and found several references in addition to the ones you cited. It is actually in my sons High school concise Oxford dictionary which has to be at least 53 years old.

        • Steve Ball says:

          The usual course of events is that you’re trying to find the answer, so would search for a synonym for ‘bolt’ and, if you searched hard enough, could find ‘sift’. Here, there’s only one word that fits, so you know the answer and might, as we did, go looking for a synonym for sift, and you won’t find ‘bolt’ that way; it’s too obscure.

  9. Richard Sternes says:

    Quite a Challenge here (a.k.a. Struggle) but kinda fell over the Line.
    Many Highlights as usual but a few stood out.
    11a – simply clever, loved it
    15a – “trimmed leather” was elusive
    2d – still not sure about “person who stands out”
    3d – “bolt” came easily it was the missing letter that caused consternation.
    Like everyone else struggled with this to The End.
    8d – many false leads on this land mass
    9d – There you go!!! …..thought this was the medical name for dizziness
    21d – loved the “farm worker” too (no cat person here!!!)

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      Richard I like your picks.
      2d. A person who performs well and sets an example, might be called a leading ?????
      I hope all this new learning helps me to keep dementia away

      • Richard Sternes says:

        One of my principal objectives too Arthur. I use this as part of monitoring Programme & get a little concerned if I find myself
        all-at-sea too frequently.
        & Yes, that was where I let it rest with 2d.
        Also rather chuffed when there are NO loose threads at all, as was the case this week.

  10. Greg Mansell says:

    This one had a few particularly tough clues. I think it took me longer than average to finish it.
    I agree with all the highlights and notable clues mentioned above. Also:
    15a: “backing is”
    9d: my favourite
    17d & 21d: nice definitions
    Once again, the beautiful and talented Mrs Mansell was a big help with a few of the answers. She has a limited understanding of how cryptics work – but she’ll often come up with the right word. It’s then up to me to work out the “why” to go with her “what”.
    Otherwise, the only help I’ll accept is from my trusty dictionaries – which is why I’m usually one of the last people to post in this forum.

    • Richard Sternes says:

      Liked these Picks of the Week to Greg. Found I had to prune my List – just too many but reckon that a huge plus, more challenges = enhanced learning.
      Would not be overly concerned about being amongst Last Past the Post.
      It’s been suggested before & I totally agree –
      More about the Journey rather than the Destination.

      • Arthur Maynard says:

        And your comments are relevant and useful. David has indicated that there are many later finishers. I hope there are non-bloggers out there who follow and draw some help from the blog.

  11. Christine Hulley says:

    I have only just started the crossword, it has been a very busy week so far lol.

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