The Stickler Weekly 250 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


9-across


13-across

15-across

19-across



28-across



4-down

14-down



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 pointer that signifies the placing of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents) on the INSIDE of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents).

Examples: held by, kept by, embraced by - anything that creates the image of being contained.

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.
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.
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 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 butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
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 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.

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30 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 250 Clue Hints

  1. Arthur Maynard says:

    Well Well Well. Daylight Saving gave me an early start, and I could not put it down.
    2d I thought this had something to do with a rebellion, but the hint tells me otherwise.
    4d I had to work at the parsing, but I think I have it now.
    7d A very neat clue
    11d A tricky clue leading to a simple solution. A great way to clue this word.
    14d A well crafted charade.
    25d Brought a smile – great sense of humour on display
    5a Sneaky
    I have to spend some time on the parsing of 9a and 27a. I can justify them, but am not really comfortable.

    • Steve Ball says:

      9-ac: I parse it as: [Definition] [may be written] [A in B + C]. A is a word with several meanings, one of which relates to the texture of fabrics and the like.

      27-ac is a two-part charade. You might need at least a small interest in competitive swimming to know the international body that governs it. The other reference is nautical.

      I, too, though 11-ac was clever. You rarely see something *new* in a crossword clue.
      I thought 22-ac was neat, too.

      • Arthur Maynard says:

        After my comment below I started to re-read all posts, and found this one.
        27a I was not familiar with this association but got the nautical reference.
        9a I read the first two words as the definition as it is a specific condition. The container and the ending are fine. I have difficulty getting the rest from “written down”.
        References to down (not a direction) that I have found relate to feathers, which as far as I can see are not used in materials.
        My experience with the word contained in the solution relates to carpets, nap, etc, which are not feather based.
        I would appreciate guidance to references. Thanks Steve

        • Steve Ball says:

          “Written” is part of the link: [Definition] may be written [wordplay], and then, from the Chambers Dictionary:
          “pile 3 /pīl/
          noun
          The raised or fluffy surface of a fabric, carpet, etc
          (as distinguished from nap) the raised surface of a fabric made not in finishing but in weaving, either by leaving loops (which may be cut) or by weaving two cloths face to face and cutting them apart;
          A covering of hair, esp soft, fine, or short hair;
          Down; <—!!
          Human body-hair;
          A single hair".

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            Okay I get it now but I think it is a stretch too far.
            Starting with the clue, Research reveals that down is (among other things) body-hair, perhaps a single hair.
            So far so good.
            But then further research is needed to convert hair to pile.
            The answer can only be one thing.
            I am wading through Alec Robins book “Crosswords”. On pages 59/60, he discusses “a clue to a clue”.
            I understand him to say that it is unfair that after you have solved what you thought was the clue and have an answer, you have not solved the problem at all, but have presented yourself with another clue which needs to be solved.
            I am open to guidance as this seems to be such a clue.

          • David Stickley says:

            Ok,
            I’m over this. Please cite the references you’ve checked in your “research” above. I could quote Chambers, Collins and Macquarie which all equate “down” and “pile” as soft fine hair. Both my thesauruses agree too. There’s no stretch needed, or deep-dive into the internet, or great leap needed, just access to reasonable recognised references.

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            I was lacking a source which directly linked down with pile.
            You have provided the link, and I thank you for that. If the discussion had not been conducted, I would have continued oblivious, and somewhat dissatisfied with the result.
            My usual process is to search for definitions and synonyms on the internet. This brings a number of dictionaries including Oxford, Merriam Webster, Dictionary and others too numerous to list. I cannot recall a response relating to Chambers. In spite of several visits to some sites, I could easily miss the answer.
            I plan to change my search process to prioritise the references you have cited. Today Chambers was easily accessed and user friendly. So there is an immediate benefit for me, and perhaps for others similarly puzzled.

          • Greg Mansell says:

            I agonised over the parsing of 9a for a couple of nights. I then thought to look up “pile” in my Chambers Thesaurus, and bingo. And now I’ve also found it in the dictionary, after missing it on my first perusal. Not my finest performance.

  2. Patrick Lewis says:

    All done, but like you Arthur, still dubious about the parsing in 4d, 9a and 27a – plus 16d. Awaiting enlightenment…..

    • Patrick Lewis says:

      PS. My favourite was 17a – great deception!

    • Lloyd Seaton says:

      You will kick yourself when the penny drops for 16d. I share your misgivings re 4d, 9a and 27a.

      • Patrick Lewis says:

        16d – Digging deeper, got it thanks to ‘you’, Lloyd, and yet another case of being led up the garden path, as usual !

      • Arthur Maynard says:

        4d the group lives on the outskirts (extremities) of Seoul greatly. I interpret this as an innovative way to indicate a container. One part is the container and the other part is the contents. I have been known to be wrong.
        16d I am satisfied about this one now. We are told that the leader is kept from “revealing”. Put a letter in front of the solution and you will find a word which means revealing. Very crafty.
        Still working on 9a.

        • Patrick Lewis says:

          4d – yes, I see now. Thanks Arthur.
          16d – yes, though parsing without the definition would be quite a challenge methinks
          9a – still trying to find ‘written down’…

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            I am wondering if disorder is a three letter word which is written down to two. That would give me a possible parsing, but disorder would be doing double duty, and this is not consistent with David’s setting.
            According to Alec Robins, down should not be a reversal indicator of all or part of an across clue, so I have excluded reversals from my options.
            Back tot he drawing board, but interested in hearing the ideas of others, or guidance to the solution of the parsing.

  3. Richard Sternes says:

    Glad it is not just me.
    Have misgivings & concerns & I’m also struggling with most of the above
    along with a significant part of East side.
    Maybe a deep dive into Clue Hints will assist.

  4. Richard Sternes says:

    Thank You David for yet another thoroughly enjoyable romp thru Cryptic Land
    5a – more-or-less comfortable with “a good way” as in “*** None”
    9a – despite much appreciated contributions above – Still no clearer about this
    17a – loved it, but took a while to get it
    27a – even more clever having read your comment Steve. I made do with first three letters of the answer as a (fish) – “swimming association”
    2d – went first for the Rebellion option too Arthur & like it to too much to discard
    3d – Setters Art at its Very Best
    4d & 11d – much deliberation about discards & Why?
    16d – Terrific, once you get it
    25d – another short, sharp Masterpiece.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      11d There are 6 letters in the chaff – two of which must discarded. The clue tells you which parts to keep
      4d Remember the regular clue “in the outskirts of ?????????” One word is replaced in this part of the clue, which gives a whole new meaning. The definition is one word. while the solution is two (as you know).
      5a relates to a measurement. I’m not sure you have the first letter.

    • Richard Sternes says:

      5a – Fresh (& final) look, much happier with outcome.

  5. Greg C says:

    I’m trying to convince myself 9a should read “driven down”

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      Next Wednesday all will be revealed, and I will exclaim “Why did I not see that”.

      • Patrick Lewis says:

        After intensive searching, perhaps Steve’s solution to this quandary is the most likely. Following a reverse trail of synonyms, down = pelage = fur = our missing word, which thereby ‘may’ be written ‘down’. Quite a stretch, but feasible.

        • Steve Ball says:

          See my post above. I hadn’t heard of it either, but it’s in Chambers, which some consider the definitive authority.

          • Patrick Lewis says:

            Ah, the magical Chambers of Secrets – home of wizards and crossword setters! Thanks Steve.

          • David Stickley says:

            Chambers isn’t a secret dictionary, it’s one of the world’s best: get yourself one. If you did, you’d see that “pile” comes from Latin pilus, meaning hair.

          • Arthur Maynard says:

            Thanks all.
            An interesting discussion, and a variety of responses to the puzzle.
            Another learning opportunity.

          • Patrick Lewis says:

            Yes, David. Pleased to note there is now a Chambers search facility online at chambers.co.uk whichI hadn’t noticed before. So now it’s available to all, even muggles like me !

  6. Joy Whalley says:

    After being MIA all week with grandma duty I found the perfect way to start my Saturday – bootcamp , for the body, followed by The Stickler, for the mind. Thank you David. You never disappoint.
    I particularly enjoyed 13a and 16d. Brilliant.

  7. Andrew Gibson says:

    I don’t know what all the fuss was about. My week is structured such that l do the weekly on Sunday afternoon and today it was all done in under two hours.

  8. Greg Mansell says:

    Good fun as always – even with a frustrating couple of nights trying to parse 9a. But that was all my fault: some sloppy dictionary work early on.
    17a, 2d, 18d: Nice definitions
    11d: Clever wordplay – as already mentioned by multiple correspondents
    23d: Beautifully simple and elegant
    25d: Clever second definition

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