The Stickler Weekly 70 Solution

I bet if I asked you for your favourite cryptic clue, or you were asked for an example of a cryptic clue, it would either be a cryptic definition (where there’s a disguised definition and no wordplay) or an &lit (where the wordplay and the definition overlap entirely). These two clue types may be seen at each end of the cryptic spectrum as the rest of the clue types fit somewhere in-between. Neither would be considered a typical form of cryptic clue and it’s quite likely that you won’t see them often in your everyday cryptic crossword. So why do these clue types get labelled as favourites or used as examples? It’s quite common for cryptic solvers to be asked by non-solvers about their hobby/obsession and there’s a need to have some examples tucked away for these situations. How would you “explain” cryptic clues briefly based on the two-part wordplay/definition breakdown that we are all familiar with? It’s difficult, as without some cryptic understanding, the inquirer is likely to be bamboozled even in regard to a basic concept like the anagram. However, a cryptic definition can be understood by all without any cryptic insight – the inquirer just needs to alter their thinking a little. Pointing them in the right direction can lead to the answer that clearly equates to the clue. To some extent an &lit is the same as the whole thing represents the definition – something everyone can understand. Cryptic definitions are also easy to remember and provide that “aha” moment that some solvers crave. Can you imagine someone trying to explain a container and contents clue with anagrammed fodder involved – no hope – yet these types of clues are what cryptics crosswords are all about.

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 DRONGO
Doctor on crack and dope (6) DR + ON + GO
5 COSMIC
Universal Pictures finally invested in funny man (6) PICTURE(S) inside COMIC
9 MACERATED
Spice considered good quality should be softened (9) MACE + RATED
10 RAT ON
Betray one not committed to helping (3,2) RATION minus I
11 RISSOLES
River is stocked with fish food (8) R + IS + SOLES
12 LA-DI-DA
Conceited young man distributed aid (2-2-2) LAD + anagram of AID
14 HYPHENATED
Publicity about chicken at farmstead, ultimately is double-barrelled (10) HYPE outside (HEN + AT) + FARMSTEA(D)
15 AGED
Senior put in jail after losing case initially (4) CAGED minus (C)ASE
17 NUTS
Bowl over turning balls (4) STUN reversed
19 PLAINTIFFS
They’re seen in court contesting ordinary arguments (10) PLAIN + TIFFS
22 STEREO
Music-playing equipment operates poorly apart from public address system (6) Anagram of OPEARTES minus PA
23 DATELINE
Journalistic reference swallowed by learner during lunch, perhaps (8) (ATE + L) inside DINE
25 ICE UP
Freeze one beaker, say, filled with ether primarily (3,2) (I + CUP) outside (E)THER
26 ITINERANT
Traveller’s point made in one violent declamation (9) TINE inside (I + RANT)
27 SMARTS
Intelligence work in a gallery described in text (6) ART inside SMS
28 GOLFED
Played a round with gold-plated iron? (6) GOLD outside FE
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
2 RACES UP
Group of people, with sign of infection over, approaches quickly (5,2) RACE + (PUS reversed)
3 NARROWED
Missile documented in withdrawn study may be limited (8) ARROW inside (DEN reversed)
4 ON THE TABLE
Greek letter pocketed by noble in ruins is under discussion (2,3,5) THETA inside anagram of NOBLE
5 CODE
Programming language writing? (4) C + ODE
6 SERIAL
Program that’s often on sex, greatly upset show-off (6) (SE)X + (LAIR reversed)
7 IN THING
Fashion parade held in labyrinth ingeniously? (2,5) labyrINTH INGeniously
8 INCANDESCENT
In container, dip is brilliant (12) IN + CAN + DESCENT
9 MERCHANT SHIP
Luxury car hasn’t moved in cargo carrier (8,4) MERC + anagram of HASNT + HIP
13 HESITATING
Indecisive model limited by A/C option (10) SIT inside HEATING
16 ETHEREAL
Maybe the realist, in part, is spiritual (8) maybE THE REAList
18 TIE BEAM
Structural part of roof that is fixed to top of bolt inside? (3,4) [IE + (B)OLT) inside TEAM
20 FRIGATE
Ship’s appointed lot carrying equipment (7) FATE outside RIG
21 KEEPER
Guard raised sword in presence of two different kings (6) (EPEE reversed) inside (K + R)
24 PICS
IT equipment loaded with one photographer’s work (4) PCS outside I

 

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One Response to The Stickler Weekly 70 Solution

  1. Andrew Gibson says:

    17 across, what a beauty!