The Stickler Weekly Break and Clue-writing Challenge

It seems that although many people have time off over the Christmas/New Year holiday period, they don’t spend it solving cryptic crosswords. I suspect people generally take a break from what they regularly do, which is fair enough. Consequently the website stats show that most people are in catch-up mode (or still on a break), so I’m pausing for a week to hopefully let people get back into the swing of things.

Those right up-to-date might like to take on another clue-writing challenge, something that seemed to tickle the fancy of many Stickler solvers the first time round.

Here are four words:





Submit clues here for one or more of these words, and feel free to comment on what’s posted but remember this isn’t easy, so be constructive and nice.

You’ll need:

A definition
Nothing else

Tip: Some of the words have obvious wordplay breakdowns – write good clues using these breakdowns BEFORE attempting other wordplays.

Best of luck.

The Stickler Weekly will return next week.

The Stickler

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80 Responses to The Stickler Weekly Break and Clue-writing Challenge

  1. Michael Kaiser says:

    DISCOVER…Bad rap the tribute band’s performance.

    BALANCE…First degree for aspiring knights (jousters to make it easier)

    PIONEER..We hear dessert will be served soon.

    CONCISE..Tree feature holds regular gender.

  2. Richard Sternes says:

    I’ll be doing No. 68 from Jan 19, 2015

  3. Steve Clarke says:

    DISCOVER……….Bring to light the disco version.

    PIONEER………….Confused one ripe founder.

    CONCISE…………..Prisoner with half an activity in a nutshell.

    BALANCE………….Head of bank shifts clean equity.

  4. Ian Batey says:

    DISCOVER – Find record flipped.

  5. Ian Batey says:

    PIONEER – To take the lead, detective using organic listening device.

  6. Ian Batey says:

    BALANCE – Initially, Batman used a spear to bring justice.

  7. Ian Batey says:

    CONCISE – Condensed ice ingredients mixed and shared amongst criminals.

  8. Wendy Simpson says:

    68 for me as well

  9. Greg Mansell says:

    * Learn parts of disco version (8)
    * Establish π + 1, just before outskirts of Exeter (7)
    * Jailbird ices mangled thumbnail (7)
    * Steady lab, facing west, can unsteadily point (7)

  10. Michael Kaiser says:

    Revised to include definitions per Mr. Mansell’s suggestions.

    DISCOVER…Find a bad rap of the tribute band’s performance.

    BALANCE…First degree for aspiring knights hangs in it.

    PIONEER..First to hear dessert will be served soon.

    CONCISE..Short tree feature holds regular gender.

  11. Richard Sternes says:

    Three years on, level of difficulty for #68 seems on a par with David’s current work.
    To those taking on the Definitions Challenge – very Courageous – I salute you.
    I’m not even remotely contemplating giving up my “Day Job”

    • Richard Sternes says:

      Surprising number of remember this Echoes, Three years on.
      Thoroughly enjoyed this re-visit. Couple of Notables:-
      10a, 13a, 25a (always unclear about meaning of this – No More)
      2d & 7d -Alphabet Soups (of course) & 11d last in – Cute.

  12. Steve Clarke says:

    PIONEER………..Original one breaking into a jetty.

  13. Brian Kelleher says:

    DISCOVER: Find record on top
    PIONEER: The first constant on an organ, we hear.
    BALANCE: Even a degree and treat a boil.

  14. Ian Batey says:

    PIONEER – Colleague captured lion without learning first to explore.

  15. Ian Batey says:

    BALANCE – Reconcile the last to leave ball with the first to leave dance.

  16. Ian Batey says:

    DISCOVER – Explore the town where the white cliffs are found around island with whispering sea.

  17. Ian Batey says:

    CONCISE – Short escape with icon frustrated?

  18. Andrew Gibson says:

    Discover – To find out may lead to unplanned divorces (8)

  19. Arthur Maynard says:

    Strip like explorers do

    Find Diana’s umbrella

    That’s all I have time for now. Hope to be back later

  20. Greg Mansell says:

    * Invent vinyl again (8)
    * I appear with drugs in trashy porn trailblazer (7)
    * Compressed, deformed conic sections truncated by 75% (7)
    * Be around polluted canal residue (7)

  21. Lyn Socha says:

    DISCOVER – To notice disco versions

  22. Lyn Socha says:

    PIONEER – the pilgram went towatds pier one.

    CONCISE – brief compact.

    BALANCE – counteract to ban lace.

  23. Arthur Maynard says:

    This is fun. I love the inventive approaches.

  24. Ross McCallum says:

    DISCOVER….. A high jumping record?

    PIONEER…….. A soft ten, close, say, to start something.

    CONCISE………To be exact, is needs to be in view, say, after study.

    BALANCE………An academic weapon could be financially high or low.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      Interesting construction for clues which I like

      I think pioneer would be better without the “a”. The clue works without it, and to me it is in the category of “nothing else”

      I like the use of homonyms in Pioneer and Concise.

  25. Ross McCallum says:

    The clue for DISCOVER should read…… Find a high jumping record?

  26. Graeme Patch says:

    Discover: Find Mr Viscious is back with one hundred and six balls.

    Pioneer: First to look around one working.

    Concise: Short in some dictionaries.

    Balance: Agitated barnacle loses the right for scales.

    • Arthur Maynard says:

      Good examples of the genre – charade, container, and deletion/anagram. Not sure whether there is an & lit as some dictionaries may be concise, whereas the definition probably appears in almost all dictionaries.

    • Greg Mansell says:

      Like ’em all. Agree with Arthur that #3 is not quite an &lit.

  27. Andrew Gibson says:

    Here they all are including the one posted earlier

    Discover:- To find out what may lead to unplanned divorces
    Balance:- Device used for weighing the amount of money in your bank
    Pioneer:- Rags removed from ripe oranges sorted out an early settler
    Concise:- Carbon Monoxide since changing is brief but comprehensive

  28. David Queale says:

    My rival first to find out right way to convert ferrous metal to charged particle.
    Terse criminal is welcome in the arms of the church.
    Poise and qualifications needed to prick festering boil.
    Sinners find asbestos shield needed in Hades.

  29. Greg Mansell says:

    * Denigrate “Old Man River” pioneer (8)
    * Discover phone with pH=0 in middle of pile (7)
    * Crisp cone taking about one second (7)
    * Stabilise chaotic north-east cabal (7)

  30. Graeme Patch says:

    Alternative Concise: In brief – a mixed trig function about the speed of light.

    Also on a different approach.

    Balance: There is poise in our strange herbal ancestry.

  31. Greg Mansell says:

    * Find disoriented divers encircling conscientious objector (8)
    * Found drugs in mutated prion (7)
    * Crisp, broken cone [sic] (7)
    * Bowled Alan before middle of recent match (7)

  32. Graeme Patch says:

    *Find out what is in cadis – covertly.