The Stickler Weekly 107 Solution

Last week I mentioned the ellipsis, which is the intentional omission of certain words based on assumptions made due to the context of the conversation or language. For a really good explanation of how ellipsis is used in normal English, visit here. How does this relate to cryptics? Well, the argument is that a setter can use the ellipsis device to define answers without a pronoun, thereby using a verbal phrase to define a noun. Here is the blog entry that isn’t directly about it, but mentions it. Look for Don Manley’s posts. The example given states that “eats many cakes” can equate to “he/she eats many cakes” because “eats many cakes” can be treated elliptically. I find the whole thing hard to swallow as it’s clear from the grammar explanation page that context is all important in the correct use of ellipsis. A key line for me is: “…when we use ellipsis appropriately, no one thinks we have ‘left out’ anything…”. In other words, deception or misunderstanding is contrary to how the ellipsis is intended to be used – it’s there to make conversation easier without losing any understanding. I would argue that it’s wrong to use it any other way than the original intention. Without context, ellipsis has no meaning: the word(s) left out rely on what’s gone before, and can’t be assumed without this prior understanding.

What do you think or this too technical to worry about?

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 BARMAID
Tender, supporting, escort’s offering a pub job (7) BID outside (ARM + A)
5 A TRIFLE
Act oddly in front of shooter somewhat (1,6) (A)C(T) + RIFLE
9 BIMETALLIC STRIP
Limit cables reconfigured to set off part of thermostat (10,5) Anagram of LIMIT CABLES + TRIP
10 LAY BROTHER
Soup served with, say, chicken skin being part of order (3,7) BROTH inside LAYER
11 HAIR
Filament is hot when in contact with gaseous mixture (4) H + AIR
13 NARRATOR
Nark cut short informer or storyteller (8) (NAR)K + RAT + OR
15 FIRE
Get rid of tree close to house (4) FIR + HOUS(E)
18 SLOT
Track opening (4) Double Definition
19 DEMENTIA
People tucked into a diet adapted for senility (8) MEN inside anagram of A DIET
22 HOLD
Keep space for cargo (4) Double Definition
23 FLEA MARKET
A target captured by naval force stalls (4,6) (A + MARK) inside FLEET
26 SHARP-WITTEDNESS
Perception changed with depressants (5-10) Anagram of WITH DEPRESSANTS
27 EXTINCT
Former partner, back to fight in court, is wiped out (7) EX + FIGH(T) + IN + CT
28 DONATES
A position given backing after crime boss is charitable (7) [A + (SET reversed)] after DON
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 BUBBLING
Young child with showy jewellery is effervescent (8) BUB + BLING
2 RUMMY
Card game is not very good without clubs (5) CRUMMY minus C
3 ALTERNATOR
One supplies power to improve a military alliance right? (10) ALTER + NATO + R
4 DELETION
Removed passage and note was first written up with one included (8) (NOTE + LED) reversed outside I
5 AMINES
Basic chemicals as found lying around excavation (6) AS outside MINE
6 RUSK
Child’s food stuff stored in citrus keeper (4) citRUS Keeper
7 FIRMAMENT
Definite ending to prayer time? Heavens! (9) FIRM + AMEN + T
8 EXPERT
Guru is sexy, uninhibited and cheeky? (6) S(EX)Y + PERT
12 FIRE WARDEN
Emergency worker, one offered money in Chinese capital (4,6) (I + REWARD) in FEN
14 RESULTANT
Muslim sovereign in territory upset following (9) SULTAN inside (TER reversed)
16 DEPARTED
Property document containing deception, in retrospect, should be left (8) DEED outside (TRAP reversed)
17 BAPTISES
Roll is used in uploading of class names (8) BAP + [IS inside (SET reversed)]
20 CHASTE
Pure swatch of fabric has texture (6) fabriC HAS TExture
21 PLAINT
Statement of grievance made to a court is evident over time (6) PLAIN + T
24 KNELT
King, joining preparation for Lent, got ready to pray (5) K + anagram of LENT
25 SPIN
Country not needing a revolution (4) SPAIN minus A

 

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