A personal take on the best dozen Times crossword clues from the last 5 years
Part of a -part series of blogs

Posted by Andy Brown on 11 December 2017

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3rd position (from Sunday Times puzzle 4687)

The clue at third position in my list is this one:

One may take issue with rising fish stocks (9)

Again, the surface reading is impeccable, but has nothing whatsoever to do with the answer.  Here's an alternative way to read this:

Part Clue Notes
Definition One may take issue One's issue are one's children!
Wordplay with rising fish stocks AND is a synonym for WITH, and a KIPPER is a fish.

This gives the answer KIDNAPPER (because the fish KIPPER stocks AND rising, which works if this is a down and not an across clue).

If you're a fan of this type of construction clue, here are a few more to work on:

Puzzle Clue Answer Help
26003 Attractive copse lawman cut with axes (4) SEXY (COP)SE-XY
25966 Twitter revealed I'm not married (9) SINGLETON SING-LET-ON
25975 Place outside Palladium for follower of pop (7) STEPDAD STE-PD-AD

For the last one, PD is the chemical symbol for Palladium, and a stepdad naturally follows a natural father (or "pop").

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