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Crosswords emerged 100 years ago. Cluetopia is one mad time-trip from jails to jungles, in search of the best crossword stories.

Niche Marketing

October 18, 2011

untitled On paper, hidden clues are the easiest to solve – once you twig to the recipe. Though that can take an age before you think to look within the clue’s letters.

Guardian blogger Alan Connor recently did a feature on the hidden formula, and wheeled out some true gems of the genre. Among them:

Some forget to get here for gathering = GET-TOGETHER

Leaves wasp in a cheese sandwich = SPINACH

Horatio Nelson’s address ? = ORATION

Rummaging among my own UK archives, I have found these zingers:

Means to fill crew here with alarm = WHEREWITHAL

Part of impeccable career that could make one upwardly mobile = CABLE CAR

So many riches inspire a Storm, with one commercial twist. Seeing as though most Brit crosswords exclude brand names, let’s cook up hidden clues that involve trademarks – car models, detergents, consortia – any brand, biz or other commerical enterprise, so long as the hidden reciupe applies. Two instances:

Car parked in arena ultimately (7)

Or a backwards bid: Some local let under backspread (7)

RENAULT and NUTELLA are those first answers, in case you need a nudge. But consider the gauntlet to be thrown. Who can make the best commercial hidden? The premium clues will carry no excess language, and display both hidden indicators, as well as a reversal signpost, if backspin is required.

Deadline is sundown, Thursday. With virtual medals for best three, plus Popular Choice. Feel free to help fellow Stormers to finesse their clues, and help us all by solving the trickier samples. (To that end, numbering your clues may help – ) More the point, have fun. Should be a real expo.


Anthony Douglas

18 October at 12:24AM

1. Commit sub I shipped to store motors.

Not elegant, but the lack of words forces the sub to surface!


18 October at 06:30AM

Weird - I'd been planning to 'roll out' Mitsubishi this morning!

Handy for all players to supply the letter count, and let us snare the rest, I reckon. As for best branding, we'll see how the clues stand by late Thursday. Three more:

2. Filling hamper with chicken (6)
3. Bordello really rife with perfume (6)
4. Beer upset Tarantino reputation in part (6)


18 October at 06:34AM

1. Mitsubishi

2. Rubbish old engine has wheels (6)
3. Search for dildo on a duvet (5)


18 October at 06:37AM

2. Ingham
3. L'Oréal (should have been (1'5)?)
4. Peroni

Renumber mine:

5. Rubbish old engine has wheels (6)
6. Search for dildo on a duvet (5)


18 October at 06:42AM

Spooner's wet car parts (6,4)


18 October at 06:45AM

7. Spooner's wet car parts (6,4)


18 October at 06:49AM

@RobT - are your dealing in Hiddens, or horse-trading in Spoonerisms?

5. Holden
6. Doona (nice idea using generic brand name)

As for l'Oreal being (1'5), that's true in some house styles, though not all. I thought it was simple enough, so I went with (6).


18 October at 06:56AM

PS - today will see one lucky Dabbler create Post Number 10,000. Promise you that's not a spam message.


18 October at 07:15AM

7. Return all educational materials containing computer (4)
8. I do Pilates upside down, having music player (4)


18 October at 07:20AM

9. Cleaner from "Psycho" overacted.


18 October at 07:28AM

Co-opt user's parcel carrier.
Deposited in hotel's tray service.


18 October at 07:31AM

8 IPod.

Renumber mine
10 Co-opt user's parcel carrier.
11 Deposited in hotel's tray service.


18 October at 07:36AM

7 Dell
9 Hoover


18 October at 07:48AM

10. Optus (parcel - very good)
11. Telstra


18 October at 08:03AM

12. Computers help paint tins go back (5)


18 October at 08:55AM

12 Apple
13. Wrapper in soap powder (5)
14. Essentially I like this "Wipe and Spray" (5)


18 October at 09:57AM

15. Piece of Nigel Mansell's protective gear!


18 October at 10:35AM

Golf sponsor's sign: "US Masters back - make the cut!" (7)


18 October at 10:36AM

Just giving that a number:

16. Golf sponsor's sign: "US Masters back - make the cut!" (7)


18 October at 10:39AM

It wouldnt surprise me if I have the dirtiest mind on here. But still I'd be surprised to see 'dildo' make it into a cryptic clue.


18 October at 10:50AM

Market share of residential district (4)


18 October at 11:14AM

Cartel abroad I'd assume to be running gear? (6)

Macintosh I barter for some stuff that's similar? (7)

Games at a ribald party. (5)


18 October at 11:22AM

Bank's newest package without frills (7)


18 October at 11:27AM

I am trorse-hading.


18 October at 11:36AM

Triumph by subordinate overpowers base. (3)


18 October at 11:43AM

RobT's 7 is Datsun cogs/cats and dogs. An oldie but a goodie.


18 October at 11:54AM

Not sure where we are in the numbers, so I'll call this:

20: Enclosed payslip to Newcastle Brewers (6)


18 October at 12:00PM

Numbers seem have disappeared but I think this is where we're up to:

23. Anti-dandruff fighter to concede loss in part (5)
24. Tristan, Drew, Sam hide in place of cover? (2,6'1)
25. Place this on cut or scab and aid somewhat (4-3)
26. Stuck amid a sea of shoes? (5)
27. Take last o' plastic (one piece) and stick it to yo'self (11)


18 October at 12:07PM

dg@10.50 - Aldi
dg@11.14 - Adidas (love it), Toshiba, Atari


18 October at 12:08PM

Boniface@11.22 - Westpac
dg@11.36 - BHP
20 (Sam) - Lipton


18 October at 12:24PM

EM's bathroom 'cabinets'
23 Cedel
24 St Andrew's
25 Band-aid
26 ?
27 Elastoplast


18 October at 12:49PM

28. Hip, rad and in fashion! (5)


18 October at 12:51PM

28 Recycling pile in Borsht Row - loo, white goods - self-service.


18 October at 12:54PM

28 Prada.

(hard keeping up with the times)renumber:

29 Recycling pile in Borsht Row - loo, white goods - self-service.


18 October at 01:06PM

29's letter count is (10)

15 Ansells (they make gloves, too)
16 Samsung


18 October at 01:52PM

Wow. What product placement. Here's a longer one:

30. For demisters he enclosed glass cleaner (6,5)


18 October at 02:12PM

30 is John Howard ;)
26 is Midas

31 Hello, boys! I have protection back inside.
32 Some bathe in zesty sauces.


18 October at 02:13PM

31 & 32 are (5)

33 Goods anyone can purchase?! (5)

18 October at 02:36PM

34. Daniel Johns on song in "Baby" cover? (7'1)

Tweak to an earlier one:
23. Dandruff fighter to concede loss in part


18 October at 02:37PM

'Twere me what tweaked


18 October at 02:42PM



18 October at 02:44PM

Counter some extra ales, settled for Planters (9)


18 October at 02:50PM

Ambivalent about downsizing computer network. (3)


18 October at 02:54PM

sorry that should have been

35: Counter some extra ales, settled for Planters (9)

was 33 Sanyo?


18 October at 03:03PM

37: Ink - Lee; next issue? (7)


18 October at 03:22PM

38. Strong mouthwash - blister in evidence!(9)


18 October at 04:06PM

Russian jalopy seen back in Guadalcanal (4)

Mr X

18 October at 04:15PM

The company's already been used but ...

39. Cheap pledge centred on jobs creation.


18 October at 04:35PM

31 I have Isocol in my bathroom. Any relation?
32 Heinz , like it, dg.

37 Kleenex, you could go the tissue too, Sam, for a(7,6)

Variation: Hank Lee. Next issue 's pull-out!

38 Listerine. Good one, Boniface.


18 October at 04:44PM

RobT @4.06 Lada - like the canal as indicator.

39 Apple - 'jobs creation ' brilliant, Mr X.


18 October at 04:50PM

40 "Deep Muscle". Orgasmic magazine.


18 October at 04:53PM

40. Having no ball, I bring around some different gear for the beach (9)
41. Sticker or clever flipping device? (6)

And this isn't a contender for obvious reasons, but I couldn't resist:

42. Naive backwash?


18 October at 04:54PM

31. Bolle


18 October at 04:56PM

Hard to keep up with! Renumber mine:

42. Having no ball, I bring around some different gear for the beach (9)
43. Sticker or clever flipping device (6)
44. Naive backwash?


18 October at 04:57PM

Aargh. Seems I need three tries for everything on this blog!

41. Having no ball, I bring around some different gear for the beach (9)
42. Sticker or clever flipping device (6)
43. Naive backwash? (5)


18 October at 05:05PM

44. Car holds Mobil engine oil secretion (10)


18 October at 05:06PM

40 "Deep Muscle". Orgasmic magazine. (4)

42 Billabong.
43 Velcro, both good EM.
44 Nivea, priceless!


18 October at 05:15PM

Some great gags here! Another chestnut, but I still love level crossing as a container for velcro.


18 October at 05:26PM

TV maker's sprinkled throughout Japan (as on ice-cream) (9)


18 October at 05:26PM

45. TV maker's sprinkled throughout Japan (as on ice-cream) (9)


18 October at 05:47PM

46. Fat boy stuck in Bono's diva dye (L'rahza's his brand!) (6,8)


18 October at 06:12PM

In Viagra I'm a dubious self-promoter (3)


18 October at 06:23PM

Deep in Viagra I'm a dubious self-promoter (3)


18 October at 07:25PM

44/43. I was actually going for 'Evian', but I like 'Nivea' better for a ridiculously cynical &lit! Thanks for spotting it, Criseyde.


18 October at 07:47PM

Actually EM, I think the &lit works better with Evian. It certainly worked when I was in giving birth to my son.


18 October at 10:04PM

Nice variation of Kleenex Criseyde, and I'm not sure if this works for the wordplay, but:

48(?): Press release topic adorable (7)


18 October at 10:28PM

Some lovely stuff thus far. Late to the party again...

49. Stock of petrol exhausted in good time (5)

50. Halle Berry's rear seen in sporty gear (5)

51. Captivating charm; an intelligent designer! (6)


18 October at 10:39PM

52 Rev cars up inside mechanic's. (4)
53 Stable insider bets here, perhaps. (3)
54 Strip Le Mans vehicle for radio. (6,1)
55 Bar into scary clips? (5)


18 October at 10:44PM

56 Seeking retro sports shoes (4)


18 October at 11:21PM

57 Among the shallowest pack of capitalists (7)
58 Abominably insular money-lenders (3)
59 Bank in pathetic bailout (3)
60 Financial institution at heart of American zeitgeist (3)

Three-letter companies aren't ideal, I know. But I had fun with this train of thought.


19 October at 07:43AM

61. Average milk curdles in carton (3)

LR, I like it. Having worked for a company that was acquired by CBA, I think your 59 could use an exclamation mark.


19 October at 07:54AM

61 Tax as "Income Return, ex Tax, Commodity"


19 October at 07:57AM

EM's 61. Gem?

Renumber mine:
62 Tax as "Income Return, ex Tax, Commodity" (4)


19 October at 08:07AM

Sorry, sorry. My 61 was all over the shop. Retry:

61. Milk, when average, curdles in container


19 October at 08:18AM

63 Punch gutted Ascot Teeswater (6'1)


19 October at 08:36AM

35 Tesselaar - beautifully camouflaged, Sam. I was looking for nuts!


19 October at 10:21AM


46. Fat Boy stuck in Bono's diva dye (L'Rahza's his brand!) while backing up (6,8)


19 October at 12:38PM

64 Over-the-top capitalism claptrap aimed at tween lunchboxes?! (4)

65 For raise melts enough bars of chocolate, etc. (6)

66 Dishonest legalese found in formula distribution of this 'sweet' business? (6)


19 October at 01:06PM

67 Immoral photography contained within!? (5)
68 Featured article on women's issue!? (4)
69 Open thou sealed-section of adulterous mag (9)
70 It's popular among an inane, wide audience! (3,4)


19 October at 01:15PM

71: In error, albeit promoted by faceless men? (4-1)

One for Victorians:

72: Remember to touch on army kiosk camouflage (4)


19 October at 01:18PM

Thanks Criseyde on 35 above - hopefully wasn't too obscure, but did get their new catalogue in the mail yesterday and couldn't resist a try!


19 October at 01:49PM

73: Some patriotism lifts (4)


19 October at 04:34PM

Cars through old entrance not the roof ordinarily. (6) and (4)

Mr X

19 October at 04:58PM

75 Uneasy doom holds back the global financial figures. (6)


19 October at 07:01PM

76. "Bob!" "Arf!" "Inside! Dinner!" (4)


19 October at 10:59PM

77. Essentially, they motor on to do mini-onshore financings! (7,8)

78. Stops mid-passage and makes a spectacle (4)


19 October at 11:06PM

A revamp of 50 (indicator in wrong place)

50. Halle Berry owns retro sporty gear (5)


19 October at 11:08PM

What the heck, might as well revamp another-

51. Captivating charm; an Italian designer! (6)


19 October at 11:19PM

One last revamp...

77. They egg investor on to do mini-onshore financings! (7.8)


20 October at 09:26AM

55 - Tosca - nicely hidden dg!
61 - Rev
63 - Cottee's - nice def Criseyde
76 - Barf!
78 - OPSM - great surface SK.


20 October at 10:13AM

77. Toronto Dominion. Noice.

79. Store items within, close, lock up (5)

Apologies for the length of this one. Country Victorians will understand why:

80. White Hills nil, Lockington Bamawm nil: back in to the bookies? (7)


20 October at 10:26AM

Thanks Sam, I like your 71 OralB.

Strange co-incidence EM, have just been working on:

81. Dog ID? Nebulous impost raised by rural money-grabbers. (7)


20 October at 10:37AM

46 Harley Davidson
50 Rebel
51 Armani
64 LCMs?
65 and 66 Nestle
67 Ralph
40 and 68 Cleo
69 Penthouse
70 New Idea (teehee)
72 myki


20 October at 10:38AM

And 81 is the Go!


20 October at 03:12PM

82. They are outfitters for the farm Will, I am sending you a sample. (1,1,8)


20 October at 03:20PM

83. A smart array of products are back in for melbourne on-line company (5,5)


20 October at 04:00PM

79 Coles
82 RMWilliams
83 Yarra Trams - like the def okra.


20 October at 04:27PM

84. Drug to keep an adolescent imprisoned (7)


20 October at 05:02PM

85. They manufacture chemicals in a scam on Santorini (8)


20 October at 05:51PM

Thought I'd jump in - as Comment #100 - to applaud such industrious niche marketing. A real blitz of a Storm, with the pick to be paraded on the weekend.

By the way, the same Storm threw us beyond 10,000 posts in a little over a year, which is also a phenom. Please accept my trademarked ta.

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