Insertion flags

Insertion flags are a class of letter manipulation clues that ask you to insert one word or letter into another. Keywords that signal this, for example, are: admit, block, capture, enter, hosted, importing, lapping up, penned, trapped and welcome. In each case it may be the accompanying word that must be inserted, or a synonym of that word inserted as part of the answer.Insertion flags

Here are some more details of these insertion Indicators:

Abroad – insert a word

Accommodating – insert the word into another word

Admitted – place the next word inside the anagram

Arrested by – insert the next word

Blocking – insert into a word or use to complete a partial anagram

Brings in  – contains word or letters from the next word

Captured – insert letter or word into

Claims – contains the following word(s)

Collected – letter(s) put into another word to make up the answer

Concealed by – inserted into

Contained – a word is inserted into another

Dumped – letters inserted between or into a word

Enthralling – containing

Feeding – insert the letters or word into a word

For inclusion – insert a word

Held – include the letters of the word in the answer

Hosted by – inserted

Imbibed – inserted

Penned – put inside other letters or word

Pens – contains the next word

Purchasing – insert the next word or part word

Put into – inserted

Trapped –– put in the middle of a word

Under – insert afterwards in a down clue

Wearing – contained in

Welcome – insert the accompanying word


1] Group importing revolutionary rum fold (7). For group use PACK. For rum use ODD but reverse it as instructed by the word revolutionary, so DDO should be inserted into PACK. The answer is “paddock”.

2] Help around new store, like a star (8). Use the word AID for help. New is an anagram flag for STORE. Around is letter manipulation, so insert STORE in AID. The answer is “asteroid”.

3] Rather narrow-minded about head of religion (6). Use PETTY for narrow-minded. Insert R in this word from head of R(eligion). The answer is “pretty” as in the sense, rather or somewhat.

4] Small drink in India as an alternative (7). The answer will be a synonym of the definition word, alternative. The word “in” is the insertion flag (of course, in is not often used this way). For small use the initial S. For drink use TEA and for India use the IVR code. This is IND being the International Vehicle Registration code for India. So insert STEA in the abbreviation IND. The answer is “instead”.

5] Urge to go under water – welcoming river (5). Welcoming is the insertion flag here. The definition word is “urge”. To go under water is to DIVE. Insert the common abbreviation for river, R, into this. The answer is “drive”.

6] European shy, holding record for science (7). Holding is the insert key. We want an answer for science. Use E, the abbreviation for Europe, COY for shy, and this holds LOG from record. The answer is “ecology”.

7] Guess I’m stuck in large property (8). We need a word meaning guess. The insert key is stuck in. Use ESTATE for large property and stick IM in it for the answer, which is “estimate”.

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By Nigel Benetton

Last updated: Monday, 29th March 2021