Containers, Insertions & Surrounds
Clues in this category help make the answer word by containing a piece of fodder in another, surrounding one piece of fodder with another or putting a piece of fodder into another. These are known as containers, surrounds and insertions and you can spot this type of clue by looking for indicators that use words that suggest, surprisingly, containment, a surround or an insertion.
Let's look at some examples of their indicators:
To create the answer word NEATEST, the setter sees that the word EAT is inside NEST and so may employ a container, surround or insertion indicator. The indicator will show the solver that EAT should be put inside of NEST, or that NEST should surround or contain EAT.
Here's how they'll do it - please ignore the meaningless surfaces and concentrate on what the indicator does to the fodder:
nest holding eat = (N(EAT)EST)
nest going around eat = (N(EAT)EST)
eat into nest = (N(EAT)EST)
So we can see that the end result is always the same. The setter has indicated that EAT is inside NEST by three different means.
Any words that fairly indicate containment, a surround or an insertion may be used as indicators. Here are some more examples:
container indicator: HOSTING/STOPPING
surround indicator: OVER/ABOUT/GRABBING
insertion indicator: CUTTING/SPLITTING/BREAKING
Finally, it is worth noting that many indicators can be used for more than one purpose (though never at the same time). For example, OVER can be a reversal, anagram or surround indicator.
Lawyer hosting hit TV show (5)
lawyer - DA (abbreviation for district attorney)
hosting - containment indicator
hit - ram (as in strike)
TV show - definition
Tall chap tackling street thief (10)
tall - high
chap - man
tackling - surround indicator (tall & high surround the next bit of fodder)
street - way
thief - definition
Cattle farm in fight to expand (6,3)
cattle farm - ranch
in - insertion indicator
fight - bout
to expand - definition
B(RANCH)OUT = BRANCH OUT