Just a silly crossword-type cryptic clue. 9 letters.

  • $\begingroup$ According to convention, should this clue include the question mark or is that just part of the title? $\endgroup$ – scatter Jun 6 '19 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ Not so familiar with the conventions. But the answer is not a question. $\endgroup$ – Person Jun 6 '19 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ A question mark implies that the clue isn't "playing by the rules", such as "A wicked thing?" cluing CANDLE. Given that this clue reads much like a normal cryptic, and you say you aren't familiar, I'll assume the question mark doesn't belong. $\endgroup$ – scatter Jun 6 '19 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ I think your assumption is correct. $\endgroup$ – Person Jun 6 '19 at 13:07
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    $\begingroup$ The existence of an 8-letter version means my thought of POSTERIOR (with "bum" as the def) is out :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jun 6 '19 at 15:31

This isn't a full answer, but just some pieces that might help lead to a collaborative solution.

The last part of the clue, "in three directions", makes me think of

compass directions -- N, E, S or W. Specifically, three of those four letters in some order. And the "in" part makes me think something else is going to be inserted into the middle of them -- e.g., EN______W or N______ES.

As for "can't stop twitching", perhaps

"twitching" signifies an anagram? In which case, we would want some six-letter word or phrase for "can't stop" that could be inserted into the blanks above.

And that would leave "Bum" as

the literal definition.

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  • $\begingroup$ None of that is right, unfortunately. I'm not a crossword person, so perhaps don't rely on familiar conventions such as a word hinting that an anagram is involved, I wouldn't be that sophisticated. Still, I think the clue has a good, straightforward answer. Is this a good time to leave an additional hint? $\endgroup$ – Person Jun 6 '19 at 16:09

If bum means


and can't stop twitching is

a sideeffect of taking steroids

what can be found in

three directions, because directions is an anagram of STEROID NIC

Then we have

ass and steroid

which can be "twitched" to

asteroids (9)


asteroid (8)

Another clue could be

bum means "travel, with no particular purpose or destination" Doesnt that fit good to asteroids?

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  • $\begingroup$ Brilliant! Not my answer, though, except for the difference between 8 and 9 letters, which is the same as mine. $\endgroup$ – Person Jun 6 '19 at 16:19

And the answer is...:



bum = anal, twitch = tic, can't stop twitching = tics, three directions = y-shaped, can't stop twitching in three directions = y-tics, anal + y-tics = bum can't stop twitching in three directions!

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