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Weight on novelist demanding in the extreme (8)


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'weight on novelist demanding in the extreme' is the definition.
I can't judge whether this defines the answer.

'novelist demanding in the extreme' is the wordplay.
'novelist' becomes 'sterne' (laurence sterne).
'demanding' becomes 'strict' (similar in meaning).
'in the extreme' suggests removing the centre (the letters on the extremes of the word are used).
'strict' with its middle removed is 'st'.

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(Other definitions for sternest that I've seen before include "Strictest or grimmest" , "Most severe and unrelenting" , "Most serious and unrelenting" , "Most strict and demanding" , "Most unfriendly" .)

I've seen this clue in The Times.
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