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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Clew Clue, n.
 1. A ball of thread, yarn, or cord; also, The thread itself.
    Untwisting his deceitful clew.   --Spenser.
 2. That which guides or directs one in anything of a doubtful or intricate nature; that which gives a hint in the solution of a mystery.
    The clew, without which it was perilous to enter the vast and intricate maze of countinental politics, was in his hands.   --Macaulay.
 3. Naut. (a.) A lower corner of a square sail, or the after corner of a fore-and-aft sail. (b.) A loop and thimbles at the corner of a sail. (c.) A combination of lines or nettles by which a hammock is suspended.
 Clew garnet Naut., one of the ropes by which the clews of the courses of square-rigged vessels are drawn up to the lower yards.
 Clew line Naut., a rope by which a clew of one of the smaller square sails, as topsail, topgallant sail, or royal, is run up to its yard.
 Clew-line block Naut., The block through which a clew line reeves. See Illust. of Block.