Crossword Genius

"Deadlock" is hackneyed, pal (9)


I believe the answer is:


'deadlock' is the definition.
(I know that deadlock can be written as stalemate)

'hackneyed pal' is the wordplay.
'hackneyed' becomes 'stale' (I've seen this before).
'pal' becomes 'mate' (both can mean a friend).

'is' acts as a link.

(Other definitions for stalemate that I've seen before include "Deadlock, impasse" , "Inglorious deadlock" , "Blocked position" , "Possible outcome of chess game" , "where moving is impossible" .)

I've seen this clue in the Evening Standard.
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