As a detective solving the mystery of the crossword clue ‘Having a commanding lead’, I first considered synonyms for ‘commanding’. Words such as ‘dominant’ or ‘controlling’ came to mind. I then looked at the given letters and tried to form a word that fits the description. ‘WA_ _ _EA_‘ seemed like a possible combination, with ‘WAY‘ being an option as it means ‘far ahead‘. Combining ‘WAY‘ with ‘AHEAD‘ formed the answer ‘WAYAHEAD‘. It makes perfect sense as a term for having a commanding lead, indicating that someone is already far ahead of everyone else. Overall, it was a combination of considering synonyms, analyzing the given letters, and forming possible combinations that helped me to solve the mystery of the crossword clue.