As a detective solving the mystery of the crossword clue ‘Popular TikTok character’, my first thought was to establish that the answer had to be some kind of identifier that could be used to find a particular TikTok user or user-generated content. This led me to consider the use of hashtags on TikTok, which are used to categorize and promote content on the platform. As I thought more about this, it became clear that the clue was likely referring to the hashtag symbol itself, which has become ubiquitous in modern social media. The hashtag has become a kind of ‘character’ of its own, representing the way users connect and share content across platforms. Based on this insight, I confidently filled in the answer as ‘HASHTAG’, knowing that it fit perfectly with the context of the clue and the broader cultural significance of TikTok in today’s digital landscape.