As a detective trying to solve the mystery of the crossword clue “Stratagem“, my first step would be to analyze the definition provided in the clue. Stratagem, by definition, means a clever scheme or plan designed to achieve a particular goal. This led me to narrow down my search to words that could mean something similar, such as trickery, deception, or ploy. As I analyzed the letters already provided in the crossword puzzle, I noticed that the first letter was ‘R’. This led me to focus on words that started with this letter, and one word that stood out to me was “Ruse“. Not only did it fit the definition of a clever plan to achieve a goal, but it fit within the designated number of letters and worked with the surrounding letters. In the end, my thought process and insights led me confidently to the answer “Ruse“.