From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Clew \Clew\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Clewed p. pr. & vb. n.
   Clewing.] [Cf. D. kluwenen. See Clew, n.]
   1. To direct; to guide, as by a thread. [Obs.]
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            Direct and clew me out the way to happiness. --Beau.
                                                  & Fl.
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   2. (Naut.) To move of draw (a sail or yard) by means of the
      clew garnets, clew lines, etc.; esp. to draw up the clews
      of a square sail to the yard.
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   To clew down (Naut.), to force (a yard) down by hauling on
      the clew lines.

   To clew up (Naut.), to draw (a sail) up to the yard, as for
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Clew \Clew\ (kl[=u]), Clue \Clue\, n. [OE. clewe, clowe, clue,
   AS. cleowen, cliwen, clywe ball of thread; akin to D. kluwen,
   OHG. chliwa, chliuwa, G. dim. kleuel, kn[aum]uel, and perch.
   to L. gluma hull, husk, Skr. glaus sort of ball or tumor.
   Perch. akin to E. claw. [root]26. Cf. Knawel.]
   1. A ball of thread, yarn, or cord; also, The thread itself.
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            Untwisting his deceitful clew.        --Spenser.
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   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.
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            The clew, without which it was perilous to enter the
            vast and intricate maze of countinental politics,
            was in his hands.                     --Macaulay.
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   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.
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   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.
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