Adversarial effects of sweet

Let’s take the FT clue:
A bit of ecumenical intelligence (6) A CUMEN
Here ‘A’ gives A and ‘bit of ecumenical’ gives CUMEN.
No problem about the clue being charade with a hidden element. The hidden fodder is there (ecumenical), the hidden ind is there (bit of), though there is no def for the hidden component (which is the nonsensical letter string cumen).
Let’s take the other FT clue:
Put some tinsel round the cradle and your name in the book? INS(CRIB)E
Here too in ‘some tinsel’ we have hid ind and hid fodder; INSE goes around CRIB (cradle). There is no def for the hid component (which again is the meaningless letter string INSE) as we generally have in a clue of this type.
Now turning to
Sweet party in call centre DO LCE
I don’t find anything amiss in def and wordplay order.
We have def and then wordplay with a word (DO from party) and then a hidden component.
But there is no ind for the hidden aspect.
I do realise that ‘in’ is not a c/c ind; it may be taken as a connector or a position ind.
Now after DO what do we add in the charade? I feel that with “in call centre” we cannot be expected to pick up LCE, a part of ‘call centre’.
Suppose we rewrite it as
Sweet party for some in the call centre
Sweet party for a section of call centre
Sweet party tucked away in the call centre
In all the three examples it is clear that after DO we have to add some letters picked from ‘call centre’.
‘some in’ or ‘a section of’ or ‘tucked away’ suggests that you have to take part of the following words.
I do not buy the argument that ‘in’ itself suggests that some letters have to be taken from ‘call centre’.
In a regular hidden clue such as
Language of North India (5) HINDI
such an indication may not be necessary though even here purists might argue that the hid ind is weak.
My considered opinion is that the particular clue in the Neyartha crossword somehow fails to achieve the effect that the clue-writer attempted.


One Response to Adversarial effects of sweet

  1. Aim Undefined says:

    In the examples of bit of ‘something’ or some ‘somthing’ the solver knows s/he has to pick up some letters from the word(s) ‘something’.

    In hidden only clue, definition is given and the answer is hidden. So the solvers know what to look for.

    Therefore I think both the clues:
    Sweet party in call centre (5)
    Sweet party tucked away in call centre (5)
    don’t really work.

    Only ‘tucked away in call centre’ doesn’t really imply pick letters from ‘call centre’
    May be ‘for those tucked away in call centre’ will give needed effect.

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