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Evil Primarily Occurring In Lent

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PAMUFF | 14:08 Tue 23rd Jun 2020 | Crosswords
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Spectator 2462. 5D. I have FEAST which fits the clue but makes no sense as far as I can see. Is this the right

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Lent is a period when you fast - put E(vil) inside
E(vil) "primarily" inside Fast (Lent) = Feast (whole clue, not the done thing in Lent)
e inside fast (occurring in lent)
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Thank you Mamyalynne. That is exactly what I did to get the answer feast but it still seems very weak
Looks good.
There is a '?' at the end of the clue that makes it clearer Pam.
Ah! the curse of the incomplete clue strikes again.
That '?' makes all the difference, yes.
Like much of this crossword it did nothing for me. At the very least the clue needs the word 'when' to be inserted and the order of the first two words to be reversed, ie 'Primarily evil when occurring in Lent?'. If you interpret 'primarily' as meaning 'fundamentally' in the definition (which is the whole clue), this just about works. As the clue stands it suggests that feasts are a bad thing and largely occur in Lent.
I took 'primarily' to mean the opening letter of 'evil'.
Yes indeed, the wordplay is E ('Evil, primarily') 'occurring in' FAST ('Lent?'), but it is intended to be an &lit, with the definition being the whole clue (otherwise there is no definition). I don't think a feast could reasonably be described '[an] evil primarily occurring in Lent?', but one could perhaps be termed 'primarily evil when occurring in Lent?'
Disagree, it works perfectly.

We shall have to differ.
If the original poster agrees that it "works perfectly", then I will graciously accept that it is an adequate clue for a Spectator puzzle.
Well, for what it's worth, I agree with you spoffy - the clue doesn't work unless it's &lit (and I'm sure that was the setter's intention).
Prof, I took it to be an & lit.

Perhaps it's my Catholic side swaying my judgement?

Not that it matters.
...sorry mamyalynne - I missed the first part of the thread. I agree that the clue is fine as it is (as long as the '?' is there).
Sorry, Spoffy - but you're probably right.
I realised that after I'd taken a bit more time to read the full thread, Mamyalynne (sorry again).
Well, for what it's worth, I agree with Mamya. The clue works ok as an &lit - if someone believes strongly that Lent is a fast, then a feast might be seen as evil.
Let's be honest - if I had seen this clue in a Guardian puzzle I would have kept my electronic mouth shut. But this is a barred puzzle where clueing accuracy is (or at least used to be) highly valued. Feasts don't primarily occur in Lent, and 'primarily' is a prepositive adverb so it can't be modifying the adjective 'evil' (compare 'A feast is particularly evil during Lent' with 'A feast is evil particularly during Lent'); it would have to be written as 'Primarily evil' to achieve that purpose.

I find it frustrating that this idea could easily have been realised in a way that actually led to the answer, eg "What's close to sacrilege when held in Lent?"
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Thank you everybody. It has certainly promoted a lot of debate.

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