Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Re(1): 's = has

My understanding has always been – for daily cryptics anyway – that this use of apostrophes is a fair part of the setter's arsenal. It is misleading and is supposed to be.
The question of possessive/contraction/(non-)auxiliary only applies to what appears to be the case in the clue; like every other clue component, it's all linked together to “say what I mean but not mean what I say”, and misdirection created by apostrophes is the same as that created by nouns looking like verbs (and vice versa) and all the other tricks.
As a non-member of the Listener series I can say nothing about editorial policy, but perhaps there was a feeling that the added level of difficulty was unwanted? I don't know.


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