I look forward to the non-standard clues in DA’s cryptic crossword in the SMH on Fridays. I was delighted to see this clue today, simply because it shuns the conventional format for clues (hence the “?” - there’s no distinction between the “straight part” ahd “cryptic part” of the clue).
The solution appears to be “NO REST FOR THE WICKED”, as the word “NAP” (“REST”) is removed from the work “KIDNAPPER” in the clue, and witches, who are wicked, steal children (at least in Hansel and Gretel). This required more “leaps” than most clues which I think is why I got such a rush of endorphins upon solving it.
Reflecting on this, it feels like an example of lending value to something just because it’s hard. It was satisfying to work out the answer to this clue, but rationally speaking, is it a “good clue”? Does it even make sense to talk about “good clues” outside of the fact that solving them makes me happy? Should I add it to my list? “Good” or not, I think I’ll add it as an example of how unusual clues marked with a question mark can be.