Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!
Nothing like a delightful clue such as...
Clue surface: They invaded England from heart of France, breaking usual rules (7)
Definition: They invaded England
Explanation: You get AN from heart of France (the middle letters of frANce) which are inserted into (as indicated by breaking) NORMS (synonym for usual rules).
... to demonstrate the cryptic device of central letter-picking.
If you see the word central, heartily, essentially or the like, you can safely surmise that you may have to select the middle letter or letters of the adjacent word. If the fodder has an even number of letters, like France, the middle should comprise two letters. In the case of an odd-numbered word, like England, it would be the single letter that splits the word into two equal parts in this case L.
We also see a really cool insertion indicator with the word breaking.
When you read the word from, think of it as [Definition] from [the wordplay]. Thats what they call a link word, and this is one is as sensible and non-redundant as they come.
One of the awesomest things about a Dr. X clue is how visually cogent and logical its surface is whilst simultaneously maintaining a super elegant and efficient cryptic reading.
Also, historically speaking, the Normans did invade England in the 11th Century led by William the Conquerer in a drawn-out war straight out of Game of Thrones that, true to form, would have involved a lot of breaking usual rules.
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Originally posted here:
Clued In #54 | Every word with a purpose, a purpose for every word - The Hindu