Can anyone parse this clue?

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Robespierre
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:48 am

Can anyone parse this clue?

Post by Robespierre » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:17 pm

Within the past week or so, the following clue appeared in the daily SMH cryptic:

Deviant lives on a mission (6).

The intersecting letters are: E_R_N_
The solutions the next day indicated that the solution is ERRANT (indicating that "deviant" is the definition cf. ERRAND would have been consistent with "mission" as the definition). Can someone kindly explain the wordplay please?

crowsman
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:22 pm

Re: Can anyone parse this clue?

Post by crowsman » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:12 pm

Hmm! Not knowing anything about the compiler, I can only guess.
I see that the SOED does show knight errant as being equivalent to just errant.
Also, lives could be a noun.
Is this an iffy attempt calling lives on a mission as errant lives, referring to knights errant?

Otherwise, no idea.

Robespierre
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:48 am

Re: Can anyone parse this clue?

Post by Robespierre » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:32 pm

Thanks, Crowsman. I think you point to the intended interpretation: a (knight) errant is "(someone who) lives on a mission".

afrit
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Re: Can anyone parse this clue?

Post by afrit » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:14 pm

Is it not more correct to say a (knight) errant is on or goes on a mission?

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