Crossword Genius

Lenient – or by the letter! (10)


I believe the answer is:


'lenient' is the definition.
(similar in meaning)

'by the letter' is the wordplay.
'by' becomes 'per' (I've seen this in another clue).
'the letter' becomes 'missive' ('missive' can be a synonym of 'letter').

'or' acts as a link.

(Other definitions for permissive that I've seen before include "Lenient, indulgent" , "Liberal, broad-minded" , "Showing indulgence" , "granting authorisation" , "Free" .)

I've seen this clue in The Everyman puzzle in The Observer.
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