Crossword Genius

Perceptive eavesdropping is futile (2-3)


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'futile' is the definition.
(I've seen this in another clue)

I don't understand how the rest of the clue works.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for no-win that I've seen before include "Denoting situation in which success is impossible" , "Certain to end in failure" .)

I've seen this clue in the Sydney Morning Herald.
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