Crossword Genius

Senseless state positions retreating troops (6)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

stupor

'senseless state' is the definition.

'positions retreating troops' is the wordplay.
'positions' becomes 'puts' ('put' can be a synonym of 'position').
'retreating' says the letters should be written backwards.
'troops' becomes 'or' (military abbreviation for other ranks).
'puts' back-to-front is 'stup'.
'stup'+'or'='STUPOR'

(Other definitions for stupor that I've seen before include "Semi-comatose state" , "Dazed condition as from drink or drugs" , "State of insensibility or near-unconsciousness" , "numbness" , "mental dullness?" .)

I've seen this clue in The Independent.
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