Crossword Genius

Though particular, the place is in a mess (7)


I believe the answer is:


'though particular' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)

'place is in a mess' is the wordplay.
'in a mess' indicates anagramming the letters.
'placeis' with letters rearranged gives 'SPECIAL'.

'the' acts as a link.

(Other definitions for special that I've seen before include "Out of the ordinary, singular" , "Dish not on usual menu" , "Individual" , "Particular, peculiar" , "Distinctive, exceptional" .)

I've seen this clue in The Globe and Mail and The Irish News.
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