My friend was reading a newspaper and I caught a glimpse of a rather mystifying cryptic clue on one of the pages. I've been unable to solve it ever since and it's driving me crazy! Here's my "best" attempt, although it has several problems:
K AR(A CT Y)T'S CT
Obviously, "karactytsct" is not an English word in any dictionary I know. Also, I have already used all the words in the clue for this wordplay so there is nothing left to be used as the definition. And furthermore, the number of letters is completely off! From the enumeration I believe we're looking for a four-word phrase with one, eight, eight and nine letters respectively, although I have to say the enumeration was presented in a rather unusual manner.
What was the clue I saw? Why can't I solve it?