I'm not very happy with this cryptic clue that appeared on Lovatt's Cryptic Crossword for 22 May 2023:
Spell at days to circumference globe (6)
The answer was:
EIGHTY - seems to be a reference to "Around the World in Eighty Days" by Jules Verne.
But I don't like it because the clue doesn't seem to be grammatical to me and there doesn't seem to be a good surface interpretation.
I know that...
spell can refer to a period of time, as in "eighty days", but the form "spell at days" doesn't seem to be a real thing - shouldn't it be "spell of days" or "spell in days"?
circumference seems to be used as a verb but that isn't supported by any of the dictionaries I checked. Did they mean circumnavigate?
Am I right to quibble about this clue or have I missed something?