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The final episode of "Endeavour" Exeunt (TV Episode 2023) - IMDb made use of this cryptic clue:

Mother takes murderer back. Idiot.

The answer is:

Maniac

I understand why that's the answer, but I have no idea what "Idiot" has to do with it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I share your frustration. The quick crossword in one UK national daily seems to have two setters who work on alternate days. One of them likes finding angles that are not too obvious, but quite often I'm left thinking ... no, it doesn't actually mean that at all. $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2023 at 13:42

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Idiot

is the definition part of the clue, being roughly synonymous with Maniac.

For completion,

"Mother takes murderer back." is the wordplay part of the clue yielding MANIAC = MA + CAIN<

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  • $\begingroup$ "roughly synonymous" is a bit too rough for me, but I guess that was the intent. Something like "crazy" or "insane" would have fit better. $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2023 at 2:53
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    $\begingroup$ The two words you give @RayButterworth are adjectives and don't match the part of speech (noun) of the solution, making them invalid definitions. "Lunatic" would work, though $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    Jul 18, 2023 at 15:36

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