Some Mistake?

I saw a comment on an online forum recently in which a solver had objected to ‘some’ as a hidden indicator. While it transpired that they had mistaken it for a letter selection indicator, and had no issue with it in the former role, I was prompted to reassess the use of the word. I don’t think that anyone could complain about ‘some of these escorts’ as the wordplay for SEES, but what about ‘some chase escorts’? In the first instance, ‘some’ is technically an indefinite pronoun (though I would be inclined to view it as a quasi-noun), but in the second it is an adjective, and the noun which it qualifies is always generic (‘some bread’, ‘some words’). Hence in the ‘real world’ it never refers to a part of anything specific, whereas ‘some of’ always does, as in ‘some of this text’.

I’m very doubtful about the validity of this adjectival usage, and my concerns extend to other similar adjectives, such as ‘little’ and ‘most’ – again the noun-based forms ‘a little of’ and ‘most of’ are fine, but ‘a little bread’ and ‘most bread’ refer to bread generically, so ‘a little bread’ to indicate B and ‘most bread’ for MONE(y) both strike me as unsound.

Although I plan to stop using these indicators in my own clues, they are commonly seen in puzzles by a wide range of setters and rarely (if ever) seem to trouble solvers, so I hesitate to remove them from the lists on this site. Any views would be welcomed.

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