Put up memo about minimum grade for smart alecs? (8)
I believe the answer is:
'put up' is the definition.
(to nominate is to put someone up for something)
'memo about minimum grade for smart alecs?' is the wordplay.
I cannot really see how this works, but
'about' could be 'a' (abbreviation in Chambers) and 'a' is located in the answer.
'smart' could be 'in' (as in fashionable) and 'in' is present in the answer.
This may be the basis of the clue (or it may be nonsense).
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for nominate that I've seen before include "Pick as a candidate" , "Put forward (as candidate for election)" , "Put forward name for a mention" , "Propose for office" , "Specify (person for job)" .)