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Yeah I get what you are saying and perhaps you are right, it's just that it's not obvious (to me anyway) that "quaint" is definitely not a synonym that first needs to be resolved, after which the clue may be as simple as a flood/food solution.
Anyway, this clue is nothing compared to some of the "rule breakers" I have seen on here before. We don't really have a super-fixed standard for them, and nor should we - it's just a bit of fun