glimmer

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glimmer of hope

A minute indication that something may improve, succeed, or turn out for the best in the end. Fans clung to a glimmer of hope that their team might score a last-minute touchdown to tie the game. Although peace talks have broken down between the two warring countries, there remains a glimmer of hope that a truce of some kind can still be salvaged.
See also: glimmer, hope, of

not a glimmer (of an idea)

 and not a clue
Fig. no idea. A: Where's the subway? B: Sorry. Not a glimmer of an idea. How long till we're there? Not a clue.
See also: glimmer, not
References in classic literature ?
The vital spark, which had glimmered faintly in the socket, received fresh fuel from the oil of gladness which the little lawyer poured into his soul.
Out of the black shadows there glimmered little red circles of light, now bright, now faint, as the burning poison waxed or waned in the bowls of the metal pipes.
Baskerville shuddered as he looked up the long, dark drive to where the house glimmered like a ghost at the farther end.
Only beyond the tower glimmered the wood in which the man had lain dead.
Everything about her shimmered and glimmered softly, as if her dress had been woven out of candle-beams; and she carried her head high, like a pretty woman challenging a roomful of rivals.
At first they were faintly discernible in the mist, and above them the later stars still glimmered.
A faint light glimmered through a ground-glass pane over the door; and was dimly reflected by the toilet mirror, in its usual place against the window.
Then all sat down and feasted and drank merrily together until the sun was low and the half-moon glimmered with a pale light betwixt the leaves of the trees overhead.