Crossword Genius

Area of ship shortly burning coal as winter starts (8)


I believe the answer is:


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'area of ship shortly' is the definition.
I can't tell whether this defines the answer.

'burning coal as winter starts' is the wordplay.
'burning coal' becomes 'ember' (I've seen this in another clue).
'as winter' becomes 'dec' (I am not sure about this - if you are sure you should give a lot more credence to this answer).
'starts' is a charade indicator (letters next to each other).
'ember' put after 'dec' is 'DECEMBER'.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for december that I've seen before include "Last month" , "Original tenth month" , "Winter month" , "Tenth month to the old Romans" , "12th month" .)

I've seen this clue in The Guardian.
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