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Could such agents have fled wildly, and about time? (7)


I believe the answer is:


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'could such agents have fled wildly and' is the definition.
I can't tell whether this defines the answer.

'time?' is the wordplay.
I cannot quite understand how this works, but
'time?' could be 'era' (era is a kind of time) and 'era' is found within the answer.
This explanation may well be incorrect...

'about' is the link.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for federal that I've seen before include "Red leaf (anag.)" , "like the USA" , "Of the state" , "United" , "(Of a union or government) involving states voluntarily joined together for common purposes" .)

I've seen this clue in the Evening Standard.
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