Crossword Genius

Course isn’t commonly free, not the first (7)


I believe the answer is:


'course' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)

'isn't commonly free not the first' is the wordplay.
'isn't commonly' becomes 'ain't' (non-standard version of 'isn't').
'not the first' means to remove the first letter.
'free' with its first letter taken away is 'ree'.

(Other definitions for aintree that I've seen before include "place for horse racing" , "Home of the Grand National" , "Here they run" , "Venue of the Grand National race" , "Merseyside racecourse" .)

I've seen this clue in The Times.
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