Crossword Genius

He's avuncular in play (5)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

vanya

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'he's' is the definition.

I don't understand how the rest of the clue works.

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(Other definitions for vanya that I've seen before include "'Uncle --', work of 19" , "Uncle making dramatic appearance" , "Uncle - - (Chekhov)" .)

I've seen this clue in the Evening Standard.
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