Crossword Genius

Hinted that plaintiffs barely had intercourse (9)


I believe the answer is:


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'hinted' is the definition.
(intimating is a kind of hinting)

'plaintiffs barely had intercourse' is the wordplay.
'barely' says to take the centre (the word is bare of its external letters).
'had intercourse' becomes 'mated' (I can't justify this - if you can you should give a lot more credence to this answer).
The middle letters of 'plaintiffs' are 'inti'.

'that' acts as a link.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for intimated that I've seen before include "Suggested" , "have given a hint" , "Let it be known" .)

I've seen this clue in the Sydney Morning Herald.
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