Crossword Genius

Killer only dear to the French (7)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

'killer' is the definition.
(butcher is a kind of killer)

'only dear to the french' is the wordplay.
'only' becomes 'but' (but can mean only - eg 'life is but a dream').
'dear to the french' becomes 'cher' ('dear' in French).
'but'+'cher'='BUTCHER'

(Other definitions for butcher that I've seen before include "Killer", "mess up?", "Meat supplier", "In EastEnders, Pat maybe", "Kill brutally".)

I've seen this clue in The Times.