Crossword Genius

Killer only dear to the French (7)


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).

(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.