Crossword Genius

Makes a home that sinks gradually (7)


I believe the answer is:


I'm a little stuck... Click here to teach me more about this clue!

'sinks gradually' is the definition.
'settles' can be an answer for 'sinks' (settling is a kind of sinking). I'm not sure about the 'gradually' bit.

'makes a home' is the wordplay.
I cannot really see how this works, but
'home' could be 'sett' (type of animal dwelling) and 'sett' is found in the answer.
The remaining letters 'les' is a valid word which might be clued in a way I don't understand.
This may be the basis of the clue (or it may be nonsense).

'that' acts as a link.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for settles that I've seen before include "Long wooden benches with backs" , "Becomes established in a place" , "Comes to rest" , "Pays the bill" , "seating" .)

I've seen this clue in The Globe and Mail.
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