Crossword Genius

Mercenary lover puts one off holding dance (10)


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'puts one off holding dance' is the definition.
I can't judge whether this defines the answer.

'mercenary lover' is the wordplay.
'mercenary' becomes 'freelance' (synonyms).
'lover' becomes 'r' (I can't explain this - if you can you should believe this answer much more).

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(Other definitions for freelancer that I've seen before include "One temporarily hired" , "Independent worker" , "Self-employed person" .)

I've seen this clue in The Times.
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