Crossword Genius

Organ that is grasped in both hands, further back? (7)


I believe the answer is:


'further back?' is the definition.
(further back in time)

'organ that is grasped in both hands' is the wordplay.
'organ' becomes 'ear' (the ear is an organ).
'that is' becomes 'ie' (short for Latin 'id est', 'that is').
'grasped in' indicates putting letters inside.
'both hands' becomes 'LR' (abbreviation for left and right).
'ie' inserted inside 'lr' is 'lier'.

(Other definitions for earlier that I've seen before include "of a bygone age?" , "in the past" , "Sooner in time" , "Beforehand" , "at a previous date" .)

I've seen this clue in The Times.
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