Crossword Genius

Serious man’s given a hearing (7)


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'serious' is the definition.
(similar in meaning)

'man's given a hearing' is the wordplay.
'man' becomes 'nest' (I can't justify this - if you can you should give a lot more credence to this answer).
'given' means one lot of letters go next to another.
'a hearing' becomes 'ear' (ear is a kind of hearing).
'nest' after 'ear' is 'EARNEST'.

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(Other definitions for earnest that I've seen before include "Oscar Wilde wrote ''The importance of Being . . . . . . . '' (7)" , "Oscar Wilde play 'The Importance of Being . . . . . . .'" , "showing seriousness" , "Eager, sincere" , "'Serious, sincere (7)'" .)

I've seen this clue in The Times.
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