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Ships used for a short cut? (8)


I believe the answer is:


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'ships' is the definition.
The definition and answer can be both man-made objects as well as being plural nouns.
Maybe they are linked in a way I don't understand?

'a short cut?' is the wordplay.
I cannot really see how this works, but
'a' could be 'per' (eg 'one a day' means 'one per day') and 'per' is located in the answer.
'cut?' could be 'clip' (clip is a kind of cut) and 'clip' is found in the answer.
A single letter 's' remains which might be clued in a way I don't see.
This explanation may well be incorrect...

'used for' acts as a link.

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