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Students that Matrix hero fights reportedly (9)


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'students' is the definition.
(neophyte is a kind of student)

'matrix hero fights reportedly' is the wordplay.
'matrix hero' becomes 'neo' (I've seen this in another clue).
'fights reportedly' becomes 'phytes' (I can't justify this - if you can you should believe this answer much more).

'that' acts as a link.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for neophytes that I've seen before include "Novices" , "Newcomers" .)

I've seen this clue in The Irish Times.
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