Crossword Genius

The man's mostly unwilling to be a slave (5)


I believe the answer is:


'a slave' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)

'the man's mostly unwilling' is the wordplay.
'the man' becomes 'he' (**).
'mostly' means to remove the last letter.
'unwilling' becomes 'loth' ('loth' can be similar in meaning to 'unwilling').
'loth' with its last letter taken off is 'lot'.

'to be' acts as a link.

(Other definitions for helot that I've seen before include "Spartan slave" , "Spartan serf" , "One made to work" , "downtrodden?" , "Serf of ancient Sparta" .)

I've seen this clue in The Independent.
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