Crossword Genius

Top professionals turned up carrying Caesar's first ballista (8)


I believe the answer is:


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'ballista' is the definition.
Both the answer and definition are singular nouns.
Perhaps they are linked in a way I don't understand?

'top professionals turned up carrying caesar's first' is the wordplay.
'top' becomes 'noi' (resembles No p).
'professionals' becomes 'pros' ('pro' can be a synonym of 'professional').
'turned up' is a reversal indicator.
'carrying' means one lot of letters goes inside another.
'caesar's first' becomes 'c' (pst letter of 'caesar').
'noipros' backwards is 'sorpion'.
'sorpion' placed around 'c' is 'SCORPION'.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for scorpion that I've seen before include "Venomous stinger" , "Stinger with a long tail" , "Arachnid with venomous sting" , "Small spider with pincers and stinging tail" , "Eight sign of Zodiac, kind of spider" .)

I've seen this clue in The Times.
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