Crossword Genius

Bird got by sailor -- mighty, not half! -- in vessel (9)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

ptarmigan

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Here is my best explanation:

'bird' is the definition.
(ptarmigan is a kind of bird)

'sailor mighty not half in vessel' is the wordplay.
'sailor' becomes 'tar' (tar is a kind of sailor**).
'not half' suggests halving the letters.
'in' means one lot of letters goes inside another.
'vessel' becomes 'pan' (I have seen 'Shallow vessel ' mean 'pan' so perhaps 'vessel' could also mean 'pan').
'mighty' cut in half is 'mig'.
'tar'+'mig'='tarmig'
'tarmig' put within 'pan' is 'PTARMIGAN'.

'got by' is the link.

Ross

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This clue was last seen in The Telegraph

(Other definitions for ptarmigan that I've seen before include "Northern grouse", "Game bird living the high life", "Grouse - giant pram (anag)", "Arctic grouse", "Type of mountain grouse", "Game bird, white in winter", "Mountain grouse", "Northern game bird - map rating (anag)", "Highland game bird -- giant ramp (anag)" and "One flying".)

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