Crossword Genius

Close down before time, almost (6)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

nearly

Here is my best explanation:

'close' is the definition.

(thesaurus)

'down before time almost' is the subsidiary indication.

'down' becomes 'dn'.

'before time' becomes 'early' (I've seen this before).

'almost' means to remove the first letter.

'dn'+'early'='dnearly'

'dnearly' with its initial letter removed is 'nearly'.

This clue was last seen in Evening Standard

(Other definitions for nearly that I've seen before include "Not quite, almost", "Well-nigh", "All but", "Almost, not quite", "parsimoniously", "Not entirely", "Noon at eleven fifty nine am", "Almost, well-nigh", "More or less" and "pretty much".)

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