Crossword Genius

Decorator’s accessory: staff retaining piece to copy (7,4)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

masking tape

Here is my best explanation:

'decorator's accessory' is the definition.

'staff retaining piece to copy' is the subsidiary indication.

'staff' becomes 'mast'.

'retaining' is an insertion indicator.

'piece' becomes 'king' (king is a kind of piece**).

'to copy' becomes 'ape' ('ape' can be a synonym of 'copy').

'mast' enclosing 'king' is 'maskingt'.

'maskingt'+'ape'='maskingtape'

This clue was last seen in The Times

(Another definition for masking tape that I've seen is "I keep coat off".)

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