Crossword Genius

Director General, returning to Colorado ski-resort, briefly, could hardly catch breath (6)


I believe the answer is:


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'director general' is the definition.
The answer and definition are not the same part of speech. However, adjectives and past participle verbs can occasionally mean the same thing.

'returning to colorado ski-resort briefly could hardly catch breath' is the wordplay.
I cannot really understand how this works, but
'catch' could be 'asp' (I have seen 'Predatory fish' mean 'asp' so perhaps 'fish' could also mean 'asp') and 'asp' is found in the answer.
The remaining letters 'ged' is a valid word which might be clued in a way I don't understand.
This explanation may well be incorrect...

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for gasped that I've seen before include "Drew breath in sharply as in astonishment" , "Panted; exclaimed" , "Took a sharp breath" , "Breathed noisily" , "Struggled for breath" .)

I've seen this clue in The Irish Times.
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