Crossword Genius

Hat maker's factory in outskirts of Exeter (8)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

milliner

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Here is my best explanation:

'hat maker's' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)

'factory in outskirts of exeter' is the wordplay.
'factory' becomes 'mill' ('mill' can be a synonym of 'factory').
'outskirts of' says to hollow out the word (remove centre letters).
'exeter' with its middle taken out is 'er'.
'mill'+'in'+'er'='MILLINER'

Ross

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This clue was last seen in The Times

(Other definitions for milliner that I've seen before include "Hat-maker", "A maker of women's hats", "Garment maker", "Hat maker", "Philip Treacy, say", "Hatter", "Ladies' hatter", "Felt cutter perhaps", "trader" and "One making pork-pies".)

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