Crossword Genius

Less productive apprentice runs away (6)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

leaner

Here is my best explanation:

'less productive' is the definition.

'apprentice runs away' is the subsidiary indication.

'apprentice' becomes 'learner' ('learner' can be a synonym of 'apprentice').

'runs' becomes 'r' (cricket abbreviation).

'away' suggests deleting specific letters.

'learner' with 'r' removed is 'leaner'.

This clue was last seen in The Times

(Other definitions for leaner that I've seen before include "With less fat", "Thinner, with less fat" and "Less fat".)

Ross

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