Crossword Genius

Speak ill of as “a ruddy awful paper” (8)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

ballyrag

I'm a little stuck...
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Here is my best explanation:

'speak ill of as a ruddy' is the definition.
I can't tell whether this defines the answer.

'awful paper' is the wordplay.
'awful' becomes 'bally' (I can't explain this - if you can you should give a lot more credence to this answer).
'paper' becomes 'rag' (rag is a kind of paper).
'bally'+'rag'='BALLYRAG'

Ross

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This clue was last seen in Evening Standard

(Other definitions for ballyrag that I've seen before include "Browbeat, boss around", "Browbeat, hector" and "Intimidate".)

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