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The dog follows closely but reduces (8)


I believe the answer is:


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'reduces' is the definition.
The answer and definition can be both related to change as well as being verbs in their -s form.
Perhaps you can see an association between them that I can't see?

'the dog follows closely' is the wordplay.
'the dog' becomes 'cur' (both can mean a despicable person).
'follows closely' becomes 'tails' (I've seen this in another clue).

'but' acts as a link.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for curtails that I've seen before include "Shortens" , "Places restrictions on" , "Cuts short, reduces" .)

I've seen this clue in the Sydney Morning Herald.
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