Crossword Genius

Time to embrace ruffian (4)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

thug

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Here is my best explanation:

'ruffian' is the definition.
(thesaurus)

'time to embrace' is the wordplay.
'time' becomes 't'.
'to embrace' becomes 'hug' ('hug' can be a synonym of 'embrace').
't'+'hug'='THUG'

Ross

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This clue was last seen in The Times

(Other definitions for thug that I've seen before include "Criminal", "hooligan", "Hoodlum", "undesirable character", "Ruffian", "Violent hoodlum", "A vicious or brutal ruffian", "Gangster", "16 21 [INDIAN IMPORT]" and "Violent ruffian".)

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