Crossword Genius

With great skill, branch line's put together within a year (7)


I believe the answer is:


I'm a little stuck... Click here to teach me more about this clue!

'with great skill' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)

'branch line's put together within a year' is the wordplay.
'branch' becomes 'dept' (abbreviation for department).
'line' becomes 'l' (used when specifying particular lines from a poem).
'put together' means one lot of letters go next to another.
'within' indicates putting letters inside.
'a year' becomes 'ay' (I can't explain this - if you can you should believe this answer much more).
'deptl' inserted within 'ay' is 'ADEPTLY'.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for adeptly that I've seen before include "Showing skill" , "Skilfully" , "Adroitly" , "with great skill" , "How experts act" .)

I've seen this clue in The Times.
Want a hint initially instead of a full solution? Install my app