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Can anyone explain how the cryptic clue above has the answer 'opportune'?

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling, Confused! I have removed the cryptic-crosswords tag, as on this site this is only used for complete crosswords... Hopefully my answer below answers your question, but do say if anything is still unclear :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 4 at 9:14
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Let's break it down into smaller chunks:

Little work

'Work' in cryptic crosswords commonly clues the word 'OP' as in 'operation'. This (by comparison) is a shorter ('little') word.

left;

In nautical terms, the 'left' side of a ship is known as 'PORT'.

a French female

The indefinite article 'a' for words considered feminine ('female') in French is 'UNE'

is propitious

And finally, this is the definition in the clue - the word 'propitious' means 'OPPORTUNE'!

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    $\begingroup$ Alternatively, OP can be rot13(bchf), with the same abbreviation. $\endgroup$ – jafe Aug 4 at 10:07

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