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The answer to the clue is 'laundry', which is l-a-undry.

Where does the 'la' come from?

Source: The i's Five-Clue Cryptic, 12 April 2023

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    $\begingroup$ 'Undry' for 'wet' is groan-worthy $\endgroup$
    – dbmag9
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 12:12

1 Answer 1

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This interpretation relies on the word 'regularly'...

In a cryptic clue, this usually suggests that you need to take letters from the word(s) preceding or following it at regular intervals. Most often this implies taking every other letter, either beginning with the first or the second letter of the word. (On other occasions it may be every third letter, or even higher...)

This is exactly what's happening here - taking 'clean' regularly (i.e. taking every other letter in the word) yields (-c)L(-e)A(-n) or _L_A_, which is the 'LA' you seek.

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