The answer to this puzzle is a list of ten thematically related words or proper names or phrases. Each of these is clued cryptically, and the theme is to be determined. The clues are in a specific order which is part of the theme. Since the definition part of a cryptic clue would give away the theme, these cryptic clues use a family member (e.g., mom, sister) to stand in for the definition part of the clue. So for example, if the theme of the puzzle were chemical elements, "Sister picking at nit" would clue "tin". I hope you enjoy!

  1. Dad revealing original flame location after mysterious burns (3,9)
  2. Aunt Tonia excited to introduce explorer to friends (4,6)
  3. Grandpa loves to take free train (7)
  4. Niece's inclusive mosque beckons (6)
  5. Nephew's obsession: up-loading malware (8)
  6. Brother's acute bilateral orchitis improved; secondary vitiation in spinal region finally eliminated (7,8)
  7. Cousin heading to live in Dresden, Rawalpindi, freaking out Mother (6,6,6)
  8. Son tagged in play at third after a triple, face down after final out (7)
  9. Spades, a card game a wench plays with Uncle (12)
  10. Uncle's flown nude roughly two times, and trio of ladies grab bra for going topless (12,3,8)

1 Answer 1


Theme is:

Canadian Provinces

1: New Brunswick --NEW (original) WICK after BURNS*
2: Nova Scotia (TONIA* around VASCO)
3: Ontario -- OO - (loves) takes TRAIN*)
4: _Quebec_
5: Manitoba -- MANI(BOT<)A
6: British Columbia -- See Below (NOTES) 7: Prince Edward Island -- (Dresden, Rawalpindi)* insert C (Cousin Heading)
8: Alberta -- See Below (NOTES)
9: Saskatchewan -- S + A + SKAT + (A WENCH)*
10: Newfoundland and Labrador -(FLOWN NUDE)* AND AND LA(BRA)D + OR (for topless)


These are listed in the order of joining the Confederation.


I'm close to solving 6
"spinal region finally eliminated" gives LUMBA-r
Secondary Vitiation gives I, and we can insert it in LUMBA for Lumbia
And ORCHITIS improved in front of that give _RITISH COLUMBIA
By elimination, "acute bilateral" must clue the B, but I don't quite see how.

8: "triple, face down after final out" gives TREBLe (final out) and Face down reverses it. -> LBERT
"after a" -> ALBERT_
"play at third" could clue the final A, but I'm not getting "Tagged in" to mean anything.
If I take "play at third after a" to mean AA, then it starts to make sense, except for "tagged"

COMMENT: 4 Stood out like a sore thumb,, and gave a big clue as to the theme. The rest were solved via the enumeration, and reverse parsing.

  • $\begingroup$ Great start! In addition to the missing wordplays, do you know why the clues are in this order? $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2020 at 13:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ rot13 - 6. O + EVGVFUPB* + YHZO(V)N(-e). nphgr: oevrs, fb "ovyngreny" ohg oevrsyl; bepuvgvf vzcebirq -> evgvfupb; frpbaqnel ivgvngvba: frpbaq bs ivgvngvba juvpu vf v, juvpu va ghea vf va "yhzone" (fcvany ertvba) jvgubhg gur e (svanyyl erzbirq) $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Aug 10, 2020 at 14:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It looks like we arrived at the same parsing simultaneously $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2020 at 14:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I"m as done as I can be. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2020 at 14:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Great job! You are correct about #4...I picked the theme without realizing how hard that one was going to be to clue. The two items you had issues were places where I was consciously trying to push the envelope: in #6 rot13(V hfrq nphgr va gur frafr bs "terngrfg vzcbegnapr", ubcvat gb vaqvpngr gur svefg yrggre), In #8 rot13(V zrnag "gnttrq va" nf gur qrsvavgvba-jbeqcynl wbvare, va gur frafr bs "ersrerapr" nf hfrq va Gjvggre). $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2020 at 15:07

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