10
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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. 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. Aunt to give poor rating over dropping One Direction from film (3-3)
  2. Dad cut off from message of confirmation about golf (7)
  3. Mom gathered up misbehaving child (7)
  4. Right on Route #2, Dad (5)
  5. Mother Earth overwhelms careless one not respecting boundaries (8)
  6. Uncle manipulated cadaver's spine (5,8)
  7. Daughter put off taking final (8)
  8. Sis dear to ailing bro (9)
  9. Son to give up on pet in training (9)
  10. Nephew's boss important to famous King (6,4)
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7
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These clues all lead to:

the titles of classic arcade video games.

Like so:

1. Aunt to give poor rating over dropping One Direction from film (3-3) PAC-MAN = PAN ("give poor rating") around C(ine)MA ("film" = CINEMA, "One" = I in Roman numerals, "Direction" = NE)

2. Dad cut off from message of confirmation about golf (7) FROGGER = F(rom) + ROGER ("message of confirmation") containing G (“golf”)

3. Mom gathered up misbehaving child (7) TEMPEST = MET< + PEST

4. Right on Route #2, Dad (5) JOUST = JUST (“Right”) containing (r)O(ute)

5. Mother Earth overwhelms careless one not respecting boundaries (8) GALAXIAN = GAIA (“Earth”) containing LAX + (o)N(e)

6. Uncle manipulated cadaver's spine (5,8) SPACE INVADERS = CADAVERSSPINE*

7. Daughter put off taking final (8) DEFENDER = DEFER (“put off”) containing END

8. Sis dear to ailing bro (9) ASTEROIDS = SISDEARTO*

9. Son to give up on pet in training (9) CENTIPEDE = CEDE (“give up”) containing PETIN*

10. Nephew's boss important to famous King (6,4) DONKEY KONG = DON ("boss") + KEY ("important") + (king) KONG

As for the title:

As confirmed by the OP in comments, this is not a connection via 'burning up' to the Canadian rock band Arcade Fire, but is instead (of course) a reference to this 1980's song, which somehow made it to #9 on the US Billboard 'Hot 100'.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm also failing to figure out the wordplay for #1, for what it's worth. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 5 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ I mean, it's presumably rot13(CNA nebhaq PZN be NPZ) but I don't see rot13(jung svyz jr pna nqq "bar qverpgvba", va nal frafr, gb gb trg rvgure bs gubfr). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 5 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan My thought exactly! But I think I just got it! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 5 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan Yep, this is correct! As far as #1, in hindsight, it would probably be clued better with "films" rather than "film" $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover Oct 5 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Got 'em all! Guess that one wasn't too hard...at least for a certain demographic! Any comments on the title? $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover Oct 5 at 13:18

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