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Don't take these too literally.
Homophones and other liberties are taken.

My prefix is

My prefix is found at a funeral
My infix at any salon
My suffix is found at a table
My whole is just three letters long

My infix is

My prefix is half of a hundred
My infix is twice found in three
My suffix is one third of one
My whole is a sanctuary

My suffix is

My prefix is short for my whole
My infix will make your life better (perhaps)
My suffix is short for a corner
My whole is four letters (perhaps)

My whole is a British sensation

Hint:

To the best of my knowledge, all findings are logical and each blockquote has an obviously correct answer independent of the puzzle as a whole, and can theoretically be solved as such. However, they are intentionally a bit vague so that the solver may need to use the overall puzzle as a guide.
This should help rule out things like 'BIL' for 1 (super obscure, if even a word at all, and makes no sense in context of this blockquote), or 'IDOL' for 3 (IDOL is 4 letters, not 4 perhaps).
Similarly, something 'at a table' might be 'fork' or 'element', but not something obscure or unlikely like 'sweater' or 'dance'.
If you already assumed this, here is a real hint: No elements are involved.

Hint 2:

Solve this line 'make your life better (perhaps)' and the rest of the puzzle should quickly fall. "Do (dough)" is an excellent candidate, but there is something else, famous for this quality, which doesn't even require a homophone. But don't let that get your guard down; a homophone is needed shortly after.

Extended hint regarding one of the lines:

All around, on the media, in the news, I hear about how great it is; that I should look forward to and embrace it. I admit there are innumerable benefits, yet for some reason I am wary. Whenever it is mentioned, I find myself not thinking of the benefits, but oddly drawn to a quote by C.S. Lewis: "As man conquers nature, the mysteries of the un-known are stripped away for our own gain and power. They day may come when science rationalizes the soul itself; and the soul loses its power, and all that makes us human is lost; there will be nothing left to gain but our own destruction."

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ahhh I know the middle three! It's PKS when plugged into the default setting here: cryptii.com/pipes/enigma-machine $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2021 at 10:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's a relief; I was worried this was too easy $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Nov 18, 2021 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ So, does Hint 1 rule out "Au" (gold) and "Ag" (silver) as possible sub-answers? $\endgroup$
    – dan04
    Dec 2, 2021 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ @dan04 every blockquoted line clues a letter or Scrabble-valid word, and none happen to be elements $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Dec 2, 2021 at 0:34
  • $\begingroup$ "My whole is four letters (perhaps)" seems weird to me, assuming that the answer is a person's name. Usually they have a consistent spelling. $\endgroup$
    – dan04
    Dec 2, 2021 at 19:10

2 Answers 2

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The British sensation is ...

... the Daily Mail, a sensationalist tabloid.

The prefix:

At a funeral, there is mourning. At a beauty salon, the customers' wrinkled skin receives an "evening" treatment. Knights are gathered around a round table. Morning, evening and night are the early, middle and later parts of a day, which is a three-letter word.

The infix was found by C8H10N4O2 already:

L is the Roman numeral for fifty. There are two Es in "three". And E is one third of the letters in "one". Lee is a shelter.

The suffix, working from Stiv's comment:

M can abbreviate "male", a homophone of mail. AI (artificial intelligence) promises to make our lives better. An L looks like and therefore is short for a corner (ugh!). Mail can be any number of letters, but the word itself has four.

Overall:

Put these three together and read the out aloud: day lee mail.

Acknowledgements:

C8H10N4O2 solved the whole infix and the "corner", which I wouldn't ave gotten otherwise. Stiv brought up the idea of AI and some suggestions for the overall answer that made me think about homophones.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great progress! Can you think of things found at a funeral/salon/table rather than in a funeral, etc. Especially 'd' is suspect/forced, but while I could imagine an English speaker saying 'A' is in salon (in fact that is used elsewhere in the puzzle), they would not say 'A' is at a salon. It may be time to leverage the disclaimer in the title : ) $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Dec 3, 2021 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I think I have it. (groan) :) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Dec 3, 2021 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ I had hair in mind, but skin works too! Good work! $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Dec 3, 2021 at 20:27
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Prefix:

found at a funeral? B (funeral march is in B♭) at any salon? beauty, which is in the eye of the beholder (I) found at a table? periodic table has "el"ements (L) whole is three letters? BIL

Infix:

half a hundred = 50 = L (Roman numeral) twice found in thrEE = E (two letter "E"s) one third of one = E (third note in C maj.) whole is a sanctuary? LEE of a hill

Suffix:

short for my whole = I make life better = "dough" (money) short for corner = L whole is four letters? IDOL ("dough" -> "do" as in do ray mi)

British sensation?

Billy Idol

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    $\begingroup$ Good start; some findings are correct! Correct reasoning will be much more straightforward/logical from start to finish. For example, I love your ideas of "dough" for "makes life better" and "Billy Idol" for sensation; these make perfect sense (although happen to not lead to an overall solution), whereas things like "B" for "funeral", "I" for "idol", "L" for element" seem like quite a stretch, at best. $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Nov 18, 2021 at 22:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Stiv well, LEE is right and yes L is short for a corner. $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Dec 2, 2021 at 17:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Amoz Ha, okay, thanks. As it happens, those are the exact ones I had suspected might be right! I have a theory about what 'makes your life better (perhaps)' but I'm not yet making it work. I'll keep thinking... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 2, 2021 at 18:07
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    $\begingroup$ @dan04 I'm think it's rot13(NV, nf va Negvsvpvny Vagryyvtrapr) which works with the latest hint too; I just can't make the whole work yet... (I want it to be rot13(Jrafyrlqnyr be Ubyl Tenvy) but unfortunately 'wanting' isn't enough to make it correct!) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 3, 2021 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Stiv: rot13(Qnvyl Znvy), perhaps. rot13(Z vf fubeg sbe gur ubzbcubar znyr naq juvyr "znvy" vf sbhe yrggref, znvy pbhyq or nal ahzore bs yrggref). As for the first part: still "wanting". :) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Dec 3, 2021 at 19:42

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