10
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Part 1 - Numbered Clues

  1. a protein filament that grows from skin follicles (4)
  2. Batman's Batcave, for example (4)
  3. MVP's M (4)
  4. better than amateurs and paid more (4)
  5. Greek region containing Olympia (4)
  6. a set period a person serves in an elected office (4)
  7. draw, scuffle, or hand, for example (3)
  8. Karl Benz made the first (3)
  9. left(right("smarty",4),3) (Excel formula) (3)
  10. what a husband and wife become (Bible) (3)
  11. palindrome meaning "to get with great difficulty" (3)
  12. the time immediately before an event (3)
  13. , , or , for example (4)
  14. liquids susceptible to rancidity (4)
  15. Ferenc Cakó's medium of choice (4)
  16. Edward Gamson did this to British Airways (4)
  17. substring('thirteenth', 2, 2) + substring('thirteenth', 8, 2) (T-SQL) (4)
  18. standard american fast food side (5)
  19. dirty, honey, or strawberry, for example (5)
  20. baseball pitchers want this low (3)
  21. typical sushi garnish (3)
  22. the most boring end to a game (3)
  23. sister, in Filipino (3)
  24. 2nd person present of "to be" (3)
  25. vases for holding ashes of the creamated dead (4)
  26. plant with gel used to treat cuts and burns (4)
  27. classic murder mystery board game (4)
  28. Austin Powers asks who throws this (4)
  29. Jimmy Buffett song about a girl from Cincinnati (4)
  30. solder, without the comparative suffix (4)
  31. use coarse language to express strong emotion (4)
  32. 79 76 68 (ASCII) (3)
  33. natural rock containing a valuable mineral (3)
  34. a circular chart divided into slices (3)
  35. a business losing money is in the _ _ _ (3)
  36. "cornfield".Replace("rnfie","") (C#) (4)

Part 2 - Poem

Each of the numbers has strictly one buddy.
Matching them up will require careful study.
For 4 of the pairs, 32 is the mean,
And those under 7- they sum to 13.
Each teen is just 7 away from its mate.
They love to hold hands, since it feels really great.


Part 3 - Fill in the Blanks

_ _ ▯ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ with _ _ _ _ _ _ _ to escape their cages.
The _ _ _ _ ▯ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ into the _ _ _ _ _ _ ▯.
His cranial _ _ _ _ _ _ ▯ _ _ was contained by the _ _ _ ▯ _ _ _ while he _ _ _ _ _ _ _ peppers.
The box of _ _ _ _ ▯ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ was _ _ ▯ _ _ _ _ than expected.
She explained the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and _ ▯ _ _ _ _ _ _ me in all _ _ _ _ _ ▯ _.
The officer's shirt was _ _ _ _ _ _ ▯ by the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ can of _ _ _ _ _ _ _.


The answer is a word that describes the relationship of certain clues.

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1 Answer 1

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First, the clue answers:

clue answers

Next, the poem:

We need to match up the numbers 1 to 36 into pairs as indicated.

"For 4 of the pairs, 32 is the mean" - these pairs all need at least one number bigger than 32, and the only way to do that is matching 28/36, 29/35, 30/34, 31/33.
"And those under 7- they sum to 13." - All pairs from 1 to 7 get matched up with their counterpart that sums to 13: so 1 is paired with 12, 2 with 11, 3 with 10...

"Each teen is just 7 away from its mate." - All numbers from 13 to 19 get matched up with the number 7 above them. (The numbers 7 below were just claimed by the previous step.)
This leaves 27 and 32 to get matched together.

The last line of the poem hints at what to do next:

"They love to hold hands, since it feels really great."

When you hold hands with someone - or clasp your own hands together - what pattern do your fingers make? They interlock. These words can interlock similarly, alternating letters from one with letters from the other.
For instance, the pair 28/36 is SHOE and cold; together, these can make ScHoOlEd.

The new words are:
interlocked words

Now, we can fill in the blanks:

OR[I]OLES COLLUDE with PARROTS to escape their cages.
The FRIE[N]DS BALLOONED into the MOONSE[T].
His cranial FURRIN[E]SS was contained by the HAI[R]NET while he SAUTEED peppers.
The box of SPOI[L]ED ECLAIRS was HE[A]VIER than expected.
She explained the THEOREM and S[C]HOOLED me in all COURS[E]S.
The officer's shirt was STAINE[D] by the LEAKIER can of TEAR GAS.

And the indicated letters spell INTERLACED, which these words certainly are!

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2
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ Okay, true story... I was seconds away from completing my write-up for this unanswered question (seconds!) when my wife entered the room to talk to me about - of all things - a toilet seat. Begrudgingly, I turned my attention away from the screen to oblige, only to find when I looked back a minute or so later that you had posted this excellent answer. You might think, "You waited 23 minutes to say this?" No. No, I did not. The toilet seat conversation has genuinely only just finished. Oh, life... Congrats on a great answer, and +1 :) Now to go buy a toilet seat... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented May 21 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ Nice, and fast answer, Deusovi. Looks like it is corrected in the 3rd spoiler, but the first answer for 21 is incorrect. Also, any ideas on the title? $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Commented May 21 at 17:15

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