(Note: the backstory here may or may not be entirely fictitious.)
The fortnightly chess theme is finally over! I couldn't stand it. It was chaos! Pieces moving around in all the wrong ways... I was so angry that I made metapuzzles purely to tell everyone how much I hated it. Unfortunately, the message got lost when I started working on puzzles, and now I can't remember what it was! The metas rearranged themselves roughly in order from easiest to hardest, and to make things worse, when I spilled water on my speakers all of the flavortexts fell to the bottom of the post. (Yes, that's exactly how computers work.) Can you all help me figure out what I was trying to say?
Background: A metapuzzle (or meta) is a puzzle that combines words or phrases from other puzzles into a new word or phrase. For an example, see my previous meta. Flavortext is text that goes at the top of a puzzle, obliquely hinting at what to do.
Once you get the answers, the cryptic clues themselves are not necessary to solve the metas, but they may be very useful in one case. One meta is incorrectly ordered. Numbers for each meta are for your convenience only and are unnecessary. Metas are ordered roughly in order of difficulty.
- Lets current flow great with vents (13)
- Crab researcher heard Chevy steal to name a few - every, uh, concept (13)
- Basketball game and insect make transportation (5, 3, 5)
- Untangled, sore, mutilated doctor (6, 7)
- Circle bear, backing up (4)
- Odd scampi are sticky substance (3)
- Small-town boy (6)
- Six directions with a messy "DIE"? That's something that attracts suspicion (9)
- Building for bird with no tail (5)
- Udon or sake veiled contributors (6)
- Fabric is only money put the other way around (8)
- Make note (2)
- That breath grabs by the ear, making students (9)
- Everyone in greeting held captive by short stomach element (8)
- Journey for particles leads to issues (9)
- Trip in bar room (5)
- Works of parties (6)
- Small entrances to functions (4)
- Orb taken back in HAL Laboratory (4)
- Divide lodge (7)
- One surrounded by trunk makes sound (5)
- Taking directions to road by end is smart (5)
- One Direction member sounds like flower? (4)
- Circle back to reservoir (4)
- Mathematician's snake (5)
- Burning bush - other kept secret (3)
- Approach dye mostly for a joke (6)
- Ship with no walls: a tale of the past (7)
- Saws its ash oddly in European country (5)
- Circuit element; snack element (7,4)
- City of quotes destroyed shareholders' return (4, 2, 6)
- State of recently slurred laundry basket (3, 9)
- Chief, if angered, hides game (4)
- Share chirp again (7)
- Snare damaged voice actor from my other meta (5)
- Wheel made up of hard wood (4)
- Is Capone able to channel? (5)
- Gore inside kingdom? Clean up (7) (replaced erroneous clue)
- Worry about automotive's emissions at first (4)
- Sunshine following Ben makes a shout for joy (6)
- Calipers wrongly described reproductions (8)
- Ambassador Ichigo conceals column of a sort (5)
- French programming style is easily broken (7)
- Notice no redhead shrinking (6)
- Broken Gene, TV goer, earned something in return (3, 7)
- Chlorine sea creature is a mess maker (7)
- Flab lacks horrible "Plan B's", maybe (4-5)
- Misses: "Eastern" cover is Spanish (6)
- Sending away, staring (8, 3)
- Take for granted panhandle, perhaps (3)
- Those that warn pet hiding you and some charges (8)
- Wet bean contains pages (5)
- What pesky whipper-snappers do online: stop freaking out (4)
Anyone up for a game of cards?
Chess.com made me look like an idiot, but I became much more studious with the help of Wikipedia.
Getting around is harder than you'd think. You always get confused and make a mistake.
Let's pair up to be more safe. Here, you go first.
My unique old consorts, when pressed, will tell you how to talk to me.
My partner loves to usurp the throne.
Sometimes I feel like I can only see one side of things.
Oh, and I found this weird drawing in my notebook, although something tells me that there's something wrong with it. Next to it was the word "SPAN" and a rightwards arrow.
Hints for unsolved metas:
There is no wordplay involved in this meta: what the answers represent is associated with something else.
It seems like something happened to these words. What could they have been originally, and how could they have been changed?
Someone has already noticed something weird about this one.
The grid still doesn't seem right to me. How could we fix it?