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The final year students at Farthingbottom School have to get through a set of exams at the end of the Christmas term before they can relax for the holiday season. For extra credit there is a section on the chemistry exam paper which includes very detailed questions on the physical and chemical properties of one element on the periodic table. It is well known that Dr. Mettah has a habit of leaving clues for the more observant pupils in his class, so yesterday a group of pupils scoured the chemistry lab to see if there was any sign of a clue and the only unusual thing they could find was what appeared to be part of a script, possibly for some bizarre pantomime:

Bob Dylan: Any album by The Wallflowers contains my favourite music.
Jennifer Saunders: Look at this sketch I've made of my partner.
William Shakespeare: My whiskers are setting a new fashion trend.
Linda Woolverton: Obviously Dan Stevens will outperform Robby Benson or Terrance Mann.
Calvin Klein: Some of my tools are superfluous.
Damon Albarn: The next album will be more melancholic.
Dick Fosbury: I'm much more nervous these days.
Michael Jackson: Don't eat those fries, they belong to Bubbles.
Batman: Even heroes need an evening snack.
Cadbury Worker: Now it's clear from the quality of the yellow wrapper that this item is counterfeit.
Bethelehem Innkeeper: These days an inn needs an executive to look after the feeding troughs.
David Attenborough: I've shown you many species of insect so far this year, but in November I'll be concentrating on members of the order Lepidoptera.
Child: Can I ride in the front of your new Mitsubishi, daddy?
Paul Simon: Art and I will be singing from under a quilt.
Persian Governor: Leave me my belt.
Draco Malfoy: That disgrace of a wizard, Harry, is planning something.
Peter Pan: Wendy is very brave.
Kyra Sedgwick: I'm buying a family lighthouse.
His Holiness: Now I must use my own online transaction site to place this order.
Benny Goodman: We will now perform a vocal number.
Harry Houdini: Oh no! All my countrymen are famished.
Gonzo: Rizzo has something to help us cross the river.
Dr Bunsen Honeydew: Delightful! Someone has made me a cake.
Superman: See how I like to fly.

Question: Can you work out which chemical element will be featured on the exam?


Note: This puzzle can be solved as puzzle on its own, but its solution is also part of Deusovi's Community Metapuzzle.

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The element is

silicon

and it works like this:

Each item on the list leads to a two-word phrase whose two words differ only by the addition or removal of a single letter. Stringing those letters together yields a sequence of words -- GREASE IMPLANT VALLEY WAFER -- that can follow "silicon" to make meaningful phrases. Except that for two of them it's actually "silicone" :-).

So there are in fact

4 clues, as per the title.

Here are some details; you will see that I don't yet understand the very last clue. (Scroll to see end of long lines.)

 G SON(G)S    Bob Dylan: Any album by The Wallflowers contains my favourite music.
 R D(R)AWN    Jennifer Saunders: Look at this sketch I've made of my partner.
 E B(E)ARD    William Shakespeare: My whiskers are setting a new fashion trend.
 A BE(A)ST    Linda Woolverton: Obviously Dan Stevens will outperform Robby Benson or Terrance Mann.
 S NEEDLES(S) Calvin Klein: Some of my tools are superfluous.
 E BLU(E)R    Damon Albarn: The next album will be more melancholic.
 I JUMP(I)ER  Dick Fosbury: I'm much more nervous these days.
 M CHI(M)PS   Michael Jackson: Don't eat those fries, they belong to Bubbles.
 P SUP(P)ER   Batman: Even heroes need an evening snack.
 L F(L)AKE    Cadbury Worker: Now it's clear from the quality of the yellow wrapper that this item is counterfeit.
 A MAN(A)GER  Bethelehem Innkeeper: These days an inn needs an executive to look after the feeding troughs.
 N MO(N)THS   David Attenborough: I've shown you many species of insect so far this year, but in November I'll be concentrating on members of the order Lepidoptera.
 T SHO(T)GUN  Child: Can I ride in the front of your new Mitsubishi, daddy?
 V DU(V)ET    Paul Simon: Art and I will be singing from under a quilt.
 A S(A)TRAP   Persian Governor: Leave me my belt.
 L P(L)OTTER  Draco Malfoy: That disgrace of a wizard, Harry, is planning something.
 L DAR(L)ING  Peter Pan: Wendy is very brave.
 E B(E)ACON   Kyra Sedgwick: I'm buying a family lighthouse.
 Y PA(Y)PAL   His Holiness: Now I must use my own online transaction site to place this order.
 W S(W)ING    Benny Goodman: We will now perform a vocal number.
 A HUNG(A)RY  Harry Houdini: Oh no! All my countrymen are famished.
 F RA(F)T     Gonzo: Rizzo has something to help us cross the river.
 E B(E)AKER   Dr Bunsen Honeydew: Delightful! Someone has made me a cake.
 R FI(R)ST    Superman: See how I like to fly.

Thanks to Alconja for spotting the Shakespeare one (for some reason I was assuming that the fashion trend was actually involved rather than just being filler) and to ffao for spotting that the third can yield a different letter, and finding an appropriate treatment of the first to go with it.

And thanks to Dan Russell (possibly helped by the big pictorial hint posted by Gordon K) for figuring out the last one, which confused me because I had a slightly wrong understanding of how the clues worked which worked fine for all the others but not for that one. Specifically

I thought each clue contained one part leading to each of the two words, whereas in fact it's less specific (there is no need for separate bits of the clue to lead to the two words) and more specific (the clue leads not to two independent words but to a two-word phrase like SON'S SONGS or DAWN DRAWN or BARD BEARD or BEST BEAST).

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  • $\begingroup$ Superman is possibly: SP(R)Y (See => spy, flying => fast moving => spry) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Nov 21 '16 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ And Shakespeare: B(E)ARD (Shakespeare => bard, whiskers => beard) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Nov 21 '16 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not altogether convinced by Superman, but how the hell did I miss the Shakespeare one? That's obviously right. Will edit accordingly. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Nov 21 '16 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ I'm suspecting the first word might be grease; this would require changing to be(a)st and the first one could be possibly son (g), though I'm not entirely convinced by either. $\endgroup$ – ffao Nov 21 '16 at 3:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan FIST FI(R)ST $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Nov 21 '16 at 22:13

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