# Three Blind Mice - rhyming cryptics!

Each line of the following poem is a cryptic clue.

Free blind mice with spirit are bound;
Hack tail off, our first glorious inch.
Tool is almost fine after quick sound;
The mice's tails in the breeze did flinch.

I'll provide the word lengths too, but in a spoilertag in case you want to solve it without them:

6, 5, 7, 6.

Since the second line has gone unsolved for so long, here's a hint:

ignore punctuation; it's a red herring.

• I got some off-site help from @Deusovi in making this puzzle, so he knows the solution to the third line. The other lines should be fair game to him as well as everyone else. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 14:58
• And knowing deusovi with cryptics of course he'll get the rest Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 15:54
• Is the second one rot13(cevzr)? I’m probably not understanding how this works properly but it seemed worth asking.
– Ry-
Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 9:25
• @Ryan Nope. How did you get that? Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 11:33
• Oh is the second unsolved? Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 16:55

Actual Solution

Free blind mice with spirit are bound;


Found by a few people independently, originally rejected for a couple of issues, but subsequently confirmed by OP in The Sphinx's Lair - this one is:
CEMENT   (Free blind mice [(M-iCE)* → CEM] with [+] spirit [ENT] are [=] bound [def.])

Hack tail off, our first glorious inch.


COUGH   (Hack [def.]; tail off our [OU_]; first glorious [G]; inch ["in CH" → C(OUG)H])
Credit to @Sp3000 in TSL for spotting and solving this, um, Libertarian construction

Tool is almost fine after quick sound;


MACHINE   (Tool [def.]; almost fine [INE]; quick sound [MACH]; after [MACH+INE])

The mice's tails in the breeze did flinch.


@Beastly Gerbil already found this one is:
WINCED - (The mice's tails [_CE]; in the breeze [WIN(CE)D]; did flinch [def.])

• Good work! (Why shouldn't "mice's tails" be "ce"?) Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 19:06
• I think he's referring to the ['s] Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 19:06
• Pretty sure the surface reading works just as well without the possessive. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 19:07
• @Rubio mice's tails = tails of mice = last two letters of "mice". Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 21:20
• Oh. Ok I'll buy that :)
– Rubio
Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 21:42

The last is

Winced

Because

The tail of mices is 'ce' and a breeze is a wind - so ce in wind gives winced meaning flinched or did flinch. Also 6 letters from the enumeration.

And Rubio got the third

Machine - Quick sound = Mach after 'almost fine' = ine Tool = def.

• Good job! (For the record, this one I came up only about half an hour ago - the rest of them I've had waiting for weeks while I struggled to come up with a fourth line that would fit nicely.) Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 16:02
• @randal'thor yeah this was definitely easier than the rest, but I still like it :) Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 16:03

I think the answer for 3 is something like (the word count doens't fit):

Knife - a tool
Because almost fine means angram of fine = nife
The sound of quick is k, because that's what it sounds like
So "nife" after "k" make "knife"
Maybe the real answer is a type of Knife?

Original impression for 3 was:

Thunderbolt

Because

Bolt = Quick
Thunder = Sound
Bolt = Tool

• 3 has an enumeration of 7 sadly Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 17:45
• Also, you're answer is neither a tool nor a sound. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 18:24
• @Melkor It is a word but I don't think it applies to this cryptic clue. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 18:27
• @BeastlyGerbil, I managed to miss the word lengths Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 18:31
• @Melkor I'm not sure if you're aware, but Cryptic clues have very specific rules and cluing words Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 18:45