# 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. Feb 7 '17 at 14:58
• And knowing deusovi with cryptics of course he'll get the rest Feb 7 '17 at 15:54
• Is the second one rot13(cevzr)? I’m probably not understanding how this works properly but it seemed worth asking.
– Ry-
Feb 9 '17 at 9:25
• @Ryan Nope. How did you get that? Feb 9 '17 at 11:33
• Oh is the second unsolved? Apr 22 '17 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"?) Feb 7 '17 at 19:06
• I think he's referring to the ['s] Feb 7 '17 at 19:06
• Pretty sure the surface reading works just as well without the possessive. Feb 7 '17 at 19:07
• @Rubio mice's tails = tails of mice = last two letters of "mice". Feb 7 '17 at 21:20
• Oh. Ok I'll buy that :)
– Rubio
Feb 7 '17 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.) Feb 7 '17 at 16:02
• @randal'thor yeah this was definitely easier than the rest, but I still like it :) Feb 7 '17 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 Feb 7 '17 at 17:45
• Also, you're answer is neither a tool nor a sound. Feb 7 '17 at 18:24
• @Melkor It is a word but I don't think it applies to this cryptic clue. Feb 7 '17 at 18:27
• @BeastlyGerbil, I managed to miss the word lengths Feb 7 '17 at 18:31
• @Melkor I'm not sure if you're aware, but Cryptic clues have very specific rules and cluing words Feb 7 '17 at 18:45