# Cryptic Mastermind

And now for something completely different: Cryptic Mastermind!

Given below are five sets of five cryptic clues each, all resulting in five-letter words. The black and white pegs, like in regular Mastermind, indicate the number of correct letters. A black peg indicates a correct letter that is in the correct position; a white peg indicates a correct letter that is in the wrong position. The challenge is to correctly deduce the hidden word based on the five guesses and the corresponding black and white pegs.

After finding the five hidden words, the black and white pegs next to those again hint towards a final hidden word.

Good luck!

N.B.: The six (5 + 1) hidden words are all existing English words and they can be found in a standard English dictionary. This information is important and should be used when figuring out the hidden words. I haven't tested this puzzle yet, so I hope it's doable. If it proves to be too difficult I will provide hints as needed.

• What a great system for intertwining word clues! – humn Mar 1 '17 at 14:17

The final word is:

MAGIC.

I had missed three of the clues, but Silenius has helped me to fill in the blanks.

#1

MOODS O     States of mind of a weird sinful city: SODOM*
CHARM XO    Hurt with a hundred to enchant: C (100) + HARM
FORKS       Branches tableware: dd
GROWL O     Rumble of a Greek nocturnal bird: GR + OWL
ALPHA XXO   First, a mountain combined with the sound of laughter: ALP + HA

LLAMA

#2

BEATS O     Defeats a crazy monster: BEAST*
LOGIC XO    Reasoning hidden in catalog icons: in cataLOG ICons
SANDS O     Polishes Sam & Sue initially: S + AND + S
LOWER       Beheaded blossom is inferior: f[LOWER]
THINK OOOO  Consider a slender eleventh: THIN + K (11th)

NIGHT

#3

REMIT XOOO  Give back a returned hourglass: TIMER<
THROW XX    Toss that ends up in the fourth row: in fourTH ROW
MOTHS XOO   Heartless kissers fly by night: MO[u]THS
FEMUR XOO   A flightless bird in France produces a bone: EMU in FR
ENTER OOO   Come in and use a keyboard: dd

TERMS

#4

CHECK XXO   Bill is a potential mate: dd
YEARN O     Why make money? It's what you long for: Y + EARN
WATCH XX    Observe this Swiss product: dd
ELBOW       Arm part modified downstairs: BELOW*
NIECE XXO   Family member who is kind, embracing the irrational: E in NICE

CINCH

#5

ASSES O     Endlessly evaluate some donkeys: [ASSES]s
REALM XOO   A genuine thousand in this region: REAL + M
SPICY X     Hot, like Victoria or Geri: cd referring to Spice Girls
LATEX O     Rubber basis for a former partner of long: LAT (lat/long) + EX
MILES XO    Disturbed filth makes many yards: SLIME*

MERRY

Final

LLAMA OO
NIGHT XO
TERMS O
CINCH OO
MERRY X

MAGIC

• That was .. awesome and quick! :) +1 – Techidiot Mar 1 '17 at 13:33
• Bill is a potential mate = CHECK (ddef) – GoldenGremlin Mar 1 '17 at 13:34
• "Rubber basis for a former partner of long" might be LATEX (although the wordplay is unclear... a play on LATE EX maybe...) – GoldenGremlin Mar 1 '17 at 13:40
• Oh, yes, some people call their bills checks. That makes the partial answer for #4 CINCH, which fortunately doesn't break the overall answer. – M Oehm Mar 1 '17 at 13:40
• Ah, good. Lat and Long are partners in geo coordinates. – M Oehm Mar 1 '17 at 13:42

Here are some of the cryptics:

# 1

States of mind of a weird sinful city

MOODS (SODOM*) Techidiot

Branches tableware

FORKS (ddef)

Rumble of a Greek nocturnal bird

GROWL (GR + OWL)

First, a mountain combined with the sound of laughter

ALPHA (ALP+HA)

# 2

Reasoning hidden in catalog icons

LOGIC (_LOG IC_)

Polishes Sam & Sue initially

SANDS (S+AND+S)

# 3

Heartless kissers fly by night

MOUTHS (MO(u)THS)

A flightless bird in France produces a bird

FEMUR (F(EMU)R)

# 4

Bill is a potential mate

CHECK (ddef)

Observe this Swiss product

WATCH (ddef)

# 5

Endlessly evaluate some donkeys

ASSES (ASSES(s))

Rubber basis for a former partner of long

LATEX (LAT+EX, a play on abbreviations for latitude and longitude, as pointed out by M Oehm)

• 1/1 - MOODS (anag sodom-sinful city) – Techidiot Mar 1 '17 at 13:24
• Thanks! Just got that one myself when I realized indirect anagrams are being used here. – GoldenGremlin Mar 1 '17 at 13:27
• 3/2 - THROW hidden at the end. Yeah. I am working on that. Trying to find the first word – Techidiot Mar 1 '17 at 13:30
• @Techidiot, M Oehm just posted a fairly complete solution. – GoldenGremlin Mar 1 '17 at 13:31
• Hah! Great. :) Didn't see that. – Techidiot Mar 1 '17 at 13:33

Partial:

1

Hurt with a hundred to enchant

C+HARM

Branches tableware

FORKS ddef

Reasoning hidden in catalog icons

LOGIC hidden in clue

2

Defeats a crazy monster

BEATS* (beast, indirect anagram!!! D: )

[F] LOWER

3

Give back a returned hourglass

Family member who is kind, embracing the irrational

NI(E)CE

Come in and use a keyboard

ENTER (dodgy ddef)

4

Arm part modified is downstairs

BELOW* (elbow, indirect anagram!!! D: )

5

Endlessly evaluate some donkeys

ASSES [S]

Hot, like Victoria or Geri

SPICE or SPICY

Disturbed filth makes many miles

MILES* (slime, indirect anagram!!! D: )