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The shadows are scary! I feel like there are beasts watching me everywhere I go...

What kind of person would be able to handle the dark well? (Your answer will be an 8-letter phrase. The crossword will give you the first word, which must be paired with a thematic second word.)

enter image description here

A grotesque vane - it is packed with blood (4)
A lady is the ruler of Dalmasca (4)
Against getting tea in shell-like structure (6)
Aged cloak is one that requires exposure to air (6)
Also abundant nightmarish dullahan heads (3)
Archaically send back royal ambassador (6)
Cried loudly, was ultimately mugged, beheaded. (6)
Distortion from blunder in removal of tissue, removing heart from belly (10)
Expert locking in unknown incendiary (4)
Fiend is concealed by rejected water god (4)
Finances filled with red (9)
Grandpa lost his way and became tainted heathen (5)
Half of border is an administrative division, in summary (3)
Half-twisted evocator in sheltered bay (4)
Hard poop location (5)
In computer science, first elements of assembled records (6)
Increase engine speed both ways, with nothing left inside spinner (6)
Inflexible metal bond (4)
Inflicts pain, after a point leading to cries of anguish (5)
Invisible, unnoticeable at first alongside five directions (6)
Is an aboriginal person (3)
Legacy from one's invasion of revolutionary territory (4)
Lycanthrope door secretly unlocked in the old days (4)
Most unsavory, horrible livestream: chopping feet (6)
One who wanders around as a pilot with no leader (6)
Outdated practice followed by eastern, old city (3)
Parade in southern harbor (7)
Playful, curvacious, opulent, Circean, stripped, like Morrigan Aensland (10)
Plenty, endless cost in recession (3)
Politician inside is making small devils (4)
Related to sound of melting coins (8)
Reportedly look at ocean (3)
Roll the dice to use enchantments (4)
Roll with exclamation of excitement next to level's end (7)
Runner hidden in senior man with no special abilities (6)
Shadows around a dreadful brume (6)
Short fish to be measure of capacity (3)
Sin and after hesitation start to repent (3)
Sorceress woman precedes uncomfortable sensation (5)
Space inside vacuous gristle is what determines heredity (4)
Sphere or ball beginning (3)
Start to bring preliminary survey to Welsh community (6)
Sum is wrong, leading to moments of hesitation (3)
Tear spiral salad (7)
Terrible ire in the one who voiced witches Sayaka Miki and Nene Odagiri (3)
Their first mistake leads to dread (6)
Venomous snake can be all over the place: PSA (3)
Young dog and cat, for example, going after remarkably hollow crook getting a tool (7)

Clarification note / Apology:

I just noticed there is an ambiguity in the placement of the words in the grid. You can use any possibility to get the same final answer, but I wouldn't have left it there if I had seen it earlier.

Hint:

Looks like some clues were not clearly visible in the dark... These seem to be their original forms:

Finances filled with red (5)
In computer science, first elements of assembled records (4)
Increase engine speed both ways, with nothing left inside spinner (8)
Legacy from one's invasion of revolutionary territory (5)
Parade in southern harbor (5)
Related to sound of melting coins (5)
Roll with exclamation of excitement next to level's end (5)
Runner hidden in senior man with no special abilities (8)
Tear spiral salad (6)
Young dog and cat, for example, going after remarkably hollow crook getting a tool (10)

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Love the themed clues, seems like you put a lot of work into this :) $\endgroup$ – Quintec Mar 31 '18 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ Good stuff so far. I'm a bit confused - you have 4 7-letter words, an 8 and a 9 in the clues, but no space for them in the grid. Does the theme hint at letters that should be removed? $\endgroup$ – Rupert Morrish Mar 31 '18 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry - still confused. The 3- and 4- letter clues match the grid, but there are now nine 5-letter clues and only four 5-letter slots in the grid; eleven 6-letter clues and only ten slots; two 8-letter clues and no slots; and three 10-letter clues for the two 10-letter slots. $\endgroup$ – Rupert Morrish Apr 2 '18 at 4:00
  • $\begingroup$ @RupertMorrish sorry I can't say much, but I will say that the clues are as intended. You can wait for someone else to post an answer to see, or try to figure out what is wrong yourself :) $\endgroup$ – ffao Apr 2 '18 at 20:44
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Many people in the puzzling chat (The Sphinx's Lair) have collaborated to put together a solution.

Warning: the big spoiler block here is a picture of the finished puzzle; if you're looking for a solution to just one clue, scroll down.

enter image description here

First we have the "normal" clues:

These appear in the white spaces in the board.

A grotesque vane - it is packed with blood (4)

VENA: (VANE)*

A lady is the ruler of Dalmasca (4)

ASHE: A+SHE

Against getting tea in shell-like structure (6)

CONCHA: CON+CHA

Aged cloak is one that requires exposure to air (6)

AEROBE: AE+ROBE

Also abundant nightmarish dullahan heads (3)

AND: A_+N_+D_

Archaically send back royal ambassador (6)

RENVOY: R+ENVOY

Cried loudly, was ultimately mugged, beheaded. (6)

SOBBED: S+[-r]OBBED

Distortion from blunder in removal of tissue, removing heart from belly (10)

ABERRATION: AB(ERR)[-l]ATION

Expert locking in unknown incendiary (4)

PYRO: P(Y)RO

Fiend is concealed by rejected water god (4)

OGRE: d(OG RE)taw<

Grandpa lost his way and became tainted heathen (5)

PAGAN: (GRANDPA-RD)*

Half of border is an administrative division, in summary (3)

BOR: BOR[der]

Half-twisted evocator in sheltered bay (4)

COVE: (EVOC)*

Hard poop location (5)

STERN: double definition

Inflexible metal bond (4)

IRON: double definition

Inflicts pain, after a point leading to cries of anguish (5)

WAILS: W (compass pt.) + AILS

Invisible, unnoticeable at first alongside five directions (6)

UNSEEN: U+NSEEN (5 directions)

Is an aboriginal person (3)

SAN: S+AN

Lycanthrope door secretly unlocked in the old days (4)

OPED: OPE D

Most unsavory, horrible livestream: chopping feet (6)

VILEST: (VILEST[ream])*

One who wanders around as a pilot with no leader (6)

VIATOR: [-a]VIATOR

Outdated practice followed by eastern, old city (3):

URE: UR+E

Playful, curvacious, opulent, Circean, stripped, like Morrigan Aensland (10)

VOLUPTUOUS

Plenty, endless cost in recession (3)

LOT: TOL(l)<

Politician inside is making small devils (4)

IMPS: I(MP)S

Reportedly look at ocean (3)

SEA: homophone

Roll the dice to use enchantments (4)

CAST: double definition

Shadows around a dreadful brume (6)

UMBRAE: (A+BRUME)*

Short fish to be measure of capacity (3)

TUN: TUN[-a]

Sin and after hesitation start to repent (3)

ERR: ER+R

Sorceress woman precedes uncomfortable sensation (5)

WITCH: W+ITCH

Space inside vacuous gristle is what determines heredity (4)

GENE: EN inside G_E

Sphere or ball beginning (3)

ORB: OR+B(all)

Start to bring preliminary survey to Welsh community (6)

BRECON: B+RECON

Sum is wrong, leading to moments of hesitation (3)

UMS: (SUM)*

Terrible ire in the one who voiced witches Sayaka Miki and Nene Odagiri (3)

ERI: (IRE)*

Their first mistake leads to dread (6)

TERROR: T+ERROR

Venomous snake can be all over the place: PSA (3)

ASP: (PSA)*


These clues together fill up the board, leaving us with a few more clues:

In computer science, first elements of assembled records (4),(6)

C(A_ R_)S leads to JAGUAR (car brand)

Increase engine speed both ways, with nothing left inside spinner (8),(6)

REV(O+L)VER leads to OCELOT (a character from Metal Gear Solid)

Legacy from one's invasion of revolutionary territory (5),(4)

FRU(I)T< leads to KIWI

Parade in southern harbor (5),(7)

S+PORT leads to CRICKET

Related to sound of melting coins (5),(8)

(SONIC)* leads to HEDGEHOG (video game character)

Roll with exclamation of excitement next to level's end (5),(7)

WHEE+L leads to HAMSTER

Runner hidden in senior man with no special abilities (8),(6)

S(MUGGLE)R leads to COYOTE. We, the solvers, inferred COYOTE from the state of the board; "S(MUGGLE)R" was provided by ffao after the fact to complete this solution.

Tear spiral salad (6),(7)

ROCKET (triple def.) leads to RACCOON (video game character)

Young dog and cat, for example, going after remarkably hollow crook getting a tool (10),(7)

SO+C[roo]K+PUP+PET leads to CATFISH

Finances filled with red (5),(9)

C(R)ASH leads to BANDICOOT (video game character)

From the final board,

we can see that the extra clues fit neatly into the gaps in the existing board, sometimes overlapping existing clues. Where they intersect (highlighted in yellow), they spell out NIGHT.


What kind of person would be able to handle the dark well?

Given the hint that there are two themed words in the final solution, we infer that this person is a NIGHT OWL.

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Answer in progress ...

A grotesque vane - it is packed with blood (4)

This seems like it should be VEIN, but I don't buy "grotesque" as a homophone indicator.

A lady is the ruler of Dalmasca (4)

ASHE
a+she Princess of Dalmasca in the Final Fantasy games

Against getting tea in shell-like structure (6)

CONCHA
con+cha. A concha is a decorative piece of metal on a Western saddle, derived from the Spanish word for "shell".

Aged cloak is one that requires exposure to air (6)

AEROBE
Not sure why Aged = AE. Cloak = robe.

Also abundant nightmarish dullahan heads (3)  

AND
A(bundant) N(ightmarish) D(ullahan)

Archaically send back royal ambassador (6)  
Cried loudly, was ultimately mugged, beheaded. (6)  

SOBBED
(wa)S (r)OBBED

Distortion from blunder in removal of tissue, removing heart from belly (10)
Expert locking in unknown incendiary (4)

PYRO
Y inside PRO

Fiend is concealed by rejected water god (4)

OGRE.

Finances filled with red (5)  
Grandpa lost his way and became tainted heathen (5)

PAGAN.

Half of border is an administrative division, in summary (3)
Half-twisted evocator in sheltered bay (4)

COVE

Hard poop location (5)

STERN
double defn

In computer science, first elements of assembled records (4)
Increase engine speed both ways, with nothing left inside spinner (8)

REVOLVER
rev + 0 + L + (rev)<

Inflexible metal bond (4)
Inflicts pain, after a point leading to cries of anguish (5)

WAILS?
W + ails

Invisible, unnoticeable at first alongside five directions (6)

UNSEEN

Is an aboriginal person (3)
Legacy from one's invasion of revolutionary territory (5)
Lycanthrope door secretly unlocked in the old days (4)
Most unsavory, horrible livestream: chopping feet (6)

VILEST.

One who wanders around as a pilot with no leader (6)
Outdated practice followed by eastern, old city (3)
Parade in southern harbor (5)  

SPORT

Playful, curvacious, opulent, Circean, stripped, like Morrigan Aensland (10)
Plenty, endless cost in recession (3)

LOT
(TOL(l))<

Politician inside is making small devils (4)

IMPS
MP inside IS

Related to sound of melting coins (5)
Reportedly look at ocean (3)

SEE
homophone of sea

Roll the dice to use enchantments (4)
Roll with exclamation of excitement next to level's end (5)
Runner hidden in senior man with no special abilities (8)
Shadows around a dreadful brume (6)

UMBRAE
(a brume)*

Short fish to be measure of capacity (3)
Sin and after hesitation start to repent (3)

ERR
er+r

Sorceress woman precedes uncomfortable sensation (5)

WITCH

Space inside vacuous gristle is what determines heredity (4)

GENE
EN (printing) inside G(ristl)E

Sphere or ball beginning (3)

ORB

Start to bring preliminary survey to Welsh community (6)
Sum is wrong, leading to moments of hesitation (3)

UMS
(sum)*

Tear spiral salad (6)
Terrible ire in the one who voiced witches Sayaka Miki and Nene Odagiri (3)

ERI
(ire)* Kitamura Eri is a Japanese voice actress

Their first mistake leads to dread (6)

TERROR

Venomous snake can be all over the place: PSA (3)

ASP
(PSA)*

Young dog and cat, for example, going after remarkably hollow crook getting a tool (10)   
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