1: dim advantage in first French Expansion
(4,5): Kiss

2: undisturbed apartment
ground hideout
attach badge
punch holder

1,3: advantage protect
lady wrong
extra raise
prime month
error pass
overjoyed narrated


2 is somewhat related to animals.

Hint #2:

4,5 are intended to give you a word(closely related or similar in meaning) for each clue.

Hint #3:

4,5 are supposed to be arranged in a word square. 2 gives you two different meanings for the same word.

Final Hint:

Anyone thinking of Phrases yet?

  • $\begingroup$ I'd just like to confirm that it is 1,3 and not 1,5... ? $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Jun 6 '18 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Phylyp 1,3 is not 1,5 $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Jun 6 '18 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Sid, I was barking up the wrong tree there. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Jun 6 '18 at 19:44

Partial answer at the moment:


First line appears to be a cryptic clue for the word FADE: F(AD)E.


Each pair of words are two different definitions of another word:

undisturbed apartment FLAT
ground hideout EARTH
attach badge PIN
punch holder HOOK

All four can prefix the word WORM (animal-related, as suggested by one of the hints).


Each line appears to suggest a pair of words, where the second word is the first with a letter added to the front.

advantage protect edge-Hedge
lady wrong miss-Amiss
extra raise other-Mother (courtesy of CaptainPlanet in the comments)
prime month arch-March
error pass lapse-Elapse
overjoyed narrated elated-Related

The first letters spell out HAMMER.

  • $\begingroup$ That is correct. $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    May 30 '18 at 19:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 'extra raise' might be rot13( bgure-zbgure ) $\endgroup$ May 31 '18 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ I like it. I'll add it in a bit. $\endgroup$
    – SKOG
    May 31 '18 at 1:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've fixed the post with the correct, intended solution. $\endgroup$
    – SKOG
    Jun 6 '18 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ Very nice update on #2... but what does (SNQR NGGNPX JBEZ UNZZRE) mean, I wonder? $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Jun 6 '18 at 17:56

4, 5: With the help of hint #3:

Each word clues a four-letter word:

    PECK Kiss            PAST History
    ACHE Pain            ECHO Again
    SHOE Boot            CHOW Eat
    TOWN City            KEEN Avid
These words can then be arranged in a magic square:
    P E C K
    A C H E
    S H O E
    T O W N
Thanks to the observant commenters hagfy and Phylyp, who saw that the letters at positions (5, 13, 13, 5, 3, 4) spell ATTACK.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you take the letters indicated by the numbers at the end of the clue, you get rot13(NGGNPX). $\endgroup$
    – hagfy
    Jun 6 '18 at 16:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Letters (5,13,13,5,3,4) in the word square spell out ROT13(NGGNPX) , ninja'd by @hagfy $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Jun 6 '18 at 16:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks to both of you. How trivial. (And how embarrassing not to have seen it.) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Jun 6 '18 at 16:56

As it turns out, I have seriously messed up on difficulty-level of this puzzle. Also, many puzzlers have said how the puzzle seems underclued(which it probably is). So, I have decided to self-answer this.

SKOG and M Oehm have got the sub-puzzles right. Our answers are:


Next for the meta:

All this words can be attached with the a body part to get another word/phrase. That is,
HEART Attack


Taking the letters as shown by the numbering in the question and then an anagram gives us BUTTER which by the same relation, gives the final answer as FINGERS(which fits the title).

  • $\begingroup$ I've never heard any of these phrases except the second one. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jun 13 '18 at 19:19

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