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This is an entry into the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #38. I hope it fits the theme!


The answer to this puzzle is what you should do to solve this puzzle.

  1. Getting 51 and nice guy to start (7)
  2. Level 51 not this (4)
  3. Totems you shouldn't have—51's being cautious, ultimately (9)
  4. Level 51 with way to create viability ranking (4, 4)
  5. Losing heart, Level extremely lost, taking magazines to top (7)
  6. Level rolls in wine, perhaps drunk? (8)
  7. Thought derailed: i.e. bid Level 51 gone (8)
  8. Team of Level, even in part? (6)
  9. Alien with straw takes Level 51 to the Empire State Building? (7)
  10. Upset Level 51: old girl informally overshadowed in-charge—ridiculous! (9)
  11. Those like 51 narcotics, maybe? (7)
  12. Level 51 mum after trial (8)
  13. Level 51 yearned, initially, to hold more detailed tribute (6)
  14. Initially year-end, Level loses the night before, finally snaps and shouts (5)
  15. Character, approximately Level 51, eating electro-optics and cell parts (8)
  16. Level 51 venturing into silver cave in turn (7)
  17. Chunk of meat from Level 51 eaten by crazy daemon? (9)
  18. Level 51 looking back and beheading one who cries for rock (7)
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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Woops, found a mistake in clue 5! Just edited it though. (this comment is not part of the puzzle) $\endgroup$ – Level 51 Sep 14 '18 at 16:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Cool puzzle! I think it's fair to say it fits. $\endgroup$ – ffao Sep 15 '18 at 8:19
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The clues:

Each of the clues makes a reference to Level (even, tier, etc.), 51 (usually in Roman, LI) or Level 51 (I, me, occasionally L + LI). I've only added brief explanations below. (XXX< means reversal, XXX* means anagram, {xxx} means omission.)

Getting 51 and nice guy to start (7)
    — LANDING, L AND I + N{ice} + G{uy}

Level 51 not this (4)
    — EVEN, cryptical: 51 is odd

Totems you shouldn't have—51's being cautious, ultimately (9)
    — TALISMANS, TA (you shouldn't have) + LI'S + MAN + S

Level 51 with way to create viability ranking (4, 4)
    — TIER LIST, TIER + LI (51) + ST(reet)

Losing heart, Level extremely lost, taking magazines to top (7)
    — ECLIPSE, CLIPS in {l}E{v}E{l}

Level rolls in wine, perhaps drunk? (8)
    — REVELLED, LEVEL* in RED

Thought derailed: i.e. bid Level 51 gone (8)
    — BELIEVED, (IE + B{I}D + LEVE{L})*

Team of Level, even in part? (6)
    — ELEVEN, hidden in {lev}EL EVEN

Alien with straw takes Level 51 to the Empire State Building? (7)
    — H • • • • • •

Upset Level 51: old girl informally overshadowed in-charge—ridiculous! (9)
    — ILLOGICAL, (L + LI)< + IC in (O + GAL)

Those like 51 narcotics, maybe? (7)
    — NUMBERS, cryptical: narcotics numb

Level 51 mum after trial (8)
    — DEMOLISH, DEMO + LI + SH

Level 51 yearned, initially, to hold more detailed tribute (6)
    — MEMORY, MOR{e} in (ME + Y{earned})

Initially year-end, Level loses the night before, finally snaps and shouts (5)
    — YELLS, Y{ear} E{nd} + L{eve}L + {snap}S

Character, approximately Level 51, eating electro-optics and cell parts (8)
    — NUCLEOLI, EO inside (NU + L + LI)

Level 51 venturing into silver cave in turn (7)
    — ALIGNED, LI in AG + DEN<

Chunk of meat from Level 51 eaten by crazy daemon? (9)
    — MEDALLION, L + LI in DAEMON*

Level 51 looking back and beheading one who cries for rock (7)
    — EMERALD, ME< + {h}ERALD

The answer:

Taking the first letters from each clue yields:

    Letter behind my name

When I posted the answers to the clue last night, I didn't know what to do with it. Fortunately, SteveV was so good to put me out of my misery: Take the letter after the poster's name in each clue and you get:

    Answer: Get on my level

Which, of course, answers the question in the preamble: The answer to this puzzle is what you should do to solve this puzzle. Speaking of self-referential humour ... :)

Thanks to Level 51 for a very good puzzle and to SteveV for bringing me on the final level.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Great job! wow. i think you got it. if you want to know the rest, read on: it said rot13(yrggre oruvaq zl anzr) and thus rot13(gnxvat gur yrggre va gur pyhrf nsgre uvf anzr) gives rot13(nafjre trg ba zl yriry) $\endgroup$ – SteveV Sep 14 '18 at 23:40
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveV:: That's brilliant, thanks. (I also feel a bit silly. I briefly considered this, but discounted the idea, because the full name doesn't appear in all clues And I didn't bother to check. Grr.) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Sep 15 '18 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveV has it right! If you edit the final phrase into your answer I'll drop the green tick :) $\endgroup$ – Level 51 Sep 15 '18 at 6:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think the first one may be rot13(--YNAQVAT, Y NAQ V A{vpr} T{hl}). $\endgroup$ – SteveV Sep 15 '18 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveV is correct on that; I'm confirming this one specifically because I thought the cluing wasn't all that fair in retrospect. Good luck with the two remaining ones! $\endgroup$ – Level 51 Sep 15 '18 at 10:10

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