12
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I've got a puzzle for you to solve,

Like always, in three parts.

So start those engines, let those gears revolve

And let's let the puzzling start


My prefix is a common action

You might do it every day.

It's key to our communication,

Though if you can't, there's another way.

As seconds go by, the clock goes "tick!"

And the hands get farther apart

And the secret of my infix will finally click

When you find clock's action's second part.

My suffix is a friendly guy

He always says "hello"

While he drops out of Low Lunar Orbit

In which he'll frequently go.

As for my whole, that's a quite tragic tale.

One which we'll all someday know

When those who are there for you finally fail

Into my clutches you'll go.


What am I?

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  • $\begingroup$ I would guess that the last part can be found in this -> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_periodic_comets or in this -> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_numbered_comets list $\endgroup$ – Annosz Feb 14 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ The minimum orbital period, according to those tables (except for 1) is 3+ years, which I wouldn't call "frequently". Although it might be a figure of speech. It's a plausible guess $\endgroup$ – MaxB Feb 14 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ or maybe this link $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Feb 14 at 20:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can you give a hint? I've got some ideas, but they don't add up to anything meaningful. $\endgroup$ – Elmy Feb 22 at 13:23
3
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My guess is:

Photochemotherapy

Prefix:

Photo -> "key to our communication"

Infix:

toc -> Second part in "tick tock", albeit without "k"

Suffix:

hemotherapy -> No idea about LLO, but there's "mother", which always says "hello"?

Additionally:

According to the title, "When I'm called forth, times must be tough". There're 4 stages of cancer, fourth being the worst. Photochemotherapy being a possible treatment for cancer. And, of course, all in all, "As for my whole, that's a quite tragic tale." is quite so.

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