# When I'm called forth, times must be tough

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?

• 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 Feb 14, 2019 at 14:46
• 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
– MaxB
Feb 14, 2019 at 14:58
• or maybe this link Feb 14, 2019 at 20:18
• Can you give a hint? I've got some ideas, but they don't add up to anything meaningful.
– Elmy
Feb 22, 2019 at 13:23

Just saw this puzzle bumped to the top. I'll give it a guess:

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.

Prefix: hear
Hear is a common action that we do every day to communicate. Some people can't hear but they can use sign language.

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.

Infix: tock
"Tock" is the clock action after "tick".

My suffix is a friendly guy
He always says "hello"
While he drops out of Low Lunar Orbit
In which he'll frequently go.

Suffix: he
The word "he" is repeated many times. Also "hello" minus LLO (drops out of Low Lunar Orbit) is "he".

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.

Heartache is something tragic tales are all about, and which we'll all someday know. When people we count on let us down, we fall into heartache.

(We need to convert the infix tock to tac here, but the two sound similar).

• Nicely done, sir JS1, you've solved this cryptic verse. The longer game, though, is not won. The path from here... gets worse Jul 16, 2019 at 23:09

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"?