# Remove, mix, and take in: Cryptic Clues

Here's another cryptic game to play. The rules are as follows:

• A) Nine of the 27 clues are standard cryptic clues
• B) Nine clues are missing a word which is an answer from part A
• C) Nine clues are missing a word which is an answer from part B

Thus, the result will be nine 'chains' of three answers. Finally, one of the answers from C will not be like the others. Plug that answer into the clue in the title to get the final answer!

Example:

• Never finished about a hook (5)
• Happiness is a broken toenail (7)
• I lost returning what dead men tell (2-4)

Would form a chain like this:

- Happiness is a broken toenail == ELATION
- Elation I lost returning what dead men tell == NO-TALE
- Never finished no-tale about a hook == TALON

Note: The missing words will ALWAYS be part of the wordplay as in the example

• Bloody ridiculous, nauseating; not extremely abhorrent (8)
• Humiliation without a bottom (8)
• Peculiar to give titles (5)
• A man is without a man (4)
• Without a good start, becomes trash (6)
• Psycho in a cult! (7)
• Bodiless entity lurks inside... or titles PG horror! (11)
• Insurgents, grenades exploding, take Estonian capital (9)
• Nearly turns to anger (3)
• One is without a heart (4)
• Stationed all over to find cures (9)
• Dark and dashing loses cool briefly (5)
• Country at sea with no poles. (6)
• Novel with no poles has little sparkles (7)
• To lose nothing twice after two times cheating. (7)
• Kind of with no way to search (3)
• Kind of cut European Union growth (4)
• Having no charge, lying around for days (5)
• Prepared without time for calmness (8)
• Yank camera in, perhaps? (8)
• Without notice, reverses course (7)
• Averages losing bet from characters (5)
• To take back some ancestral data? (4)
• Auto-iron has a water container (6)
• Diner eliminates tailless rodent (4)
• Has distribution with fine, popular drug (8)
• Spying for the British: John Rex (7)
• Are you sure the "bodiless ..." clue is correct? (It seems dicey in a way not easily explained by the A-B-C trickery; but I could easily be missing something.) – Gareth McCaughan Feb 22 at 21:47
• (actually, the more I look at it the more I suspect it is explicable by the A-B-C trickery, though I haven't yet worked out exactly how) – Gareth McCaughan Feb 22 at 22:34
• You've singled out the most... um... Interesting clue. I think it's fair, but there is a lot going on. I'm not against a hint on that one if you're stuck for a bit. – TwoBitOperation Feb 22 at 22:49
• Oh, the problem isn't that I don't know the answer to it -- I'm very confident I do. It's just that either it's an A clue in which case it seems a bit dicey, or it's a B or C clue and it's a little hard to see what insertion could make it work. My money's on the latter. (Current status: 8A, 5B, 2C; a couple of them are dubious.) – Gareth McCaughan Feb 22 at 22:51
• Is "Yank..." meant to be (8) not (7)? – Gareth McCaughan Feb 23 at 14:18

Solutions to clues

I've grouped these into ABC sets. Carets indicate where the previous answer needs inserting. (In some cases there's more than one possible place; I picked the one that seems to me to make the best clue.)

SANGUINE      Bloody ridiculous, nauseating; not extremely abhorrent (8)  A
GUINEA        Country ^^^ at sea with no poles. (6)                       B
GAIN          Kind of ^^^ cut European Union growth (4)                   C

BASEMENT      Humiliation without a bottom (8)                            A
MEANS         Averages losing bet from ^^^ characters (5)                 B
NAMES         Peculiar ^^^ to give titles (5)                             C

ANTIDOTES     Stationed all over to find cures (9)                        A
SEDATION      ^^^ Prepared without time for calmness (8)                  B
DATES         Having no charge, ^^^ lying around for days (5)             C

CARAFE        Auto-iron has a water container (6)                         A
CAFE          Diner ^^^ eliminates tailless rodent (4)                    B
CAFFEINE      Has ^^^ distribution with fine, popular drug (8)            C

POLTERGEIST   Bodiless entity lurks inside... or titles PG horror! (11)   A
GLITTER       Novel ^^^ with no poles has little sparkles (7)             B
LITTER        Without a good start, ^^^ becomes trash (6)                 C

LOOKING       Spying for the British: John Rex (7)                        A
BILKING       ^^^ To lose nothing twice after two times cheating. (7)     B
ILK           Kind of ^^^ with no way to search (3)                       C

AMERICAN      Yank camera in, perhaps? (7)                                A (8) not (7)
ERIC          A man is ^^^ without a man (4)                              B
IRE           ^^^ Nearly turns to anger (3)                               C

RENEGES       Without notice, ^^^ reverses course (7)                     B
GENE          ^^^ To take back some ancestral data? (4)                   C

LUNATIC       Psycho in a cult! (7)                                       A
UNLIT         Dark and dashing ^^^ loses cool briefly (5)                 B
UNIT          One is ^^^ without a heart (4)                              C

The C-words are:

NAMES LITTER DATES CAFFEINE ILK GAIN IRE GENE UNIT

Of these

there isn't an odd one out if you look at just the answers but there is if you look at their genealogies: CAFFEINE is the only one where the A->B->C chain ever adds any letters.

The title

then becomes Remove, mix CAFFEINE and take in (6) whose solution is EFFACE (def: remove; CAFFEINE*-IN).

Credit where due:

SirDerpy found GENE, UNLIT and UNIT. athin and jafe figured out, respectively, which answer was special and what the answer was. (In my defence I will say that I failed to find those before OP gave some hints and they found them after :-).) Thanks to all; reader, if you like this answer then you might find something of theirs and upvote it.

• All are correct so far except for 'NULL' which is not one of the answers. You are absolutely right that Yank should be (8), and I apologize for that. Great job solving it anyway. For Bodiless Entity, the wordplay I was thinking was first word acting on the second to give 'E'. And yes, that's doing double duty as the definition (along with the title of a PG horror movie) for sort of a double def &lit, which I know is stretching it a bit. This is similar to your concern with Psycho, so I think my &lit clue game might be a little off. Oh, and 'take back' is a pretty straightforward indicator – TwoBitOperation Feb 23 at 16:31
• I'm glad NULL was wrong :-). I'd been assuming "take back" was the obvious thing and am unsurprised to find I'm right about that even though my actual solution was wrong. And yeah, with an &lit the idea is that the whole clue is def and the whole clue is wordplay; you aren't supposed to just share parts of the clue between the two. – Gareth McCaughan Feb 23 at 17:12
• RENEGADES -> RENEGES becomes "GENE", paired with "To take back some ancestral data?" LUNATIC becomes "UNLIT" ("Dark and dashing loses cool briefly" - also a questionable clue, as I don't see where "dashing" comes in), which becomes UNIT ("One is without a heart"). – SirDerpy Feb 23 at 21:08
• Nice! I think "dashing" is an anagram indicator. – Gareth McCaughan Feb 23 at 21:09
• The final answer could be rot13(Erzbir, zvk pnssrvar, naq gnxr va -> rssnpr)? – jafe Feb 25 at 5:22