15
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Words can’t even begin to describe how clueless I am! This is all meaningless! Ugh, why does it feel like I’m in a video game or something?

What? Savage rap ends Instagram!
Flame the most idiotic cretins
Covertly slap opponents around - it’s an essential thing
Troll punches you - get rid of it for me!
Defamation closely following crude welcome - it’s damaging
Frustrating experience? Turn to flimsy guy
Cry and eject essential fluid
Young, brainwashed, and quiet leaders finally fail
Call (577) 710-7690 for a lengthy rant about these items!

What am I actually trying to describe?


HINT 1: (Moved to the main body of the puzzle)

HINT 2: (Moved to the main body of the puzzle)

HINT 3:

Fine, I’ll try to be less cryptic here. First of all, I'm not actually angry at anything - sorry if I misled you there! Second, the video game I’m talking about is a quietly good broken car without its hood (7). Does that help?

HINT 4: (major spoiler)

Each line is not a sensationalized news headline but rather a cryptic clue without the definition or enumeration. The enumerations can be found somewhere in the puzzle body. And in place of the definitions, each CC relates to a common theme based on the video game and parts of the flavortext and title.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Apparently my very carefully constructed clickbait title wasn’t enough to grab people’s attention... $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Apr 10 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I've noticed it, but I haven't solved anything yet (though I have some idea what is going on). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Apr 10 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ The first line rot13(vf na nantenz bs "cerjnfu qrinfgngvat nantenzf") but that's all I got for tonight... $\endgroup$ – MetaZen Apr 10 at 5:20
  • $\begingroup$ @MetaZen ha, that’s a nice find! But it was unintentional, so try looking elsewhere $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Apr 10 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ All right, it's been a week, and no significant progress besides jafe's (partial) identification of the mechanism has been made so far. Hoping that this bounty, albeit a small amount, will encourage more participation :) $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Apr 17 at 13:19
12
+50
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Hint 3:

Quietly good broken car without its hood (7)
This is P (musical marking for piano = quietly) + OK (good) + (L)EMON (broken car without its hood) = POKEMON

Hint 4:

The phone number at the bottom hides the enumerations of the cryptic clues.

The clues:

What? Savage rap ends Instagram! (5)
- (WHA)T + (SAVAG)E + (RA)P + IG = TEPIG

Flame the most idiotic cretins (7)
- TORCH (flame) + I(DIOTIC) + C(RETINS) = TORCHIC1

Covertly slap opponents around - it’s an essential thing (7)
- (sla)P OPP(onents) + OIL< (from "essential oil") = POPPLIO

Troll punches you - get rid of it for me! (7)
- PUNCHES* -U (you) +I (me) = CHESPIN1

Defamation closely following crude welcome - it’s damaging (10)
- C(RUDE) + HARM (damaging) + (SL)ANDER = CHARMANDER1

Frustrating experience? Turn to flimsy guy (7)
- I suppose this is RUT< + TWIG = TURTWIG?1 Does "twig" mean "flimsy guy"?

Cry and eject essential fluid (6)
- SOB + B(I)LE = SOBBLE

Young, brainwashed, and quiet leaders finally fail (9)
- This is CY (Cy Young) + AND* + QU(IET) + (FA)IL = CYNDAQUIL

1 (with help from LeppyR64 in the comments)

The theme could be

One starter Pokémon from each generation? (found by LeppyR64)

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  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I can’t believe it... you’re on the right track! If you’re stuck, then take a closer look at the tags and flavortext $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Apr 10 at 6:41
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That anti-climatic twist at the end xD $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Apr 11 at 4:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Had to award the bounty to this answer since it was going to expire, but I’ve made massive changes to the puzzle to hopefully make it clearer what’s going on and how to proceed $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Apr 24 at 8:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Oooh. Getting the Gen 8 in there. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Apr 24 at 11:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ They're all Starters too. That leaves Turtwig and Charmander as guaranteeds. Gen 4 is either Torchic or Treecko, Gen 6 is Chespin or Froakie. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Apr 24 at 16:10

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