... two targets ... the 3 A's of war ... dressed in ... your mission is ... we must prevent ...

If the first message wasn't cryptic enough, the rest wasn't much clearer. What we do know is that the keywords we need are the answers to 10 cryptic clues. Unfortunately, the messaging was jumbled en route. We need you to combine these beginnings, middles and ends to form 10 viable cryptic clues. If you do that, the answers will provide the intel we need.

What are the targets? What are the 3 A's of war? What must we do, and what are we stopping?

Good luck!

Beginnings Middles Ends
Some planes rally missing one I guess (8)
Peace comes with nothing in the arms? (9)
Battle outfit held after unfinished request from a farm (12)
Return cooler in a Southern country (9)
Shot when hostile nation is not to depot (7)
Silver to lead in by moving trap (7)
A fraction taken back losing Swiss capital (10)
Treading dangerously is inside Spanish country (6)
A blood-vessel disease in the fat for disaster (8)
Potato Merlin mashed is mum after honest procedure (9)

2 Answers 2


(I'll use the usual notation to explain the solutions to the cryptic clues: * for anagrams, _..._ for hidden words, X_ for first letter selection, < for reversal.)

What are the targets?

Return cooler with nothing in Spanish country (6) -- CA<+NADA
Silver to lead in a Southern country (9) -- ARGENT+IN+A

What are the three A's of war?

Some planes rally back to depot (7) -- _ARSENAL_<
Shot when hostile nation is mum after losing Swiss capital (10) -- AMMUNITION(-s)*
A blood-vessel disease is inside the arms? (9) -- ART(ILL)ERY

What are we dressed in?

Battle outfit held in the fat I guess (8) - _FATIGUES_ (a word meaning "combat uniforms")

What must we do?

A fraction taken in by honest procedure (9) -- OPE(RATIO)N
Treading dangerously missing one moving trap (7) -- DRAGNET(-i)*

What are we stopping?

Potato Merlin mashed is not from a farm (12) -- METROPOLITAN*
Peace comes after unfinished request for disaster (8) -- CAL(-l)+AMITY

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Add an S to rot13(SNGVTHR) - you need 8 letters - and that's what you're 'dressed in'! Also, maybe see this? You can probably also combine rot13(ZRGEBCBYVGNA PNYNZVGL) into one phrase as what you're trying to prevent :) +1 $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 7, 2019 at 17:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ With @Stiv 's minor corrections this is 100% correct. Nice work!! $\endgroup$ Oct 7, 2019 at 18:10

Partial (One Clue)

Potato Merlin mashed + is not + from a farm (12) = *METROPOLITAN (def = not from a farm)

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Forgot to mention this earlier, but: I downvoted this answer because a single clue doesn't seem like enough to justify a partial answer. See this meta post for more thoughts on the subject. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Oct 7, 2019 at 17:14

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