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The answer to this puzzle is a list of ten thematically related words or proper names or phrases. Each of these is clued cryptically, and the theme is to be determined. Since the definition part of a cryptic clue would give away the theme, these cryptic clues use a family member (e.g., mom, sister) to stand in for the definition part of the clue. So for example, if the theme of the puzzle were chemical elements, "Sister picking at nit" would clue "tin". Clues are sorted with answers in alphabetical order, and lengths of each answer are given with the clues. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Nephew chews on granola after losing first race (6)
  2. Uncle was set to roam once (8)
  3. Grandpa rests in the middle of such a day (4)
  4. Prisoner leave set by cousin (5)
  5. Niece's socks merit reaction (7)
  6. Know Scottish yobs are tipping caps for sister (5)
  7. Auntie proclaimed, "A good mascara hides rings and wrinkles" (10)
  8. Brother and I run north (4)
  9. Mom and Selena fuss over girl (7)
  10. Dad to go to court, be heard, and found guilty (5)
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1 Answer 1

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1   Nephew chews on granola after losing first race (6)

Granola - first(race) = ganola > anagrammed ANGOLA

2   Uncle was set to roam once (8)

Roam once anagram = CAMEROON

3   Grandpa rests in the middle of such a day (4)

suCH A Day > CHAD

4   Prisoner leave set by cousin (5)

Prisoner leave = CON-GO = CONGO

5   Niece's socks merit reaction (7)

mERIT REAction = ERITREA

6   Know Scottish yobs are tipping caps for sister (5)

Scottish for know is KEN + caps of (yobs are) YA = KENYA

7   Auntie proclaimed, "A good mascara hides rings and wrinkles" (10)

A good mascara - rings (oo) = agdmascara, wrinkled = MADAGASCAR

8   Brother and I run north (4)

I run, or I LAM, going north (backwards) = MALI

9   Mom and Selena fuss over girl (7)

Selena + over(girl) = selenag, fussed = SENEGAL

10  Dad to go to court, be heard, and found guilty (5)

Going to court (SUE) and found guilty (DAMN); be heard = sounds like SUDAN. OP’s wordplay uses “found guilty” as an acronym clue: and found guilty > AND rearranged > DAN.

The theme is

African Countries

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    $\begingroup$ Very close, but #10 is incorrect. Great job otherwise, and at high speed :-) $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, I figured 10 was wrong lol, that was the stretchiest. 10 is different from 4 too, correct? @JeremyDover? I initially had 4’s answer in for 10 and found that 4 worked better $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, 4 and 10 are different answers. And I did admire the creativity of your answer for #10, but I think mine is a little less stretchy. $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ How about try number 2 for #10, @JeremyDover? $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ That is the correct answer, but I have the wordplay as rot13(FH fbhaqf yvxr fhr (gb tb gb pbheg, or urneq) cyhf QNA (naq sbhaq thvygl)). Maybe the latter is a stretch? $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 13:46

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