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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. There is a wrinkle that make this puzzle unusual; I hope it doesn't give you any angst.

  1. Dad wrinkled liner after botching topcoat (6)
  2. Hombre lost his shirt to those dudes with Opa (6)
  3. Applied late, not early, for trademark? You need to set boundaries for son (8)
  4. Auntie reddens, embarrassed (7)
  5. Sorceress enchants, ensnares nephew (5)
  6. Daughter envisions Hansel and Gretel hugging, dancing rumba (7)
  7. Mom dropped out of run with four characters, replaced by dotty Oma! (4)
  8. Uncle, worn out at luau dragging animal to be cooked, took a short nap (7)
  9. Niece reviewed higher morality. You accented, "Ann embraced a revolutionary and lost her head." (7)
  10. Brother to begin eating up heads of garlic to tame ulcer (9)
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1   Dad wrinkled liner after botching topcoat (6)

First letter of botching + Wrinkled liner = BERLIN

2   Hombre lost his shirt to those dudes with Opa (6)

Hombre - hom (shirt) + dudes (men) = BREMEN

3   Applied late, not early, for trademark? You need to set boundaries for son (8)

applied late (D) + not early for (OR) + trademark (TM) + you (U) + need to set boundaries (NeeD) = DORTMUND (Thanks to OP as their wordplay was better than mine.)

4   Auntie reddens, embarrassed (7)

Reddens, mixed = DRESDEN

5   Sorceress enchants, ensnares nephew (5)

sorcerESS ENchants = ESSEN

6   Daughter envisions Hansel and Gretel hugging, dancing rumba (7)

H and G on the outside of mixed RUMBA = HAMBURG

7   Mom dropped out of run with four characters, replaced by dotty Oma! (4)

Run of four characters (KLMN) - Mom (M) + Oma (O) = KOLN. OP’s intentions were “dotty Oma” = Ö, yielding the correct German spelling KÖLN.

8   Uncle, worn out at luau dragging animal to be cooked, took a short nap (7)

Worn at luau (LEI) + animal to be cooked (PIG) + short nap (Z) = LEIPZIG

9   Niece reviewed higher morality. You accented, "Ann embraced a revolutionary and lost her head." (7)

Higher morality (M) + you (U) + Ann without head (NN) + revolutionary (CHE) = MUNCHEN. OP’s intentions were “you accented” = Ü, yielding the correct German spelling MÜNCHEN.

10  Brother to begin eating up heads of garlic to tame ulcer (9)

Begin (START) + heads of (garlic to tame ulcer), up (reversed) (UTTG) = STUTTGART

These are all

German cities, with their German spellings — maybe this is the wrinkle? (ie. Koln instead of Cologne, Munchen instead of Munich)

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  • $\begingroup$ Basically correct, but I had different wordplay for #3: rot13(nccyvrq yngr = Q + abg rneyl sbe = BE + genqrznex = GZ + lbh = H + arrq gb frg obhaqnevrf = ArrQ) $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover May 21 '20 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ Also I intended to rot13(vapyhqr gur hzynhgf, "qbggl Bzn" naq "lbh nppragrq"). Is that dirty pool or clever variation? There's such a fine line between stupid and clever. $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover May 21 '20 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ @JeremyDover To your first point, yes — your wordplay is much, much better than mine. To your second point, I’ve added the edits; I think the way you’ve done it for 9 works but not for 7; “dotty Oma” made me think first of an anagram clue, but I’m not the expert on cryptics at all. $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 21 '20 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the feedback! Hope you enjoyed... $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover May 21 '20 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ I did! Very much so — quite fun! $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 21 '20 at 0:27

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