Right away we get a list of cryptic clues. Solutions to those, with further explanations later:
- Wash part of Uncle Andrew (5): CLEAN
- Pain, hype, breaking down: a revelation (8): EPIPHANY
- Bad Romano is reddish-brown (6): MAROON
- Eternally the Raven's headless refrain (8): EVERMORE
- Boxer Joe switched from Fahrenheit to Celsius to get more absurd (7): CRAZIER
- Mill traps rock and roll heads, flipping bro, and first aid to get disco item (10): MIRRORBALL
- Prestigious institution's climbing plant (3): IVY
- Fin? Feet? Strange first tennis point (7): FIFTEEN
- Jordan? He destroyed a breakup letter (4 4): DEAR JOHN
- Maine is yours truly (2): ME
Then we look at the flavor text. The word
should pop out, as should
cryptic and Machiavellian
. The latter is a lyric from a Taylor Swift
song; both those clues should help us realize that all the cryptic clues lead to Taylor Swift songs. Also, the puzzle title, "Innocent", is another Taylor song. The blanks underneath each clue give enumerations for a certain line in each song's lyrics:
- Gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean
- Something med school did not cover
- Laughing with my feet in your lap
- It was real enough (whether weather be the frost)
- I've watched from a distance as you made life your own
- Drunk as they watch my shattered edges glisten
- So yeah, it's a fire
- You sit in class next to a redhead named Abigail
- I'm shining like fireworks over your sad empty town
- Baby doll, when it comes to a lover
The extracted words from the lyrics spell out a final cryptic clue, with the enumeration of 10 given at the bottom of the puzzle: Finally something in real life shattered fire named empty lover (10). This clue solves to the final answer, GIRLFRIEND
This puzzle is for everyone who absolutely hated or absolutely loved my Minecraft puzzles. This time I chose Taylor Swift, who has absolutely never been seen in puzzles before! (/s)
Further cryptic explanations:
- This clue has a hidden answer. The word
clean, given by the definition of
wash, is hidden across (or
part of) the two words
- This clue's answer is an anagram.
Breaking down is our anagram indicator, and we are anagramming
pain, hype, which gets
epiphany, a word meaning
- This clue's answer is an anagram.
Bad is our anagram indicator, and we are anagramming
Romano to get
maroon, a word meaning "reddish-brown".
- This clue's answer comes from letter removal. In the Poe poem "The Raven," the titular raven repeats the word "nevermore," which in this case is its "refrain." The word "headless" clues that we should take off the first letter, leaving us with "evermore," which means "eternally."
- This clue has multiple parts to solve. First, we see that "mill traps" something, so that means we should put some letters in between the start and end of "mill." "Rock and roll heads" means take the first letter of both "rock" and "roll", so R and R. "Flipping bro" means reverse "bro," giving us "orb." "First aid" means take the first letter of "aid," so A. Putting all those extra letters into "mill" gives us "mirrorball", which is a "disco item".
- This clue's answer is a double definition. Both "prestigious institution" and "climbing plant" can mean "ivy", so that is our answer.
- This clue's answer is an anagram. "Strange" is our anagram indicator, and we are anagramming "fin? feet?" to get "fifteen", which is the first point in tennis.
- This clue's answer is an anagram. "Destroyed" is our anagram indicator, and we are anagramming "Jordan? He" to get "Dear John", which is a breakup letter.
- This clue's answer is a double definition. The postal code for Maine is ME, and "yours truly" can also mean "me", so that is our answer.
For the final clue, we solve it as such: "Finally something" means take the last letter of "something", so G. "In real life" is the written-out version of IRL, a common initialism, so that gives us IRL. "Shattered fire" means anagram "fire", which gives us the string FRIE. "Named empty" means take the first and last letter of "named", so N and D. "Lover" is our definition, which fits our answer of GIRLFRIEND