When All is Lost

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These are cryptic crossword clues. A cryptic clue has a definition half and a wordplay half. In this puzzle, the two halves of each clue solve to different but related strings. You need to figure out how they're related, then solve each clue and fill the wordplay answers into the grid. The number after each clue is the length of its definition answer.


The answer to the wordplay half of each clue is derived from the answer to its definition half by removing certain letters. Each clue belongs to one of the six characters listed below the grid, and that character's number shows how many clues she has. The character's quote obliquely indicates which letters to remove for their clues.

character, letter

The letters each character removes are:

Elsa: -IT
Moana: -HEART
Katara: -HE
Misty: -ALL
Mei: -MOVE
Jaina: -PEACE

The letters may be removed from anywhere in the answer, not necessarily in order, but the remaining letters do remain in order. If the letter appears multiple times in the answer, remove them one at a time. For example, LABELLED - ALL could give either BELED or LBEED.


The instruction that no cell is part of three or more answers is phrased in a way that suggests how to extract.


When you have filled in the grid, all the hexes that are unchecked (only part of one answer) form a path. Read these letters as a cryptic clue with the enumeration (7 4 3 4 4 1 5).

In her waters, deep and true,
lie the answers and a path for you.

Answers may turn in any way after starting in the given direction.
No cell is part of three or more answers.

let it gox11
they have stolen the heart from inside youx6
but when the world needed him most, he vanishedx5
my policy is an all-out offensivex4
freeze! don’t movex2
peace is not always the answerx2

[See original puzzle for images]

1 SE American capital to rebuild, not die (10)
2 E Setup of Facebook-owned app a bit less than halfway done (7)
3 SE Hat material for those afraid of cycles in nothing (7)
4 E Nice money for the desperate? (7)
5 NW Ill-gotten c-notes possess someone like a mind controller (9)
6 NW Sitwell and Wharton’s unstarted corrections (6)
7 W “Despacito” singer misses a note, ends up with “Hydrangea” (9)
8 SW Many schoolkids’ first pet (7)
9 E Some merchandise the end of H. sapiens (3-3)
10 E Bad signs about rightwing leader: embezzles and rigs votes, e.g. (10)
11 SW Ran halfway from ghost (6)
12 E Dirt on outside of gear (4)
13 NW Square on street (6)
14 NW A deteriorating situation: out of energy, extraterrestrial finds species (8)
15 NW Every other bard exile is a love song writer (9)
16 E Keener, without Henry, is about to say it (in other words) (8)
17 NE Rag found in drab lodgings (7)
18 E Positioning a pure substance with no electrons (9)
19 NE Minnesota to Louisiana without a kind of cigarette (7)
20 SW First woman beheld death at twilight (8)
21 NW Nine, containing forty-first and one, becomes endless (8)
22 SW The alchemists embrace medicine (10)
23 W The Good Place character becomes new after epiphany (6)
24 W Refrain from holding pouring water (8)
25 E Lava erupts around an hour into the afterlife (8)
26 E Leaders of ecumenical inquisition council lambaste the heterodox (9)
27 E Consume hollow hallucinogen, becoming pagan (7)
28 W Drains soils (7)
29 NW Recitation instructor mixed up red pyramids (10)
30 NE Judi turned around and, missing cents, lowered the price (9)