As teams solve the clues, it should swiftly become apparent that many of the items in the x and y lists are alcoholic. Yet the y list also contains non-alcoholic items such as LIME and ORANGE.
Either by making the required logical leap, or simply by recognising items in the x + y list, teams should realise that the topmost list is of two-ingredient cocktails, and that the x and y lists are of cocktail ingredients.
|x + y|
|Boring tool||GIMLET||A tool for boring holes.|
|French royal line cavalryman with spear||BOURBON LANCER||French royal line = Bourbon
Cavalryman with spear = lancer
|Could give you tetanus||RUSTY NAIL|
|Accommodation, now with air option||B&B||As in ‘Airbnb’.|
|Radler to English speakers||SHANDY|
|Dumbledore's favourite, in the US||LEMON DROP|
|Spanish dove||PALOMA||‘Dove’ in Spanish.|
|French concrete||BETON||‘Concrete’ in French.|
|Moving touch-me-not||MIMOSA||There are two kinds of plants known as the touch-me-not; the one which moves is the mimosa.|
|Tall boulder problem||HIGHBALL||A ‘boulder problem’ is a route in rock climbing. A tall one is known as a highball.|
|Classic night to start a novel with||DARK & STORMY||As in the famous novel opening ‘It was a dark and stormy night’.|
|Swan of Catania||BELLINI||Refers to the composer Vincenzo Bellini.|
|x||The green fairy||ABSINTHE||Historically known as la fée verte or ‘the green fairy’.|
|Spirit of Karlovy Vary’s Becher family||BECHEROVKA||Wiki: Becherovka open_in_new|
|Oath and this comprise Aller||BEER||Wiki: Aller, Somerset open_in_new|
|Chocolate sandwich biscuit||BOURBON||Wiki: Bourbon biscuit open_in_new|
|The Boy Is Mine singer, with Monica||BRANDY||Wiki: The Boy Is Mine open_in_new|
|Oasis supernova||CHAMPAGNE||As in the Oasis song ‘Champagne Supernova’.|
|Japanese silver||GIN||‘Silver’ in Japanese.|
|Belonging to Jasper Newton||JACK DANIEL’S||Jasper Newton is better known as Jack Daniel; something belonging to him is thus Jack Daniel’s|
|Slovene path cut through woods, in Italy||PROSECCO||Wiki: Prosecco open_in_new|
|This sort of customer is dubious or odd||RUM||As in the phrase ‘a rum customer’.|
|Egg wrapped in sausage||SCOTCH||Wiki: Scotch Egg open_in_new|
|After three, floor||TEQUILA||As in ‘One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor’.|
|Slavic little water||VODKA||Wiki: Vodka open_in_new|
|Fourth-last NATO letter||WHISKEY||From the NATO phonetic alphabet.|
|A little bitter, if you’re Italian||AMARETTO||Wiki: Amaretto open_in_new|
|Monks that look similar to Cumberbatch?||BENEDICTINE||Refers to Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedictine monks; in cryptic crossword tradition, the question mark indicates a pun.|
|1928 Hitchcock film with Balfour||CHAMPAGNE|
|Jean Monnet’s hometown||COGNAC|
|The drink that satisfies||DRAMBUIE||Wiki: Drambuie open_in_new|
|Five known for lashings of this||GINGER BEER||Rightly or wrongly, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five are associated with ‘lashings of ginger beer’ (see Wiki: Five Go Mad in Dorset open_in_new).|
|Sakamoto Maaya debut studio album||GRAPEFRUIT|
|2016 Beyonce album||LEMONADE|
|Calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide||LIME|
|Dutch William was of this||ORANGE||Wiki: William III of England open_in_new|
|Things bruise like this||PEACH||As in the common phrase ‘bruises like a peach’.|
|Washing, baking or caustic||SODA||Washing soda; baking soda; caustic soda.|
|Threefold dry, French||TRIPLE SEC||Threefold = triple
‘Dry’ in French = sec
As the x and y lists are ordered alphabetically, it’s clear that we should follow the given order of the x + y list. So we arrange the x and y ingredients accordingly and index into them using the numbers provided.
|Cocktail, x + y||Ingredient, x||Extracted letter||Ingredient, y||Extracted letter|
|LEMON DROP||VODKA||A||TRIPLE SEC||S|
|DARK & STORMY||RUM||U||GINGER BEER||R|
Reading the letters off in order of cocktail (GIMLET yields GE, BOURBON LANCER yields RM, etc) gives the cluephrase GERMAN HUNTER BLAST POWER SOURCE.
A German hunter is a JÄGER; a blast is a BOMB. A JÄGERBOMB is a cocktail that conveniently has two ingredients: Jägermeister and the energy drink (i.e. power source) RED BULL, which is the answer to this puzzle.
It turns out that the pool of easily-clued two-ingredient cocktails that share no ingredients is smaller than one might imagine. Some compromises were made, resulting in the unfortunate potential for ambiguity. I tried to mitigate this by using cocktails where the correct ingredient is clearly implied, such as JACKHAMMER, which must surely go with JACK DANIEL’S instead of WHISKEY.
I originally intended lists x and y to comprise alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktail components respectively, but again, the small potential pool meant that I had to include alcohol-only two-ingredient cocktails -- though I tried to ensure that the more significant or stronger alcoholic component was always in list x.