As a detective tasked with uncovering the mystery behind the crossword clue ‘Long blade, of a sort‘, I first considered what the phrase ‘of a sort’ could mean. It dawned on me that it could be an indication that the answer may not be a traditional blade that one may initially think of, such as a sword or knife. I then turned my attention to the phrase ‘Long blade‘, which led me to consider objects that are long and blade-like. One possibility that came to mind was a paddle, but it didn’t fit the ‘of a sort’ part of the clue. Then, it clicked – oars are long and blade-like, and are a type of paddle ‘of a sort’. My deduction was confirmed as correct, and the answer to the mystery lay before me – ‘OAR‘.