The answers to these clues are all five letters long. The third letter from all of the clues, read from top to bottom, will complete the following:
The secretary frantically searched for her false nails but then realized...
-1. waste maker
-3. one of the seven deadly sins
-9. type of power
-10. statement of beliefs
-11. The ----- Maker
-12. word with table or gate (but apparently not dry)
-13. pains partner
-14. turn over
-17. show submission
-18. it comes in a boat, normally around Thanksgiving
Did you ever stop to think and then forget to start again?