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And then had come the unlooked-for tidings of the imminent proceedings for divorce. And such a divorce! There were cross-suits and allegations and counter-allegations, charges of cruelty and desertion, everything in fact that was necessary to make the case one of the most complicated and sensational of its kind.

from http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/UnkiBlow802.shtml

I think "one of" is used with "noun phrase".

e.g. one of the most famous mountains

But in this case it is used without "noun phrase".

Why?

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It is used with a noun phrase:

one of the most complicated and sensational of its kind

"Kind" is the main noun in the noun phrase.

  • What is the role of "of its"? – bandaid Dec 21 '18 at 17:55
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    @bandaid "its" is a standard possessive pronoun. Here it means "the case's kind" as in "the case was one of the most complicated and sensational cases of all similar cases". – Tashus Dec 21 '18 at 17:58
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This is the noun phrase:

... the most complicated and sensational of its kind

The possessive pronoun its refers back to "the case".

Depending on how you analyze it, in the most complicated and [most] sensational, the superlative adjectives are substantives, acting like nouns, or there is ellipsis of an understood plural "cases".

The electric car known as The Zoomer is one of the most complicated and sensational of its kind.

If you analyze it as a case of ellipsis:

The electric car known as The Zoomer is one of the most complicated and sensational cars of its kind.

If you analyze the adjectives as substantives by virtue of their being part of "its kind":

The electric car known as The Zoomer is one of the most complicated and sensational of its kind.

its kind would refer to the kind of the car known as the Zoomer, namely, "electric cars".

The electric car known as The Zoomer is one of the most complicated and sensational of electric cars.

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