Solution to Just Follow Directions

by Noah Snyder

Each of the clues yield a word with a unique substring consisting of the letters N, S, E, W. These substrings are the 16 compass directions.

Not UNIX ---> G(N)U
Four-sided polygon ---> QUADRILAT(E)RAL
Goethe play ---> FAU(S)T
Tetanus ---> LOCKJA(W)

Not animal or vegetable ---> MI(NE)RAL
Quote indirectly ---> PARAPHRA(SE)
Fen, bog ---> (SW)AMP
Place for models or planes ---> RU(NW)AY

Television frequency ---> CHA(NNE)L
Ratzinger is the 16th ---> B(ENE)DICT
Bishopric ---> DIOC(ESE)
Jim Brown's other sport ---> LACRO(SSE)
It can be cryptic ---> CRO(SSW)ORD
Birthplace of Mary Fitton ---> GA(WSW)ORTH
Toward the bottom ---> DO(WNW)ARD
Fiancee of William Radcliffe until 1787 ---> A(NN W)ARD

Thus each of the 16 directions of the arrows indicates one of those answers. The arrows lengths are all integer multiples of the length of the shortest arrow (half a centimeter, if the image is printed at 72 dpi); that multiple tells how many letters to count into the answer. This spells out PERSONWHOMAKESSMALLQUANTITIESOFBEER. The answer is MICROBREWER.

2006 MIT Mystery Hunt