Investigator’s Report (solution)

by Andrew Lin

Each puzzle answer can be matched with three different words in the various letters: a synonym, a rhyme, and a word that matches length and first/last letters. As a check, each contains two synonyms, two rhyming words, and two letter matches, and no answer is used twice in the same letter. These three match types are clued in the flavortext (“common sense” for synonym, “reason” as opposed to rhyme, and “wild word” displaying the length-and-letter matching scheme).

Counting the positions of the matching words in, e.g., the third letter, they occur at the 9th, 16th, 25th, 36th, 64th, and 81st words. This is almost a contiguous subsequence of a well-known numerical sequence (the perfect squares): it is missing 49. Thus you extract the 49th word of this letter, which is OUT. Each letter uses a different sequence:

• Triangular numbers (1, 3, 6, 10, 15, ...)
• Fibonacci sequence
• Squares
• Powers of 2
• Primes

The extra words, in presented order, form the answer, THROW GRAMMAR OUT THE WINDOW.

A detailed list of the matching words is available as a PDF.

Betsy Johnson