# Investigator’s Report (solution)

## by C. Scott Ananian

This is a critic meta. The answers which feed into the meta are:

```       [show 1]
ENUMERATE
OCTOPOD

[show 2]
SOCLOSE
VESTIGE

[critic 2]
BIZARRE
CARMACK
CELLULAR
FOGBOUND
LIQUEURS
MAXWELL
PAINED
REYKJAVIK
```

The input puzzles are transformed into a draw string by first alphabetizing all the input answers, then reading down all the first letters, then down all the second letters, etc:

```         BCCEFLMOPRSVIAENOIACAEOEZRLUGQXTIYCSAMLMBUWON
KLTRAUEOEEPEJOIRCLRUULODASGEKAANRLDVEERTDSIEK
```

As you take each letter in this string, there will be exactly one valid chess move in the list corresponding to that letter. But! At move ‘Bb4’ (the V from VESTIGE) you will run into problems: none of the moves in the V row are legal! Not only that, but (if you were missing that answer) none of the moves in the S, T, U, W, X, Y, or Z rows are legal either!

The first aha is that this isn’t normal chess. It’s Alice Chess. That will let you play the V. The game runs as follows:

```  1. g4 e6
2. a4 Qh4
3. Ra3 Nc6
4. Re3+ (32) Kd8
5. d4 d6
6. Nf3 Bb4
7. a5 (130) Qf6
8. Ne5 Bd7
9. Nd3 Bc5
10. Rc3 Nb8 (146)
11. Rc8 Qh4
12. Rxg8+ Rf8 (171)
13. Rxf8 Bxf8
14. Bf4 Kc8
15. Bg2 d5 (187)
16. 0-0 Bc6
17. Nb4 Bd6 (254)
18. Nxc6 Qh1
19. Bg3 Bxg3
20. Rf6 gxf6
21. Qxh1 (328) Nd7
22. Qh8+ Nf8
23. Qxf8 Kd7
24. Qxf6 Rd8 (342)
25. Qxf7+ Kd6
26. Nd2 Rf8 (357)
27. Nd8 Rxd8
28. Qf1 (387) e5
29. Qc1 Ke7 (402)
30. Qc8 Kf7
31. Qxb7 Rd7
32. Qf3+ (426) Kg8
33. Ne4 dxe4
34. Qe3 (455) Rd2
35. Qxd2 Bb8
36. Bxe4 h5 (481)
37. Qc1 c6
38. gxh5 Bc7
39. Qd1 (520) Bd8
40. Qxd8+ Kg7
41. Qc7+ Kh6 (621)
42. Qxa7 Kg5
43. Qc5 Kh4
44. Qb6 Kg4
45. Qa7 (641) Kf4 (653) (657)
46. Bb7 Ke4
47. Ba6 Kd5
48. Qf7+ Kxd4
49. Qc4#
```

The numbers in parentheses show the scrabble score at that point in the concurrent scrabble game. The first few plays are from a tournament game of Alice Chess, which ought to help you get the aha. The last few plays in the game are padding; if you backsolve you’ll find that the missing input string suffix would be HERRING generating the unused tiles BENOISY.

You take the tiles corresponding to each chess move, so that the tiles dealt out are in this order:

```         WHLAFIERJUOSBTEVSTRXYACEOTANOSWPDRUGTBRAONIRE
LCLYEYEAGWLTDFCUUEPNHMSHLTYTHHTIUOTHGEHSGHNED
```

Then you play scrabble solitaire with this tile set. Only the words appearing in Through The Looking Glass are considered valid words (as is confirmed when you figure out what the first word played is!). Each play must be the highest scoring play possible with the given tiles. The solution has been computer-checked to be unique.

The first letters of the words played, in order played, spell out a clue phrase.

The completed grid looks like:

```. . . . A F T E R . . . . . .
P U N C H . . . E . . . . . .
. . . . . . E B A R G T U O .
. . . . . . X . D . . . . N .
. . . . R . A L I C E . . L .
. . F . A . C . L . . . . Y .
. . R . T . T . Y . E . . . .
. . A W H I L E . . D . . . T
. . B . S . Y . . . G . . . H
. . J . . . . . . H E . . N O
. T O V E S . . H U S H . . U
. . U . . . . G . M . . . . G
. . S N O W D R O P . . . . H
. . . . . . . E . T . . . . T
. . . . . . . W . Y H T I L S
```

The words played, in order, are:

``` AWHILE       32 points
FRABJOUS    130 points
TOVES       146 points
EXACTLY     171 points
RATHS       187 points
SNOWDROP    254 points
EBARGTUO    328 points
ALICE       342 points
ONLY        357 points
GREW        387 points
AFTER       426 points
PUNCH       455 points
HUMPTY      481 points
YHTILS      520 points
THOUGHTS    621 points
HUSH        641 points
EDGES       653 points
NO          657 points
```

The clue phrase (reading down the first letters of the words played) is

```    AFTER SEAOGRAPHY THEN
```

A quick google will turn up this passage from Alice in Wonderland:

‘Well, there was Mystery,’ the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers, ‘—Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling—the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: HE taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.’

which indicates that DRAWLING is the perfect way to annoy this critic.

Charles L. Dodgson