Solution - Worrying Ziggurats

by Mike Sylvia

Answer: Click here to reveal

Each ziggurat identifies specific episodes of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale ( via a recurring episode feature; each ziggurat uses a different feature.

Approaching Ziggurat:

Replace every word with the non-hyphenated, non-abbreviation single-word entry immediately following it in Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate, and you get things Cecil claims you can "stay tuned next" to hear.

#20 ...the sound of some helpless thing being eaten.

#16 ...a community-wide frisson of cosmic fright.

#9 hour of dead air with the occasional hiss and crackle.

#21 ...well, let's just find out together, shall we?

#18 exact word-for-word repeat of this broadcast that will seem to you imperceptibly but unshakably different, but you will never be able to explain why.

#14 ...two commercial-free hours of E sharp.

Proverbial Ziggurat:

The Ks and Ps are knits and purls; taking these as knitting instructions produces words and phrases that each appear in exactly one episode-ending proverb.

#9 "Nice BOLO TIE," is the greatest compliment a person can ever receive.

#19 Step one: write down the names of everyone you know. Step two: REARRANGE the letters. Step three: this will reveal a great secret of time.

#15 One INCORPOREAL being said to the other, "I'm not here too! Make friends?"

#1 Look to THE NORTH. Keep looking. There's nothing coming from the south.

#13 I'd never join a PEN15 club that would allow a person like me to become a member.

#5 A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A BASILISK.

Sponsored Ziggurat:

The images are cropped from logos of "sponsors" of episodes.

#8 Subway

#24 Wendy's


#2 Coca-Cola

#10 Tropicana

#5 (the hole in the vacant lot out back of the) Ralphs

Weathered Ziggurat:

The bits of music are taken from Weather segments.

#1 "These and More Than These", Joseph Fink

#22 "Winifred", Seth Boyer

#5 "Jerusalem", Dan Bern

#3 "Bill & Annie", Chuck Brodsky

#20 "Get Me Home", Robin Aigner

#19 "Eliezer's Waltz", composed by Larry Cardozo and Ron Fink, performed by The Ventura Klezmer Band

Welcoming Ziggurat:

The strings are the initials of episode introductions.

#23 We report only the real, the semi-real, and the verifiably unreal. Welcome to Night Vale.

#19 Blinking red light in the night sky. The future is changing, but it's hard to tell. Welcome to Night Vale.

#24 The sun has risen. You are awake. This symmetry is not without meaning. Welcome to Night Vale.

#4 The sun has grown so very, very old. How long, cold, fading death? How long? Welcome to Night Vale.

#5 Close your eyes. Let my words wash over you. You are safe now. Welcome to Night Vale.

#15 Bananas are hardly that slippery - but watch your step anyway. Welcome to Night Vale.

All episodes are within the range of 1-26, so they can be converted to letters. Arrange the ziggurats from left to right in the order the features would appear in an episode, and read across the rows:

  w       h       a       t       i
 s x     x i     v e     p i     s o
d e o   b j e   c t s   u r n   a m e

This spells WHAT IS XXIV EPISODE OBJECT SURNAME? (The message is a bit stilted, due to the constraint of avoiding repeated letters in a given ziggurat and the fact that not every episode has a sponsor or a "stay tuned next".) Episode 24 of Welcome to Night Vale is titled The Mayor and focuses on the mayor at the time, Pamela WINCHELL.