by Emma Meersman

The puzzle consists of a series of 24 drawings. Each drawing is in pencil and contains two black (computer-generated) images. The flavor text mentions Tom Roy, an actor who made up many absurd holidays throughout the year. Every drawing corresponds to one of those holidays.

The black images in each drawing represent national food holidays. The food holidays in each drawing are similar in date to the Tom Roy holiday. This mechanic can be used to check food holiday dates and fill in any missing data.

At this point, all of the dates should be plotted on a calendar. The flavor text references the “this year” which should be interpreted as 2019. Each image forms a semaphore letter using the Tom Roy holiday as the middle point. The table below shows all of the holidays and extracted letters. The semaphore letters, when read in the image order given by the puzzle, spell out BRING AUG 8TH SUPPLIES TO HQ. Note that the numeric 8 is a combination of both a numeric indicator signal and the signal for the letter H.

Tom Roy Holiday Date Food Holiday 1 Date Food Holiday 2 Date Semaphore Letter
Don’t Step on a Bee Day July 10 Sugar Cookie July 9 Peach Ice Cream July 17 B
Falling Needles Family Fest December 30 Champagne December 31 Pepper Pot December 29 R
The Slugs Return from Capistrano Day May 28 Eggs June 3 Quiche May 20 I
Answer Your Cat’s Question Day January 22 Croissant January 30 Blueberry Pancakes January 28 N
Let It Go Day June 23 Gingersnap July 1 Mai Tai June 30 G
Lips Appreciation Day March 16 Water March 22 Chip and Dip March 23 A
Be Bald and Be Free Day October 14 Noodles October 6 Fluffernutter October 8 U
Yell “Fudge” at the Cobras in North America Day June 2 Iced Tea June 10 Strawberry Rhubarb Pie June 9 G
Pet Owner’s Independence Day April 18 Licorice April 12 Cheese Fondue April 11 # [Following character is number]
Stay Away from Seattle Day September 16 Linguine September 15 Ice Cream Cone September 22 8 [H interpreted as number]
Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day July 27 Lollipop July 20 Daiquiri July 19 T
Happy Mew Year for Cats Day January 2 Bloody Mary January 1 English Toffee January 8 H
Bathtub Party Day December 5 Popcorn String December 13 Cookie December 4 S
Crackers Over the Keyboard Day August 28 Lemonade August 20 Spumoni August 22 U
Eat What You Want Day May 11 Shrimp May 10 Orange Juice May 4 P
Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day August 7 Root Beer Float August 6 Avocado July 31 P
Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbors Day February 7 Baked Alaska February 1 Tortellini February 13 L
Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day November 8 Caramel Apple October 31 Spicy Guacamole November 14 I
What If Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day March 3 Clam Chowder February 25 Ranch Dressing March 10 E
Name Your PC Day November 20 Macchiato November 19 French Toast November 28 S
Haunted Refrigerator Night October 30 Nut October 22 Boston Cream Pie October 23 T
Curling is Cool Day February 23 Gumdrop February 15 Margarita February 22 O
Fish Tank Floorshow Night September 28 Chocolate Milk September 27 Taco October 4 H
Trading Cards for Grown-ups Day April 8 Beer April 7 Peanut Butter and Jelly April 2 Q

Submitting this phrase will let teams know that they need to bring us those supplies in order to get the real answer to the puzzle. August 8th is the Tom Roy holiday Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. When teams bring zucchini to HQ, they receive the correct answer PLACEHOLDER.