The Prickly Pear
by Todd Etter, Brent Holman, Wei-Hwa Huang, Ian Tullis. Special shoutout to Joey Bax -- dang up, Joey.
Answer: ZERO KM
Each answer can be made by letters on a computer keyboard that don't touch each other (using 6-letter hexagonal adjacency). There is exactly one additional letter that can be added to the set without touching any of the other letters in that answer.
|It might be before the storm||THE CALM||I|
|The IRS might impose this on your house||TAX LIEN||V|
|Nepetalactone is its main ingredient||CATNIP||E|
|TRL precursor||DIAL MTV||H|
|Dooku and Chocula||COUNTS||Q|
|Firearm with…||CAPE GUN||K|
|Sam, on a breakfast box||TOUCAN||E|
|Number dedicated to receiving…||FAX LINE||Y|
|Teddy on Rectify||CLAYNE||I|
|Gowdeh-ye Yūk, officially||GADPUK||N|
|He might bring you your escargot||GARCON||U|
|Who is like God? This guy||MICHAEL||T|
Those spell out the intermediate message GIVE HQ KEY INPUT. Entering this prompted the team to send someone to visit Guest Services.
The visitor played some QWOP, a near-impossible running simulator. Their challenge: to achieve a score of exactly zero metres. Afterwards, they were awarded this puzzle's final answer: ZERO KM.