GC SF Sp WH BV YL BT CP SA CB CC Back to puzzle

Safari Adventure

The Trainer

by Yar Woo

Each "Way of the…" card speculates a Chinese Zodiac animal's fighting technique. For each animal, pick a "feeder" answer that fits in the blanks with a letter added at the . E.g., from the bulldog, the CAPLETS answer fits with a letter inserted as CAPULETS.

The added letters spell out the message GO FIND VERSUS; these fighters need rivals to test their mettle.

Each of these answer+letter words has a rival, an opposite. E.g., the CAPULETS fought the MONTAGUES. Find a place to insert the rival in the word-ladder-ring. In the ring, lines betwen squares indicate the same letter; this disambiguates placement for same-length rivals. Some spaces in the word-ladder-ring are marked with circles; read these around the ring to spell WHITE AND GOLD.

Critter FEEDER+l rival
Tiger ????? braWn
Rabbit JEDi sitH
Dragon BOeING aIrbus
Snake sPACES Tabs
Horse SEvER Ecks
Sheep MAdISON mArbury
Monkey fREDDY jasoN
Chicken RoE waDe
Bulldog CAPuLETS montaGues
Pig gRAFT hOst
Rat LAKErS ceLtics
Ox BROWn boarD of education

Now we know the condition of the rivals; we need the condition of our fighters, the rivals of the rivals. In a 2015 meme, one faction thought a dress was white and gold; their rivals thought the dress was BLACK AND BLUE.

The word ladder and intermediate message tell us that Tiger's "rival" is BRAWN. Thus, the Tiger answer plus an S (you used to make VERSUS) is BRAINS and the Tiger answer is BRAIN.