Solution to Clusters
by Charles Tam and Robert Tunney
At MIT, computer clusters are called Athena clusters (after Project Athena). In ⊥IW, they're called Minerva clusters, as indicated by signage and various pieces of NPC dialogue. These names refer to a corresponding pair of Greek and Roman goddesses.
The first step of the puzzle is to notice that each answer is composed of two Greek or Latin roots. If solvers translate these roots from one language to the other, they will notice that they are the roots of another English word. For example, we can translate the Greek derived PHOSPHORUS (PHOS = light, PHEREIN = carry) to the Latin derived LUCIFER (LUX = light, FERRE = carry). In some cases the English word pairs are semantically distant, but they all have the same etymological meaning.
Next we need to find an ordering for our answers. Solvers may notice that the puzzle titles all start with the letters A-G. Separating out the puzzles with Greek and Latin roots, we can order the puzzles alphabetically by the appropriate alphabet. For the Latin puzzles this is just A B C D E F, because the Latin alphabet is similar to the one used in modern English. For the Greek puzzles we use the Greek alphabet, and so we order our puzzles by A(lpha) B(eta) G(amma) D(elta) E(psilon).
The next step is to use the source locations of the puzzles. Solvers found each puzzle in a Minerva cluster location in buildings 1, 3, 4, or 10 using the projection device. Indexing into the translated and ordered answers by building number gives ULTRA from the Latin derived words and GLOSSA from the Greek derived words. Respectively, these are the Latin word for "beyond" and the Greek word for "tongue.” Translating each extracted word to the other language, we get META and LINGUA. The derived English word is the person who can help us connect the Athena and Minerva clusters — a METALINGUIST.
Note that in the table below, there may be several translations of an answer that all have the correct etymology. For example, PALINDROME could map to RECURSION, RECURRENCE, or RECUR and its inflections. We prefer translations that have the same part of speech as the original answer. The extraction indices are early enough in the translated words that extraction should be unambiguous.
|Puzzle||Answer||Location||Root 1||Root 2||Translation|
|A||PALINDROME||Building 4||PALIN (backward) RE||DROMEIN (run) CURRERE||RECURRENCE|
|B||PHOSPHORUS||Building 1||PHOS (light) LUX||PHEREIN (carry) FERRE||LUCIFER|
|G||ORTHOGONAL||Building 4||ORTHOS (straight) RECTUS||GONIA (angle) ANGULUS||RECTANGULAR|
|D||CHIROPRACTOR||Building 10||CHEIRON (hand) MANUS||PRATTEIN (do) FACERE||MANUFACTURER|
|E||SYNCHRONOUS||Building 10||SYN (with) CUM||CHRONOS (time) TEMPUS||CONTEMPORARY|
|A||INSCRIPTION||Building 4||IN (upon) EPI||SCRIBERE (write) GRAPHEIN||EPIGRAPH|
|B||MULTIPART||Building 3||MULTUS (many) POLYS||PARS (part) MEROS||POLYMER|
|C||SUPPOSITORY||Building 4||SUB (under) HYPO||PONERE (put) TITHENAI||HYPOTHESIS|
|D||CARNIVORE||Building 1||CARNIS (meat) SARX||VORARE (eat) PHAGEIN||SARCOPHAGUS|
|E||MALFORMATION||Building 3||MALUS (bad) DYS||FORMA (shape) MORPHE||DYSMORPHIA|
|F||AVERSION||Building 1||A (away) APO||VERTERE (turn) STREPHEIN||APOSTROPHE|