Solution to Common Knowledge

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Answer: HOUND

by Lewis Chen

Each colored line represents a sequence commonly found in puzzle hunts, with each square being a distinct element in the sequence. Possible ways to identify some of the sequences may be to count up the number of squares along the lines, which turns up 26 and 24 for red and orange, respectively. Additionally, the shapes of the paths give a visual hint as to what each sequence is.

Furthermore, all intersections between sequences more or less represent the same thing, which can help in identifying the sequences:

  • ALPHA (sometimes spelled ALFA in the NATO alphabet) and DELTA appear in both the NATO and Greek alphabets.
  • X-RAY is both in the NATO phonetic alphabet, as well as an electromagnetic wave.
  • GAMMA is in the Greek alphabet, and GAMMA (rays) are part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • KILO is both in the NATO phonetic alphabet as well as an SI prefix.
  • MICRO is a SI prefix, and MICRO(waves) are part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • NOVEMBER is in the NATO phonetic alphabet and is also a month.

Here is a table summarizing the sequences:

ColorSequenceHighlighted elementHints
RedNATO alphabetHotelThe four-pointed star can be seen on the NATO flag.
OrangeGreek alphabetOmicronThe outline of the orange shape roughly traces the mainland portion of Greece.
YellowElectromagnetic spectrumUltravioletThe outline roughly traces a sine wave, a common representation of electromagnetic waves.
GreenSI prefixesNanoThe green dots are evenly spaced, except in the middle where they are spaced 1/3 apart (which matches the SI prefixes, which have prefixes for the 101, 102, 103 powers, and then every 3 thereafter (so 106, 109, and so on)
BlueMonthsDecemberThe moon represents what months are roughly a time span of - the time it takes for our moon to revolve around Earth.

Reading the first letters of the highlighted elements, in rainbow order, gives us the answer HOUND.

A fully annotated image can be seen here: