Solution to Don't Get Eaten!

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Answer: CARNIVORE

by Jakob Weisblat, Josh Alman, Nathan Pinsker, Rahul Sridhar, and Anderson Wang

Visiting the Alchemist Sphinx in ⊥IW, it gives us a riddle. If we get the answer wrong, it will threaten to eat us, but rest assured that it hasn't eaten anyone in a very long time.

The first thing we need to do is get the answers to all the riddles. The Sphinx will confirm our answers, so we'll know when we have the right answer to each one.

RiddleAnswer
For my job, I must be strong
You may find me within a song
They used to make me out of wood
But now concrete and steel is good
What am I?
BRIDGE
I'm often used to keep some people out
That's not my only use without a doubt
In the theater I'm the first one on
But when you draw me it's just like I'm gone
What am I?
CURTAIN
I live inside a bigger creature's heart
When I am thirsty, I refuse my part
But when I'm working hard you'll really know
I'll squeal and roar, and then I'll growl real low
What am I?
ENGINE
Many want me blown away each year
And then when it gets warm I will appear
I want to eat up all the beams, it's true
Or flip me over when you start anew
What am I?
LEAF
I'm soft at heart despite my harder hull,
And sometimes you may think that I am dull
I tell so many stories every day
But like my heart they do not always stay
What am I?
PENCIL
Within the day I climb up high
At night, in glassy bed I lie
If you score highly on my test
I'll send you home—it's for the best
What am I?
THERMOMETER
I taste great and I don't smell
I'll be right there whene'er you yell
I can be caught by a cat
Though I am not a mouse or rat
What am I?
TONGUE
Don't eat off me! I'm used in rites,
I hold a soul or ash or lights
I also go across the sea
With sailors down inside of me
What am I?
VESSEL
When the time has come to take a break,
audibly a warning I will make.
Sometimes you may not notice me at all
Unless you are four-leg'd and two feet tall
What am I?
WHISTLE

Once we've solved all the riddles, the Alchemist Sphinx lets us into her inner chamber, where we can see a wall of symbols.

the wall of symbols shown when we enter the Alchemist Sphinx

At this point, we can examine the symbols and notice that, while most of them are fairly recognizable, some of the symbols are a little weird. Because this is the Alchemist Sphinx, we might think of alchemical symbols. We can find nine alchemical symbols on the wall:

the wall of symbols shown when we enter the Alchemist Sphinx. Alchemical symbols are shown in red. Associated digits are shown in cyan.

Each symbol is associated with a different alchemical element or compound:

SymbolMeaning
Gold
Mercury
Lead
Iron
Fire
Salt
Tin
Silver
Blood

Now we have two sets of nine words. Thinking about how we might try to match them, we notice that they form phrases.

Alchemy wordRiddle word
GOLDLEAF
MERCURYTHERMOMETER
LEADPENCIL
IRONCURTAIN
FIREENGINE
SALTBRIDGE
TINWHISTLE
SILVERTONGUE
BLOODVESSEL

We're almost there, but so far we just have a bunch of words, maybe arranged on a statue. We need some way to get only one letter from each of them. Turning back to the inside of the Sphinx, we notice that each alchemical symbol touches exactly one number (shown in cyan in the image above).

SymbolAlchemy wordRiddle wordNumberIndex
LEADPENCIL4C
GOLDLEAF3A
MERCURYTHERMOMETER4R
IRONCURTAIN7N
TINWHISTLE3I
BLOODVESSEL1V
SILVERTONGUE2O
SALTBRIDGE2R
FIREENGINE1E

Indexing the number into the riddle answer and ordering (in row-major order) by the position of the alchemical symbol, we read out the answer, CARNIVORE.