Solution to Green Tee

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by Anderson Wang, Colin Lu, DD Liu, Jon Schneider, Josh Alman, Justine Jang, Lewis Chen
Art by DD Liu

The first puzzle in the ClueKeeper hunt tells us to use the Zappar augmented reality feature. If we scan the design on the T-shirt, a 9×5 grid of letters and numbers appears overlaid on the windows of the Green Building:

Each of the vines on the reflected Green Building in the T-shirt design clearly passes through a series of windows, suggesting that we can take the equivalent paths in the top grid and read the letters/numbers they pass through. We reflect the design vertically and overlay the grids to get the following:

There are 8 vines, and reading the squares they pass through from their base to tip gives:

  • TU[12]MERI[1] (starting from the bottom-right corner)
  • OO[14]ONG (starting from the 3rd square in the bottom row)
  • PE[8]RL (starting from the 2nd square in the bottom row)
  • [10]H[8][7][13]M[4]LE (starting from the 1st square in the 2nd row)
  • [7]A[6]CHA (starting from the 2nd square in the 3rd row)
  • A[5][9][11]M (starting from the last square in the 2nd row)
  • G[3]EEN (starting from the last square in the 5th row)
  • [2]ERB[11]L (starting from the 3rd square in the 5th row)

(We tried to make the vine paths unambiguous, but as extra confirmation, each vine also has leaves on it that correspond to exactly the set of windows it passes through.)

All the numbers from 1–14 appear exactly once in the grid, and they can each be replaced with a letter so that every vine spells out a kind of tea (including green tea, the namesake of this puzzle), as follows:


In 1–14 order, these letters spell out CHRISTMAS CAROL. Entering this in the ClueKeeper hunt unlocks the second puzzle, which also has Zappar AR enabled. Once again scanning the T-shirt, we get another grid of letters and numbers, as well as some blanks this time:

Reading along the same set of 8 vines, we get the following strings, with blanks represented by underscores (in the same order as above):

  • A_S[7][8]BLY
  • AN[6][11]EW
  • U[8][4]SS
  • BE[4]_HM_[5]T
  • _O[9][3]EY
  • [12]L[10]_T
  • WAB_[2]
  • M[1]LT_N

The blanks make reading out the words a little more difficult, but starting from the clearer ones like ASSEMBLY and ANDREW, we can see that these spell out names of MBTA stops, continuing the “T” theme from the first puzzle:


Like the first puzzle, each of the numbers from 1–12 appears exactly once. Reading the letters corresponding to those numbers gives INLAND EMPIRE, the solution to the second puzzle.

For the third puzzle, we get yet another set of letters and numbers with a few more blanks than before:

We can again use some of the clearer words (SQUARE, JUNCTION) combined with the “T” theming to deduce that each word can make a phrase when preceded by the letter T. In the same order as above, these are:

SERI[7]_SERIES (referencing the popular Youtube channel)
FOR_[10]T[13]_[8]FORMATION (as in American football)
_TO[12]MSTORM (as in a thunderstorm)

Once again reading the letters in 1–13 order, we get ALPHA CENTAURI. Plugging this into ClueKeeper, we get the 4th (and final) puzzle.

Scanning the T-shirt reveals a grid with even more blanks:

This time, all words satisfy the property that they are still common words when “ty” is added to the end. Again in the same order, these are:


Note that for this puzzle, the intersections must be used to fully disambiguate the set of words (e.g. NOVEL intersects SOVEREIGN at the V, which is why it can’t be CRUEL, and ROYAL intersects PROPER at the R to disambiguate from LOYAL).

Reading the letters corresponding to 1–11 gives GLORIA PATRI. Entering this in ClueKeeper gives a congratulations message telling us that we’ve finished the T-shirt (or is it ⊥-shirt?) tour and suggesting that we use the shirt one last time to get the final answer to the puzzle.

The four answers we got along the way (CHRISTMAS CAROL, INLAND EMPIRE, ALPHA CENTAURI, and GLORIA PATRI) are not particularly related to their puzzles, and GLORIA PATRI in particular is a pretty uncommon phrase, which suggests using them somehow. There are 8 total words in these answers and 8 vines, and there are 50 total letters among these answers and 45 squares on the grid with 5 intersections, strongly suggesting that we should write these words along the vines.

Indeed, the vines have lengths 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 8, 9 which match up with the lengths of our 8 words. We can immediately write in CENTAURI and CHRISTMAS because they have unique lengths, and use intersections to place the remaining 5 and 6-letter words. There turns out to be exactly one way to do this:

The final answer, ALL-SEEING, can be read down the middle column.

Authors’ Notes

There were several ideas floating around for potential T-shirt puzzles that didn't pan out, and finally when the deadline for a T-shirt design was approaching, we thought of involving AR as a way to give us more flexibility. From there, using the Zappar feature in ClueKeeper came naturally, and then the structure of four minipuzzles plus a "meta" was inspired by the ClueKeeper format of a sequential list of puzzles.

Many thanks to ClueKeeper for the sponsorship, and to Rich Bragg, who was incredibly responsive when we had any questions!