Solution to Magic Words

by Connor Moss, Rahul Sridhar

This puzzle consists of 21 images, each with a hyphenated blank beneath them, signifying that the images are an amalgamation of two things. By identifying some of the images, such as this tea kettle spewing popcorn, we can start to fill in the blanks.

KETTLE-CORN

After solving a few clues and realizing that the answers to the images are in alphabetical order, we can determine that the portions of each clue correlate to portions of a Harry Potter character’s surname. This is further clued by the title (“Magic Words”).

BAG-CLAW
CLEAR-HORN
CORN-PIKE
CRESS-WATER
DIG-WELL
EDGE-BURN
FORTES-SHOT
GRAY-COMBE
HAG-ER
HOP-MORE
KETTLE-CORN
LOCK-BOLT
LOVE-BACK
POD-WOOD
RAVEN-GORY
ROOK-GOOD
RUN-HART
SHACKLE-CUE
SHUN-BRIDGE
SLUG-RID
UM-KIRK

Once we’ve identified all the images, we can think about the correct re-sorting. By lining up the two halves of the characters’ surnames the order resolves itself into a cyclic list.

Now we can use the blanks with numbers beneath them; these can be filled in cyclic order with the 21 character’s first names. Finally, we simply take the indicated letters in numerical order to spell out the final answer: DEPARTMENT OF MAGICAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

Blanks First name Last name
WATER
1 DIRK CRESS WELL
17 28 CEDRIC DIG GORY
22 4 ROWENA RAVEN CLAW
6 20 BATHILDA BAG SHOT
12 21 FLOREAN FORTES CUE
16 15 KINGSLEY SHACKLE BOLT
31 26 GILDEROY LOCK HART
19 33 ALBERT RUN CORN
9 SILVANUS KETTLE BURN
7 MARIETTA EDGE COMBE
25 23 FENRIR GRAY BACK
24 LUNA LOVE GOOD
14 10 AUGUSTUS ROOK WOOD
27 STURGIS POD MORE
30 MAFALDA HOP KIRK
2 DOLORES UM BRIDGE
18 32 STAN SHUN PIKE
13 MICHAEL CORN ER
8 RUBEUS HAG RID
11 5 HORACE SLUG HORN
29 3 PENELOPE CLEAR WATER
CRESS