Solution to Whodunit

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by Ben Yang

This puzzle involves constructing words that can also be parsed as <noun> <letter> <verbs/verbed>. The sentence structure and title hint at this reading: where the single letter is the "culprit" that did something to a "victim". The first two columns are the nouns and verbs, respectively, while the third is the final word formed.

We note that the noun and verb clues are sorted alphabetically, while the full word clues do not appear to be in a particular order, suggesting that the order of the third column is the one we use. Solving the clues and matching, we get:

Left clueRight clueFull clueLeft answerLetterRight answer
Firefly captainsilencesdogsmalAmutes
temporary, quick fixlooked atoverusedhackNeyed
primary colorlevied a fee upontransformedredEfined
70s music genreperforms the steps tostrifediscoRdances
advantage of somethingcollides withsoftwareproGrams
marijuanatouches with a part of a foottuberspotAtoes
fiendslimits the amount ofprotestsdemonsTrations
very high mountainaids in wrongdoinglettersalpHabets
Franklin or Kenobi, e.g.decomposes into primessupportersbenEfactors
welcoming doorstep itemfreezesarraysmatRices
person of ageevaluated with some number of starstaintedadultErated
mathematical constantcrownsleftoverspiCkings
Mordor inhabitantverifies the age offlowersorcHids
sunreferenced in an academic workrequestedsolIcited
circuit safety devicemakes olderbodiesfuseLages
frisbee shapemodifiedsmeareddiscRedited
loud noisemade to produce a resonant soundprojectileboomErang
sea urchincared foraccidentaluniNtended

The "culprit" letters spell out ANSWER GATHERER CHILDREN, giving us our final answer of GATHERER CHILDREN.

Author’s Notes

This puzzle was inspired by a joke I once heard in elementary school about cats killing mountains, and by a meme in our writing Discord of a character labeled with the letter "V" hiding from a terminator labeled with a vending machine.