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Solution to Harold and the Purple Crayon

The Ministry

Answer: BACON
by Joe Cabrera and Mike Nothnagel
Art by Joe Cabrera

Sixteen of the twenty drawings ("the ones he can fit into his box") clue the name of the scent of one of Crayola's Silly Scents crayon colors.

Specifically, the part of the drawing that the color is named for is colored in that crayon's color.

Color NameColorHex Code
Alien ArmpitYellow Green#C5E17A
Big Foot FeetTan#D99A6C
Booger BusterSpring Green#ECEBBD
Dingy DungeonMaroon#C32148
Gargoyle GasDandelion#FED85D
Giant's ClubChestnut#B94E48
Magic PotionRed#ED0A3F
Mummy's TombGray#8B8680
Ogre OdorRed Orange#FF681F
Pixie PowderBlue Violet#6456B7
Princess PerfumeTickle Me Pink#FC80A5
Sasquatch SocksViolet Red#F7468A
Sea SerpentRobin's Egg Blue#00CCCC
Smashed PumpkinOrange#FF8833
Sunburnt CyclopsMango Tango#E77200
Winter WizardSky Blue#76D7EA

Alien ArmpitBig Foot FeetBooger BusterDingy Dungeon
Gargoyle GasGiant's Club(Gnome's Nose)Magic Potion
Mummy's TombOgre Odor(Pirate's Pegleg)Pixie Powder
Princess PerfumeSasquatch SocksSea SerpentSmashed Pumpkin
Sunburnt Cyclops(Vampire's Coffin)Winter Wizard(Witch's Wart)

The drawings are ordered alphabetically by scent name (or, in the case of the four made-up colors in parentheses, by a reasonably inferrable name).

Rearrange the 16 Silly Scents colors into a 4 x 4 panel alphabetically by color ("the more familiar versions").

Color NameColor
Pixie PowderBlue Violet
Giant's ClubChestnut
Gargoyle GasDandelion
Mummy's TombGray
Sunburnt CyclopsMango Tango
Dingy DungeonMaroon
Smashed PumpkinOrange
Magic PotionRed
Ogre OdorRed Orange
Sea SerpentRobin's Egg Blue
Winter WizardSky Blue
Booger BusterSpring Green
Big Foot FeetTan
Princess PerfumeTickle Me Pink
Sasquatch SocksViolet Red
Alien ArmpitYellow Green

Pixie PowderGiant's ClubGargoyle GasMummy's Tomb
Sunburnt CyclopsDingy DungeonSmashed PumpkinMagic Potion
Ogre OdorSea SerpentWinter WizardBooger Buster
Big Foot FeetPrincess PerfumeSasquatch SocksAlien Armpit

This will make elements in the drawings combine to spell the message THE B IN BLT, which leads to the answer BACON.

Author's Note

Mike says: This puzzle was inspired by "Purtle's Plight", a puzzle by Robert Leighton that appeared in the April/May 1989 issue of Games magazine. That puzzle is one of my all-time favorites, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to pay homage to it. Thank you to Joe for his incredible drawings!