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Solution to The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Star Rats

by Gavin Edwards
Art by Joe Cabrera

The clues all produce phrases with the word “parachute” in them:

Stripping out “parachute” from each of the answers results in

(The length of each of those strings is in parentheses after each clue.)

The graphic is a representation of a parachute similar to the one on the Perseverance rover (which landed on Mars in February 2021). The cells form a binary code, going from the innermost ring to the outermost ring. The message is contained in blocks of five bits, each of which is separated by three blank cells. Each block produces a number, which translates into a letter via a simple alphanumeric code (A=1, B=2, etc.).

So after the block of orange and the three white cells in the innermost ring, the first five cells are “WWOOW,” or “00110,” meaning “6,” or “F.” After three more white cells, the next five cells are “WOOOO,” or “01111,” meaning “15,” or “O.”

Decoded, the rings spell


Using those numbers to extract from the clues (the fourth letter of the first word, the fifth of the second word, the second of the third, and so on), produces KNOT ART. Which clues the answer of MACRAME.