The rabbits of Watership Down are playing the cooperative word game Just One where there is a rotating guesser who must figure out a clue word based on the single word submissions of each of the other players. The rabbits sometimes use a word in the Lapine language of the book as their clue word. Just One won the German Spiel des Jahres award in 2019, as clued ("liebste") by the flavor text.
Here, the rabbits have also made the game harder by each applying a transformation to the clue word so, for example, Hazel 'Drops a Letter' from each clue word so instead of cluing the word 'cheat' he clues the word 'chat' by submitting the word 'talk'. Solvers should eventually figure out the transformation each rabbit is doing. This is not required to solve the puzzle but makes things much easier, especially for the rounds involving cancellations (see below). All 10 rabbits have a different transformation, shown below. We used the National Puzzlers League (NPL) Base Finding Tools for many of these. We below also generally use the NPL names for the transformations but we believe they are all straightforward enough that experienced solvers should be able to figure out the rules, even if they do not have any knowledge of the NPL transformations.
As in Just One, if two (or more) players write the same word, the guesser does not get to see them. This happens in three cases with two players in Game 1. Once you know the different players' transformations, it should still be possible to figure out both the clue word and have a good idea of what the cancellations were; the cancellations are not needed to solve the puzzle.
All words, on the card, transformed, and clued are real 'words' although only the words that in the game would have been written on the card are required to be in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary. Proper nouns and changing of case during transformations is allowed in all cases.
The extraction is simply indexing into the original word ("Clue Word" columns below) that would have been on the card in the game by the given number ("#" columns below) for each round. The first game spells out "TWELFTH VOLUME" and the second game spells out "IN LUCKY HARBOR". In combination, this should readily lead solvers to Jill Shalvis's series of that name and the twelfth volume is "ONE IN A MILLION".
Details on the transformations used, intermediate words, and extractions for both games are given below.
Game 1 Rules
|Rabbit Name||Transformation Name||Transformation Described|
|Hazel||Drop a Letter||Remove a letter from the word.|
|Hyzenthlay||Anagram||Reorder the letters in the word.|
|Fiver||Antonym||Choose a word that is in some way an ‘opposite’ of the clue word.|
|Vilthuril||Transaddition||Add a letter and then reorder the letters.|
|Bigwig||Letter Change||Change a single letter.|
Game 1 Results
For each player, the word the player misread the clue as is shown followed by a ">" and then the word the player wrote. Words in the Lapine language are highlighted in light blue and cancelled words are highlighted in yellow and the actual cancellation words bolded.
|1||created||5||T||Guesser||reacted > responded||consumed > ate||decanter > carafe||crested > climbed|
|2||bellow||6||W||below > under||Guesser||whimper > whisper||cowbell > Frenkle||yellow > lemon|
|3||rage||4||E||rag > tatter||gear > equipment||Guesser||graze > silflay||sage > wise|
|4||blather||2||L||bather > showerer||halbert > polearm||enunciate > articulate||Guesser||slather > spread|
|5||friend||1||F||fiend > villain||finder > discoverer||fiend > villain||refined > urbane||Guesser|
|6||present||7||T||Guesser||serpent > snake||absent > away||pretends > dissembles||prevent > avert|
|7||shun||2||H||sun > Frith||Guesser||welcome > embrace||hunts > stalks||stun > amaze|
|8||reversing||3||V||revering > venerating||reserving > withholding||Guesser||preserving > safeguarding||reverting > regressing|
|9||covert||2||O||overt > open||vector > arrow||public > open||Guesser||covers > blankets|
|10||aliens||2||L||liens > claims||saline > brine||earthlings > Terrans||salient > pertinent||Guesser|
|11||united||1||U||Guesser||untied > disbanded||separated > disbanded||intrude > trespass||uniped > Dufflepud|
|12||Pampers||3||M||papers -> documents||Guesser||Luvs > Huggies||prestamp -> prepay||campers -> vans|
|13||cheat||3||E||chat > talk||teach->Instruct||Guesser||detach > remove||chest > treasure|
Game 2 Rules
|Rabbit Name||Transformation Name||Transformation Described|
|Dandelion||Letter Bank||Make a longer word but only using the same letters. At least one letter will therefore be repeated. All of the clue words in this round have no duplicate letters.|
|Holly||Transdeletion||Remove a letter and then reorder the remaining letters.|
|Clover||Consonantcy||Keep all the consonants and keep their order. Arbitrarily change, remove, and add as many vowels as you wish. Y is a vowel.|
|Blackberry||Changeover||Change one letter and then move it to a different position in the word.|
|Bluebell||Terminal Deletion||Drop the first and last letters of the word.|
Game 2 Results
|1||Isolde||1||I||Guesser||slide > slip||slayed > killed||solder > meld||sold > retailed|
|2||asking||5||N||Kisangani > Stanleyville||Guesser||soaking > drenching||skiing > schussing||skin > integument|
|3||dangler||5||L||Greenland > Nuuk||garden > botanical||Guesser||dangers > hazards||angle > corner|
|4||carousel||5||U||calcareous > limestone||secular > worldly||curiously > peculiarly||Guesser||arouse > awaken|
|5||culet||1||C||lettuce > flayrah||clue > inkling||ciliate > paramecium||cleft > fissure||Guesser|
|6||flakey||4||K||Guesser||leafy -> verdant||Foulke -> closer||lackey -> flunky||lake -> pond|
|7||tragedy||7||Y||gadgetry > gizmos||Guesser||triaged > prioritized||raggedy > tattered||raged > fumed|
|8||trashy||5||H||ashtrays > cigarettes||Syrah > Shiraz||Guesser||thrash > trounce||rash > hives|
|9||abuse||1||A||subsea > underwater||beau > boyfriend||bayous > marshes||Guesser||bus > hrududu|
|10||bright||2||R||birthright > primogeniture||girth > circumference||brought > carried||righty > northpaw||Guesser|
|11||scribe||5||B||Guesser||cries > wails||scarab > beetle||scried > foretold||crib > cradle|
|12||modest||2||O||demotes > relegates||Guesser||amidst > amongst||modems > dial-up||odes > poems|
|13||wariest||3||R||waitresses > hostesses||writes > scribbles||Guesser||wearies > tires||Aries > ram|