Book Spade

by Catherine Wu and Patrick Xia


This puzzle begins with a bunch of far-out sounding clues and books with vague images on them. We start by noticing that the number of books is three greater than the number of clues.

The clues describe punny objects that are transformed from normal phrases by applying one of the book covers. For instance, when we replace the PEN in PENICILLIN with PENCIL, as clued by the stationery book, we get PENCILICILLIN.

The first half of the clue describes the original phrase or object, and the second half attempts to describe the new thing. Additionally, we can use the enumerations and the alphabetic sort of the answers to fill in these clues.

ImplicationOriginalClueBook connection
ANVIL TIMEHAMMER TIMEA catalog of famous raps in which a blacksmith starts working at 9am and tries to stop people from touching the iron block he works onEar (inner ear bones)
ASL ARTASCII ARTAn old-school GameFAQs walkthrough that uses fingerspelling and fingerpaintingColosseum (Roman numerals)
CENTRISEPAL FORCECENTRIPETAL FORCEA physics textbook about the rotating mechanics holding modified leaves together to protect the budFlower anatomy
COMMON AIRCOMMON GROUNDA guide to couple's therapy recommending sharing the gas that we breatheShipping methods
DAYMARENIGHTMAREA horror story about the author's ride in the sunSun and moon
DEXTERITY TEETHWISDOM TEETHA dentist's guide to improving one's skill to picking pockets in unorthodox waysD20 die (Dungeons and Dragons skills)
DIVORCEDNESDAYWEDNESDAYA midweek agenda about the time relationships endedWedding rings
DUODECHARDUODENUMA gastrointestinal paper about healing two burns at onceASCII (computing types)
FRANCIS LETTUCEFRANCIS BACONA philosophy treatise about what happens if the pope is actually a leafy green vegetableSandwich (BLT ingredients)
GIN AND DOMINANTGIN AND TONICA cocktail recipe for a drink that most people would probably drink with their right handTreble (musical scale degree)
GOLD BULLETSILVER BULLETA folk hunters guide to using some of the world's most expensive ammoPodium (medals)
HUEY LIBRARYDEWEY LIBRARYA MIT business book about a colorful study space with stacksDuck (Huey, Dewey, Louie)
KINDRINGKINDREDA very relatable (almost like family) story about an arena where boxers hugged instead of punching each otherTimeline (tense)
LEMONRICKLIMERICKA poetry anthology themed around improving sour fruits into a cartoon characterSkittle flavors
LUST OF LIONSPRIDE OF LIONSAn O'Reilly Safari Book whose subtext is an erotic furry fanficDevil (seven deadly sins)
MACROWAVEMICROWAVEA kitchen appliance user manual warning of a triple overheadTypes of economics
MERIADOCE FALCONPEREGRINE FALCONAudubon's field guide to a fantastical, but happy, bird of prey that doesn't steal ringsShire (hobbit names)
METAMETERPARAMETERAn experiments notebook that explains how Facebook measures their global reachBenzene prefixes
MILLIOFFMILLIONA counting book where all the columns are slanted slightly (by a thousandth of a degree)Light bulb
ONE-COFFEE TABLEONE-NIGHT STANDA meet-cute that takes place at a cafe with counters that don't fit two lattesIkea (furniture types)
PASTERIGHTCOPYRIGHTA legal document describing the freedom to choose between Elmer's and KrazyClipboard operations
PENCILICILLINPENICILLINA medicinal textbook on treating infections with sticks made of graphite, wood and rubberStationery
POSTATERANTEATERA book about South American mammals that are commonly seen after their mealsClock (ante/post meridiem)
PRINCEPOUNDPRINCETONA pamphlet for a college that collects stray heirs roaming the streets without a kingdomUnits of weight/mass
SALTY CAROLINESWEET CAROLINEHandwritten lyrics about a woman who is irritated by bad times that seemed so badTongue (tastes)
SOUTH CAMPUSEAST CAMPUSA floorplan of a dorm across the Charles that is famous for their fire alarmsCompass directions
STRIKE TIRESPARE TIREAn automobile emergency manual that explains how to cause an automobile emergencyBowling terms
TETRAMENSIONDIMENSIONA paper written by Lebesgue about blankets that details an alternate team of four dudes and their charged particlePlatonic solids (Greek numerical prefixes)
TOM HOLLANDESTTOM HOLLANDERA movie review that contrasted Spiderman, the King of The King's Man, and a very Dutch DutchmanTall people (comparative and superlative suffixes)
UNMEMBERREMEMBERA note to self documenting the best ways to butcher a chicken into its wings and thighsArrows (undo/redo)

If we take the index into each clue’s answer and sort by book order, we get the clue phrase THE LAND BEFORE TIME II CREDITS SONG, which is “Peaceful Valley”. We also have three leftover books: the lily, the chameleon and the origami. Applying similar transformations as before, we turn PEACE into WATER, a different kind of lily, the colorFUL chameleon into a colorLESS one, and VALLEY fold into MOUNTAIN fold. This gives us the final answer, WATERLESS MOUNTAIN, which is also a book.