The WyrmholeBack to round


by Alex Irpan, Brian Shimanuki, and Jacqui Fashimpaur


This is a copy of Collage from the Museum. See that puzzle's solution. The answer is TRIFORCE.

...Except, unlike the other puzzles copied by Wyrm, Collage is special. Once we get to the 4th round of Wyrm, we unlock a number of blank puzzles. At this point, there are a few different context clues that need to be realized.

  • In every previous round of Wyrm, the answer for the meta in that round becomes a feeder for the next round's meta. The round structure for Wyrm suggests that our last solved meta, Lost at Sea, should be a feeder for this round's meta.
  • The blank puzzles are not solvable on their own, and we must find a way to solve or backsolve them from elsewhere. Given they are blank, backsolving is more likely, or at least we should look elsewhere for puzzle information.
  • There was a triangle theming throughout all of the previous Wyrm metas. We should try to find another triangle-like thing.
  • In every round of Wyrm, we zoom out and the meta's round art becomes part of a puzzle icon in the center of the next layer. The round art for Wyrm's 4th round may look familiar.

The key a-ha is to realize that Collage is the metapuzzle for the 4th round. Its icon matches the round art, its answer of TRIFORCE is very triangular in nature, and the puzzle itself represents nodes as triangles.

The last subround of Wyrm

The last subround of Wyrm

The first subround of Wyrm

The first subround of Wyrm

If Collage is the metapuzzle, what were its feeders? The seven starting topics of Collage are colored differently compared with the rest of the word web, and one of the starting topics is FELLOWSHIP, the same answer as Lost as Sea. Perhaps these starting topics were the feeders that we brute-forced around in the Museum. The answers fit the flavor of the blank puzzles, and pair up like so:

Puzzle TitleAnswer
Castle GroundsHOGWARTS
Fire StarterDRAGON
Robber BaronMONOPOLY
Easy as PieAPPLE

Authors' Notes

There were a few design requirements for this metapuzzle:

  • It shouldn't look like a metapuzzle on its surface, but should be interpretable as a metapuzzle once you believed it was one.
  • It should use its feeders in some way, but should also be solvable from 0 feeders.
  • It should ideally be solved by almost every team before they get to this subround of Wyrm.
  • Given all the other constraints going on, it would be ideal if it placed light or no constraints on the feeders used.

After quite a bit of discussion, we landed on a word association web, since it gave a way for teams to skip past the feeders without realizing they were skipping past the feeders. It was easy to embed random phrases into the web, and our goal was to make a puzzle both fun and easy enough that most teams would solve it in the Museum rather than skipping it.