Bugcat (Huntinality 2022)
|Author(s)||Eli Chang (Author), Jamie Lai (Artist)|
|Answer||Click to revealCLOISTERED|
|No. total guesses||704|
Bugcat is a word/animal-identification puzzle from the first round of Huntinality 2022, featuring some odd hybrid animals and a short list of (rather vague) crossword clues. While the hybrids aren't well-known or mythological, they hide important secrets nonetheless.
Solve Path[edit | edit source]
Initially, solvers have a choice between focusing on the crossword clues or the hybrid animal drawings. While it's technically possible to approach the puzzle from either direction, it's most effective to do a bit of both sides, as some aspects are more difficult from a particular direction.
First, solvers should take a look at the clues, and see if some are particularly solvable, such as "Large Super Mario RPG enemy", which results in one notable example when googled. Others have multiple possible answers (although the casual track, which adds enumerations, may have a narrower set of answers), such as "Unit of mass". Since it's technically possible to get all of the right answers just from the clues, this solve path will assume that they've all been determined.
- You can take it - BEARABLE
- Arizona mining town - BISBEE
- Unit of mass - CARAT
- Lever - CROWBAR
- Large Super Mario RPG enemy - FROGOG
- Tool of execusion - GAROTTE
- Style of beard - GOATEE
- Vertical divider - MULLION
- Craftier - SHREWDER
- Dzo - YAKOW
Turning towards the beasts, there are some clear animal halves that can be identified (2 - GOAT/EEL, 6 - CAT/RAT), but others that could be multiple similar animals (5, Back - PANTHER or SABLE?) or are animals with multiple names (9, Front - DONKEY, MULE, or ASS?). Just like the clues, it is technically possible to identify all of the animal pairs correctly through a combination of close examination and good luck with word choices, and expressed in the same way as the title (both full names, front then back).
- YAK + COW (YAKCOW)
- GOAT + EEL (GOATEEL)
- CROW + BOAR (CROWBOAR)
- IBIS + BEE (IBISBEE)
- BEAR + SABLE (BEARSABLE)
- CAT + RAT (CATRAT)
- SHREW + DEER (SHREWDEER)
- GAR + OTTER (GAROTTER)
- MULE + LION (MULELION)
- FROG + DOG (FROGDOG)
Completing even just some of each of these sets (especially the two more-gettable ones FROGOG and FROGDOG) should be enough for solvers to identify the connecting factor: each of the crossword clues is the same as one of the hybrid animal names, minus one letter. Therefore each clue answer (originally ordered alphabetically) can be paired with one of the animals (not ordered alphabetically), with the missing letters marked, spelling out the final answer.
- YAKCOW - C = YAKOW
- GOATEEL - L = GOATEE
- CROWBOAR - O = CROWBAR
- IBISBEE - I = BISBEE
- BEARSABLE - S = BEARABLE
- CATRAT - T = CARAT
- SHREWDEER - E = SHREWDER
- GAROTTER - R = GAROTTE
- MULELION - E = MULLION
- FROGDOG - D = FROGOG
Track Differences[edit | edit source]
As with the other puzzles in this hunt, there are differences between the casual and expert tracks' versions of this puzzle. The only difference in this puzzle is the inclusion of enumerations for each of the crossword clues, intended to assist in getting the correct answers to the otherwise vague clues.
Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]
- Crossword Clues - One of only two streams of data in this puzzle. They're a little difficult to approach
- Enumeration (Casual only) - The enumerations do help quite a bit, as the crossword clues have...
- ...Intentional Ambiguity - As there needs to be some amount of challenge to identifying the connection between the two data streams, several of the crossword clues were given intentionally vague clues, so that the "correct" answer wouldn't be identified immediately and bring the 'aha' of the puzzle too early.
- Biology (Zoology) - Not overly in-depth zoology, but animal identification from front and back halves is a key part of the puzzle.
- Word Compounds - The crossword clue answers are compounds made by mashing two animals together (and removing a single letter).
- Extraneous Letters - Those extra letters, when read in the correct order, spell the final answer.
- Reordering - The clues are ordered alphabetically by answer, implying that their order is not important for extraction. The animals, however, have no such ordering.