Quick Fix (Silph Puzzle Hunt 2021)

Quick Fix
Silph Puzzle Hunt 2021
Round 1
Author(s)Level 51
AnswerClick to revealWANDERER
No. solves298
No. total guesses585

Quick Fix is a puzzle from Round 1 of the 2021 Silph Puzzle Hunt. Solvers are presented with a set of clue fragments in two columns and a final enumeration of (8). The lefthand fragments all give a number in parenthesis and the righthand fragments all start with an ellipsis and the word is.

Solve Path[edit | edit source]


Given the fact that there are two columns of what appear to be halves of clues, and that they both have the same number of elements, it's reasonable to assume that the clues on the left should be paired to the clues on the right somehow.

One good place to start is to note that many of the left side fragments seem strange, indicating that they are not meant to be read as straight clues. They also reuse phrases such as complement, not, opposite, and like. On the other hand, the right side fragments all start with is, and generally read more straightforwardly; some are even directly solvable on their own, and act as a means of breaking in.

As it turns out, the left hand side clues all use prefixes and suffixes in a wordplay-like manner. One notable potential break-in is that ...is Mr. Sorkin clues AARON quite unambiguously, so solvers can look to the left-hand fragments and try to find a clue that could match this. Ron Howard directed The Da Vinci Code, and a can be a prefix meaning not, such as in the words atypical, asexual, and asymmetric, so someone who is not not the director of The Da Vinci Code is AARON.

The number given in parenthesis in the left-hand halves turn out not to be enumerations of answers. (This fact could also be reasonably deduced based on the frequency of 1s that appear). Since the fragments on the right are ordered alphabetically by answer, we can deduce that it is the ordering of the fragments on the left that matters. Using this ordering and indexing the number in each clue into the clue's answers yields the cluephrase MORE MORE MAGIC STICK. Treating this in a similar fashion as the earlier clues, we can try to answer this new clue with an 8 letter word.

Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]

  • Crossword Clues - Most of the meat of this puzzle is solving the clues. The left-hand clue halves seem nonsensical and the right-hand clues are ambiguous until the gimmick is understood, after which solvers can more easily solve the pairs of clues.
  • Linguistics (Prefixes and Suffixes) - All of the clues in this puzzle involve adding prefixes and suffixes to words based on very literal readings of the clues and "creative" interpretations of the prefixes and suffixes.
  • Partitioned Clues - As mentioned, all of the clues have been cut in half, with the first being gimmicky with the prefixes and suffixes, and the second half being straight. In order to get the full clues (and therefore solve the puzzle), solvers need to mash one of each side together.
  • Indexing - Once the clues have been paired up, the numbers attached to the left sides can be indexed into the answers, and ordered via the ordering of the right sides. This results in...
  • Final Clue Phrase/Recursion/Enumeration - ...MORE MORE MAGIC STICK (8). Which is of course, a nonsense phrase, but can be solved just like the other clues in this puzzle: by adding some suffixes to a regular word to make a new one.