Stress Test (MIT Mystery Hunt 2020)

Stress Test
MIT Mystery Hunt 2020
Author(s)Ylaine Gerardin
AnswerClick to revealPRONOUNCEMENT
No. solves53
No. total guesses503

Stress Test is a Matchmaker puzzle from the Spaceopolis round of the 2020 MIT Mystery Hunt.

Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]

Matchmaker - The puzzle is transparently identifiable as a Matchmaker, with clues in both columns and numbers in between.


Hint in Title - The word "stress" is key here...

Knowledge Required (Linguistics, English) - ...because the two sides actually clue a pair of heteronyms—or rather, heteronyms that differ only in stress pattern. For example, "High above" is overhead (stress on the last syllable), while "costs" is overhead (stress on the first syllable).

Indexing - Each line crosses exactly one number in the middle. Both sides are in no discernible order, meaning both orders are important. Indexing into the word itself gives nothing, but indexing into the accented syllable on each side gives...

Final Clue Phrase - HE SHE ITS OR THEM on the left and CONCRETE MATRIX on the right. The two cluephrases can be solved, and the two words concatenated together for the final answer.