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Terminalization is a common positional extraction method used in hunt puzzles. It involves taking a series of strings and reading their last letters to create a new string. This can be done easily by putting them into a text editor and right-aligning them.
Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]
As with most other positional extraction methods, Terminalization works exactly like it sounds: it involves taking the terminals, or last letters, of things. While other methods may involve consistent indexing, like Initialization (which always takes the first letters, essentially being an index of 1), Terminalization involves a variable index. Since the extraction involves taking the final letter of each string, a particular string's index for it will always end up being the same as the total length of the string. For example, a string with length 6 being extracted from using terminalization would functionally be indexed by 6.
Terminalization is not overly common in puzzles, but can be used fittingly opposite initialization, particular if puzzles involve themes of mirror images or opposites. It can also be used to hide information in plain sight, such as hiding information in a puzzle's flavortext or clues that eventually gets revealed by later steps, but could be accessed earlier should solvers think to read their last letters.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Identification[edit | edit source]
Examples[edit | edit source]
- Satellite Swing (MITMH 2020) (web) - This puzzles actually involves both terminalization and initialization. Since the puzzle involves answering questions about things on both the east and west coast of the United States, the answers need to be extracted from fittingly. The strings obtained from west-coast questions get their first letters extracted, while the east-coast ones get their last letters extracted.