Original concept by Noah Snyder, with much, much input by many, many people.
The puzzle answers, in order across the map, are:
BALFOUR BATHTUB MAXIMUM CHECKUP FALCONS PADLOCK VMLINUX FREIGHT SAVINGS CASTOFF MRSPLUM WARMTHS
Each answer is seven letters long, and contains vowels only in the second through sixth letter positions. The vowels fit the pattern *AEIOU* in all the words. By taking the positions of vowels as 1s and the positions of consonants as 0s, and ignoring the first and last column, you get a set of binary numbers. By converting 1 to A, 2 to B, et cetera, the answer SQUIRREL TRAP is spelled out:
10011 BALFOUR 19 S 10001 BATHTUB 17 Q 10101 MAXIMUM 21 U 01001 CHECKUP 9 I 10010 FALCONS 18 R 10010 PADLOCK 18 R 00101 VMLINUX 5 E 01100 FREIGHT 12 L 10100 SAVINGS 20 T 10010 CASTOFF 18 R 00001 MRSPLUM 1 A 10000 WARMTHS 16 P
Thus, SQUIRREL TRAP is Natasha Fatale's pass phrase. When teams met with her, she told them the following:
Come here. I heff some very important sings to tell you. Moriarty is developing a bomb. It is not von of zose round bleck sings zat my old colleague from Acme likes so much. It is not zee Death By Chocolate Bombe — zose are my favorites, but it is not zee Blonde Bombshell either — I het zose sings, but they are so much fun to disarm. Eet is not either zee nice innocent red cendle with zee letters T.N.T. written on the side zat people are always putting on Boris's birthday cake. (I know from personal experience zat even the finest agents in the vorld hef been taken in by zose sings.) Ees zee high tech EITmaster 9000 teek teek teek kind, with wires. Very scary.
But never fear, I heff a plen. In fect, I have *zee* plens. We are very proud to obtain these plans, but we are great, powerful organization so such things are possible for us. We have agents hiding in nine cities around the world. Here you go.
Did you see that? Did it look like flying Squirrel to you? Excuse me!
Thus, teams (1) learned that there are nine cities, and (2) got the plans to Moriarty's bomb.
The Natasha Fatale encounter was written by Cally Perry, and performed by Erin Conwell and Alya Asarina.