## Solution to A Puzzle with the Answer CLEMENS

Authors: Dan Katz and Jackie Anderson

Solvers already know that the answer to this puzzle is CLEMENS. This answer is semi-trivially embedded in the puzzle; if you identify the flowers from their species in the order given, the first letters spell out CLEMENS.

The Primula veris = cowslip = C
The Syringa vulgaris = lilac = L
The first Leontopodium alpinum = edelweiss = E
The Calendula officinalis = marigold = M
The second Leontopodium alpinum = edelweiss = E
The Tropaeolum majus = nasturtium = N
The Antirrhinum majus = snapdragon = S

This, unfortunately, doesn't help you find the puzzle's title. To do this, you must look through the flowers' stories. In each story, ten words have been replaced by gibberish words using the following process:

1. The letters are each encrypted using a substitution cipher (different for each story).
2. The resulting encrypted letters are arbitrarily rearranged to make a "word."

By identifying the correct words from context and comparing them to the encrypted versions, solvers can uniquely determine the cipher for each story. The correct words and encryption for each story can be found below.

In each cipher, several letters encrypt as themselves (i.e. A = A). Those unencrypted letters can be anagrammed to form a word which was encrypted in one of the other stories. Connecting each word in a story to the word formed from unencrypted letters in that story, these seven words "point to" each other as follows:

INCHWORM => SCHOLAR
SCHOLAR => IMPLANT
IMPLANT => ECTOPLASM
ECTOPLASM => SPRINKLED
SPRINKLED => DRENCH

This ring resembles a daisy chain, and the first letters of the words (if you start in the correct place and read in the right direction) spell DAISIES.

The Primula veris says:

A friend of mine is rich and owns a mansion, so on my day abroad, I stayed in his house to see how the other half live. I got into the plush bed and put on silk PAJAMAS, which frankly didn't fit very well because I am a flower. I sipped a glass of wine, inhaling deeply to take in the BOUQUET, and then had difficulty drinking it because, again, I am a flower. Having never had a very complete education, I've been reading a text on ALGEBRA, but it was getting late, so I stopped solving for x, used a BOOKMARK to save my place, and closed my eyes to get some sleep. Just then, there was a crash. Robbers had broken in! They came into the room and demanded all of my friend's money! I tried to explain that I had SWITCHED places with him, but they didn't believe me (my friend looks like a flower too, so I can see how from their VIEWPOINT, they'd think I was lying). I was ordered to open a sealed LOCKBOX next to the bed, but I didn't have the key. I offered them the single FARTHING sitting on the nightstand, but they weren't interested in leaving with just a coin, especially not an antiquated one. Suddenly the ghost that haunts the house fortuitously appeared. He talked to himself for some time, and upon completing his SOLILOQUY, he exited through the robbers, leaving them coated in sticky ECTOPLASM. Rich folks have it harder than I realized.

```PAJAMAS		SOZGOOP
LOCKBOX		WHULKVW
VIEWPOINT	JEBINWIMP
SOLILOQUY	WILLYSWCT
FARTHING	QOXMARIN
BOUQUET		THEWTMY
BOOKMARK	KWORGHWK
SWITCHED	BUXDIMES
ALGEBRA		HOOLARE
ECTOPLASM	SWOMEGULP

Key:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
OHUDEQAXIZKLGNWPYRSMTJBVCF```

Unencrypted letters: SPRINKLED

The Syringa vulgaris says:

I always cry at weddings, which is strange because I don't have tear ducts. I spent my day abroad attending a wedding CEREMONY, which was held in a charming open-air GAZEBO situated in the middle of a garden. The bride's dress was EXQUISITE, a pure UNBLEMISHED white without a single flaw, and as the two lovers declared their DEVOTION to each other, promising eternal loyalty, she looked like the HAPPIEST woman on earth. Best of all, the reception had a make-your-own-sundae bar; I don't eat ice cream, but I enjoyed putting together a dish of ice cream with toppings SPRINKLED all over it. Things went awry when one of the guests tried to take me home, thinking I was one of the FLOWERS in a centerpiece! The nerve. It's not like I would come here and HIJACK your car, forcing you to leave with me... why should I come home with you? But I'll stop SQUAWKING about this. I must sound like an angry bird!

```SPRINKLED	FRUDJVENT
EXQUISITE	SZMETWEVV
CEREMONY	EXCONGER
GAZEBO		PELGBY
FLOWERS		TREGJAK
HIJACK		FLCHVQ
UNBLEMISHED	JEXTHEVDMNY
SQUAWKING	FLPMANTVZ
HAPPIEST	WHELVUTU
DEVOTION	GWEVDING

Key:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
LYCDEKPHVQFJXNGUZRTWMIASOB```

Unencrypted letters: DRENCH

The first Leontopodium alpinum says:

I enjoy sports, so on my day abroad, I attended a BADMINTON tournament. I couldn't find a seat to see the adults play, but it was easy to get a ticket for the JUVENILE division. I looked back and forth, enjoying the sound as each player struck the birdie with his RACQUET. One of the players was a fairly hot prospect; I wasn't sure he'd deserve the hype journalists were lavishing upon him, but in this game, he proved himself BUZZWORTHY. He fought his way to a decisive VICTORY, and to celebrate he performed a HANDSPRING, launching himself into the air! Everyone was having a good time, but suddenly there was a crack of thunder and it began to pour. Rain started to absolutely DRENCH every spectator, and water was FLOWING rapidly through the gutters above us. There was an umbrella salesman nearby, but he was demanding exact change, and most of his potential customers didn't have any NICKELS. This sent them into a fury, so the security guards protected the salesman, standing close together like a PHALANX of Greek soldiers. Things were getting ugly, so I excused myself. Humans. When it rains in the flower garden, we just smile and have a drink!

```DRENCH		ZWERND
RACQUET		FCTRAWN
NICKELS		GRUSWIE
PHALANX		JEUBZAA
JUVENILE	RECQUIRY
FLOWING		VUKEPIX
HANDSPRING	JEEPDIZANS
BUZZWORTHY	CLOXTHZONK
VICTORY		QWINKTH

Key:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
ALWDRVPZIYGUMEKJFNSTCQXBHO```

The Calendula officinalis says:

I've always been fascinated by science, so on my day abroad, I visited a laboratory. In the biology lab, the techs were performing a controversial EXPERIMENT; they had decided to IMPLANT the brain of a STARFISH into an octopus, hoping that the octopus would then figure out how to regenerate lost arms. Things didn't go according to plan, as the mutant octopus burst out of its tank, breaking the steel PADLOCK intended to keep the lid shut, and attempted to murder the researchers! In the nick of time, the TOXICITY levels in the creature's blood reached fatal levels, and it collapsed from the effects of the poison. I moved to the GEOLOGY department, since I thought studying rocks might be safer. The employees there were preoccupied, having misplaced a tiger's eye (a type of QUARTZ, not an actual eye; those were kept in the biology room). After combing the entire lab, they were embarrassed to find that one scientist's son had found the stone and, thinking it was a JAWBREAKER, he had been sucking on it for several hours. All of this important work made the scientists hungry; it was late morning on a Sunday, so they decided to go to BRUNCH. I don't eat human food, but I enjoyed the entertainment, as there was a small band playing blues and improvising solos; they were the JAZZIEST quartet I'd ever heard!

```QUARTZ		GUWAQT
GEOLOGY		VOLVEDO
JAWBREAKER	KEFAJEGGAX
EXPERIMENT	TEMPEERING
STARFISH	GRABZSTS
BRUNCH		GBWICK
JAZZIEST	QARFSTEQ
TOXICITY	DRTTCORN
IMPLANT		LAPTRIM

Key:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
AKCHEZVBRFXLMIOPUGSTWYJNDQ```

Unencrypted letters: ECTOPLASM

The second Leontopodium alpinum says:

It's great when humans show off their physical prowess, so I spent my day abroad at a track meet. I EXPECTED to be impressed by the athletes, but they were even more AMAZING than I thought they'd be. One of the hurdlers demonstrated the QUICKNESS of a cheetah, and the JUMPING ability of a JACKRABBIT, which is a pretty speedy animal as well! Apparently he used to be a varsity SWIMMER, but he was pretty impressive in events on dry land as well. I thought I'd found the perfect place to observe the meet, until I was almost stabbed in the stem by a flying JAVELIN. It was a near-death experience, and yet no one seemed to raise an EYEBROW. I guess flowers get almost-impaled frequently around these parts. The thrower didn't finish very well in the final standings; a poor choice of arc was his DOWNFALL. We have a similar event at the Garden Games that we call the Twig Throw. We don't have any measuring tape, but we do have a wriggly INCHWORM friend who helps us out.

```INCHWORM	JYGPORCH
JAVELIN		BLPGAWK
QUICKNESS	SPVNKCIGS
EXPECTED	ZECKKUXK
AMAZING		JAGQAPT
EYEBROW		KORKFYM
JACKRABBIT	CRAWGMAXNM
JUMPING		QWEGJIP
DOWNFALL	PLOYZDAL
SWIMMER		JJYRGKS

Key:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
AMCZKDQHGWNLJPOEVRSXIBYUFT```

Unencrypted letters: SCHOLAR

The Tropaeolum majus says:

Most of my friends don't know that I've always been fascinated by the JUDICIAL system. Every now and then I have a dream where I'm a prosecuting attorney, QUESTIONING a WITNESS on the stand until he ADMITS that he made up the perpretrator's alibi. So on my day abroad, I thought I'd sit in on a trial. This was a PUZZLING case, and the prosecutors couldn't seem to figure it out. They were pretty confident that the suspect had hired a HITMAN to murder his rival, and the findings of the medical EXAMINER supported this theory. However, they didn't know who was hired, making it difficult to collect evidence. I heard several other people TESTIFY, but their accounts were all over the map, so it was hard to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Personally, I thought the defense was trying to HOODWINK the prosecution; if I were the lawyer, they wouldn't pull the wool over my eyes! But I guess my life in the garden is simpler; everyone's pretty honest, and no one tries to FABRICATE elaborate stories about how they didn't commit homicide.

```ADMITS		JIMPFK
QUESTIONING	JEGOPIBINNY
JUDICIAL	KIFDICLE
HOODWINK	NUHIFWOO
EXAMINER	TRMKINGG
FABRICATE	GRJQXKICK
PUZZLING	BENDIVVS
TESTIFY		PAJJGIX
HITMAN		JINKHM
WITNESS		PJPWING

Key:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
KQCFGXBHILUDMNOSYRPJEZWTAV```

Unencrypted letters: INCHWORM

The Antirrhinum majus says:

No one argues very much in the garden, so on my day abroad, I went to a debate. At first when I sat down, the moderator gave me a QUIZZICAL look, as if he didn't know what in the world I was doing there. It turns out it's frowned upon to sit on the stage, and once I figured that out, I moved quickly before anyone could harshly REPRIMAND me for breaking the rules. The challenger clearly wanted to start, but made an UNLUCKY call of heads, and the coin landed tails. The incumbent, a former Rhodes SCHOLAR who had done EXTENSIVE research on alternative energy, insisted that we were using too many fossil fuels, and that energy could be more sustainable if every county added a WINDMILL to generate weather-based power. The challenger insisted that FORBIDDING people from using coal power was a denial of their rights, and that such a policy would result in a major BACKLASH from angry voters. He then changed the subject to the incumbent's intelligence-gathering policies, which he declared to be an invasion of citizens' PRIVACY. At that point, the candidates began shouting at each other. They were adults, and you would think they would have OUTGROWN such petty behaviors. But I guess humans are like that.

```SCHOLAR		QELDAWS
QUIZZICAL	GLAIRJIRQ
EXTENSIVE	THYVEHINH
OUTGROWN	CNJDSTFD
BACKLASH	LOQAWAZE
PRIVACY		YAQSKIP
REPRIMAND	BAMNSHIPS
FORBIDDING	CUDSBINBIZ
UNLUCKY		JOLQJNK
WINDMILL	BLIMFLIN

Key:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
AZQBHUCWIXOLMNDPGSETJYFVKR```

Unencrypted letters: IMPLANT