Author: Eli Chang (Ellibereth)
Artist: Jamie Lai
The name of each animal hybrid (formed by concatenating the two animal names) matches one of the clue answers if you drop a single letter (the “bite” that Bugcat Capoo took). The clue answers are given in alphabetical order, so taking the additional letters in order of the animal hybrid images gives us the answer CLOISTERED.
|Clue||Answer||Animal Hybrid||Dropped Letter|
|Dzo||YAKOW||YAK + COW||C|
|Style of beard||GOATEE||GOAT + EEL||L|
|Lever||CROWBAR||CROW + BOAR||O|
|Arizona mining town||BISBEE||IBIS + BEE||I|
|You can take it||BEARABLE||BEAR + SABLE||S|
|Unit of mass||CARAT||CAT + RAT||T|
|Craftier||SHREWDER||SHREW + DEER||E|
|Tool of execution||GAROTTE||GAR + OTTER||R|
|Vertical divider||MULLION||MULE + LION||E|
|Large Super Mario RPG enemy||FROGOG||FROG + DOG||D|
I wanted to write a Bugcat themed puzzle and after not getting something relating directly to the cartoon to work, I went in the direction of trying something with concatenated animals. Thank you Kagami for helping with the initial word bank.
The puzzle went through a few difficulty-related iterations but eventually it was decided it would work well as a very friendly first puzzle to the hunt and I'm glad it seemed to have done well in that regard.
The puzzle being visually cute was of paramount importance to me and Jamie has my gratitude for making that happen in spades - especially with the challenge of having to keep the backsides recognizable.
When we were testing the puzzle, instead of the adorable cartoons you see in the final version, we mashed up photographs of the animals. I've reproduced them below for your viewing (dis)pleasure. Thank you Alison and Max for helping create these monstrosities: