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There are lots of happy animals living with me in my house. Yesterday I wanted to enjoy an animal-free afternoon:

  • I looked at Skippy and said "Go to festival". And off he hopped.
  • Then I sent Cookie to the Kookaburra Ball.
  • Then I ordered Platty to go to the Duckbill Dance.
  • Then I sent young Edna to the Echidna Garden Party.
  • Then I told Billy where to go, but he just sat there, looking at me and chewing thoughtfully.

Then I remembered that Billy's English isn't that good. It seems that because of his diet of aromatic leaves he doesn't know whether he's coming or going, and he only understands palindromes. He cycles them forwards and backwards until the message gets through. So I said to him

"Xxxxx, xx xx xxxx, XX?"

And off he went. Where did Billy go to?

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The answer is

"gala" (as the Koala went to the gala)
"Xxxxx, xx xx xxxx, XX!" equals the palindrome "Koala, go to gala, ok?"

More explanations:

All mentioned animals are at home in Australia:

Skippy is a kangaroo (the Bush Kangaroo in the Australian tv series),
Cookie a kingfisher (Kookaburra),
Platty a duck-billed platypus,
Edna is an anteater (Echidna),
Billy is a Koala (eating aromatic eucalypt leaves).

Hence the palindrome should start with KOALA and end with ALA, OK.
The GO TO piece is hinted at in the first sentence.

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My answer independent of Gamow's is:

Koala, go to gala, OK?

Reasoning:

(1) The last two letters are (a) in all caps, (b) preceded by a comma and (c) followed by a question mark, which is a pretty obvious clue of them being "OK".

(2) The final two letters reveal the first two, which are "Ko". I assumed this first string of letters is the name of the animal's species, because he is addressed by his owner. The two clues: (a) "chewing thoughtfully" and (b) "diet of aromatic leaves" first conjured up the image of a panda, but since it's name begins with "pa", that can't be it. Koalas, on the other hand, seem like a likely candidate.

(3) Now we have: "Koala, xx xx xala, OK?" The second pair of letters is most likely "to", as directions are given to the animal. The only verb that would fit the preceding part of "to" is "go". All pieces fall into place with this last step.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! This is a good answer, but I suggest taking a look at some of the unsolved puzzles. c: $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 19 '16 at 17:35

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