You awaken in a foul crypt with only the following items at your disposal...


You also have the following tools.

Awl (x1 use) — destroy a single letter from any string
Hammer (x1 use) — destroy any string of 2 or more letters in a string
Dagger (x1 use) — slice up any string with 3 or more letters, leaving only the first 2 letters
Katana (x1 use) — slice up any string with 3 or more letters, leaving only the last 2 letters
Halberd (x1 use) — slice up any string with 3 or more letters, leaving all but the first 2 letters
Falchion (x1 use) — slice up any string with 3 or more letters, leaving all but the last 2 letters
Mirror (x1 use) — reverse a string
Sieve (x1 use) — remove the vowels from a string (all vowels are destroyed)
Transmogrify Spell (x1 use) — convert every letter in a string to the letter that comes before it or after it in the alphabet (A and Z are neighbors)
Plurality Spell (x1 use) — make any word plural
Reduplication Spell (x2 uses) — double any string (for example, BO becomes BOBO)
Glue (x99 uses) — affix any string to any other

Being the kind Puzzlemaster that I am, let's start you off with a simple exercise in survival.

  1. Use the Transmogrify Spell on CHAIN to get DIBJO
  2. Use the dagger on DIBJO to get DI
  3. Use the katana on CODEC to get EC
  4. Use the mirror on EC to get CE
  5. Use the glue to affix DI to CE, ending with DICE

Congratulations, DICE is added to your inventory and everything else magically replenishes!

That's about the only good news, though. The air of this crypt is heady and foul, and you can feel a thousand eyes peering at you from every corner of the darkness. If only you had a TORCH...

The base puzzle has already been solved by @Deusovi w/ a sequence I didn't intend, but no intrepid adventurer has yet solved the following variant.

Pretend you’ve drunk all your RUM, worn out your BOOTS, dropped your AMULET into the murk, you’re using the ROPE to hold up your pants, and you wouldn’t dare part with the CHAIN because you love the metallic clinking sound it makes as you walk.

  • $\begingroup$ Current answer has 6 steps. Deusovi's had 5. Any other ways to do it in 5 (or less)? $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ When you define Glue: 'affix any string to any other', does that include strings that were discarded/destroyed by other tools? (Some tools do say 'slice' or 'remove' not 'destroy'.) $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ @smci, nope discarded characters are lost forever. $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking of a smartass solution where we use Plurality to convert 'MAP' -> 'CHARTS' which does contain T,R,CH $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


It's not too difficult to get a TORCH, luckily:

Take the BOOTS. Use the Halberd to get OTS, the Awl to get OT, and the Mirror to get TO.

Take the RUM. Use the Falchion to get R.

Take the CHAIN. Use the Dagger to get CH.

And now we can Glue together those three pieces to get TORCH!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I knew there'd be more solutions than I intended... but good job! If you want additional challenge, pretend you drank all the RUM in your despair before you started! You can even pretend you drank it out of your BOOTS, so those are ruined too :D $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 8:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @GrimGrom Oh no! Well, in that case, I'd use AMULET + ROPE + CHAIN, whittling AMULET down with the sieve and then just hacking away with the four slicing tools and the mirror. I don't even think the awl or hammer are necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ You could also have used the Dagger instead of the Awl - unless there's a rule that you can only use each tool once? EDIT: Wait, yeah, just realized that was specified. Oops. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ Neat, this has 6 steps. Deusovi's had 5. Any other ways to do it in 5 (or less)? The neighbor words to 'TORCH' for Transmogrify are 'SNQBG' and 'UPSDI'. $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 21:37

I know it's been a while since this question was posted, but I was just going through related puzzles and found this one. It looks like a neat puzzle, and I'm a sucker for wordplay and most things related, so I thought I might try my hand at this.

After drinking my tasty RUM, I set out on a walk through the foul crypt, with my favorite CHAIN to keep my ears occupied while I travelled. After a while, I could feel the cold rock below my feet: my BOOTS had fallen apart! My pants were also falling down, so I stopped for a second to take inventory to see what I could do to fix myself up.

After laying everything out, I noticed I didn't have my AMULET with me. It must have fallen on the ground somewhere, disguised by the sound of the CHAIN, but there was no way to know where I dropped it, that crypt being the confusing maze it was. I figured it would be a waste of time to go look for it. When I looked around at my possessions on the floor, I saw my ROPE and thought of a way to use it as some sort of belt. It wasn't the most elegant-looking, but it got the job done.

I started walking again after collecting my things. Soon, I found an interesting passageway. It was near pitch-black though, and I would need a TORCH. So I laid out my things again and got to work:

Taking inventory again, I saw that I had a MAP, FLAIL, CUP, BELL, STAFF, RING, CODEC, and FLUTE.

I used one of my Duplication Spells on my CUP and received a pair of CUPS in return. I then used my Awl to reduce it to a pair of UPS.

I used some Glue on my BELL and RING, and now I had a BELLRING (whatever that might be). I immediately smashed it with my Hammer (I guess we'll never know what it is now...) and was left with some BG. What a mess...

Ready for the final step of the process, I Glued my UPS and my BG together. The UPSBG I had in front of me was ready to be Transmogrified*!


I now had my TORCH, ready to go exploring into the passageway before me.

*From the wording of the description of the Transmogrification Spell, I took it to mean that each letter could be individually replaced with the letter that came before or after it. If the whole group must go backwards or forwards one letter, then that's on me for interpreting it incorrectly.


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