29
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My name is Gabee and I
live in Nebraska. Now,
my friend Ito R. Caxti
and I have thousands
of like-new toys. So, um,
Tue. eve we stopped at
a mall where plastic
pet giraffes rested
in an aisle. “We each, uh,
really shouldn’t own
such possessions. No,
thousands of toys is
a tad much,” I declared.

We took ‘O’, a late train,
to Ito & my house to eat
beans. “So Gabee, there
is one unknit toy, big,
kinda scares me. So, um…
let me know best ploy
to control 1 sinister
toy which bites hard.”

“Well,” I said, “buy a cage.
That is what I bought
for a rabid tiger and
falcon. Now they can’t
flee or escape at all!”

What animal should Ito keep in a cage? (16)

By the way, you should know that his snakes are always twisting in odd directions.

Here is a list of Ito’s toy animals. He has more than one of some. Good luck!

alpaca
ant
ants
ape
asp
auk
bee
boa
cat
coati
cow
deer
doe
eagle
eel
eels
emu
ewe
falcon
foal
gibbons
giraffes
grouse
hen
koala
komodo
lion
llama
locust
loon
moose
moth
newt
ocelot
orca
owl
rats
ray
sheep
slug
snail
snake
sow
stork
swan
tapirs
tiger
toucan
tsetse
tuna

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7
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This one is easier but it was fun to make and may be a welcome break for those struggling to escape the laboratory : ) $\endgroup$ – Amoz Mar 19 at 2:55
  • $\begingroup$ It's not a thousand, but I think 59 toy animals is still pretty excessive... (Figured out the first step - have to sleep soon, though, so partial coming up.) $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Mar 19 at 8:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Update: accidentally solved it! $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Mar 19 at 8:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is an impressive puzzle $\endgroup$ – Tony Ennis Mar 19 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ Just out of interest, how long did it take you to make this puzzle? $\endgroup$ – musefan Mar 19 at 16:03
22
$\begingroup$

The writing seems very strange.

In fact, each line of it has exactly 18 letters in it. So it could help to remove the spaces, punctuation, and numbers, and just look at it as an 18-wide grid.

And there's another curious thing:

You may have already noticed that some of the names seem to hide animals in them - Gabee, Ito R. Caxti.

That's because...

this is actually a word search! Each of the given animals can be found in the resulting grid, some of them multiple times:
enter image description here
...except for SNAKE.

But this isn't the answer to the puzzle. It's not 16 letters long, and also,

the puzzle mentions that his snakes are twisting in odd directions. And we can find SNAKEs in the grid -- if we allow the words to bend!
enter image description here

So, now what?

Well, what letters have been 'encaged'? There appear to be exactly sixteen single letters that are surrounded by animals:
enter image description here
And these anagram to TYRANNOSAURUS REX - that could definitely be a "big, scar[y]" toy that "bites hard"!

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2
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You help Ito wrestle the animal into its cage, but not before it managed to eat an ahi and an ox. At least the others are safe! $\endgroup$ – Amoz Mar 19 at 15:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Appreciate the sheer perseverance! $\endgroup$ – alwayslearning Mar 20 at 9:09

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