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WHO did WHAT, and WHERE?

PHILIP CAUGHT A BIG C LY
NADINE DEEMED TIRAMI WAY
MATTHEW FELT THE TARM YAK
PETE FRETTED A LOT ABOUT C EEK AGO
QUINN HAD TO G HIONERS
ERICA NOW HOME MISSED H NICALLY
GEORGE ONLY HEARD OF STAR TE CHANGE
FATIMA PLAYED THE HARMONI THE SEASIDE
PHUNTSOK PRAYED FOR ALL HER CK BENEATH HIM
ANNABEL RESERVED TWO CANOES P STLY OVERRATED
GRANT SAW A F PHAZARDLY AT BEST
ZANDER SOBBED WHEN HER AGOU ITTING UPON ITS EGG
FAYE WORE A TUXE W FOR THE PEDESTRIAN

If you manage to square everything up correctly, you should be able to read off a hidden two-word phrase.

What is the hidden two-word phrase, and how do you derive it?

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4
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ah, finally the pleasure to see one of Stiv's puzzles without it already being answered. $\endgroup$
    – Stevo
    Oct 14 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ Though I doubt I can solve it... :( $\endgroup$
    – Stevo
    Oct 14 at 6:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Stevo you had almost 2.5 hours before Deusovi got it - what happened? $\endgroup$
    – TCooper
    Oct 14 at 21:25
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I went to bed. @TCooper $\endgroup$
    – Stevo
    Oct 14 at 21:57
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You may notice that the fragments

can be fitted together. (The first list is alphabetized, and the second is sorted by length, so neither of them is the "correct" order yet - we'll have to rematch them)

SOBBED WHEN HER AGOU- looks likely to be AGOUTI, and you could finish this with RAN AWAY. And "PRAYED FOR HER" doesn't seem to need another word, but it would fit nicely if we changed HIONERS to PARISHIONERS... hey, TIRANA and PARIS are both capital cities!

Doing this for all of them gives the following:

fragments rematched, each with a capital city re-added

Now it's time to use the names. The easiest way to see how to do this is to notice that we have both QATAR and ZAMBIA's capitals, and the names QUINN and ZANDER are on the list...

In fact, every country has a name of the same length and initial letter. So we can use the list of people to reorder the actions taken.

list reordered; people are associated with capitals

And we can see reading down the first letters of the cities that this puzzle is about WORLD CAPITALS!

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1
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Perfect, well done :) Just in case that last step was a tad obscure I actually built in a second way to deduce it - rot13(gur ersrerapr gb 'fdhner rirelguvat hc' vf n abq gb gur snpg gung bapr pbeerpgyl nyvtarq, rirel fvatyr yvar unf gur fnzr ahzore bs yrggref - guvegl-guerr) - but you didn't need it. Nice solve. $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 14 at 10:30

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