This puzzle is part of the Puzzling Stack Exchange Advent Calendar 2022. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation.

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I've finally done it! The directors have approved the print run unaware that this year a grinchly message has been hidden in the otherwise festive classifieds page. Can you find it?

Christmas Classifieds - Advert Page

Note: This puzzle is much more fun printed out. Happy to send any by mail if needed :)

  • $\begingroup$ answer from a reputable source? what does that mean? $\endgroup$
    – Stevo
    Dec 27, 2022 at 3:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stevo i assume they just misclicked on the reason - it's usually To Reward An Existing Answer or something like that - but all the Advent Calendar puzzles give a bounty to the answerer as a special Chirstmas prize $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2022 at 5:30

1 Answer 1


First we print it out

enter image description here

Then we notice

the red words "1 Mountain fold red line" and the red lines.

So we

fold along the red lines such that they form an outer (mountain) ridge.
enter image description here

Then we notice

the cyan "2 valley fold" and a cyan line so we fold along the cyan line such that it forms an inner (valley) ridge.
enter image description here

Then we see

the green "3 valley fold (from GLOP's reflection overlapping EPIC) along" and a green line so we do so.
enter image description here

Then there is

purple "4 valley fold" so we do that too.
enter image description here

Now we see

orange "5 cut" and some scissors and an orange squiggly line. We take our scissors and cut along the orange line. Then we unfold and find
enter image description here

a beautiful snowflake!

Then we see

in the center "exit maze here!", in the top-left "Start Here!", and in the top-right "Don't cross" with an arrow pointing to a red-white striped bar. Looks like we have ourselves a maze!

Following it

from start to exit, we trace a path that crosses several symbolic images: Christ, Massachusetts, percent, a minus sign, cent, an 'h', some apps, a mean face emoji, an 's', an 'a', a lit candle, a bottle, a minus sign, a bot, a drill bit, an 'm', and an oar.

Interpreting them

as a rebus, we get CHRIST + MASS + PERCENT - CENT + H + APPS + MEAN + S + A + LIT + BOTTLE - BOT + BIT + M + OAR


our grinchy message:

Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Great solve to a great puzzle, really well explained with the step-by-step diagrams - nice work! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 24, 2022 at 7:55

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