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So my mum and I were in a garden centre the other day, run by a large British organisation.

Of course, garden centres sell all kinds of things, including home decoration. They had some jarred candles on the shelf, where the jars all had a single letter on them. They didn't have the full alphabet available - far from it - the letters they had spelled out a single word, and I think the idea was the you'd buy a set of them and it'd make a little display to spell out that word in your house.

Honestly, I found the idea pretty tacky, and I was feeling a bit mischievous anyway. "Look mum," I said, "They've got a bunch of candles you can use to spell out my favourite furry rodent! But some prankster's been in and rearranged them. I'll just go set them right." I then rearranged the candles to make another word.

Mum laughed, but the thing about my mum is that she's a real anagram champion. "No, you've got it all wrong! Look, it's not the furry creature, but it's what the furry creature did to come into being." She grabbed some more of the candles from the shelf, shuffled them around a bit, and made an even longer word.

This was excellent, but then we noticed that there were a few big lit-up letters on the shelf above the candles, one for each initial of the name of the organisation that ran the garden centre. We spotted a man outside using a tool to move a bunch of gravel from a big hopper into his quad bike's trailer, and realised we could make a new, excellently long word by mixing in these new letters.

We did our last bit of candle shuffling, got our plants, and left the garden centre smirking.

Which organisation ran the garden centre?

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1 Answer 1

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The answer is

Royal Horticultural Society

The words you formed are

from the letters L O V E (a common sentiment for this sort of candles)
VOLE, a furry rodent
EVOLVE, what they did to become voles
Adding RHS (and another L) to get SHOVELLER, from the guy using a shovel. (Two Ls because the RHS is British)

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  • $\begingroup$ I suspect this is indeed the intended answer, but hasn't a V become an S in the last step? $\endgroup$ Apr 10, 2023 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ My reading of the question is that you can use any number of the available letters in any combination. $\endgroup$ Apr 10, 2023 at 10:37
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Guvf vf ernyyl pybfr, ohg abg gur vagraqrq nafjre - gur Oevgvfu betnavfngvba V'z guvaxvat bs vf cerggl zhpu ragveryl tneqravat-sbphffrq.) $\endgroup$
    – ymbirtt
    Apr 10, 2023 at 10:59
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    $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure you need to change a single letter to get this place and your final word should be rot13(FUBIRYYRE) - you were very close indeed! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Apr 10, 2023 at 13:00
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    $\begingroup$ Since commenters have been kind enough not to complete the answer, I've now done that. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2023 at 13:42

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