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This is part 10 of A Trivial Pursuit, a 25-part puzzle hunt. Each part is solvable on its own, with the exception of the meta-puzzle at the end.


Bookshelf
Colourblind-friendly version available here.

The answer is a short two-word phrase of six letters.

For accessibility, text on labelled book spines reads as follows, from left to right, by shelf:

TBTM (2022) : RO ASP (2010) : QB OT (1838) : CD DTD (2015) : MCB TNOTR (1980) : UE TS (1964) : WG
()-- ()--- -()-- --()- -()-- ---()-
CRSL CMPNY WCKD RNT HR GRS

Shelves are labelled (from top to bottom): 'FICTION', '???' and 'MSCLS'.

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  • $\begingroup$ The purple ends with Pocket. $\endgroup$ Sep 20, 2023 at 7:09
  • $\begingroup$ @1357924680a could you elaborate? $\endgroup$ Sep 20, 2023 at 8:28

2 Answers 2

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The top row is

well, fiction - but more specifically, fictional books, with their titles and authors initialized:

The Bullet That Missed (2022) : Richard Osman
Angelica Sprocket's Pockets (2010) : Quentin Blake
Oliver Twist (1838) : Charles Dickens
Dishing The Dirt (2015) : M.C. Beaton
The Name Of The Rose (1980) : Umberto Eco
The Spire (1964) : William Golding

Thanks to Davide (and Chrone, in comments) for finishing off the ones I couldn't figure out - check out Davide's answer for more.

The bottom row is

mscls wtht vwls - ahem, sorry, musicals without vowels:

Carousel
Company
Wicked
Rent
Hair
Grease

To figure out the middle row, we need to find

synonyms of the musical names that can be found as reverse substrings in the corresponding novel, coded by color:

Rent -> RIP -> The Spire
Wicked -> EVIL -> Oliver Twist
Hair -> MANE -> The Name of the Rose
Carousel -> RIDE -> Dishing the Dirt
Grease -> LUBE -> The Bullet That Missed
Company -> CORPS -> Angelica Sprocket's Pockets

Now, looking at the letters marked with parentheses:

RIP
EVIL
MANE
RIDE
LUBE
CORPS

So, the final answer is (appropriately):

READ UP!

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  • $\begingroup$ I was starting to understand that from rot13(yhor) but you precedeed me, well done. I would have never found rot13(evc) tho, English is not my first language and while I'm quite proficient at it i would have never put on the same semantic level rot13(evc) and rot13(erag) $\endgroup$
    – Davide
    Sep 20, 2023 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ This is the correct final answer, well done. Re your 'quabble', this is the noun form not the past participle of the verb - see the synonyms in the 'opening, split' section here, for example :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Sep 20, 2023 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ huh, don't think I've ever heard that word used that way - rot13(eraq) is much more common in my experience. I'll retract my quabble :) $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Sep 20, 2023 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ Rent in the sense of rip or tear is very old English. The Bible is a good repository of its usage, and to this day, rending (ripping or tearing) your clothes is a Jewish way of expressing loss of a loved one (kriah). bible.knowing-jesus.com/words/Rent $\endgroup$
    – AlDante
    Sep 22, 2023 at 1:51
  • $\begingroup$ @AlDante I'm familiar with rent as a past-tense verb (as the first few examples at your link all seem to use it), just not as a noun in the sense that Stiv describes above. this was probably more clear before I deleted the part in my answer that pretty much said exactly that $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Sep 22, 2023 at 12:26
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I managed to understand the first and third bookshelf

In the first we have a combination of TITLE (YEAR) : AUTHOR, for both the title and the author we only have the initials

First row This is the result of the first row

Thanks to Chrone for completing the first row

I have no clue what the second row means

The title for the third row is then "Musicals", we only have some letters of the name of a musical in each of the covers.

So for each word we have only the consonants and the rest has to be filled with vowels Third row

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think “ASP (2010) : QB” is rot13(Natryvpn Fcebpxrg'f Cbpxrgf ol Dhragva Oynxr) and “DTD (2015) : MCB” might be rot13(Qvfuvat gur Qveg ol Z.P. Orngba). $\endgroup$
    – Chrone
    Sep 20, 2023 at 9:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also one of the authors’ name is rot13(Evpuneq Bfzna abg Bfpnefba) and musical screenplays do come in the form of book. Not sure why you got downvoted, I think partial answer is allowed? $\endgroup$
    – Chrone
    Sep 20, 2023 at 9:46
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    $\begingroup$ Hi, and welcome to Puzzling! These are the right first steps to take (and Chrone is right that there is a typo in your answer as it stands) - keep going, and see if you can work out how to extract the answer :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Sep 20, 2023 at 9:49
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you should line up the books against the musicals by colour and see whether / how they are connected. (Tip: start with Orange. And a fun fact: The titles on my German books read upwards, not downwards, so I alternate between tilting my head right and left when scanning my bookshelf, depending on whether the books are in English or in German.) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Sep 20, 2023 at 11:45

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