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.

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
()-- ()--- -()-- --()- -()-- ---()-

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

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

2 Answers 2


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:


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:


So, the final answer is (appropriately):


  • $\begingroup$ 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
    Commented 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
    Commented 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
    Commented 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
    Commented 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
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 12:26

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

  • 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
    Commented 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
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 9:46
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ 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
    Commented 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
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 11:45

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