My business is going quite well, and I finally make the decision to train up an apprentice, as the workload has been only getting worse lately. Luck clearly is on my side - I put up the ad yesterday, and already today there's a person at my doorstep asking about the apprenticeship!

I am a bit desperate, so I agree to take them in right away - to try it out for a day at first, of course, to see if they are fit for the job and worth the time spent training. After going through some basics, they seem good so far, however I just realised that with all the work I've been doing lately, I have neglected restocking some supplies, and I am definitely starting to run low.

This sounds like an easy first task to give to the rookie - and I might as well turn it into a little challenge, as my job does sometimes involve solving puzzles, and I get to have some fun, too.

I call the rookie over.

"Hey, we're a bit low on supplies, can you please go out and get us some refills on those?"

I then hand them a few plastic jugs, with some odd labels of my own making:

6 plastic jugs with various imagery on them

The rookie gives me a weird look as I explain:

"The labels will give you a good hint at what I need - you can see it as a little test of your ability at figuring out stuff from odd clues, that's something we really use here sometimes."

As the rookie leaves, I chuckle to myself - I really think I am funny sometimes.

Not too long after, they return. I am a bit impressed as they were back a lot faster than I expected.

"Here's everything you have requested," says the rookie. "Except that one," they point at one of the jugs.

"Were they all out?" ask I, wondering about how that interaction went.

"Honestly, I did not ask - I am quite sure I wouldn't find that in any shop here, anyway. In fact, I don't think we need that one, either."

I feel the tiniest bit of disappointment - not about the empty jug, mind you, but more than that, I am even more impressed now - I definitely got lucky that this person showed up!

"I suppose you are right about that. You have done well, rookie. Tomorrow, the real training begins!"


  1. What did the rookie bring? (Explain the meaning of each label)

  2. Which jug was empty and why?

  3. What is my profession?

  4. Why was I slightly disappointed?

Note: I don't think any specialised knowledge is needed for this one, I am not in this profession myself. Some of those might be a bit of a stretch or obscure (although not on a puzzling website, I am not really sure). I initially tried to go for a unified " ____ [same word in all 6 cases]" theme at first, but that didn't work out - so some of those do mean a specific word while others are more like a reference. The "theme word" still does apply to all of them, and is part of some of the names. Normally, once you understand the theme of those 6 things, the more "stretch-y" ones will make sense.

  • $\begingroup$ From the first rot13(erohf pbyyne-nag, V guvax lbh ner n cevagre, ohg ab pyhr ba gur bguref rkprcg creuncf bar zvtug or zvkrq sebz bguref). $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ @WeatherVane Good thinking, but you only got half of that one right $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


The pictures represent:

1. Cool-ant
2. Blinker fluid (thanks to codewarrior0 in the comments for pointing this one out.
3. Oil (picture is an upside down “OIL cap”)
4. Brake fluid (Drake - D + B)
5. Wind-shield wiper fluid
6. Trans(mission) fluid.

These are all:

various fluids you would need for a car (with the exception of #2). I’m guessing you’re a mechanic, and were mildly disappointed (but ultimately pleased) that the rookie didn’t fall for the classic prank of thinking a car requires blinker fluid.

  • $\begingroup$ Wow, very good! I think once you figure out #2 the rest will make sense. You got the theme and the job correct! But to answer the remaining questions you will need #2... All I can say is that it is a bit obscure but should make sense on a puzzling website. It has something to do with grids and cells, if that helps. $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 21:51
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ rot13(Gur fdhnerf ba gur frpbaq wne ercerfrag gur "Oyvaxre" cnggrea sebz Pbajnl'f Tnzr bs Yvsr. Vs lbh jnagrq gb cynl n cenax ba n abivpr zrpunavp, lbh zvtug fraq uvz bhg sbe n obggyr bs "Oyvaxre Syhvq".) $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ "They were all out, but the guy sold me this bottle of sailboat fuel and told me it would work just as well." $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ @codewarrior0 yes, exactly! and the headgear in #3 is also not accidental $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ This pretty much covers them all! I hope this was fun to solve, it was definitely fun to write :-) $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 22:06

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