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Word Search

Round 1
symbols for minutes or feet (6)
things made of several parts (10)
$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}(\frac{1}{2})^n$ (3)

Round 2
Italian snow, reversed (4)
supporting pillars (7)
at that time (4)
strange (3)

Round 3
occasional (3)
how one powers a single scull (4)
after that (4)
flat and smooth (4)

Round 4
essentials for living (4)
alike (4)
an authoritative command (5)

Round 5
turning over in the air (4)
highest quality (5)
homophone for the most popular flower (4)

Round 6
dog's feet, reversed (4)
posts holding up a structure, w/o vowels (5)
solution count to $\sqrt{3^2}$ (3)
Frank Lentini's leg count (5)

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EDIT: Any word that is found cannot proceed to the next round.
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The answer is a word that names a quality necessary to complete this puzzle.

Text version:

A,K,P,S,E,E,R,D,E,C
N,E,S,R,S,P,S,N,O,M
F,U,L,L,I,O,C,M,D,I
S,R,N,O,D,M,P,N,W,E
W,W,E,O,V,O,E,H,I,E
S,N,M,H,S,T,W,S,P,E
I,M,H,I,O,O,A,N,T,D
E,V,T,L,R,E,N,T,O,E
C,E,D,L,D,C,R,E,E,E
S,E,P,E,R,M,G,O,O,P
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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I see PSE and PDT very nice! $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Apr 20 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ Round 1 has PBZCBFVGRF. $\endgroup$ Apr 20 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ @1357924680a: Round 1 has rot13(nyy angheny ahzoref 𝔸). $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Apr 20 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ No. It was just an offhand reply to the first rot13'ed comment, not meant to point out an error in the puzzle. As far as I can see, the summation is fine. (As usual with my comments, I now think I shoudn't have posted that.) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Apr 20 at 11:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @WeatherVane thx for the feedback. i can see how one would interpret it like that. Now that it is already there, and a solution is already posted, I will leave it $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Apr 20 at 16:33

1 Answer 1

11
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Round 1
symbols for minutes or feet (6)

PRIMES

things made of several parts (10)

COMPOSITES

$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}(\frac{1}{2})^n$ (3)

The sum of this infinite series is ONE

These answers cover all the natural numbers, and can be found in the grid as follows:
enter image description here

Round 2
Italian snow, reversed (4)

Snow in Italian is "neve", which reversed gives EVEN.

supporting pillars (7)

COLUMNS

at that time (4)

THEN

strange (3)

ODD

None of these answers can be found in the grid. But it does sound like a set of instructions for modifying the grid ("even columns then odd").

So maybe we needed to use the first round as instructions before finding these answers.

Removing the found answers (grey) and then counting the remaining letters from the top-left we identify the primes (green), the composites (orange), and one (white). enter image description here
And then we need to re-fill the grid with the letters from each group in order. We only have 81 letters now, so a 9-by-9 grid seems likely:
enter image description here

And we can now find the round two words:
enter image description here

Round 3

Now we know what's going on we can exclude the answers, and take the remaining letters to fill an 8-by-8 grid:
enter image description here
And if we then rearrange the columns by taking all the even columns first we get the following:
enter image description here

occasional (3)

ODD

how one powers a single scull (4)

ROWS

after that (4)

THEN

flat and smooth (4)

EVEN

enter image description here

Round 4

Again, take the unused letters and put them in a smaller (7-by-7 now) grid:
enter image description here
And follow the instructions by putting the odd rows first:
enter image description here

essentials for living (4)

KEEP (Not sure about this but it makes sense with the other answers in this round.)

alike (4)

SAME

an authoritative command (5)

ORDER

enter image description here

Round 5

Nothing to do here except remove the last round answers and shrink the grid once more:
enter image description here

turning over in the air (4)

FLIP

highest quality (5)

PRIME

homophone for the most popular flower (4)

ROWS is a homophone for ROSE

enter image description here

Round 6

Once again, put the remaining letters in a smaller (5-by-5 now) grid:
enter image description here

And reverse (flip) the prime rows:
enter image description here

dog's feet, reversed (4)

SWAP is PAWS reversed

posts holding up a structure, w/o vowels (5)

COLUMNS without its vowels gives CLMNS

solution count to $\sqrt{3^2}$ (3)

There are TWO solutions (+3 and -3).

Frank Lentini's leg count (5)

THREE

enter image description here

Finally, we have only nine letters left, so our grid is shrinking by two rows/columns this time, to just 3-by-3:
enter image description here

And swapping columns two and three as instructed gives us:
enter image description here

And reading off we get the final answer DILIGENCE

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JLee "Pies" was my backup answer for that one, which is also in that grid, and could be considered essential. :-) $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Apr 20 at 15:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think the puzzle is better without the additional hint. Working out the rules is an expected part of an enigmatic-puzzle, and I don't think it was necessary for me, although it may have saved me some time. ROT13(Gur ahzore bs pryyf gnxra ol gur ebhaq bar nafjref znqr zr fhfcrpg n tenqhnyyl erqhpvat tevq fvmr, ohg fbzr pneryrffarff vqragvslvat gur cevzr naq pbzcbfvgr fdhnerf unq zr snvyvat gb svaq gur ebhaq gjb nafjref vavgvnyyl, naq erjbexvat gung cneg. Fb gur uvag nccrnevat cebonoyl urycrq ol pbasvezvat V jnf ba gur pbeerpg cngu jura guvatf jrera'g jbexvat bhg. ) $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Apr 20 at 15:24
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    $\begingroup$ Oh that was how I was supposed to compose the grid. @JLee for me personally the edit didn’t help as it was pretty obvious for me that I needed to recompose the grid somehow. The connection between that and the clues was for me quite tenuous so if a helpful hint was dropped it would have been maybe defining the connection somehow. $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Apr 20 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Jlee It wasn’t the clue it was the connection between them and how to re-compose the grid. But then again I am not very experienced with these kinds of puzzles and could do with a better brain on top of that. $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Apr 20 at 15:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice puzzle @JLee. Btw, I would have definitely chosen one instead of two for the second-to-last clue. $\endgroup$
    – ACB
    Apr 20 at 15:54

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