# Writing a Puzzle Book: Enigmatic Puzzles

I'm starting to test out puzzles for my second puzzle book (link to the first). They're all word puzzles based on ones you might see during Harvard's CS50x puzzle day. Try out this new puzzle I'm testing and let me know what you think. Happy to share hints if you ask:

This puzzle hunt style question has a thematic hidden word, which is:

To find it, I first worked out that each clue has two parts, each with a 4-letter solution:

Machine parts made from a legume = COGS and BEAN

Red sign made from raisin cereal = STOP and BRAN

Grime made by posting release from jail = MUCK and BAIL

Canasta card set made by a low pH = MELD and ACID

(Note: These weren't necessarily the first words I came up with for these clues - I considered 'DIRT' before 'MUCK', for example - but was able to corroborate later which ones were correct...)

Moreover, these words can be placed into the grids below them according to the following procedure:

1. First, spell out the 'made' word in each clue in the same order that the words 'FOUR' and 'PLUS' appear in the illustration accompanying the puzzle - i.e. left-to-right in row order.

2. Next, follow the instruction that 'the inside is made from adding the outside'. This means noting that if we consider the A1Z26 values of each letter, it is possible to enter the letters of the other word into the spaces around the outside of the grid so that the letter value in the grey squares is the sum of those in the row and column headers:

For example, with BEAN and COGS: C=A+B, O=A+N, G=B+E, and S=E+N, since 3=1+2, 15=1+14, 7=2+5, and 19=5+14.

That each of these works out is a useful confirmation that we have the right words here.

Now just the extraction step remains...

Sum the values of all letters of the same colours then use typical rainbow ordering to obtain (via A1Z26 again) the answer QUADS, an appropriate thematic word given that in each case we are dealing with four pairs of four-letter words!

• Amazing, thanks for solving! Let me know what you thought of it when you get the chance; I hope it was fun! Commented Aug 14 at 20:18
• @StephenS It was fun to solve, yes - a nice mechanism for a puzzle. The top diagram and strapline helped instruct the grid fills without just giving you the answer; the extraction mechanism was a twist on a classic. I've been racking my brains to think of a fourth four-letter grid you can use with FOUR PLUS FOUR, since the puzzle's 'four' theme could be furthered in that way, but I can't think of anything decent sorry! Thanks for posting here - a nice diversion for me today :) (PS You can mark this answer as correct by selecting the checkmark icon beneath this answer's voting arrows...)
– Stiv
Commented Aug 14 at 21:45
• Thanks, Stiv! I'm still new here, so thanks, too, for the tip about how to mark something correct (which I've now done). In writing this puzzle, it was kind of crazy to see how few words actually work in this specific configuration. My notes had one other scribbled out, but finding words where the letters are evenly spaced is surprisingly tricky. Thanks again for the solution and opinion! Let me know if I can ever help you with a puzzle in the future :) Commented Aug 15 at 13:30
• @StephenS You're welcome :) And speaking of which: Welcome to Puzzling!
– Stiv
Commented Aug 15 at 13:39