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When solving the Contagious Ants on a Meterstick problem, puzzlers often overlook the fact that ants are sophisticated creatures with names, dreams, and personalities.

  1. _ _ _ (_) _ _ _ is an expert navigator, and is especially skilled in the presence of celestial bodies.

  2. _ (_) _ _ _ _ is always taking back sworn testiony.

  3. _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ is the oddball ant of the bunch. She always seems out of place.

  4. _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ is magical and makes powerful weapons.

  5. _ _ (_) _ _ _ _ is the poorest and lowliest ant.

  6. _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ always gets things done right this second.

  7. _ _ _ _ _ (_) _ _ _ is the best at following orders and instructions.

  8. _ _ _ _ (_) _ _ _ is a chemist, and she also has a fondness for fissile material.

  9. _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is the most stubborn ant of the bunch. She always defies authority.

  10. _ _ _ _ (_) _ _ _ _ is always deeply sorry and committed to changing her ways.

  11. _ _ _ _ _ (_) _ _ _ is the most consequential and influential ant.

  12. _ _ _ _ _ _ (_) _ _ _ is always poring over the books, mindful of the bottom line.

  13. _ _ _ (_) _ _ _ is an expert at keeping temperatures low.

  14. (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is forever interviewing for employment.

  15. (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ has the most opulent, pampered lifestyle of all the ants.

  16. (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ is the most chivalrous ant, and aspires to be a knight.

  17. _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ is actually a wild fowl disguised to look like an ant.

  18. _ _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is larger-than-life grandiose. Always bigger and better for this ant!

  19. _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ is homeless, forever wandering the streets.

  20. _ _ (_) _ _ _ _ _ smells. :(

  21. (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is forever trying to overthrow people to take their place.

  22. (_) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is by far the biggest ant, and she looks a little gray.

But wait! There are still three ants left!

Can you take all the circled letters, unscramble them, and determine the names of the three ants I missed?

Please include the answers to the 22 clues along with your solution.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would #16 be aspiring to the life of a wandering, roving knight, perchance? $\endgroup$
    – Damien H
    Jul 3, 2015 at 6:34
  • $\begingroup$ @DamienH: A pleasant gallivanting ant shan't wind up a mendicant. ;) $\endgroup$
    – COTO
    Jul 3, 2015 at 8:17

1 Answer 1

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1. sex(t)ant
2. r(e)cant
3. a(b)errant
4. e(n)chant
5. pe(a)sant
6. i(n)stant
7. compl(i)ant
8. reac(t)ant
9. r(e)calcitrant
10. repe(n)tant
11. impor(t)ant
12. accoun(t)ant
13. coo(l)ant
14. (a)pplicant
15. (l)uxuriant
16. (g)allant
17. p(h)easant
18. ex(t)ravagant
19. v(a)grant
20. fr(a)grant
21. (s)upplant
22. (e)lephant

These leave us with the letters

TEBNANITENTTLALGHTAASE

Which anagram into

HESITANT, BLATANT, ELEGANT

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5
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welp, everyone beat me to it. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Jul 3, 2015 at 2:27
  • $\begingroup$ Glad you beat me. I would have spent ages trying to solve the anagrams with my incorrect answers. $\endgroup$
    – Bob
    Jul 3, 2015 at 2:27
  • $\begingroup$ I spent awhile trying to work out the anagrams with a couple of wrong answers. It was not super fun. :) $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Jul 3, 2015 at 2:30
  • $\begingroup$ All correct, and the correct three names too. I tip my hat to you, sir. $\endgroup$
    – COTO
    Jul 3, 2015 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ i didn't even get that all of the words should end in ant. one of the reasons i don't try to solve these types of puzzles, although i think they are fascinating. congrats on trusted user status! $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Jul 3, 2015 at 12:26

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