# The cutest species problem

You travel far and wide in search of the one named 'the oracle'. You wish to ask a question which has been troubling you for days now. You trek through mountains and ice-caps, forests and cities and eventually find the oracle sitting motionless in a cave. You finally can find out your answer...

You look up at the oracle and ask:

"What is the cutest species currently alive on this planet?"

The oracle stirs and hands you a sheet which is shown below. He merely states:

"Solve the puzzle and you will know"

Here is the puzzle the oracle gave you:

Q1. Left 1. My mouth is a city, all of my kind are full of floating trees
Q2. Left 1. As humans are to the galaxy, dust is to humans
Q3. Right 1. A dirty kick in football is the same as a woodcutter cutting a log and someone logging into someone else's account
Q4. Left 1. I am oil in the sea, chemicals on the lab floor, and water down your shirt
Q5. Left 1. If I move up at the start I will be considered rude, but at the end, you will set me rolling

What does the oracle think the cutest species is?
Solve the puzzle by placing each answer horizontally in each row with the corresponding number. The answer will read downwards diagonally in the shaded boxes

Who can solve the cutest species problem?

EDIT

Added a extra clue to Q3.

And because people are getting confused about 'left 1' and 'right 1' here is a hint:

left and right are Directions and the 1 is the amount of the direction. Basically move all the letters (Directions by the amount)

This will help especially when you have the answers and are trying to fit them in the grid

• Should I add the cryptic-crossword tag for this? It is kind of a crossword... – Beastly Gerbil Jan 18 '16 at 21:33
• Some advice for choosing tags: looks at the list of popular tags, and see if any of their descriptions match your puzzle. In your case, the clues are riddles, the answer is a single word, and you haven't fully said what needs to be done, making this somewhat an enigmatic puzzle. Avoid making up new tags. – Mike Earnest Jan 18 '16 at 21:45
• No problem, looks like a cool puzzle! – Mike Earnest Jan 18 '16 at 21:51
• What do the left 1 and right 1 s mean? – najayaz Jan 19 '16 at 6:25
• @G-man and all others interested. The 'left 1' or 'right 1' part is to do with shunting the letters after you have got the answer. Who knows, it might even create another word... :P – Beastly Gerbil Jan 19 '16 at 18:24

My mouth is a city, all of my kind are full of floating trees

Portsmouth... see Ports and Mouth :). So the word is ports since the mouth is Portsmouth while the trees are the boats since they float in water at ports. Ports become Sport. Letter: S

As humans are to the galaxy, dust is to humans

Small, humans are small compared to the galaxy like how dust is small compared to humans. Or alternatively, SPECK. Now with a shift, we have: malls/pecks. They are both reasonable words though pecks is more related to an animal than malls. Letter: E

A dirty kick in football is the same as a woodcutter cutting a log and someone logging into someone else's account

Nice job hacking. The word is hacks, which is turned into shacks. Letter: A

I am oil in the sea, chemicals on the lab floor, and water down your shirt

Stain/Spill, as oil spills, spilled chemicals, and of course spilled water is a stain to the respective object. With a shift to the left one, we get: tains/pills. Pills is an actual word so that is probably the right one. Letter: L

If I move up at the start I will be considered rude, but at the end, you will set me rolling

To slink means to sneak, or in this case sneak up at the start, which is quite rude. But of course, at the end, the person slinking will be running at fast as they can as they have been caught. Slink becomes links so our final letter is: S
Or you could also use the free answer shown in the comment by the OP: @PythonMaster for all except the last letter. It is so much simpler than everyone thinks, UP at the START = rude. But UP at the end will START it. Or START-UP. So the word is literally in the question, just minus the ups. The word us start which turns into tarts. Yummy!

So we have:

SEALS, Which must be seals.

• I don't think you're right on Q2. there aren't any five letter animals with M in the second letter spot – Slepz Jan 18 '16 at 23:23
• You've left out the "left 1" part of the clue. – Daphne B Jan 19 '16 at 4:00
• I was assuming "left 1" was the direction of the answer in the answer grid – Slepz Jan 19 '16 at 16:23
• No @Slepz, you must move everything along Left 1 space – Beastly Gerbil Jan 19 '16 at 18:23
• Check the question again I have added an edit - it will help – Beastly Gerbil Jan 19 '16 at 21:12

Q1. Left 1. My mouth is a city, all of my kind are full of floating trees

I don't have this yet

Q2. Left 1. As humans are to the galaxy, dust is to humans

Speck --> Pecks

Q3. Right 1. A dirty kick in football is the same as a woodcutter cutting a log and someone logging into someone else's account

Hacks --> Shack

Q4. Left 1. I am oil in the sea, chemicals on the lab floor, and water down your shirt

Spill -> Pills

Q5. Left 1. If I move up at the start I will be considered rude, but at the end, you will set me rolling

Don't have it yet

Making the grid

?????
PECKS
SHACK
PILLS
?????

Making the animal

?EAL? - perhaps SEALS? Using S at beginning and end of clue words is a definite pattern here, and one that makes the left/right thing easier.

Partial answer based on the previous ones :

Q1. Left 1. My mouth is a city, all of my kind are full of floating trees

Ports/Sport : Portsmouth is a city. Boats are floating trees

Q2. Left 1. As humans are to the galaxy, dust is to humans

Speck/Pecks

Q3. Right 1. A dirty kick in football is the same as a woodcutter cutting a log and someone logging into someone else's account

Hacks/Shack

Q4. Left 1. I am oil in the sea, chemicals on the lab floor, and water down your shirt

Spill/Pills

Q5. Left 1. If I move up at the start I will be considered rude, but at the end, you will set me rolling

Still looking...

Giving :

SPORT
PECKS
SHACK
PILLS
?????

Still going for SEALS...

EDIT

Here's the script I used for the first and last question to get five letters word matching the swapping letter requirement :

# RUBY
a = ["word1", "word2", "word3"]
z = []
a.each do |b|
w = b[1..4] + b[0] # for Q5 || w = b[-1] + b[0..3] for Q1
if a.find_index(w) != nil
z.push(b)
end
end
puts z


I used this source for common 5 letters english words : http://www.poslarchive.com/math/scrabble/lists/common-5.html

Giving these lists of words :

• So close! think about this... the last word in the grid needs to end in 's' so the answer to the question must start with 's'... – Beastly Gerbil Jan 20 '16 at 19:48
• @JoeBeastlyGerbil I edited my answer to show how I'm taking this problem, but I can't find (for now) a word matching Q5 clues... – Thrax Jan 21 '16 at 8:12
• Keep trying you'll get it – Beastly Gerbil Jan 21 '16 at 15:19
• @JoeBeastlyGerbil I suppose the Q5 hint is referring to an idiom with "[sth] rolling" and/or "[sth] getting a head start", but not being a native english speaker, I can't seem to match any word. As a final hint, would you be so kind as to tell me if the word is in fact in the list I provided (words beginning by "S" in the pastebin for Q5)? – Thrax Jan 21 '16 at 15:34