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A man walks up to a precocious puzzler while holding a camera. He hands the precocious puzzler a piece of paper that says:

From age 0 to 6 months squirrels can eat many acorns.
Fifteen is not unique so much as nineteen is prime.
Weirdly Kafka seemed to forget chapters 10 and 13's parallel structure.

The initially flummoxed youth ponders for a second, looks up with a grin and says a word.

What does the precocious puzzler say?

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1 Answer 1

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Answer:

Often a man with a camera, if he's taking your photo, will ask you to smile ("grin") and say "cheese".

In the first clue,

the words "from age", concatenated, become "fromage", the French word for cheese.

In the second clue,

the words "unique so" contain "queso", the Spanish word for cheese.

In the third clue,

the words "Kafka seems" contain "käse", the German word for cheese (noticed by stack reader).

Further,

the clues hint at where to look for the embedded words. For example, the first references 0 and 6 and "fromage" begins on the 0th alphanumeric character and ends on the 6th (using indexing starting at 0); the second references 15 and 19 and "queso" begins on the 15th character and ends on the 19th; the third references 10 and 13 and "kase" begins on the 10th character and ends on the 13th. If one is not familiar with this kind of indexing, it is easy to overlook this.

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    $\begingroup$ Kaf"ka se"emed could be cheese in german. $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2016 at 2:28
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    $\begingroup$ Haha, nice. I pulled down my Kafka from my bookshelf and was checking chapter titles! $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Dec 28, 2016 at 2:33
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, nice find with the index. Can't believe I didn't see it sooner. Would have made the puzzle much easier instead of randomly looking for words in language we don't know lol. $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2016 at 2:50
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    $\begingroup$ I have regrets putting from age as the first part of the first sentence... coulda shifted it towards the middle and made it a little less clear, but good teamwork $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2016 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ Aesthetically, I like that the very first words one encounters hide the solution, but you're right that, for those who know that "fromage" is a word, it is nearly a giveaway. I guess it's a trade-off between the beauty of hiding the solution in the first words and the risk of giving it away... $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Dec 28, 2016 at 19:23

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