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It’s the 10th annual award ceremony for the Puzzling StackExchange community! As the host and his attendants are handing out the awards to the best members of the community, they suddenly realize that they have forgotten who the recipient of the Great Puzzling Trophy was!

In a hurry, the host rushes back to the Great Puzzling Room to find his presentation notes. But when he arrived there, they were gone!

In despair, the host slumped onto the floor of the Great Puzzling Room, only to discover a typed note left on the table where the Great Puzzling Trophy originally sat. It contained the following paragraph, which he had seen an attendant leave there before he had gone onto the stage:

“Being even and fair sometimes leads to great difficulties, like when somebody yearns for something they greatly desire but they end up not really being right. The winner of today's best prize has mastered the art in designing a riddle that will leave many questioning whether he is even human. May this individual thus come forward and receive the greatest reward for everything they will succeed in accomplishing over the time they will remain in our community for. As you know, over the course of their time spent well here, never have they ever created one single mediocre puzzle!”

Alongside the note, the host also find a word search torn out of an old newspaper left on the table:

wordsearchnoclues

This is it. Can you help the host find the winner of the trophy?

Bonus question: How does the number pattern correspond to one of the important keywords from the word search?

EDIT: I apologise for the redundancy of the spiral. I only noticed some time after posting the third hint. Apologies to those who were mislead by it.

If absolutely needed, these hints are for those who are really struggling to solve this riddle.

Hint #1:

There are three and only three words that have been intentionally put into the word search.

Hint #2:

Still struggling with the word search? Here are the three clues for the words: 1. Twisting and Curling, 2. Send Back Home, 3. Prizewinner.

Hint #3:

This sequence may be slightly helpful: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 17, 21, 26, 31, 37, 43, 50, 57, 66, 73, 82, 91, 100.

A bit about me:

This is my first puzzle on this community. I’d absolutely love any feedback at all on anything I could have improved or did really well in. I love this community and the high standard of puzzles that have been posted, and I’m looking forward to posting some more of my own in the future!

Created and posted in a day, this puzzle was inspired by many by the user I have nominated as the winner of the trophy. His puzzles have really inspired me to create one of my own. Once you've solved this riddle, go check him out!

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! I see you have added the hints. You may take a look at this to learn more. Happy Puzzling! $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 16 '17 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome. Thank you very much! I reckon the puzzle should be solvable without the hints, but I don't think I'll remove them for now. Thanks for the info! $\endgroup$ – AnagramDatagram Feb 16 '17 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ I spot the word LETTERS going across the diagonal... $\endgroup$ – mestackoverflow Feb 16 '17 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't 36 be 26 in the sequence? Also, isn't there 17 missing? Does it really end with 100? $\endgroup$ – elias Feb 16 '17 at 11:11
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I approve this Puzzle. Obviously :P $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jun 6 '17 at 16:31
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Partial

The word search gives 3 words as FIRST SPIRAL LETTERS

enter image description here


If the same block is treated as spiral we don't get any meaningful sentence. enter image description here

Highlighting the letters as per the pattern(1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 17, 21, 26, 31, 37, 43, 50, 57, 66, 73, 82, 91, 100) obtained using spiral gives

Being even and fair sometimes leads to great difficulties, like when somebody yearns for something they greatly desire but they end up not really being right. The winner of today's best prize has mastered the art in designing a riddle that will leave many questioning whether he is even human. May this individual thus come forward and receive the greatest reward for everything they will succeed in accomplishing over the time they will remain in our community for. As you know, over the course of their time spent well here, never have they ever created one single mediocre puzzle!”
Though, taking the sequence of words from the paragraph and the first letters gives BEASTLY GERBIL HAS WON!

Bonus Question

Go upvote F1Krazy's answer for this part.

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  • $\begingroup$ Beat me to it on the wordsearch! I was just about to draw the circles when I saw you'd answered already. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Feb 16 '17 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ @F1Krazy I got the words minutes back but was not sure how to move ahead. Don't have much clue where to find the spiral. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 16 '17 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ Word search is correct! You are also correct in stating that spiralling the word search was not meaningful. Good first step towards a solution! $\endgroup$ – AnagramDatagram Feb 16 '17 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ Your answer to the bonus question is very close! $\endgroup$ – AnagramDatagram Feb 16 '17 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "highlighting the letters as per the pattern"? $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Feb 16 '17 at 15:59
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Bonus question:

If you draw a spiral through the wordsearch, and take the positions of the letters on the corners of the spiral (highlighted in red), you end up with the same number pattern used in the main puzzle:

enter image description here

I couldn't be bothered to keep going past 13 right now, but this should be enough to demonstrate the correlation. Also, as I noted initially, the corner letters are also the first letters on each line (represented by the arrows in my diagram), hence fitting all three of the clue words.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not getting it. Can you explain? $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 16 '17 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ I'll add in a picture shortly to illustrate it. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Feb 16 '17 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yup. That will help $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 16 '17 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ You are correct. The numbers actually correspond to the "corners" of the spiral, which was the original basis for hint #3 before I changed it into a number pattern. Number 1 is the centre of the spiral. $\endgroup$ – AnagramDatagram Feb 16 '17 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ Added the diagram, hopefully that makes things clearer. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Feb 16 '17 at 12:48
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Looking at hint number 3 :

1 2 3 5 7...

And the paragraph :
“Being even and fair sometimes..."

Taking the first letter of each word (1 2 3 5 7...), I get "Beastly Gerbil has won!"
So it is "Beastly Gerbil"

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  • $\begingroup$ If you keep going, using the first 13 digits of the sequence, you get the whole username. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Feb 16 '17 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, do you mind if I edit the spoilers in for you? $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Feb 16 '17 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ Pre-emptively solved the puzzle. Well done! You've noticed that the spiral was only a decorative feature. However, there is another bonus question that I am adding in just a moment. $\endgroup$ – AnagramDatagram Feb 16 '17 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ @F1Krazy : Please go ahead and edit the answer. $\endgroup$ – rvd Feb 16 '17 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Lachlan : Yes the 3rd hint was enough, others did not help. $\endgroup$ – rvd Feb 16 '17 at 11:41

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