# Puzzle: Catching the Culprit

He has struck again! The criminal who was behind the fiasco involving the missing presentation notes is at it again, this time hiding not just the presentation notes, but every single trophy and medal prepared for the 11th annual Puzzling StackExchange award ceremony!

Angry and bitter, the host decides to track down and catch the thief who’s main goal was to throw the 11th annual Puzzling StackExchange award ceremony into utter chaos. However, the host has an idea of who he is, but cannot for the life of himself figure out where he has made his lair.

After racking his brains for a whole month, and being forced to postpone the ceremony, the host finally gives up, and decides to enlist the help of an individual from the community whom he knows and is good friends with; an individual who possesses a mind so great and full of knowledge that the host knows that he can catch the culprit.

Travelling back to the presentation hall, the host re-enters the hall, only to find two separate notes left on the table by the criminal on the stage, where the countless medals waiting to be awarded sat only 24 hours ago.

Here is a transcript of each of the notes left by the criminal:

Note #1:

“Listen. I am gone, am I not? Perhaps you may look in many places, but can you actually find someone as fast and as intelligent as me? To truly know where I am, you must consider these strange notes I have left for you here. To truly find me, you must solve the puzzle!”

Note #2:

“Two individuals interlinked, joined in ways not even I could have imagined at first. For an individual as good as me on puzzles like these, to come to a hole in my reasoning was truly disastrous.”

Strange, isn't it?

In addition to these notes, the host notices what appears to be a set of directions scratched into the table, and another word search lying next to the notes!

Directions:

36A-2B-18A-4B-22A-7A-5B-24A

Wordsearch

Only one question remains.

Who is the individual who can help our host to catch the culprit?

A note on hints: If you get absolutely stuck, I will post one of four hints. This puzzle is several steps up in terms of difficulty from my first one, but this puzzle is solvable without them.

Hint #1:

Stuck on the word search? Here are the hints for the 12 added words:

Hint #2:

Could there be a correlation between there existing a "Double Spiral" and there being two notes? You never know, it might be something!

Hint #3: This diagram could assist with understanding hint #2, but be aware that it may well give away too much:

Hint #4:

Try moving away from spiralling the crossword and think about the correlation between the length of each spiral in hint #3 and the length of each note.

Hint #5: For lack of activity on this puzzle, I have decided to add a 5th and final hint, which should propel most of you over the line toward the answer. I apologise for the difficulty of this puzzle, but I guess judging the difficulty of puzzles accurately comes with experience.

Let's have a look at the length of each arm of the spiral in Hint #3. Notice that the inner gold-coloured spiral is actually shorter than the outer grey spiral, as noted in hint #4. I'll go a step further, and tell you that there are 54 words in note #1, 36 words in note #2, and the anagram from the word search corresponds to the spiral.

This is another of my created and posted in a day puzzles. A big thank you to everyone who gave me advice on my first one!

• So if we stick gridlines over the spirals, we discover that there are 90 squares in it, which 54 (from note 1) + 36 (from note 2) add up to. Feb 21, 2017 at 0:22
• And if we take the first letters of all the words in each note, and carefully put them into the spiral shape on the grid, and then read the diagonal, we get.... garbage. Except possibly "tincat". :D Feb 21, 2017 at 0:32
• But it is difficult to do a proper diagonal on a 10x9 square Feb 21, 2017 at 0:34
• @Donnelle these are very good observations! But did you also notice that a 10x9 rectangle has more than one diagonal? Feb 21, 2017 at 0:49
• AHAHAHAHAHA. Will write it up now. Feb 21, 2017 at 0:59

Building off F1Krazy's and Techidiot's answers...

Using the directions and the notes:

Numbers correspond to the nth word of the opposite note. So, "36A" is the 36th word of Note 2, "2B" is the 2nd word of Note 1, and so on. Take each of these words and you get "diabolical i as gone on not am like". Doesn't seem to make any sense at first, but the first letters of the words spell out "DIAGONAL".

Hint 1, plus the word search, leads us to:

Notice that

the first letters of the words spell out "DOUBLE SPIRAL".

Hints 2-5 nudge us to:

Use the double spiral pictured- on the notes, not the wordsearch. I noticed that if you put gridlines on the spiral, it makes 90 squares total, 36 gold and 54 grey. Since Note 1 has 54 words, and Note 2 has 36, I take a guess and put the first letters of each word in. After experimenting with both starting-at-the-centre, and both starting-from-the-edge, I finally try one each direction, and end up with

## Epilogue from OP

The host arrives at Techidiot’s great luxurious mansion. Waiting outside is the famous individual himself, accompanied by our prize-winner, BeastlyGerbil. Without a word, he hands our host a sheet of paper, and leaves. The host takes a look at the sheet, and noticing it has an address, knows what to do. He leaves the mansion, with nothing but revenge in his heart, ready to do justice to the criminal who has caused him so much trouble.

BeastlyGerbil gazes at the disappearing figure. “Do you really think he has the power to solve the final puzzle?” he asks.

Techidiot looks at him and gives a weary smile.

“We’ll just have to find out, won’t we?”

• Very well done! I was beginning to despair that I had made this too hard. But once again, Puzzling StackExchange's community has done it again! Feb 21, 2017 at 1:14
• Do you mind if I edit your answer to add the epilogue? Feb 21, 2017 at 1:15
• Feel totally free! Feb 21, 2017 at 1:34
• Awesome. Would you mind approving the peer edit for me? Thanks! Feb 21, 2017 at 1:47

Using Hint #1, and borrowing @Techidiot's word list, I found all but one of the (deliberate) words in the wordsearch. @Gareth McCaughan found the last one, and the completed one looks like this:

Notice that

the first letters of the words spell out "DOUBLE SPIRAL".

Thanks to Hint #3,

I now realize that the double spiral looks like this:

This time, the corner values correspond to the Lazy Caterer's sequence: 1-2-4-7-11-16-22-29-37 and so on. Annoyingly, I still can't fit this with the notes.

As for the directions,

They correspond to the nth word of the opposite note. So, "36A" is the 36th word of Note 2, "2B" is the 2nd word of Note 1, and so on. Take each of these words and you get "diabolical i as gone on not am like". Doesn't seem to make any sense at first, but the first letters of the words spell out "DIAGONAL".

• 12 is LABOUR, running NW from near the bottom. Feb 17, 2017 at 11:43
• Thanks! Annoyingly it gets hard to see some of the letters once I have so many lines drawn. Feb 17, 2017 at 11:44
• Correct! Double Spiral is the anagram of the first letters. But what could it be referring to? Feb 17, 2017 at 11:47
• You are again correct about the word "Diagonal"! Now to find what it refers to. But first, you might want to solve the clue of the "Double Spiral". Feb 17, 2017 at 12:11
• ...nope. Sorry, but even with the second hint I am completely stumped. Feb 17, 2017 at 12:41

Very Partial

Checking the word search I have found too many words this time -

INCENSED
OUT
DIE
ANTIQUATED
PARAPHRASED
DENY
DANGER
EARLY
SOMETIMES
LAMP
VINE
MANY
RUB
HIT
LEFT
ARAB/BAR
UTILIZE
TEN
OFTEN
RARE
LABOUR
Checking now, if I have missed any important ones in there and which of these make sense.

So, as per the hint

The words needed to be found are -
1. DANGER
2. OFTEN
3. UTILIZE
4. DANGER
5. LEFT
6. EARLY
7. SOMETIMES
8. PARAPHRASED
9. INCENSED
10. RARE
11. ANTIQUATED
12. LABOUR

Which is nothing but

DOUBLE SPIRAL -> Taking the first letter of each word. Which means, we need to take the double spiral pattern. So, may be the spiral pattern * 2 times.

The next step

The spiral once drawn gives the sequence -
1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 17, 21, 26, 31, 37, 43, 50, 57, 65, 73, 82, 91, 101, 111, 122, 132 . . .

So, doubling the values gives -
I G I M P S A Y L S E A M(Combining both notes)

Something is not going right.

Hint#3

One of the double spiral as already tried by @F1Krazy didn't work so I tried another one -

which gives - 1,2,3,6,9,14,19,26... but well, doesn't provide anything either.

• Thanks for pointing this out to me! I've indeed accidentally added too many words. Well, here comes hint #1. Feb 17, 2017 at 11:16
• Hint #1 is up. 8 of the words in your list are intentionally there at the time of writing this comment. See of you can find the other 4! Feb 17, 2017 at 11:20
• @LachlanDW 8 or 9? I guess I have 9 right? updating now. Feb 17, 2017 at 11:26
• Apologies. You had 9. However, one of the words in your second list is incorrect. Good try though! Feb 17, 2017 at 11:32
• 12 is LABOUR, running NW from near the bottom. Feb 17, 2017 at 11:43