I came home today and realized that my furry friend was not there to greet me. There was a note on the counter from my SO that explained where they had gone but I wasn't quite sure what it meant. Can you help tell me where they went and why?


You do not need to solve the sudoku. There is a hint to what the note's numbers mean that you can get from just looking at it.


Time is of the essence.

I was left this:

enter image description here A small note:

The +2 (mixed +3) -11 s

And this for some reason:

enter image description here

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Please be a gerbil.... :P $\endgroup$ Mar 23 '17 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'll be honest.. I didn't check if it could be solved nor do I care if it can be solved... $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 23 '17 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ I deleted my answer because I just checked my answer, but there are 155 solutions. I see something is going on at a deeper level... $\endgroup$ Mar 23 '17 at 20:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Your pet has clearly gone insane after it evolved to have enough intelligence to create puzzles and it has gone to a clinic (the one word I can find in the crossword) to get help $\endgroup$ Mar 23 '17 at 20:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are you expecting the truth, or the answer your parents told you? Because "the farm" and "the crematorium" are different. $\endgroup$ Mar 24 '17 at 13:32


The Sudoku

enter image description here

Also, I have the text version(numbers converted to letters), if it may help

 C E F A B D H I G 
 A H B I C G D E F
 D G I F H E C B A
 B C E H A F I G D
 I A D G E B F H C
 G F H C D I E A B
 E D C B G H A F I
 F B A E I C G D H
 H I G D F A B C E 

The Word Search

Well, it looks like it's not a circle but a circle with a cross over it. Which is, suspicious....

enter image description here

The Note

No idea so far how to read it or where to use it...

  • $\begingroup$ Here is where I got with the word search: i.stack.imgur.com/0tGYl.png Words I am sure were included: Clinical Animal's Doctor Emergency Examination Medicine Thermometer White Blood Needles Assistance Bug Words I am not really sure:Boom Boa Tump Goat Bass $\endgroup$ Mar 24 '17 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ @MariaDeleva You can go ahead and post your findings. I didn't do any word search :-) $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Mar 24 '17 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ You probably didn't see it but Gerbil already tried solving the sudoku and as was pointed out there are like 155+ solutions to it... the tag isn't there for a reason... the cross over the circle was just for taste ;) $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 24 '17 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ @n_palum Oh, didn't knew. Well, clearly it has went to a vet :-) $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Mar 24 '17 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ I figured you were not around when he did that.. and good, you're half way :) I would cough cough recommend undoing the first part $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 24 '17 at 12:15

Partial answer

The word-search grid:

enter image description here

Words I have found (in blue and green): Clinical, Animal's Doctor, Emergency, Examination, Medicine, Thermometer, White, Blood, Needles, Assistance

So, the pet:

Went to the animal's doctor in the (veterinary) clinic because it had an emergency and needed an examination and assistance. Perhaps, the doctor was dressed in white, and used needles to take blood from the pet for medical tests and used the thermometer as well.
And, of course, at the end, the doctor prescribed the medicine to heal your pet.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Techidiot Thanks. Courtesy of MS Paint. :-D $\endgroup$ Mar 24 '17 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean 'could have been unintended' instead of 'could not have been intended' (as there is a possibility they were intended, though slim)? Also, if you are doing that, I can find 'do', 'if', 'on', 'in', 'be', 'job', etc. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Mar 24 '17 at 10:23
  • $\begingroup$ Well, bass, goat and boa are animals. Boom - could refer to an accident or something. Tump is probably unintended. I have not considered any words less than 3 letters, and I also found pug, top and some others as well, but did not include them. $\endgroup$ Mar 24 '17 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ Everything except bug was intended that you have right now, and you are right about the unintended ones. Finding all the answers isn't all that important - just meant to give you the location. $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 24 '17 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ @MariaDeleva I appreciate the little story you've gathered together :) I'm sure you can reveal the note too $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 24 '17 at 14:06

For the reason as to why

the pet is at the vet:

We take a look at the Sudoku and the note.

The circular shape of the word-search and the numbers 12, 3, 6, and 9 on the north, east, south, and west borders of the Sudoku hint towards something with time.

We can interpret the +2, +3, and -11 as time zones, which each have an abbreviation associated with them.

GMT-11 = NUT

The note says to mix EAT, so we take an anagram of that to be ATE.

The message then says: The CAT ATE NUTs

Nuts are toxic for cats when ingested, so this would be a reasonable reason for the visit to the vet.

  • $\begingroup$ Yup that would be it :) I tried so hard to get Techidiot there $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 30 '17 at 23:01

This is a community wiki answer which serves as a collection of responses from Techidiot, Maria, and Wesley.

Maria solved most of the word search, determining that:

The pet is at the vet. See her answer for a story using the words found within the word search.

Techidiot solved the sudoku one of the 100 some ways that it can be solved, however it was not the intent. In chat he made his way into figuring out:

The sudoku has the numbers 12, 3, 6, 9 in the N E S W positions, resembling a clock. (With a little help from Wesley here too)

Wesley finished up the puzzle, figuring out the meaning behind the note:

His answer includes a clock explaination, and that the numbers were interpreted as time zones. The abbreviations lead to CAT, EAT and NUT.


He then noted that you were supposed to mix EAT to get ATE. This left you with the final note of The CAT ATE NUTs.


Nuts are in fact toxic to most cats and dogs when ingested, making it reasonable that they visited the vet.


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