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You work at the local zoo, and today you decided to work until dark. As you approach the exit to go home, you see that it is locked shut. Hoping to unlock the gate, you go to the zoo's security office. Nobody else is there, although you see the computer that controls the front gate. You also see a note addressed to you.

Thanks for volunteering for the evening shift! Before you go home, there a list of exhibits that need to be inspected each night. I already checked the solar bear (sunny but not bright) and the octobus tank (with a school of fish). But then I suddenly needed to leave, and so the rest are your responsibility tonight. Please be sure to visit the animals that I have described below.

  • Exhibit 1. Likes to climb and monkey around. Feed it bananas and wordplay.

  • Exhibit 2. Moves like a breeze. I hear that it is new.

  • Exhibit 3. It has a trunk, but it's much louder than a regular tree.

  • Exhibit 4. The big rodents are always duplicating.

  • Exhibit 5. In the aquarium. Look for the shark bite mark.

  • Exhibit 6. Be very cautious near the toothy jaws. Seriously, no nonsense!

  • Exhibit 7. Too aggressive, so we tied a strap to its horn.

  • Exhibit 8. The snake hides in the crushed cardboard containers.

  • Exhibit 9. Ill-tempered winged insect, not very sweet.

  • Exhibit 10. Roars if you get close. Warm water makes it calm.

Sorry for the late notice. Good luck!

P.S. The gate has an electronic lock with a password. The correct letters are "ALHATOHAUS".

Before returning to the exhibits, you type the password from the note into the computer terminal. But the password was rejected! Oh no! Perhaps the note was wrong, and the correct password is something else.

To be certain that it's not a computer error, you reboot the system, and it slowly activates. In the meantime, you visit the exhibits in order, and determine which animals are described in the note. Eventually you finish the checklist, and you return to the security office.

What password do you need to exit the zoo?

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To leave the zoo enter:

UNLOCKEXIT

The trick is

Each exhibit describes an animal that has one letter of its name changed to another letter suggested by the clued description for what the new animal name might describe, as we see in the examples.

Here are the exhibits' familiar and more novel animals:
1. Chimpanzee -> CHIMPUNZEE
2. Wildebeest -> WINDEBEEST
3. Elephant -> ELEPLANT
4. Capybara -> COPYBARA
5. Starfish -> SCARFISH
6. Crocodile -> CROCKDILE
7. Rhino -> REINO
8. Boa Constrictor -> BOX CONSTRICTOR
9. Butterfly -> BITTERFLY
10. Sea Lion -> TEA LION

Then,

make the same replacement in the provided password's letters, changing the first letter the same way the first exhibit's animal had a letter replaced and so on. Doing this lets us find the actual password from the supplied letters!

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks @MikeQ - Very fun puzzle with a cool and challenging concept. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 17 '17 at 15:56

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